Tech Tip Tuesday: Removing Photos from Observations

The trees in my backyard are beginning to leaf out! Although there is also a patchy inch of snow on the ground right now, the faint haze of greenery returning to the woods is a welcome sign of spring. Another sign of spring is the large Black Bear my neighbors saw lumbering along the edge of their property the other evening. I’m now on the lookout for signs that it has visited my yard and look forward to documenting them on iNaturalist.

I’ve really enjoyed watching everyone’s great observations from the Vermont Spring Backyard BioBlitz pour in over the last week. Although we can’t explore Vermont’s landscape together, it’s still exciting to see what everyone is finding. If you live in Vermont and haven’t participated yet, I highly recommend checking it out!

This Week on Tech Tip Tuesday

We all make mistakes--that’s why erasers exist. Sometimes, when using iNaturalist, we may add a photo to an observation that we later realize we don’t want to include. Maybe the subject is out of focus or partially cut from the frame. Or maybe it’s a second, different organism included in the observation. While it may be tempting to upload all the squirrels you see in your backyard in a single morning as one observation, you need to add photos of different individuals as separate observations. The general rule is: if the date, time of day, location, or individual are different, do not combine multiple photos into a single observation. However, it is ok (and encouraged) to create an observation with multiple photos of the same individual taken at the same time and place.

What happens if you’ve already created an observation with multiple photos and you want to remove one of them? Where is iNaturalist’s eraser? While the method for deleting a photo from an observation isn’t exactly obvious, it is fairly simple.

To start, go to your “Your Observation” page on the computer version of iNaturalist and select the observation you want to remove a photo from. Once on the observation’s page, click “Edit” located in the top right corner. Once the edit page is open, you will see three columns of information: “What did you see?” at the top of the left column, “Where were you?” in the middle column, and “Add media” in the right column. You want the right column.

“Add media” is understandably the place you will go when you want to add a photo to an existing observation. All you need to do to add a photo is go to the section that says “Select One or More Photos”, click “Choose File”, and upload as you normally would.

To remove a photo, you go to your “Selected Photos” section in the same box--here you should see all the photos currently displayed in the existing observation. Notice that each photo has a checkmark above them. To delete a photo from an observation, all you need to do is click that checkmark to unselect it, then click “Save observation” at the very bottom of the page. If you look at your observation, the photo you deleted should be gone.

Bonus tip: If you noticed on the “Edit” page below the “Add media” box, there was a link that said “Re-order photos”. If you want your existing photos to appear in a different order (let’s say a particularly crisp photo is last in line), click on this link. Then, you can re-order your photos by typing a number next to them that corresponds to a new place in the line-up (typing a 3 next to a photo will make it the third photo on the observation’s page).

TTT Task of the Week

Go back through some of your observations and check whether there are any photos you want to remove. Pay close attention to see if there are any photos that should belong in a separate observation. If you find any you want to delete (or re-order!), use the steps above to make the necessary changes.

That’s all for this week! Thank you for helping us map Vermont’s biodiversity, stay safe, and happy observing!

Posted on 28 April, 2020 20:22 by emilyanderson2 emilyanderson2


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