Why can't observations have more than 20 photos?

But why limit the number of photos one can submit for an observation. Perhaps it is a very special observation and requires more photos?


I think the reasoning is that usually when an observation has a lot of photos, it’s a new user who is accidentally adding photos of many different species to a single observation.

Isn’t it for having less pressure on the servers? Though this limiting can be ridiculous, some insects need more than 20 angles to id, and now you already need to delete some photos to do it.

1 Like

You can still post as many photos as you want though, they just need to be in separate observations.

I honestly can’t imagine a single observation (of any three-dimensional object) that would need more than twenty photos without any redundancy, even in an instance of diagnostic dissection and all angles of the individual. for example—with arthropods—having a dorsal, lateral, ventral, caudal, and frontal view of an organism with an additional closeup for each angle would still yield only ten photos. then I suppose an additional five photos could be added from dissecting, with various closeups of legs, genitalia, and antennae. that leaves wiggle room for an additional five photos, which could be wider shots including a host plant, a photo of a different notable posture/behaviour, flight, etc. with plants as well, I can’t imagine diagnostic photos requiring more than twenty images. having a limit is important to encourage quality control and limit spamming and use of the site as a image-storing service. twenty seems like a reasonable number to me.

I’ll add that some users add casual observations under Homo sapiens for diagrams and nonliving things with many linked photos in order to link these images to elsewhere on the site for educational purposes. perhaps increasing the limit on casual observations would make sense, but even then, you could just upload another observation.

can you link to any example where an organism would need more than twenty photos? keep in mind you can also add a link to a description to additional photos hosted elsewhere. images in an observation should be limited to the best you have of an organism, instead of all possible photos you have (don’t think that’s a steadfast rule, but unnecessary additional photos won’t benefit the site—or your observation—in any way).


What? Separate observations for 1 specimen?

I deleted some pics from this observation https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/49302822, but to id this insect through all key steps you need far more shots, and if someone would like to replicate this process they won’t be able.


All I’m saying is that I don’t think server issues were behind the design change because the change doesn’t limit the number of photos uploaded, it only limits how many are uploaded in one observation.


Then, as I understand it, it was reasonable for mobile apps were it’s easy for new members to compile photos, but in browser people have more problems understanding how to get all photos in one observation. So adding limits for mobile apps solved much of that, plus a disclaimer was added to not edit observations, so I think limits for browsers were added excessively.

If you are in a foreign country you can add al the pphotos and split the observations when you have good internet and a key board and a computer

I have added more than 20 photos.
When I did the upload it limited me to 20.
But after the observation had been saved, I could drag/drop onto the oservation and add more.


If you talk about uploading many photos at once of different things and then splitting, then it kinda a thing that would need an ability to upload more than 20 photos. But usually people don’t split them, they just upload everything in one observation, then leave iNat forever. And mobile app is what they use, so I understand it as a reason to get limits, but personally I would use (create) other options to solve the problem.

Some users have added upwards of 300 photos to an observation, basically every photo they took during a hike or survey, so we added this limit.

I’m not a taxonomist, but I’m with @nomolosx in that 20 seems like a reasonable number, and even that (to me) seems more than enough for pretty much any observation.


if there is a legitimate need for additional photos perhaps this issue could be solved by capping the number of photos allowed on upload but allowing additional photos to be added through editing (accompanied by a note explaining that additional photos can be added this way)? Seems like if the concern is people accidentally uploading photos that should be split into multiple obs, they likely aren’t doing that by opening an existing obs and adding more photos.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.