Zoom into photos (100%) when adding observations

I wonder if it would be possible to add a feature to the uploading page on iNat (before submitting the observations) to allow for zooming into the photo, similar to when you are viewing an uploaded observations and zooming into it.

I think that this would be a useful feature to aid in identifying observations during the uploading process, and would help in speeding up the process. When I upload large quantities of observations, I often have to go back to my photo folders, find the photo and zoom into it from there, resulting in lots of back and forth.

iNat resizes uploaded photos if they are large (I think this happens on upload, but not 100% sure). See https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/photo-number-photo-resolution-per-observation/6049/2

Since this is the case, if you’re looking for the finest detail/greatest zoom power, it will be better on your own computer if you are uploading larger photos.

My interpretation of their request is that they simply want to be able to view more than a thumbnail when uploading. This would be particularly useful during multi-observation uploads to be able to distinguish where one observation ends and another begins, which can be difficult when looking at small thumbnails.

That said, for this particular issue I have simply revised my workflow to drag in a batch of images, combine them, then drag in another batch and combine them, etc. This of course requires that I organize the images beforehand, as often the photos of a given organism are not grouped sequentially by default. OP may have another use case in mind.


You can view more than a thumbnail when uploading via the browser. If you click any pic you have uploaded, it will show it fullscreen in browser, but it does not let you do the extra click to zoom as in the Identify modal. This seems to be what OP is asking for.

I often upload many pics and then sort them via this functionality and dragging and dropping individual pics into multipic observations, so this may be helpful for you if you were unaware of the functionality.


Exactly this:


I could see this being useful for distinguising diferent observations, I hadn’t thought of that. I was thinking of it more as a tool to help with idenfitication while uploading observations.
For example: zooming into a small ID feature on a moss (like teeth on a leaf) to help identify it while uploading. Being able to do this on the site itself rather than on my computer would speed up the process given that I upload very large quantities of photos.

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I have found the same issue when uploading from my phone and trying to get a closer ID. I sometimes go back to my photos app to zoom in, and a few times the iNaturalist app has frozen, forcing me to restart it and reupload the photo.


Thanks, I will check that out on next upload, but my current workflow (organizing prior to upload) is more efficient anyway, so it hasn’t been slowing me down.

Edit: You’re right, it works. I don’t need it, but it works. In that case, I’m not sure what the need is except in the case of subject so small that even a normal view isn’t enough for the photographer to recall it.

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I’m actually really curious as to how people use the web uploader because for my workflow I’ve never needed to zoom in to 100%. I think this is because a) I crop and process all of my images in my photo editor then export small batches of photos at a time and never add more than about 20-30 images to the uploader in one session and b) I try to identify them to a decently fine level (if possible) when working through my photos in my photo editor, not in the uploader. Also, since most are pretty heavily cropped and also resized to be no larger than 2048 pixels on the longest side so zooming in to 100% doesn’t really help much.

How many photos are people putting into the uploader, and how much work do you do to them before putting them in the web uploader? I wouldn’t be against adding a 100% view to the uploader, but I guess I assume people have done all their careful identifying before using the uploader, which apparently is not the case.

I think you’re describing a known bug in the iOS app. This feature request is just for the web uploader.


I almost never do any “desk IDing” before I drop the photos into the uploader, so I’d find a 100% zoom useful. I also sometimes go back to my original photos to get a better view, or I right click the photo to open in it a new tab.


I had no idea you could open the photo in a new tab and zoom in! Although zooming in within the website would be useful, this might work fairly well too. Thanks!


I do not have a photo editor (just folders within my documents), but I use Apple’s Preview to do simple editing and cropping. The quality of my photos also isn’t so great, so I do not crop as much as I would like to - maybe if I could then the zoom feature wouldn’t be so useful. I never ID when editing my photos (not sure where I would put this ID, and I also use iNaturalist quite a lot to help with the IDs), so I only ID directly on the uploader. I generally upload multiple large batches in a day (60-100 photos at a time, so typically 40-50 observations per batch).

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After cropping and lightly editing I will upload up to 100 photos at a time. Before submitting I will add IDs I’m confident with; for others I’ll add coarse IDs and then quickly look more closely once submitted mainly so I can access the full compare function (hoping I can make my independent ID before seeing anyone else’s suggestions). I find the compare function very useful for narrowing down possibilities and then use other resources to ID where necessary.

In my workflow I’d say a 100% zoom option when adding would help me occasionally rather than frequently.


I keep uploading observations and wishing I could zoom in on some of my pictures (like I can on an observation page). It’s true that I probably could remove the need for it by cropping my photos beforehand, but that isn’t usually necessary for identification and takes a lot longer than just zooming in.

But depending on the image you might force (possibly multiple) IDers to also zoom in later.

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I like blurry road photos, it’s reclaiming data that would otherwise be lost, like a puzzle. I don’t crop mine because i just wouldn’t be making the observations if I had to. I do wish there was crop and/or photo annotation options within inat.
It’s fine to do any or no ID help if you find someone’s observations frustrating of course. Also i think it’s a bit off topic as this feature request is about zooming into the photo to see it when uploading, not editing it while uploading.

is precisely what this topic is about - not editing. From the first post:

(Sorry, I misunderstood you. I thought you meant the topic was about editing, and we were off-topic by talking about zooming!)

yes you are correct, i worded my comment in a confusing way, see above, i fixed it. sorry about that :)

One last off-topic post before I go… Please don’t sort through the Unknowns and pick out all the good ones! Think of the poor IDers who come in later and all they see is plants. Me, for one. Unknowns are already >90% plants and fungi without you picking out all the animals. I work on Unknowns too, and I identify all of them, not just the interesting ones. I know next to nothing about plants and even less about fungi, so I have to use the CV a lot, and it isn’t very fun. Leave me a few animals, would you? (End of rant)

well, i’d argue that the good ones are the plants, so i’d say there’s some subjectivity there. :rofl: But if you want to only help with animals, you should just search for animals. If you are looking at unknown you should sort them at least into kingdom so they can then be picked up for more specific IDs. I agree no point in picking one kingdom out of unknowns.