Anyone else using iNaturalist phenology data to plan their botanical trips?

I’ve recently been playing around with ways to use the phenology data from annotations to plan out my trips for the year. Out of curiosity, has anyone else been doing this? It’s a fairly simple process for a wealth of information if you’re going somewhere with a good iNaturalist presence. I also just typed up a “how to guide” if you’d like to compare with your own methods or learn how to use the data.


Cool. I’d probably use that to plan trips to, just to guarantee that I can id in the area. :-)


When going to a new area I like to tease myself with what in the area I do not have on my list yet. So I know what to expect and look for.
I also look for gap areas. Roads less travelled so I can get out there instead of just the normal routes. Gets me lost sometimes, but GPS generally gets me back.


I do, but there is frequently not much data on the species I am looking for, which makes it hard.


Coincidentally, I was just looking at ways to do this as well! My method is to (1) use the iNaturalist homepage search feature (“cacti” for instance) and then (2) choose the “about” rather than “explore observations”. Next (3), I use the “filter by place” feature. Once I’ve entered the place, all subsequent searches in the “search species” bar will automatically be filtered by that place. Lastly (4), I use the phenology graph instead of seasonality or history.


Phenology in the deserts where I hang out is so variable year to year that I just look at the raw observations coming in from areas of interest in the weeks leading up to field work. That plus some favorite web pages that show maps of precipitation departures from average across my area, and I have a pretty good idea of when and where things will be most productive.


I wish I could… right now in Israel iNat isn’t as good a resource as online local flora or government park websites for finding good places to visit or for phenology data.
That said, for some regions and common species, it could be helpful.
Though in a few cases, iNat data is sufficient, and also different than what you’d expect from a guide, and could constitute a basis for an eventual update if further investigated.

Guess we just have to keep contributing data!


I use that some too, and find it really useful. It’s not quite as good at things like seeing all plant species that could be blooming in an area, for instance. But, if you’re looking for specific taxa, it is an extremely useful features.

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