Selectively bulk update time of observation based on the camera used

My Canon camera does not automatically update for daylight savings. It took some time for me to notice this, and while it isn’t a big deal… I have a couple thousand observations that are off by an hour.

I was wondering if there was a way to bulk update them so that they have the correct time. The catch is that I also sometimes make observations with images from my phone, so I would need to selectively apply the bulk update to avoid making my phone observations out of date.

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i could be wrong, but i don’t think there’s a great way to offset a bunch of observations by an hour after they’ve been loaded, unless you’re comfortable using the API. there is a batch edit screen ( that allows you to update multiple observations, but i think if you use this, you’d either have to set all items in a given set to the same date/time, or else you’d still have to change the times one record at a time (although multiple changes could be saved together).

although it is possible to filter for observations that you loaded using the iOS app (, i don’t think there’s an easy way to get only observations loaded via the web.

so then the only way that i think you can achieve what you’re describing is to adapt the workflow described in when you export the observations, make sure you include oauth_application_id as one of the fields to be exported. when you get the results from the CSV, look for records where the oauth_application_id is blank. these will be the observations you loaded via the web uploader.

that said, in most cases, i don’t think it’s terrible that observations are off by an hour. there are lots of observations that have the wrong time loaded in the system for various reasons. so if some of yours are off, they have lots of company.


There was that bug a while back (that I think they fixed iirc?) where the uploader was taking all my observations with a UTC timestamp and reporting the time as if that timestamp was local, so a huge fraction of my observation times are probably still offset by 6 or 7 hours. And that for sure wasn’t affecting just me because it was easy to replicate. In other cases I think the uploader itself has messed up daylight savings vs not. Camera and phone settings can be weird. IMO I would interpret a bulk download of the inat dataset as basically useless for determining absolute time of day for observations. Only would trust time if the user themself confirmed individually. I don’t know how many applications an hour offset would really matter for anyway.


On a similar note, I noticed today that my camera was, bizarrely, off by exactly 23 minutes. The only reason I figured this out was because I checked the time at a few different intervals last night to make sure I pace my mothing in a way that allowed for most of my observations to be within the window for National Moth Week, and I could distinctly remember that my last observation was slightly before midnight because I was surprised that I actually finished before the deadline. Is it fine, ethically speaking, for me to only update the times that affect eligibility for a specific bioblitz, and leave the rest of my observations alone (since I have nearly 1000 of them taken with the same camera)? That’s what I’ve done for now, but I’m not sure if that’s the right protocol for this scenario.

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unless you’re competing for some specific prize in this bioblitz, i’m not sure how this would matter. seems to me like your bioblitz organizers and fellow participants would be the ones more interested in a 23 minute adjustment, and if you talk to them and they don’t care, i don’t see why anyone else would care.

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Yes, 23 min seems to me within acceptable error. I probably wouldn’t bother correcting myself unless I were off by >1 hr.

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