A way to search needed/missing species?

Is there a way to show which species I HAVEN’T seen a geographical area? Perhaps a URL string that compiles an area but removes my observations? I looked through the Forum but wasn’t able to find a similar topic (apologies if this has already been answered before). I know the Android app has a “Missions” tab does this to some extent, but it is buggy and only shows a couple species most of the time. Along the same lines, is there a URL that can do this for observers as well? For instance, if I wanted to compare which plants my sister has seen compared to my own.

Having a “needs” list would be tremendously helpful when planning iNat outings and for determining which old photos have been uploaded to iNat or not. And I would love to be able to search for things like “birds I haven’t seen in San Diego”, or “species I’ve seen that finatic hasn’t” :wink:



Can’t say too much yet, but we’re working on this.


You can add unobserved_by_user_ID= to a url, but you have to add it in manually. For example, this is birds you haven’t seen in San Diego:

You can also use list_ID to search for things in lists (such as life lists). So to find birds you’ve seen that finatic hasn’t, you’d want to add your life list and unobserved_by_user_ID=finatic. (Hm I tried this and it didn’t seem to work. There’s probably something I’m doing wrong.) Lists can sometimes get a bit wonky though so that might not always work.

See this page on urls.
And this has come up before (here and here).


OK nevermind life lists don’t work. Here’s what you’ve seen that finatic hasn’t.

Just to be clear, that is birds that have been seen in San Diego, that you have never seen anywhere.

There is no easy way to say show me things that I have not observed in a specific place. I say easy because technically you can do it with the unsupported compare tool, but it is neither easy, nor intuitive.

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Yeah, for instance with that “birds not seen in SD” link, it lists Red-tailed Hawk, Mallard, and a number of other birds that I have many observations of, both inside and outside of SD.

But comparing to other users seems to work well. I can’t believe I’ve actually seen some things finatic hasn’t :wink:

Thanks you guys! I’ll dig into that page on URLs, and looking forward to future functionality! :smile:

Actually, maybe that one isn’t working completely right either- there is no way finatic has never seen a Mule Deer or a Western Rattlesnake. :rofl:

You can do some fun stuff with the Compare tool, though you have to restrict your searches to 500 species at a time:



Oh cool, I’d never seen that tool before, that is great. Is there a tab or button somewhere for it that I’ve been missing? Or I can just paste the URL of course.

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Nope I just remember the URL https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/compare : ) It’s “experimental” so it’s intentionally not linked anywhere prominently on the website. But I use it all the time!

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