Contribution to GBIF

I was reminded recently of the sharing between iNat and GBIF in observations, how some that reach Research Grade also make it into GBIF’s database. I’m always excited for a chance to contribute to these kinds of things, and changed my copyright licenses to allow for both GBIF and Wikimedia a while ago. While I’m aware Wikimedia’s addition of iNat photos to its site is a human action, I’m unsure of how it works with GBIF, and if there any more steps to getting a few of my observations onto there as well (and how to tell if any of my observations are on there without scrolling through them all and checking manually)!
I’d appreciate if anyone could clear up the steps taken for an iNat observation to make it onto GBIF, and what I can do to help contribute.


See this FAQ about which observations are exported to GBIF:

I should probably just expand that FAQ…


Thanks so much for the quick reply! I’ll be sure to check this out.

Visit the GBIF website
Activate the “Occurences” option
Choose “Advanced”
Find “Recorded by”
Write your “Display Name” as it is on your iNaturalist profile


On some of my older records on iNat I was not very specific about location, sometimes making the precision (“accuracy”) circle a mile or more across; for example I’d encircle an entire wildlife refuge. My impression is these records were not imported to GBIF. If I refined the location on these records years later, making the location circle tighter, they did get imported to GBIF. I’m not sure what the rule is for import to GBIF depending on precision of the location circle.


There is no consideration of the uncertainty radius when uploading to gbif. For example, there are millions of iNat observations on gbif with accuracy > 10 km.,1000000

iNat simply reports this uncertainty to GBIF and then smart researchers will filter out these records.


You could also conciser adding an ORCID ID to you iNat account if this is something you have. This would assure that you are properly credited if ever your records are used for research (cited in publications) via GBIF.
But I get that this would involve you stating you full name, something not every user wants to do.
iNat exports ORCIDs to GBIF sou you can filter your observations by the “recordedByID”.

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Thank you! That’s the weird thing, though. Zero results are found.

Is that true? This record I uploaded years ago; it’s RG and it’s apparently not been added to GBIF. The precision circle is pretty big.

But this one, taken at same time and place,has a tighter circle around the localiton and is marked as having been added to GBIF:

I bet if I tighten the circle on the first one, the GBIF icon will appear in the iNat record.

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Looks like just an indexing issue - checking/unchecking something in the DQA made the GBIF badge in the lower right of the observation show up for me.


@bouteloua – Interesting, thank you. I’d convinced myself that the precision of the location circle was affecting what was accepted or not accepted by GBIF.

In my early days of submitting stuff to iNat, I was pretty loose in defining the location (like putting a circle around an entire wildlife refuge), but got more precise soon after. I’ve gone back to fix some of those early ones where I still remember the more precise location.

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I found them for you :-)

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Thank you!! This is exactly what I was looking for.

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