Platform(s), such as mobile, website, API, other: All
URLs (aka web addresses) of any pages, if relevant:
Description of need:
Support the .webp image format for image upload.
Feature request details:
The webp image format is becoming more and more widely used due to its characteristics superior to other (older) image formats, like the image quality and smaller size. As a container, besides lossless compression for static images, it also supports animated images and videos.
The newer camera apps are generating webp images, which are significantly smaller than JPGs and PNG, while retaining the full image quality, but I am prevented from uploading these to iNaturalist either on the mobile (Android) or the web.
That article mentions an aspect of WebP that could be problematic for iNat images:
JPEG compression uses the same quantization factor for each 16×16 “macroblock” so the compression is consistent throughout the image.
WebP and AVIF on the other hand use different compression factors for different parts of the image so while the detailed parts of the image retain their quality, surfaces like skin or the sky which have low detail are “smoothed out”.
I’m concerned that an algorithm that handles compression differently in different parts of the image might obscure details that could be important for a human identifier or the computer vision algorithm.
There’s a broader issue here for CV, too: Would a CV model trained on JPEG images perform equally well at identifying images encoded with the WebP algorithm?