Better integration of observations and journal posts

I really enjoy using the journal feature to summarize different nature observation events I participate in (bird walks, Christmas Bird Counts, and festivals mostly). The features are pretty bare-bones but are enough to get the job done. Some great additions would be:

  1. A better way to attach observations to a journal post: Currently only your most recently added observations are convenient to add to a post.
  2. When an observation is attached to a journal post, could there be a link from that observation to the journal post? This would enable more journal entry discovery. (This feature used to exist, but disappeared at some point.)
  3. An aid to display an observation’s photo in the body of a journal post, maybe with that photo linking to the observation. I think this is possible, but I don’t know how to do it via HTML.

Are there plans to add these or any other new functionality to the journal feature?

As always, many thanks to the iNaturalist staff for maintaining this amazing web site!

Mikael Behrens (@mikaelb)

I think it would be cool to be able to add an optional map of the observations, too. and if the map could include custom points that aren’t necessarily observations, that would be excellent, too. (i’m thinking about the way you can do story maps in ArcGIS.) that’s probably a lot of work though. so i don’t know if the extra effort could be justified.

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Hi Pisum,

You can already view the attached observations in a map. Here’s my latest journal entry:

See at the bottom, across from the Observations label, are the options “Grid”, “List”, and “Map”.


i guess i’m thinking of something that can be displayed as different maps/sets within a given journal post rather than just a single tack-on at the end. maybe the map(s) could even be more integral and drive the way the journal post is presented. but realistically, maybe what i’m thinking of is best accomplished by making a story map in ArcGIS and then linking to it from the iNat Journal to share. here’s the ESRI story map gallery so you can see examples of what i’m thinking about in my head:

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I also wish the journal posts would be able to tagged with a date and then show up in the calendar view for that day along with all the daily observations. One would be able to tag the day the journal was about, as field notes. Like I might write today about what I saw yesterday and would want that to display in yesterday’s calendar page


As far as adding photos to journal posts goes, I have written a basic post about it - - not sure if that’s what you’re looking for?

To link to an observation rather than a particular photo, copy the URL of the ob and paste it in your post, e.g. . To make it pretty, so that you can point to this observation, you need a bit of html that looks like this:

<a href=“” target="_blank">this observation</a>

The parameter target="_blank" opens the link in a new tab so that the journal post stays open on its tab and one can go back to it easily.

I think this is what you’re looking for?


Some nice twists on old tricks!

Search functionality for Observations widget in Journals

As the title explains, there is an urgent need for a search bar with which to sort through different taxa or even dates. This is a huge shortfall especially when it comes to wanting to compare one’s own observations and make inferences

I believe the screenshot below should sum it up well enough

Hi @anthonywalton, rather than have a separate standalone feature request, I merged yours here. I think it’s covered by the existing request:

@anthonywalton Don’t forget your own vote

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Thanks @bouteloua

@bobmcd where do I vote? I’d love to

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looks like you figured that out :+1: