We assume that you have downloaded and installed the NameChanger software and that you are starting with a folder that contains a number of AVI files that must be renamed (such as the folder pictured below).


First, you should click the "Options" menu item (highlighted with a red oval in the image below) and select "Hide extensions" (it appears you will need to do this each time you use the software).

Next, click the "Add" button (highlighted with a green circle, above), navigate to and select the files you wish to rename.

There may be better ways to do this but, for our first try, we then renamed files in a 2-step process. First, we selected the "Date" option in the pull down list of renaming types, as pictured below.

With "Replace all" selected, we chose the "File Creation" date but chose a "Custom" format, entered exactly as:

_YYYYMMdd_HHmmss


Once you are happy with the new names, as displayed, you can click the "Rename" button, as illustrated above with a green circle.

The second step was to add a meaningful prefix to each filename. For that, we switched from the "Date" option to a "Prepend" option, and simply typed in the desired prefix, as shown below.

If you find better / more efficient ways of doing this, please let us know. In the meantime, we hope this helps.

Some of our most frequently asked questions:

 

I'm having trouble registering; what should I do?

You can register for an account on MammalWeb via either the Spotter or the Trapper tabs. You will need to follow the link “Don’t have an account”. Note that registration is a two-stage process. After you have registered, you will be sent a verification email and you will need to follow the instructions in that to complete the registration process. It is reported that verification emails sometimes get filtered into ‘junk’ or ‘spam’ folders. If you check those folders but still can’t find a verification email an hour after registering, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to tell us your username. We will then activate your account for you. 

If you are struggling, see our video on the registration process.

I use camera traps; would you like me to upload my footage?

Yes please! In order to upload footage you will need to register for an account on MammalWeb, which you can do via either the Spotter or Trapper page. Once signed in you can upload footage by going to the Trapper tab. The site will ask you some questions about where, how, and when the camera trap was set up, before asking you to upload. More information and step-by-step instructions are available in our Trapper guide on the Learn page. We accept footage from any dates, as long as you have all of the information to upload with it (i.e., location, deployment times etc.). We also ask that you upload footage of all wildlife captured between deployment and collection of your camera. This ensures that our data are not biased by receiving only the footage deemed to be of particular interest, and also ensures that we are able to provide an accurate reflection of the frequencies with which all species are captured on camera. If you only want to contribute selected images or videos, MammalWeb is unlikely to be the right platform for you. Other platforms, such as iMammalia or iNaturalist are better set up for registering ad hoc observations of species without reference to effort.

Why are my statistics not updating?

The Spotter homepage and user dashboard tell you how many image sequences you've classified. However, these statistics are only updated once a day to help with the site’s performance. Therefore, if your statistics don’t update immediately after you have been spotting, don’t worry: the site is still registering your efforts! You may just need to check back the following day to see your updated statistics.

How do I classify different age/sex classes of a species in the same sequence?

If you are spotting and you come across a sequence with animals of the same species but different age or sex classes, you can click the species' name once for each separate age and sex class present, and tell us how many individuals you see in that class. You will end up with one tag below the image pane for each class that you observed (see screenshot below for an example).

I take photos of sensitive species; will you share my photos' locations with others?

We ask that you enter accurate location data for your camera trap sites. However, we do not release that location data to site users. When viewing images for classification purposes, a user can check the site's location but this is displayed as a rectangle on a map. The rectangle has dimensions of 0.1x0.1 degree, which equates to between 60 and 70 square kilometers in the UK. No on-site display will be to greater resolution than that. If you are contributing data to a project from which records will be passed to relevant repositories, records will ultimately be associated with the site's location to 3 decimal places of latitude and longitude (in the order of location to 100m). If this is of concern, please get in touch with us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Can I upload video?

Yes, in principle. As you will see from some of the projects already hosted on MammalWeb (see our Projects page for a full listing), we can host videos (in mp4 format) as well as still images. We prefer to discuss this first with contributors, because there are some limitations (e.g., in terms of upload file size) that arise from the cost implications of hosting video. Nevertheless, we are very open to video and look forward to hearing from those who would like to contribute videos.

Can I upload videos in AVI format?

AVI formats are problematic for a number of reasons. Most importantly, they are inconsistent and often unstable in how they store the original timestamp of the video's creation; this makes it difficult to extract date and time information from the files. In addition, web browsers vary in how they handle AVI files and many browsers won't play them without additional plugins. Consequently, we much prefer videos in mp4 format. If, however, you would like to contribute your AVI files to the site, it is possible to do so.

To upload AVI files, you must first rename them using the following convention: myfile_YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.AVI,

where "myfile" can be any text string that helps you to keep track of your files. YYYY is the 4-digit year (like 2021), MM is the 2-digit month (e.g., 02 for February or 11 for November) and DD is the two digit day (from 01 to 31). HHMMSS is the time in hours, minutes and seconds, using the 24h clock. So, an example filename would be something like "backgarden_20210417_142535.AVI".

If you have large numbers of files, it will be irksome to have to rename them by hand. If you use a Windows computer, you can probably make use of software such as the Bulk Rename Utility, or the Faststone Image Viewer. For Mac users, it might be helpful to consider information on Finder's Rename command. With that said, we have found that Finder isn't quite flexible enough. We ended up using free software called NameChanger. If you're interested, check out the overview of how we used NameChanger to achieve the desired format.

If your files are very large, you may need to contact us about relaxing the file size limit whilst you upload them. Once they have been uploaded, AVI files will be converted to mp4 files and the originals will be deleted.

How can I borrow a camera trap?

We can lend camera traps out to individuals, groups, or schools. However, there may be a waiting list if we currently have a lot of loan requests. We lend camera traps out for a period of one month. We will send the camera trap, strap, batteries, memory card and a python lock out to you in the post. This loan scheme is free but we do ask that you upload all footage you take on the camera trap to MammalWeb, and that you post the camera trap back to us after one month. In order to borrow a camera trap, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will get back to you as soon as possible with a short form to fill out.

How do I set up a project on MammalWeb?

Anybody is welcome to upload footage to the general MammalWeb Britain project. However, for some groups/organisations it may be useful to have a specific project on MammalWeb. Having a project on MammalWeb makes it easier for us to provide groups and organisations with their data and only their data. Some groups – such as schools –have a particular interest in viewing only the images they collected and this is easily achieved by having a specific project for the study. The data might also be collected in slightly different ways to the data in the original MammalWeb project or, if you are capturing sensitive data, you might only want specified users to see the footage from your project. The MammalWeb team currently take care of project set-up and administration. To set up a project on MammalWeb we will need:

• A short article (one or two paragraphs) about your project, including a short (1 or 2 sentence) overview that can appear on our Projects page.

• A cover photo/logo for the project. An aspect ratio of around 3:2 (width:height) works well. Images of 100 - 400KB load quickly and usually appear on screen at adequate resolution.

• Information on whether you would like the project to be public (anyone can upload images and anyone can classify), private (only registered users can upload or classify, and the project won't appear on the Projects page) or hybrid (anyone can classify, but only specified users can upload). For private and hybrid projects, you will need to let us know the username or registration email address of each user to whom you would like us to grant access. You can add users by notifying us at any time once the project is created.

We would normally expect each project to have one or more administrators who are able to access the report downloads facility for that project. You will need to let us know the username or registration address of any user you would like to have administrative rights to the project.

You can see examples of projects on MammalWeb on our Projects page. If you would like to discuss setting up a project please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

My photos take too long to upload; can I resize them?

Depending on the speed of your internet connection, modern, high-resolution camera trap images can take a long time to upload. If you want to speed up the process, you can resize the files. One danger of doing so is that you might reset the "creation date" timestamp of your image. MammalWeb uses that timestamp to record when each uploaded image was taken, so it's important that the original timestamp is preserved. Two solutions that are said to be reliable and easy to use are Instasize, and this online image compressor. Remember to check that you don't over-compress your files, however, as they might become unduly pixellated and difficult to classify.

Upload details

On this screen, you set the details of when your camera was deployed and when the SD card was collected.  

Deployment and Collection

By Deployment, we refer to the date and time at which the camera was activated and are the earliest that we might reasonably expect photos to occur in this upload.  The Collection date and time relate to when you switched your camera off and are the very latest that we might expect a photo to occur in this upload.

Timezones

The camera timezone is the timezone to which you set the clock on your camera.  Most people will check their camera trap’s time and date settings with reference to their wristwatch or phone; in that case, the timezone is likely to be whatever it was in your area on the day of deployment.  You can find your timezone by looking for a major city within that timezone.  If, on the day of deployment, your timezone was in daylight savings, you can click “Yes” to indicate that.  If that is the case, please remember that the time of collection should also be given in daylight savings, reflecting the time on the camera trap at the time of collection (not necessarily the time on your wristwatch)!

More on timezones can be found here.