Journal archives for July 2016

July 15, 2016

iNaturalist changes

The team of admins running iNaturalist made recent changes to the layouts of three pages (Dashboard, Profile and Identify Observations). More importantly, it has revamped the Add Observations routine. It is much simpler now to add observations from your computer, especially when adding multiple observations. You may drag-and-drop or import photos directly. Once they are uploaded, the system will search the photos' metadata for species name, description, location, and tags, if you have added those. Then you can edit the observations individually, in groups, or as a whole. You can also combine multiple photos (of the same critter, mind you) into a single observation.

This new routine is so simple and painless that I am now going through old photos and uploading them. (Here is a description of the workflow I use.)

There have been no changes to the app.

Posted on July 15, 2016 11:27 PM by stevejones stevejones | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 16, 2016

Add Observations workflow

Following up on this post:

After loading photos into my photo-cataloging program*, I add any information that I know to the photo's metadata: species name, description, tags and location. Presuming I have taken several photos of a specimen, I export one to several photos of each specimen to the desktop. (With plants, I like to get separate photos of the whole plant, flower, fruit, leaf and/or any other useful details. With animals, I usually export the best single photo. But with reptiles in particular, the whole animal and a head shot are a good idea.)

Once I have them grouped by individual observation on the desktop, I drag-and-drop the best photo for each observation into the Add Observation window. Then I drag-and-drop additional photos to the observation to which they belong.

After that, I make any edits necessary to individual observations, or to groups of them or to the whole. If my observations all came from an area, (e.g., the McDowelll Sonoran Preserve), I select "Select All," select the Location box and type "McDowell Sonoran Preserve" into Locality Notes in the pop-up window.

You can also add observations to projects and add fields from that page. Of course, you can edit any of the information at any time from the individual observation page or by using Batch Edit.

  • I use Lightroom on a Mac, but Mac's Photos app allows you to add the same information. If you use Windows, sorry to say you're on your own, but I expect there are similar fields in Windows apps. (Lightroom is also available for Windows.)

iNaturalist field equivalents for Lightroom and Photos:

iNaturalist = Lightroom
Species name = Title
Description = Caption
Tags = Keyword
Location = GPS

iNaturalist = Photos
Species name = Title
Description = Description
Tags = Keyword
Location = Location

Posted on July 16, 2016 04:48 AM by stevejones stevejones | 2 comments | Leave a comment

July 31, 2016

I'm bored

Bored, bored, bored. Once I discovered iNaturalist in January, observations came fast and furious. Though spring rains were sparse, plants made enough of an appearance that I could keep busy (when I wasn't busy elsewhere) making observations. My recent resolve to learn more of the local bird fauna also kept me busy, and I learned a few more species.

But that dry spring has led to an unusually hot and dry early summer. Conditions are as dry as I've ever known them in 30 years of living here. Trees are dying. Shrubs are dying. Spring tree crickets were barely heard. Creosote bush leaves have turned orange in distress. Nothing is flowering. Most birds have abandoned the area. The usual summer influx of moths seeking shelter in the house has not occurred. That the same is true for the cursed Triatoma is no consolation.

I have not seen one baby quail this year.

Yet I hold out hope that someday it will rain again.

Posted on July 31, 2016 02:55 AM by stevejones stevejones | 5 comments | Leave a comment