Import of iNaturalist observations

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Yes at least as an option

Yes at least as an option that would be useful.  A lot of my records are of specimens taken away from their original location so it would be a bit annoying it it did it by default (as iSpot does for instance) but useful to have it quickly available for those taken in situ.

iNaturalist to iRecord download tool

I made an interactive notebook to enable iNaturalist users to download data with photo URLs and convert GPS to OS, so anyone who wishes to pass data to iRecord or export spreadsheets ready for the recording schemes can do so more easily and with more control.  You can download observations with IDs by certain verifiers only...  include detail from observation fields such as plant-host interactions... (and in theory, do anything else the iNaturalist API supports).

See more here :

There still remains a surprising amount of negativity and misinformation about iNaturalist in UK groups it seems - some of which has been visible on the Facebook groups recently, which is partly what spurred me to create this. It's a real shame to see. Overall, iNaturalist is a positive force and a diverse, inclusive space ... as Barry says, one which encourages and supports active participation - more of a community space. If anyone who reads this is still passing judgement of iNaturalist without really having used it themselves.... based on 2nd hand information... or only based on experience via iRecord from the old data-link... I really encourage them to take the time to properly use the site for themselves and see what it has to offer. There are many great things to be cherished about the platform. It has its imperfections of course, but for these too, it would be better to raise issues on the platform itself in the forums where the developers or community can respond, discuss or clarify....than sit on the outside and critique from afar, creating a UK echo chamber.

I hope this action is constructive, as intended - if there's any issues with it, please give me a shout ! ( on iNaturalist ;) )

i naturalist records

i Naturalist is very inclusive, international, and it is fun, no doubt , to try an id  corroboration on i Naturalist  but, relying  heavily as it does on photography-where there is  often not sufficient quality to make a determination- it can be frustrating . I would like my records treated seriously and would tend towards submitting purely on i Record ,  taking more time over the photos . After 2 years of fun with the "City Nature Challenge" it's a dilemma though.

Function of iNaturalist/my records and transfer over?

I use a different name for i-naturalist than i-record.  I stopped using irecord supposing that they would be able to access the information from inaturalist (which does seem to be suggested by some forum comments).  My purpose for submitting photos/records is to help with monitoring of species over time and in localities so it is unfortunate to discover that I have uploaded everything to a site which will not be making that use of it.  Is there any easy way to transfer my records across from i-Naturalist?  If not maybe those ones for now are lost and I should start from scratch back on i-Record.

Gustav Clark
Location data from cameras

I am very wary of the camera metadata.  I have often lost the detailed location of a record because the camera thought I was a kilometre away.  On my phone I first check the mapping app to ensure that it knows where I am. Where a record is new to a heterogenous site we need to put some care into recording our location.

Reviving the bridge


Interesting to hear the bridge has now been revived, but a little frustrating to hear it is a one-way street as it was before.

I fear the verifiers will just experience many of the same problems as they did originally if there is no direct dialogue with users.

Why is there no option for verifiers to feedback responses on to iNaturalist?


According to the NBN page :

"“BRC have discussed the possibility of this with the developers of iNaturalist and a resolution is currently not available.”

But... according to iNaturalist staff there are no limitations from their side and this should be possible using the API (in which case the NBN statement seems a little misleading).


According to some UK verifiers this is down to legal reasons connected to GDPR - if so, how does this impact it?

Also / alternatively, is there any way of viewing my records on iRecord which are being passed?

It's a shame if there is no way to connect these to my existing profile or see the comments verifiers have made.




Jim Alder
Struggling to see how

Struggling to see how iNaturalist is a superior recording system.  Like some others have said, I have seen some dubious/inaccurate IDs on there from non-uk 'experts'. The data that is coming over to iRecord is next to useless other than a presesnce record with usually no info on sex/stage/counts let alone any environmental information eg habitat type.  'Hassleddad' is also spot on re location names too. I spend hours chasing records with no location name or vague ones to check the grid ref given as quite often these are incorrect - sometimes only a few hundred mteres but Ive had many records 10s/100s and 1000s km off the mark so I check all record grud refs quite carefully against the location name.  Ok, for some species monad resolution is fine, but for for some species recording to hecatd and monad res is nigh on useless.  
Im already having to chase people via INat now to query their vague records which are being imported.  Part of me wants to verfiy them as incorrect as they offer very little to the dataset.

Import of iNaturalist observations

It would appear that (at least some) 'blurred' iNat records are currently being imported into iRecord using the blurred location (in some instances in a different 10km). Our BSBI VC recorder spotted it when he was verifying some of his own records that came through from iNat.

It is possible to identify the blurred records in an iNat export, so I would have expected that such records would have be filtered out from the import to iRecord.

Ideadlly, the iNat administrators could be persuaded to grant access to the precise location for iRecord.


Superiority, granularity and expertise

With regard to superiority:

As an observer it's simply incomparably easier to use and maintain photographic records on iNaturalist than any other platform.
( I say this as someone who has given good time to iRecord, iSpot, Facebook groups,, Flickr and eBird in the past ).
It's actually quicker and easier for me to upload 50 records to iNaturalist then batch download/ batch upload them to iRecord than it is to upload directly one at a time using the interface here.

As a verifier I can well believe it's a different kettle of fish.
iNaturalist is designed with the observer in mind, not the verifier.


With regard to granularity:

iRecord doesn't appear to be importing some of the record detail at present.
Not sure about sex/stage/counts, but I checked one of my records from the download and the relevant observation field detailing flower interaction on the original record wasn't included.
iRecord can implement this using the API, it's up to them. I would recommend checking the original record before jumping to conclusions about what has and hasn't been documented.
But certainly, this information won't be on all records. Neither is it present on all iRecord observer uploads I imagine (?)

With regard to obscured locations:
As a network node, iNaturalistUK should have the privilege to access true location data as I understand - that was stated as one of the benefits in setting up the node in the first place.
Sounds again like this could be an issue on the iRecord side. There are however, definitely some issues with  location from phone data uploads on the iNat side due to clarity with the app interface design I think. Whether or not phone app records are included in the import is another filter that iRecord can decide through the design of their data bridge though.
They could just take only the browser-based uploads to cut the lower quality records out of the dataset. They could also offer the choice for iRecord verifiers to filter phone records out or not if they want.


With regard to expertise:
Not sure how you are gauging "non-uk 'experts" as there is typically no standard recognition of expertise on iNaturalist.
If you check someone's bio you can sometimes see if a user is actually an accreditted researcher or not.
But the leaderboards are certainly no indication of expertise per se, and not intended to be.

The problem here appears to be that verifiers are seeing iNaturalist as equivalent to iRecord.
It's simply not comparable as far as I can see. It's more like the UK Facebook groups, but better, as it automatically harvests the data the community uploads.




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