Various iNat tips I have picked up

<!--Can anyone see this?-->Since starting out on iNaturalist, I've learned a lot of nifty tricks about how to maneuver the website more efficiently. The following is pretty much a list of those for my own reference (i.e., copy and pasting), but hopefully, others will find it helpful too. I know a lot of this is pretty simple stuff to some of you. Also, be sure to remove the space after each "< " when actually using hyperlinks and when embedding pictures. <!---->

Basic format: < a href="[link]">[text]< /a>
For instance, to link to BONAP, I would type in the following without a space after each "< ":
< a href="">BONAP< /a>

Embedding images
Embedding images basic format: < img src="[image link]" width=100%>
For instance, to embed the first image from this link, I would type the following without a space after each "< ":
< img src="" width=100%>
The link can be found by right clicking on the image you want and clicking "Copy Image Address". You can also vary the size of the photo by changing the "width" part. For instance the above address will end up with this:

However, if you modify the text to:
< img src="" width=50%>
it will look like this:

Bold, italics, or crossed out text
Basic format: < b>[bold text]< /b>, < i>[italic text]< /i>, or < s>[crossed out text]< /s>
You can also get bold and italic text by typing < b>< i>[text]< /b>< /i> or any other combination. You can even have all three.

Creating extra spaces.
Basic format: < br>
iNaturalist will only allow one space between paragraphs and I occasionally want more. What follows is a space followed by the < br> followed by another space:

This is what three spaces look like without < br>:

Helpful link extensions
When searching for observations, I had always wished that there was a "not" function (e.g., plants but not flowering plants or Texas but not Gaines County). It turns out there is, but it is a little more complicated than I thought. To do this, you have to add the following extensions to the end of the link. On any of these, you can exclude as many variables as you would like by adding another extension onto the previous extension. This will work for both where you can search observations and in identify.

Keep in mind that the first extension will be separated from the main part of the link by "?". Any additional extensions will be separated by "&".

Exclude taxa:
Basic format: &without_taxon_id=[Taxon ID]
Example without the extension:
Example without the extension:
The above example includes plants but excludes flowering plants (Taxon ID: 47125). Additional exclusions can be made simply by seperating from the previous taxon id with a comma (no space). In identify, the comma is replaced by "%2C".

Exclude places:
Basic format: &not_in_place=[Location ID]
Example without the extension:
Example without the extension:
The above example includes all observations from the Llano Estacado except the counties of Lubbock (Place ID: 2737) and Midland (Place ID: 1207).

If you want more information or more items to exclude, please go here. This is where I found out about it in the first place.

Custom bounding box
Modifying a trick I picked up here.

Basic format: &nelat=[northeast corner latitude]&nelng=[northeast corner longitude]&swlat=[southwest corner latitude]&swlng=[southwest corner longitude]
If I wanted to see all the Opuntia observations from south of Midland, west of Garden City, east of Fort Stockton, and north of Langtry, I wouldn't be able to do this with the "redo search in map" feature. However, if you really want that custom location, you can track down the coordinates of the northeast and southwest corners of the bounding box you want and plug them into the format above. In the example, it would look like this:

Extension: &nelat=32.006531&nelng=-101.504131&swlat=29.835352&swlng=-102.800566
Actual link:

Note that neither the box nor the dots on the map will show up when you do this, but the greater specificity can be worth it. Another advantage, this will also work in identify:

Searching for observations with annotations
Basic extension: &term_id=[#]&term_id=[#]
This will require two extensions, one for the type of annotation (like sex) and one for the actual annotation (like male). Add without_ between & and term for observations without an annotation. What follows is a list of IDs for each annotation.

  1. lifestage: -2. adult -3. teneral -4. pupa -5. nymph -6. larva -7. egg -8. juvenile -16. subimago
  2. sex: -10. femle -11. male
  3. plant phenology: -13. flowering -14. fruiting -15. budding

To display only observations of plants in flower, you would add the extension: &term_id=12&term_id=13. You can see this in the example here:

Excitingly, it looks like there may finally be a way to download observation data with user ID information:
I haven't tested it out yet, but intend to soon.

Other useful links:
How to use iNaturalist’s Search URLs - wiki
Cassi Saari's tips (bouteloua) and tricks journal post
Cassi Saari's tips (bouteloua) and tricks website
Russell Pfau's (pfau_tarleton) journal posts (good tips in several journal posts)
NatureWatch NZ Tips and tricks page
iNaturalist google group
HTML tags

Other useful tips:
Searching for IDs you've made

Posted by nathantaylor nathantaylor, January 26, 2018 19:49



This is useful!

Posted by muir about 3 years ago (Flag)

A little shorter: you can also use a < br > tag for extra spaces between paragraphs. : )

Posted by bouteloua about 3 years ago (Flag)

@bouteloua That's a lot shorter. Thanks! I'm adding it in. The link is extremely helpful too.

Posted by nathantaylor about 3 years ago (Flag)

Wow! Thanks Nathan!

Posted by connlindajo about 3 years ago (Flag)

This is amazingly helpful. I never knew. Thanks!

Posted by gldearman over 2 years ago (Flag)

thanks for that - now I can use italics for scientific names.

Posted by kemper about 2 years ago (Flag)

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments