Reporting Observations

One of the many annoyances of the iNat website was in my face today when I tried to upload an observation. For reasons, there are TWO different ways a person can approach this task and they were apparently written by two different website developers at two different times by two different philosophical approaches and nobody ever noticed (?). In one option, the user is invited to being reporting an observation by “upload photo(s)”. In this path, if more than one photo is uploaded, it must be more than one observation - there is no way to combine the selected photos into a single observation. The other path is, at least as I know it, to add observations to a project. In this path, one begins the reporting by stating “what did you see?” Thereafter, one can upload photos. However, it is a perilous path in its own right because the photo upload may or may not succeed - there is no progress bar or other feedback for a while. Then the project has an updated observation list, or about as often in my case, some website error kicks me off inaturalist altogether.

I really don’t care what process is “right” but having two processes that are so weirdly different is really annoying. Which way should I learn and then how will I know which way I have “found” when I come back after a couple or three months? It is needless frustration and the chief reason I generally refuse to even check the site: my wife who has learned the routines and “knows the way” just takes care of it. But not everyone is so lucky. If it weren’t for her I would have left inaturalist long ago. (Because, searching a project for species is also broken - you can enter a species, and get a dropdown list of matches, but you have to select one and then “go” to search the project - if you select one and press return instead, it searches sitewide even if you are on your project page with filters set. Who did THAT make sense for?)

This isn’t a bug report, I’m moving it to General.

Please remember that the forum is not place to register complaints but to ask questions and/or offer suggestions. If you have specific issues, please include URLs, screenshots, etc, so that we all know exactly what you’re referring to. Otherwise it involves a lot of assumptions and guesswork on everyone else’s part.

In one option, the user is invited to being reporting an observation by “upload photo(s)”. In this path, if more than one photo is uploaded, it must be more than one observation - there is no way to combine the selected photos into a single observation.

Again, I’m assuming here, but I think you mean https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/upload ? There is a Combine option here:

The other path is, at least as I know it, to add observations to a project.

I assume you mean this? eg https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/australasian-fishes

image

Yes that leads to an antiquated uploader. Personally I’d be for removing that link, but it still has its adherents.

Because, searching a project for species is also broken - you can enter a species, and get a dropdown list of matches, but you have to select one and then “go” to search the project

This could be referring to any number of things, please provide specific examples and screenshots.

10 Likes

I hadn’t seen the combine button. I just drag the photos so they are on top of each other. The one you drag them to is the one that will appear first in the oobservation.

11 Likes

I drag and drop too, but I’ll admit that method is not immediately obvious.

3 Likes

You can add multiple photos in one observations by many ways, including said combine and drag an drop options, but also adding to an existing observation option and adding them under editing observation option.
image

5 Likes

Nothing happens when I hit return in that case. I actually don’t even have to hit Go. As soon as I select from the list it starts loading the results (the observations in the project that are of the species that I selected). Maybe you are using the box at the top of the page next to the word iNaturalist? You should be using the box that says Species next to the magnifying glass.

2 Likes

The more she practices, the luckier she gets … :thinking:

6 Likes

The combine button is fairly obvious, but I never use it since I just drag photos directly to the observation I want them in. Don’t recall ever having any problem figuring it out.

3 Likes

I couldn’t figure out how to combine the photos, at first. A friend saw my first posts and came over to explain. Now it’s easy, but perhaps some kind of more obvious instructions would help.

3 Likes

Thanks. For what it’s worth we’re working on better onboarding, which is something that’s been needed for a while, in my opinion.

6 Likes

:wink: Especially if one is introduced to iNat via the iOS app. That is very bare bones, which is fine for it’s relative easy of use. But, there is no way to learn about the broader functions of iNaturalist.org from the app.

My iPhone app didn’t even have a link to iNaturalist.org (still doesn’t, v3.06). Not even in the About section. Maybe I missed it :crazy_face:, but I tried to look pretty closely.

1 Like