You can take photos of each tree or item.

Photos are usually taken when carrying out surveys using the OTISS survey app. During the survey, when you are entering details about a tree, use the ‘Photo’ icon on the survey form to take one or more photos. The photos are considered to be an integral part of the survey and are sync’ed to the OTISS website along with the other survey data.

Please read the main Photos page first to get the overall idea and then return to the information below.

This is our first release of the Photos feature, we would appreciate your comments and suggestions on how to improve it.

Photo Gallery

There are several ways of viewing the Photo Gallery for a tree/item.

  • When using the Map, select the Photos tool and then touch a tree/item.
  • The survey form, has a Photo icon at the top of the screen.
  • The List Of Items page shows the most recent ‘Identification’ photo for each tree/item and provides a menu option to see the full Photo Gallery.

The Photo Gallery page shows all the photos for a single tree/item. Swipe left/right on the screen to see them all.

For each photo, we show the date the photo was taken and its Category. You can also enter an optional Caption, i.e. a short note about the photo.

When re-surveying a site, the ‘Identification’ and ‘Survey’ are downloaded with the survey data. This allows you to see how things have changed since the previous survey.


Underneath each photo the Caption and Category fields can be updated.

When you do a long press on the photo itself, you can do the following.

  • Rotate the selected image clockwise or anti-clockwise for better viewing.
  • Delete the selected photo. Note: you cannot delete photos from previous surveys – those photos are part of that survey and are preserved as part of the audit trail.

Using the Camera

On the Photo Gallery page, use the camera icon at the top of the screen to take a new photo of this tree/item. Your device’s own Camera application is used to take the photo – so hopefully you will be familiar with how it works. After you have taken the photo, the Camera app shows you the photo and provides buttons or icons for ‘OK thats good‘ or ‘no – try again‘ (or something equivalent). Pressing the OK button sends the photo to the OTISS survey app, where we add it to our database so that it will be sync’ed with the rest of the survey data.

When taking photos, consider configuring your device’s camera to use a lower resolution and (if possible) to crop them to the smallest size. This greatly reduces the time it takes to sync the photos with the OTISS website; it improves performance on the website; and maximises the number of photos you can save on OTISS.

Each phone/tablet will have different camera features, so before you use the OTISS survey apps, bring up the device’s Camera application and press the Settings icon/menu. Consider changing the ‘resolution’, ‘size’ or ‘crop’ settings so that the camera will take small, low resolution photos – these will be perfectly adequate for surveying and adding to reports. Also you could enable GPS tagging on the camera – it may prove useful in the future.

Android Camera Permissions

The Android system has an inbuilt set of security permissions and a strict rules for controlling them (read more about permissions). The OTISS survey apps follow the Android guidelines and will ask your permission to allow the app to use the camera – typically you only have to do this once.

Normally this works fine, but occasionally the Android system seems to withdraw the permission or never gets around to asking you. In this case the Camera icon is disabled and the app cannot use the camera until you do the following.

  1. On your phone/tablet, open the main Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Apps or Application Manager (depending on your device, this may look different).
  3. Tap the app you want to update.
  4. Tap Permissions.
  5. Next to a permission you want to turn on, move the switch to the right until it turns green. If you want to turn a permission off, move the switch to the left until it turns gray.