Add map layer - “herbaria”

But first I want to express my confidence that the crown will be defeated, that, despite this epidemic, life goes on. Take care of yourself and others.

The idea is to slightly improve the site, to modernize. There are layers on the map. When we consider points on the map, we have the ability to include additional map layers. You can make visible, for example, a GBIF layer. I don’t know how technically simple it is, I suggest adding a new layer. What exactly? Earlier, the forum discussed that it would be nice to add photos of herbarium specimens to the Inat. ( I suggest adding not a photo of the samples, but the location points on the map of the herbarium themselves. Formally speaking, in the Index Herbariorum, there is such a map, where all herbarium with Acronym are indicated ( 3,100 herbaria. I’m talking about something like this, but about something else, I’m talking about integrating this map with the Inat map. Perhaps as a layer. Such a layer is a “herbarium”.

Probably, on this same layer should be placed not only herbariums, but also botanical gardens, natural science museums, laboratories, and other organizations related to biology. That is, such a layer of scientific institutions and collections. You can turn it off, you can turn it on. The following is curious: The first way, transfer the map with herbariums “all at once”. (I wonder if there is such a map for botanical gardens, or museums?) The second way is to enable researchers to put the point of herbarium on the Inaturalist map themselves. Create a point for this herbarium.

Moreover, the idea here is to do this in the same way as the binary name for the species is “arranged”. In this case, the words «herbarium», or «museum», it will be a genus name. Well, the species, respectively, herbarium LE, herbarium KEW, and so on. And also for museums and other organizations. All these points can be placed on a specific layer. For ID, apparently, there will be one certificate. And in the discussion of ID, you can, if desired, post some additional data: site address, emails, phones, etc.

In general, why are these layers needed? It makes sense, it’s rational, I think. When a person has taken photographs of any organisms and begins to place them on the Inat, he will see a layer of scientific institutions, see what is nearby. And, accordingly, he can, if desired and necessary, turn there.

I don’t know, as in America, or in other countries, but in Russia the vast majority of people simply don’t know at all about the existence of herbaria. And people taking pictures will see that there is such an organization nearby, and will be able to turn to specialists there. That is, this additional layer can somewhat activate and revitalize the scientific biological life. This will serve to establish new relationships. The question is how difficult it is technically to implement, to make a new layer.

As for rationality - it makes sense. Lima de Faria noted, that human civilization is based on competition. Yes, competition can be very positive. And the Inat also participates in such a tacit competition, and the proposed layer will be useful in this aspect. Looking staringly, we can say, that everything is money. This, of course, is not so. In addition to money, ideas are needed. What exactly to do with this money.

Such an offer.

Do not be sick, be healthy.

Hello! There are many herbaria that display their collections via GBIF, and so they will show up on the existing GBIF layer in iNaturalist. I’m not familiar with the connections between GBIF and Index Herbariorum - I wonder if many of them are already contributing to GBIF? I can’t speak for the staff, but my guess is that such institutions would be recommended to work with GBIF instead of iNat (?)

GBIF institution search for "herbarium’:

GBIF observations from many herbaria displayed in pink on iNat map:

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Wow, I didn’t know that was a feature! Good to know, but I admit that I am a bit dismayed at how bad the data for E. fendleri is (and likely all the other Euphorbias).


Centralised information about institutions housing biological collections (including herbaria) is the purpose of the ‘Global Registry of Scientific Collections’. The resource is currently moving home.

Perhaps the metadata incorporates geo-location alllowing data on institutes to be accessible via a map interface. I expect GBIF will do that if it is possible.

However, I’m not sure of the value of having such a map layer available on iNat. Organisations will have different policies about accepting queries from the public.


GBIF has its own life, INAT has its own. No matter how smart lists or directories are created, by anyone, anywhere, INAT can make its own. Moreover, I’m not talking about the list, but about the map layer. Where every herbarium, every scientific or social organization related to biology will be just a point.

The need, value of such a map layer in Inat is difficult to predict. Maybe nobody will need it. Maybe it will be in demand. Communication, interconnection - this is what this level will give. Not only Nokia can connect :) It’s just my opinion, if you do it “inexpensively”, not too “costly”, I would try.

We won’t be adding a map layer of institutions to iNaturalist, so I’m going to close this request.