Something important to keep in mind when you are uploading photos to iNat

When iNat’s auto ID software tries to make an identification using a photo, it takes the file name into consideration.

Actual example: I uploaded a photo of a dragonfly with the common name of “common whitetail”. My file was named “whitetail”. The list of suggestions were all for various forms of the white-tailed deer here in North America.

I was informed in another forum post that the software that suggests an ID uses the file name. The photo I uploaded in no way resembled a deer shape. So, it seems like the iNat software prioritizes the file name and may not even consider the actual image if it first finds a match for the file name.

So, if you upload a photo and get a really strange ID suggestion, check your file name. Try to rename it closer to what you think the entity might be.

This may not be an issue if you upload an image from your phone’s camera without editing it. But, I know a lot of people use non-phone cameras and edit a photo before uploading it. I usually allow for a lot of border space when I am taking a photo. There is nothing worse than seeing part of a creature cut off in one of your images when you are editing it. I then crop the photo using some software before uploading it here. I change the file name because I usually work off of a copy of the original image file when cropping.

I did go back and change the name of the image file to “common_whitetail”. I uploaded it as a separate observation. The iNat software got the ID correct.


See these related threads:


Thanks for these links.

(moved from #tutorials to #general because #tutorials is for how-to topics)

Happened to me today. I uploaded this photo of a Gull taken in Lemon Creek Park and iNat called it a Lemon. I caught the error, but a bit late… and that was the signal that I should stop uploading old photos and take a break.

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Would like to point out that @kiwikiu is right - the third photo is a different bird on a different post. Could you move or remove it so the observation can be properly identified? Thank you!

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Yes, I’ll be doing some clean up and then some more uploading later today. Still sorting through photos and going a little cross-eyed.

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New species: Lemon Gull! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


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