Utmost simplification of the app for rural naturalists?

Dear fellow inaturlists,

I am currently managing a group of 28 biodiversity reporters from rural areas. Basically they take photos of whatever living organism they find interesting and share them in a whatsapp group, and then I try to identify what they sent and comment or give extra information. We had our first anniversary in July, and we have around 300 reports. The thing is I would like to share those reports outside the group, and I thought of inaturalist. So I downloaded the app to try it out and found it not to be apt for rural reporters. They are busy people, usually with little memory on their mobiles, and not too fund of complex internet things, and for me it would be too much work to upload their reports to inaturalist, plus they would not be getting the right credit… so I have been wondering if it would be possible to think of the most basic app, like how it works with whatsapp but connecting the report to inaturalist with the photo or video, their name and their location (these two obtained form their mobiles). This photo could be uploaded to our inaturlist project and there I would do the ID and get help from others… Then maybe text the IDs or comments back to them… I also give biology classes for Systems Engineers, but before I get them in the picture I was wondering if this idea is possible?, or if it is already done? and if inaturalist is open code for them to work on this idea… Please any feedback is welcome!



iNaturalist is open source including the mobile apps: https://github.com/inaturalist

As well as the iNaturalist app there is Seek by iNaturalist which is a simplier app. I’d suggest trying that before considering creating something new.


Ive used lots of naturalist type citizen science apps, and have found iNaturalist to be, by far, the simplest one available for people of all ages and backgrounds. Each observation using the app should only take the person uploading around 30-60 seconds. Less if they aren’t attempting to work out the ID themselves. I would imagine the best way forward is for them to learn the iNat app and give it a try, theyll probably realise its pretty easy and will jump on board with it. I doubt any new design app could possibly be more simple than ‘point, shoot and share’. In my honest opinion, i dislike the idea of recreating the wheel before the wheel has been properly tried.
I recommend them having a look at the 1 minute iNaturalist tutorial, available here: https://vimeo.com/162581545


Is this more of an issue of data/cell service/hardware? Because I second @TriciaStewart that the app is pretty simple.


I agree that the existing phone apps, especially the iPhone version (which is pretty stripped down, currently) are quite straightforward and easy to use. Your participants could take their pictures in the field and then transfer them to the app and upload when they are back in an area with sufficient bandwidth.


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