Umbrella Project date range

We are looking to create an Umbrella project to encourage friendly competition/rivalry between iNaturalist projects in our region as part of the build-up to next year’s City Nature Challenge, but it seems there is no way to date-range an Umbrella project for some reason.

This means that any projects that have already been set up for some time will have a big advantage in the ‘comparison’ stakes, and new projects are unlikely to have much interest in the umbrella stats. Am I missing the point of Umbrella projects? I would have thought that one of their main purposes would for reporting purposes, to create such a rivalry (like in CNC worldwide, though I understand it isn’t needed there as each project is for the same 4 days by definition)?

I realise I could ask each site/area to create new projects with the required date range (I’m thinking annual projects), but this seems like a lot of unnecessary admin and the sites themselves wouldn’t really want to split up their observations annually, it’s just in the interest of competition we’re looking to do that as an overview.

Any ideas on creating this without lots of admin, or any plans for this date facility on Umbrella projects?

Thanks, Stuart

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Hi @stuartfraser, welcome to the forum! This came in as a feature request but I moved it to #general because it seemed more like a question/discussion item than a specific request, and because the purpose of umbrella projects is to put 2 or more collection projects under one area, to “collate, compare, or promote a set of existing projects”. My understanding is that additional filters are not meant to be added to umbrella projects, and that this would be the preferred solution to what you’re looking to do:

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@bouteloua’s correct, umbrella projects just collate existing observations, so you’ll have to create new projects with the date range you desire and then put those in an umbrella project.

I’m not sure what this means, can you please explain?

Hi, sorry just logged in and saw the reply.

What I’m trying to create is an ongoing annual competition between many ‘green space’ sites across a region.

I had envisaged an open-ended iNaturalist project for each site, to track overall observations at the site, then to use an annual Umbrella project to compare all the sites during each year - creating a bit of fun competition between them. Being able to set annual dates on each Umbrella project would mean I could add any new projects to a new Umbrella project each year, which would be minimal once-a-year admin for me. and none for the individual projects.

Having instead to create new projects for every site each year with a 01Jan-31Dec date range is much more admin - especially given I’m expecting it to grow each year!

I suppose most of your Umbrella projects are used for specific short-term date ranges, not ongoing limitless site recording.

I understand that the Umbrella projects system was not designed to do this, I’m just surprised that others haven’t asked for such a date-range option on Umbrella projects.


Realised I should add that the sentence you particularly asked about was referring to the fact most site projects would want an overview of ALL their observations/species since the project started, not an annual tally (hence being reluctant to set annual place projects up).

I realise I could do an ongoing project AND annual ones for each site/place too, but if we get 10 extra sites involved each year, that would (say) mean setting up 10 annual projects the first year, 20 the 2nd, 30 the 3rd etc - whereas with a date-ranged Umbrella project it would just mean creating one Umbrella project per year with all relevant sites added to it.

That facility would just allow flexibility of approach depending on the situation people are in :)

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Projects can now be duplicated, so that should save you some time:

Thanks Tony - will it be considered for future development? I think the facility would be an improvement and certainly a major advantage if we were to consider promoting iNaturalist as our main recording scheme. I could ask fellow Records Centres to add the support the idea if that would help?

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