Merging 2 individuals into 1

What Wildbook are you working in? ACW

Ex. Wildbook for Carnivores

We’re starting to find a number of individuals in this census dataset that have been duplicated and IDd as separate. So they’re going to need to be merged under a single ID.
I remember this was a pending enhancement for ACW. Any sense of ETA?


The basic tool already exists in ACW. We’re making some enhancements to it right now, and there’s a late stage goal of make the two something you can use in a less-organic method. Let me run you through how what is currently available works.

On iaResults, you have an encounter from an individual that has a high match probability with another encounter from a different individual. You realize they need to be merged, so you select the match checkbox. This causes the Merge Individuals button to appear at the top of the screen.

This takes you to the merge page. You will get an overview of the changes that will occur.

  • Name: both names are assigned to the individual
  • Encounters: all encounters are on a single individual
  • Species: If the species matches, it populates the text field. Otherwise you need to resolve the species mismatch (changing this to a dropdown to prevent typos)
  • Sex: If the sex matches, it populates the text field. Otherwise you need to resolve the species mismatch (changing this to a dropdown to prevent typos)

    Then you select Merge Individuals. (I’m working with live data, so I’m not clicking that button!)

Other changes that we’re adding very soon:

  • notification to those who own the data that a merge is taking place with the ability to block the merge (data preservation, we’re going to iterate on it but that the immediate deliverable)
  • integration with projects

Changes on the “very important eventually” list:

  • Allow a user to pick two Individuals and merge them without having to go through iaResults

This is great, thanks! Is there also (now or planned) an audit log to keep track of these changes? I could see it being useful at three levels:

  • Encounter record: i.e. which encounters used to be assigned to a now deleted individual. This would allow for a manual reversal at the encounter level should that be needed

  • Individual record: i.e. which marked individual record was merged with this one, when and by who. Enables user to know what’s been done to this record when viewing it

  • System-wide log: list of individuals merged or deleted with date, time & user ID. Allows for a full audit trail of changes made to key records in the system

There is presently an audit log on encounter and individual pages under the metadata section. These things are recorded in the audit logs, but they are…less user understandable than they could be, as they reference the UUID rather than the display name. Something we can look at addressing in current gen and is already a focus in nextgen.
System-wide logs are a nextgen consideration and already have a place in the admin view. :slight_smile:

1 Like