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. There is more information and step-by-step instructions 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.).
I take photos of sensitive species; will you share my photos' locations with others?
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?
I'm having trouble registering; what should I do?
If you are struggling, see our video on the registration process.
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.
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.
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.