Can I post a screenshot of a satellite view from

I an organism has features visible from a satellite picture of, can I post this picture? Thx.

I was wondering the same thing. I gave it a go, because I wanted a certain subspecies of gopher to be represented, but didn’t want to drive several hundred miles to take a pic of their mounds. I might be in violation of policy since I didn’t take the picture and it’s a Google Map image.

No, due to copyright reasons. But you can create an observation without a photo attached. Photoless observations contribute to range maps (unless someone votes something down in the Data Quality Assessment section or if the accuracy radius is ginormous).


Does this make it OK?
“All uses of Google Maps and Google Earth Content must provide attribution to both Google and our data providers. We do not approve of any use of content without proper attribution, in any circumstance. … But within those limits, Google says, you can use images in reports, presentations, on the web, in a print project.”

When you share your photos on iNaturalist, usually you’re sharing them under a license that says “Your name (License type)”. There’s no way to edit that license to change the attribution to Google and its data providers instead.


I cannot see a copyright problem. There is a source given…

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The copyright issue is every post you make applies a copyright statement to it. Even if it is credited or public domain, you cant reapply a copyright or license claim onto it. There is no way of posting something on the site without stating your licensing terms you have configured onto it.

On a separate note, is such a post even in keeping with inat guidelines? The submitter would not have personally observed this and the site is not a general data aggregator (again I don’t want to restart the argument if it should be one, just stating the well documented stance of the site)


There is one user who already does this, seen_on_street_view. They give the link to the location with no image attached.


That’s just plain weird to post those, I was first to find 100+ bird species for Facebook group, but I won’t post those and don’t wanna others to do so under their account, it’s not their own observation.

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Problem I see. What happens when Google update their images. The post would be obsolete and we would be left searching for something which is no longer in the image.

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They update them a lot, old shootings can be seen when you click on date.

Can you send links so i can read the " General Data Aggregator " and why it should not be one, as i would think it would be usefull

This is about nests of large birds, visible from satellite views.

I could just indicate the location and invite visitors to zoom in, but I don’t to reveal the location, in order to protect the birds.

In addition to what @bouteloua and @cmcheatle already said, it’s pretty explicitly spelled out in the FAQ/Help page:
“Photos attached to observations should include evidence of the actual organism at the time of the observation, observed by the user who is uploading the observation. Photos used in your iNaturalist observations should represent your own experiences, […]Please do not upload photos you found elsewhere[…]”
From , emphasis and ellipsis added


Will anything be done to that user who already uses not their own data? It’s against the rules.

I don’t know about the user, but you can flag the photos themselves as copyright infringement.

I would love a collaboration between Google and iNaturalist that would allow street view (and maybe even satellite) imagery to be posted but be credited properly to Google. I think it could get a lot of people interacting with nature in a new way if advertised well.

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Are among the more recent times they have communicated it. There are other sites that serve this role on the internet.


Yeah, I’ve been in that group since it started and I love it, but I wish something like that could be done on iNaturalist or a similar platform so the information is more broadly available and preserved and it can expand to more taxa (including plants etc.).