Publish - so, yeah, I’d also need to be confident the license makes that legit. It’s free software (and open-source), not commercial, so there’s zero profit motive; all the existing published taxonomies (https://www.scythebill.com/download.html#extended) I’ve added are with explicit permission from the authors. It’d certainly be good to know up front if the licensing terms for iNaturalist data makes that explicitly non-kosher, or if non-commercial use is allowed. The docs make licensing terms for observation photos (which I’m not looking to use) fairly obvious, but I haven’t found information on the licensing of taxonomy data.
For one example, this would be a good path for me to get updates of the Reptiles of the World taxonomy, which is sync’d into iNaturalist (but recent versions at http://www.reptile-database.org/data/ don’t have English names).
even if it is convenient to download information from iNat, i wouldn’t consider iNat’s taxonomy information authoritative, especially the kind of information you want to get from listed_taxa. if you’re going to be publishing something for use by others, it’s better to get the information from a better source.
Where there is a better source, sure… yet there often isn’t. What’s out there often is in awkward-to-use PDFs, or badly out-of-date webpages missing a decade of taxonomic work or more. That said, I think this is a two-way street: I’d like to be able to push improvements and corrections back to iNaturailst.
i’m still not really convinced that iNat is the best source for this kind of information. as i noted before, my opinion is that convenient does not mean best.
if you really still want to get the information that is in listed_taxa you can read forum posts related to “establishment means”, which will describe problems with the data and also provide insight on different ways to get that data.
that said, i suggest reviewing the developer page, too: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/developers, and you probably will want to contact the iNat staff directly about your effort at firstname.lastname@example.org. they will be able to tell you how they view the use of taxon / checklist information and will probably be able to get and provide the data much more easily than any of us could since they have direct access to the database.
Thanks much for the feedback, and agreed that best != convenient (though if sufficiently inconvenient, it’s impractical to even attempt - for my use case, as is said some times, “better is better than best”). In my exploration, it’s pretty clear that establishment means has lots of gaps (and the places.json endpoint seems a lot more useful), and doesn’t seem like a viable path. I’ll contact iNat before doing anything drastic.