iNaturalist app

So, if you're reading this, you've probably noticed that I've been uploading quite a few more recent observations than normal (many of them poorer quality than usual). This is primarily because I got a new phone that I could put the iNaturalist app on. This has sped up my ability to put photos online tremendously. So, I figured I'd do a quick review of the pros and cons. Just so you know, this isn't really a review of the app but more a breakdown of shooting with my camera vs. shooting with my phone.

With my camera, I don't have the ability to get GPS coordinates, I have to download to my computer before uploading, the photos are large (so I typically have to downsize them before uploading, at least, if I want it to go quickly), and I typically try to rename my photos before uploading. With the phone, the photos have GPS coordinates, I can upload directly from my phone, the photos are small enough to upload easily, and I can do this before they even get to my computer.

Even if I bypassed the renaming and resizing steps, I would have to georeference every observation, which is quite tedious and takes time. Uploading to the computer also takes some time, especially when I shoot in RAW. What is probably worst though is the break in workflow as I usually move on to something else while I'm waiting for my images to download from my camera to my computer.

The downside is lower quality observations. Don't get me wrong, the photos aren't bad. They're quite good all things considered, but they do lack the flexibility of a manual focus, and the ability to control exposure (I typically shoot in full manual). Also, the zoom function is just a digital zoom, so full zoom makes for a bad image. If it's something that I want good photos of, I try to get one with my phone for the GPS and the rest with my camera. Because of this, some of my observations will probably get additional, better photos in the future once I have the pictures from my camera on my computer (and renamed, and resized).

But these are pretty much complaints for the phone camera and not the actual app. As for the app itself, I really like it. The only thing that I can think to improve would be the ability to search other people's observations, though it's not too big an issue. Other than that, I haven't really found anything I don't like yet.

由使用者 nathantaylor nathantaylor2017年03月13日 18:42 所貼文


I do enjoy using the app as well but JUST for plants. :)

I use my camera instead of the phone for like 90% of my observations just for the versatility -- if I'm taking a picture of a little euphorb, and some bird flies nearby, I'm able to zoom in to grab the bird. The plant stays put. :)

Keep it up, Nathan!

Also, if your phone fills up, you can log out and then log back in and your cache is cleared (freeing space). Just FYI.

發佈由 sambiology 超過 7 年 前

Thanks for the advice! Yeah, it is a bit difficult to get the insects. For a lot of the insects around home, I've started taking them to the "lab" (aka, my room, though it pretty much functions as my lab/herbarium), stick them in the fridge for a bit, and photograph them there. It may not be quite as natural, but I can get much better shots for identification with magnification up to 5x if I want to take the time for it.

發佈由 nathantaylor 超過 7 年 前

Have you tried any apps for geotagging or are you doing it manually? I turn on the Trails app on the iPhone at the start of a hike. Then when I get home I have Lightroom tag all the files using the .gpx file for that hike. Compared to the cropping and adjusting exposure settings that is a fast part of my workflow.

發佈由 glmory 超過 7 年 前

I usually do it manually. Haven't tried the trails app, but I don't have lightroom either. Don't know how much it would help without lightroom.

發佈由 nathantaylor 超過 7 年 前

Sometimes what I do in the field is I take a photo with my camera and then I use the app to take a photo of the camera LCD and upload immediately. Back home I will download the photo to the computer and replace the phone photo if necessary. For record shot I don't even bother to replace the phone photo as long as the phone photo has sufficient detail to id to species level.

發佈由 gancw1 大約 6 年 前

Since I wrote this post, I've started doing that too. It's a nice way to get those coordinates with a good photo.

發佈由 nathantaylor 大約 6 年 前


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