Journal archives for March 2021

March 22, 2021

My observation workflow

I'm largely documenting this for myself, but sharing here in case it ends up being useful for anyone else. This is a work in progress and I'll continue to edit this to add details or clarifications.

In the field


  • Phone camera + macro
  • Digital camera
  • Spare camera battery
  • External phone battery (if I'll be out for more than 4 hours)


  • Start GPS track on phone
  • Camera timestamp matches phone time (this is especially important when traveling across time zones, and when daylight savings changes)

I carry my iPhone XS with a Ztylus Revolver lens. Unless I'm hiking with my "fast friends" who don't stop and look at everything, I try to make plant and fungi observations in the app now. For faster-moving things that might need multiple shots to get a useful one, I use the default camera app. If I'm really disciplined in the field, I can get all of my stationary organism observations made in the field, and then go back through my photos later for just the animals where I took multiple shots. I turn off auto-uploader and I don't often enter a taxon name in the field. Later, I either add identifications before uploading, or upload from the app while I sit at my computer and identify them shortly after uploading.

For the last couple of years, I also often carry a Sony a6000 with a zoom lens for birds, flying insects, and more distant plants. It does not have a built in GPS, so I run a track on my iPhone using a free app. I'm using Motion-X GPS. I try to start the track either when I leave home (especially if I'm traveling on foot) or when I arrive at the area I'm exploring (if I drive), and then stop and save the track with the date when I get home. I don't notice a battery drain that's too bad unless I forget to stop the track when I get home. I should add that I'm usually not out for more than a few hours, but if I were planning an extended trip I'd bring an external battery for my phone as backup.

I always try to keep a second battery for the Sony in my purse. It's a knock-off one that isn't as good as the original Sony, but since I'm not usually out for extended periods of time it works well enough.

Back home

In the app, I add identifications and upload. These are mostly plants or other things easily photographed with my iPhone.

When I take out the SD card, I often also charge up the camera battery too, unless I know I didn't use it much. I leave the door to the SD card and battery open if either one of them is out, until they're both back in. This keeps me from walking out without them next time.

I import the photos from the Sony SD card using Dropbox. I have it set up to import new photos whenever detected. It does the same for photos from my iPhone when I connect it by USB. It automatically renames all images with a date and time stamp, which I like for being able to organize photos chronologically. Once imported, I move them into the appropriate folder. My folder organization is pretty simple: folders for each year (e.g. 2021), then folders for each month within those (e.g. 2021-02). If travel, especially if I'm crossing time zones or months, I might make a special folder for those photos.

I use Airdrop to share the GPS track from my Motion-X GPS app on my iPhone to my MacBook Air (email works too, I just find Airdrop most convenient). Then I put the track in the same folder as my photos.

In Lightroom Classic, if I'm starting a new month, I import all of the photos in the folder corresponding to that month. If I'm working with new photos in a folder I've already imported, I right-click on the name of the folder and select "Synchronize folder". This will bring in all of the new photos I've added.

Then I use the library filters to filter by date and review my photos. I use the keyboard shortcuts: "r" to crop, "x" to reject, and numbers to rate. For a while I was tagging or flagging photos I wanted for iNat, but now I've just settled on rating them 3s. The vast majority of photos I take are only for iNat. If I take some others I want to keep, I often rate them 4 or 5. I'm trying to be more ruthless in rejecting photos and then "Deleting rejected photos" (command-delete). I select "remove from disk" to save space.

I use the Map tools to "Load tracklog", filters to select all of the photos from the appropriate day, and then "Autotag __ selected photos". I check to make sure the locations where the photos ended up makes sense. If not, then there's probably a time zone offset needed.

When I've gone through all the photos, I use filters to select the 3-star photos to export them. The settings I use are:

  • Same file names but in a subfolder called "Resized" in the original folder
  • Resize to fit long edge 2048 pixels (Don't enlarge) with 72 pixels per inch (this corresponds to the size that iNaturalist keeps, so no sense in making it larger in size or higher resolution)

Then I have a nice folder of photos to add to iNat. I use the bulk upload tool on the website and drag on batches. I usually don't do more than 20-30 images at a time. I usually don't drag on multiple different locations at once because I find it harder to refine or edit locations. I obscure observations from home and add them to the project "Carrie's home biodiversity". Since photos geotagged in Lightroom from the GPS track don't have a radius of precision associated with them, I usually add that on iNat. I typically use 10-20 m and check on the map that it makes sense.

Once I've uploaded them to iNat, I drag the resized images from the "Resized" folder to the main folder and replace the originals with the resized ones. This makes sense for me because I don't need to be storing high resolution, uncropped versions of my mediocre photos. I am also aggressively deleting the camera images I don't need by marking them as rejected in Lightroom, then "deleting from disk" when I remove them from Lightroom.

Working through my backlog


  • Is my iNat account set to the timezone that corresponds to the observations I'm uploading?
  • Do the timestamps on my photos make sense?

I've honed the checks above after all kinds of time-consuming errors that mixed up time stamps or files or locations, which is to say that some of my backlog of images that haven't been uploaded to iNat yet (yes, still!) is a bit of a mess. As of March 2021, I've got everything from October 2016 to present, and 2005-2014 except for photos from Tanzania in 2010-11 and photos from New Zealand in 2006-07 (these are tricky because they're not geotagged and getting precise locations involves a lot of research). I'll expand on this section when I work through more of my backlog.

Hope this helps someone!

Posted on March 22, 2021 01:30 PM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 5 comments | Leave a comment

March 29, 2021

Welcome, iNaturalist Greece! Καλωσόρισες iNaturalist Greece!

Today we officially welcome iNaturalist Greece as the newest member of the iNaturalist Network! iNaturalist GR is a collaboration with the non-profit, non­governmental organization iSea and the Goulandris Natural History Museum (GNHM).

Σήμερα καλωσορίζουμε επισήμως το iNaturalist Greece ως το νεότερο μέλος του δικτύου iNaturalist! Το iNaturalistGR αποτελεί μια συνεργασία της Περιβαλλοντικής Οργάνωσης iSea και του Μουσείου Φυσικής Ιστορίας Γουλανδρή.

iSea was founded in 2016, in Thessaloniki, with the aim to preserve, protect, and restore the precious heritage of the aquatic environment using a variety of tools ranging from scientific research to citizen science and environmental awareness. The Goulandris Natural History Museum was established in 1964, in Athens, and it is a non-profit institution dedicated to the research, environmental education and public awareness. Its branch, the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre (EKBY), established in 1991 in Thessaloniki, is also involved in research and education, as well as in the protection, conservation and management of the natural environment.

Η iSea ιδρύθηκε το 2016 στη Θεσσαλονίκη, με στόχο τη διατήρηση, προστασία, και αποκατάσταση των υδάτινων οικοσυστημάτων, αλλά και της χλωρίδας και πανίδας που διαβιούν σε αυτά, χρησιμοποιώντας ως βασικά εργαλεία την επιστημονική έρευνα, την επιστήμη των πολιτών και την περιβαλλοντική εκπαίδευση κι ευαισθητοποίηση. To Μουσείο Γουλανδρή Φυσικής Ιστορίας ιδρύθηκε το 1964 στην Αθήνα, και είναι ένα κοινωφελές ίδρυμα, αφιερωμένο στην έρευνα και την περιβαλλοντική εκπαίδευση και ενημέρωση. Το παράρτημά του, το Ελληνικό Κέντρο Βιοτόπων Υγροτόπων (EKBY), το οποίο ιδρύθηκε το 1991 στη Θεσσαλονίκη, ασχολείται επίσης με την έρευνα και την εκπαίδευση, καθώς και με την προστασία, διατήρηση και διαχείριση του φυσικού περιβάλλοντος.

Greece is a nation including approximately 6,000 islands and islets with an important relationship with the sea. For this reason, iNaturalistGR has selected a beloved and iconic marine animal for its logo: the charismatic common dolphin . The dolphin is Greece’s national animal and rightfully so, as its existence is interwoven with Greek societies since ancient times. Unfortunately, the Mediterranean population of Delphinus delphis is classified as Endangered by the IUCN; this shows that this dolphin is not so common anymore as it is threatened by fishing bycatch, prey depletion, marine pollution, underwater noise, and habitat loss. The Delphinus delphis is one of the smallest dolphins in existence. It has a slender body, a dark back and a characteristic yellowish pattern on the sides of its body.

Η Ελλάδα είναι μια χώρα που περιλαμβάνει περίπου 6.000 νησιά και νησίδες και είναι άρρηκτα συνδεδεμένη με τη θάλασσα. Για το λόγο αυτόν, το iNaturalistGR επέλεξε ένα αγαπημένο κι εμβληματικό θαλάσσιο θηλαστικό για λογότυπό του: το χαρισματικό κοινό δελφίνι . Το δελφίνι δικαίως αποτελεί εθνικό ζώο της Ελλάδας, καθώς η ύπαρξη του είναι συνυφασμένη με τις ελληνικές κοινωνίες από αρχαιοτάτων χρόνων. Δυστυχώς, ο Μεσογειακός πληθυσμός του είδους Delphinus delphis έχει χαρακτηριστεί ως «Κινδυνεύων» από την IUCN υποδεικνύοντας ότι το δελφίνι αυτό δεν είναι πια και τόσο κοινό καθότι απειλείται από την παρεμπίπτουσα αλιεία, τη μείωση της τροφής του, τη θαλάσσια ρύπανση, την υποβρύχια ηχορύπανση και την υποβάθμιση των ενδιαιτημάτων του. Το Delphinus delphis είναι ένα από τα μικρότερα δελφίνια που υπάρχουν σήμερα. Διαθέτει λεπτό σώμα με σκούρη μαύρη ράχη κι ένα χαρακτηριστικό κιτρινωπό σχέδιο στις δυο πλευρές του σώματός του.

The iNaturalist community in Greece has been growing rapidly over the last four years. Currently, there are over 140,000 observations in Greece, made by almost 5,000 observers. Citizen scientists and researchers in Greece who use iNaturalist are motivated by their love of nature and their interest to explore and learn more about the country’s rich biodiversity. You can read more about earlier activity trends in Greece in the iNaturalist World Tour post from July 2019. Dimitra Katsada, @dkats, from iSea’s team, is the primary point of contact for iNaturalistGR.

Η κοινότητα του iNaturalist στην Ελλάδα αναπτύσσεται ραγδαία τα τελευταία τέσσερα χρόνια. Σήμερα έχουν καταγραφεί περισσότερες από 140.000 παρατηρήσεις στην Ελλάδα από σχεδόν 5.000 πολίτες. Ερευνητές και επιστήμονες πολίτες στην Ελλάδα, οι οποίοι χρησιμοποιούν το iNaturalist, έχουν ως κίνητρο την αγάπη τους για τη φύση και το ενδιαφέρον τους να εξερευνήσουν και να μάθουν περισσότερα για την πλούσια βιοποικιλότητα της χώρας. Μπορείτε να διαβάσετε περισσότερα για την έως τώρα δραστηριότητα στην Ελλάδα στη δημοσίευση του iNaturalist World Tour από τον Ιούλιο του 2019. Η Δήμητρα Κατσάδα, @dkats, από την ομάδα της iSea, αποτελεί το βασικό άτομο επικοινωνίας για το iNaturalistGR.

We would like to invite anyone from Greece to affiliate their account with iNaturalistGR!

Προσκαλούμε όλους τους χρήστες από την Ελλάδα να συνδέσουν τους λογαριασμούς τους με το iNaturalistGR!

About the iNaturalist Network
Σχετικά με το Δίκτυο του iNaturalist

The iNaturalist Network now has 13 nationally-focused sites that are fully connected and interoperable with the global iNaturalist site. The sites are: Naturalista Mexico, iNaturalist Canada, iNaturalist New Zealand (formerly NatureWatchNZ), Naturalista Colombia, BioDiversity4All (Portugal), iNaturalist Panama, iNaturalist Ecuador, iNaturalist Australia, ArgentiNat (Argentina), iNaturalist Israel, iNaturalist Finland, iNaturalist Chile, and now iNaturalist Greece. More will be announced in the coming weeks. Any iNaturalist user can log in on any of the sites using their same credentials and will see the same notifications.

Το Δίκτυο του iNaturalist απαριθμεί σήμερα 13 εθνικού επιπέδου ιστοτόπους οι οποίοι είναι πλήρως συνδεδεμένοι και διαλειτουργικοί με τον παγκόσμιο ιστότοπο του iNaturalist. Αυτοί είναι: Naturalista Mexico, iNaturalist Canada, iNaturalist New Zealand (προηγουμένως NatureWatchNZ), Naturalista Colombia, BioDiversity4All (Πορτογαλία), iNaturalist Panama, iNaturalist Ecuador, iNaturalist Australia, ArgentiNat (Αργεντινή), iNaturalist Israel, iNaturalist Finland, iNaturalist Chile και πλέον iNaturalist Greece. Περισσότερες πληροφορίες θα ανακοινωθούν μέσα στις ερχόμενες εβδομάδες. Κάθε χρήστης του iNaturalist μπορεί να συνδεθεί σε οποιονδήποτε από αυτούς τους ιστοτόπους χρησιμοποιώντας τα στοιχεία του.

The iNaturalist Network model allows for localizing the iNaturalist experience to better support communities on a national scale and local leadership in the movement, without splitting the community into isolated, national sites. The iNaturalist team is grateful to the outreach, training, translations, and user support carried out through the efforts of the iNaturalist Network member institutions.

Το μοντέλο του Δικτύου iNaturalist δίνει τη δυνατότητα της τοπικοποίησης της εμπειρίας του iNaturalist, ώστε να στηρίζει καλύτερα τις κοινότητές του και την τοπική ηγεσία τους, χωρίς να περιορίζει την παγκόσμια κοινότητα διαχωρίζοντας την σε τοπικά τμήματα. Η ομάδα του iNaturalist είναι ευγνώμων για τη γνωστοποίηση, την εκπαίδευση, τις μεταφράσεις και την υποστήριξη των χρηστών, που πραγματοποιούνται μέσα από τις προσπάθειες των μελών του Δικτύου του.

Posted on March 29, 2021 03:11 AM by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 13 comments | Leave a comment