This page is a work-in-progress.
How do I upload photos (or video or audio)?
- Sign up or log in, if you haven't already.
- Go to the Observations tab and click on "Upload photos, video or audio" button.
- Next, read the copyright information and tick the box if you agree.
- You will see a form where you can select photos, video and audio (all at the same time if you like).
- Upload as many files as you like, all together. They don't have to be of the same species or date-time.
- When all the upload progress bars are finished, click the Next button.
- You can now see all the files you have uploaded, grouped by date.
Select (click on) one or more of your photos, video or audio that all belong to the same observation. Usually, this means all the files for a particular species.
If you have multiple files for the same species at the same time and location, please select all of them together.
- Click the "Create observation record" button
- Review and complete all the fields on the observation form that apply. Choose the species if you know it. (Its ok if you don't.) If your photo(s) have a geo-tag then the location is automatically loaded. If not, use the map to select a location.
- Finally, click "Publish".
What video formats are supported?
Please see Wikipedia: HTML5 video: Browser support
In most cases, videos recorded on iPhones and Androids will probably work.
I don't have a photo, is that ok?
How do I submit a species sighting with only a location (and no photos)?
Location-only observations are not shown in the home-page feed but are still very important data for NS. Locations-only observations will appear on maps and collection species lists.
Please go to Observations and click the "Record a species location" button. You will see a form where you should select the species (search by scientific or common name) and choose the location on the map.
You can also record multiple species in the same observation. This is useful when one or more species are seen interacting or simply for a site or linear survey where multiple species are observed.
Is NatureShare limited to Victoria, Australia?
Simple answer is yes.
The more complex answer is you can submit observations for all of Australia, as long as the species is in our database. And we only have a species db for Victoria, Australia so far.
How does NatureShare protect sensitive information (such as location) for rare and threatened species?
The MO of NatureShare is an open database and open platform - so we cannot keep sensitive information hidden.
Even if we put measures in place to attempt to restrict or remove sensitive info (such as location) there is always the risk, for any online digital system, that the data would leak out.
The best approach to sensitive data is to keep it on your own computer and/or only share it with people you trust.
If you would still like to contribute photos to NS, please use your own software to first "strip" the sensitive meta-data tags from your photos before uploading them. When selecting a location for a photo, move the marker to the nearest town or landmark.
What are Collections used for?
On the simplest level, Collections can be a "folder" for storing your observations in any way that you like. For example, by region, property, or "plants" or "insects".
Collections can also be used to build an interest-group around a particular topic. Collections can have multiple admins and as many members as you like. You can decide if members should be allowed to submit their own observations to your collection.
Organisations and clubs might have their own collections for their own members.
If you find a collection you like, you can "join" it as a member or simply bookmark it in your web browser. Instead of following all the photos contributed to NS via the homepage, you can simply look at a feed for what you are interested in.
Collections can be used for surveys and research because they are an easy way to see a subset of data, for example, on a map.
Collections can be a useful identification tool. For example, if you don't know the species of a plant, you can find a reference collection of plants for the area or national park and browse the photos.
Finally, we are seeing big growth at the moment in "citizen science" websites and databases. NS aims to make it easy for new, small groups that want to start a citizen science database or survey to use a collection within NatureShare, rather than building their own system from the ground up.
What company or organisation is behind NatureShare?
NatureShare is free of any commercial interests or funding. NS is also free of any specific academic or governmental interests or policies.
NS provides an alternative, open platform to store data, photos, video and audio away from the large, popular companies such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, SoundCloud etc and their questionable end-user license agreements.
This site will never have ads or paid endorsements.
The NS project, software and database are built by volunteers.
While all user feedback is encouraged and continuously acted on, NS is free of the Decision-Making by Committee effect and aims to do a few, critical things as well as possible, in a generalised way. It does not try or pretend to cater to absolutely everyone's specific requirements. (See next question.)
Can I export my data?
NS is designed to be a generalised platform for collecting and reviewing information. For specific tasks you may need to export the data and process it offline.
There is an API and all data can be exported in a variety of popular formats (such as JSON and CSV). Since these export features are not widely used yet, please contact us if anything more is needed.
How does the star feature work? Does it actually mean anything or appear anywhere?
The primary function of stars is to provide some nice feedback to the contributor.
The secondary function is to allow you to quickly "bookmark" observations for your own use. You can see all the observations you have starred via the side-panel under the Observations tab.
The tertiary function of stars will be to modify your experience of NS. Your stars might be used to show you more relevant photos when viewing species lists and other similar cases.
Is there any documentation?
Yes, Russell Best wrote excellent documentation for v1 of NatureShare between 2011 to 2013.
The specifics of the NatureShare user-interface may have changed for v2 but the general info in these docs is still very relevant.
Please find it here