Do you use iNat or a local equivalent while traveling abroad?

I’ll be spending time in the Netherlands later this year. They have an iNat equivalent called I’m inclined to use their system while there, but I’m interested in people’s thoughts on which they’d use and why.


Where are you normally based and why would you not select iNat first?


I live in Belgium, where most people also use this site, but I personally only use iNat. I just find the site easier to use and I like to have all my observations in one place when I go to another country. In the end, I think it comes down to personal preference, use whichever one you like. Though, I should say that the associated app ObsIdentify is much better at recognizing the native fauna (and probably flora as well).


I don’t see any reasons to use another site just because it exists, iNat is global and uploading on it is what will eventually get local experts here.


I’ve noticed we have a similar “problem” here in Portugal. Despite the existance of iNaturalist, which is a global platform and very optimized for the collection of presence data, local authorities (associations, municipalities, companies, etc) insist on creating their own platform/app for citizen science. These platforms have a much smaller scale, are buggy most of the time and seem to me to be a bit redundant… If global iniciatives like iNaturalist (and others) exist, why break down the data into small local pieces?

That being said, it is not the case of platforms that predate the popularization of iNaturalist (is it the case of the Netherlands one?) or others that allow you to gather other kinds of data (number of individuals, abundances, densities, etc etc).


In 7 minutes you can import your observations from iNaturalist in this local site. You will loose the timestamps.


If there are multiple sites available, you choose the one that suits you. While it is clear in your mind that a smaller site may fold overnight, taking all your data with it. iNat looks to be well supported enough to survive (but I didn’t realise that Google Plus - too big to fold - was a rats in a maze test)


I had an account dedicated for testing ObsIdentify and the results of this app were so bad that the staff locked my account. if you decide to use I can try to help you with the names for plants, but I will send them as a remark .by email


Part of the point of iNat is that it’s a global repository.

Why would I intentionally cripple that aspect of it?

In addition, it can be a nice way to keep a record of the places you’ve been.


I only use iNaturalist. Reasons: I like to have my observations in one place and I return to my observations from time to time (at least to some of them) - it is easy to do in iNaturalist. Besides, iNaturalist is a good reminder with a timeline about the places and spots I’ve been.


BUT … local apps are great for having a bigger sample of observations in the local area. So, if
you are going to a particular country/region, consult that app to see what others have observed before you, even if you then record your own observations on iNaturalist.

So all you wonderful people - what are the main local apps for Aquitaine, France? for other countries / regions? please post here as many as you know about, especially if other people’s observations are public domain. Info sharing appreciated!


There’re many thousands of observations from any European country, esp such big ones, you don’t need a separate app to explore species beforehand, you may need it for less observed regions, but they’re less likely to have anything local.

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I felt a similar conundrum while traveling in the Netherlands this spring! One big reason to use the local site is if you’re looking for existing data, and that’s mostly where it is – it seems like eBird is used very little there, for ex., so if looking for up-to-date info about birds, you’d end up on waarneming.

I entered my own data on iNat and eBird, since that’s what makes most sense for me, but if I came across a rare bird that I thought people might want to know about in real time, I’d enter it on the local site

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I use iNaturalist because it will still be around in 10 years (i.e. it’s “too big to fail”). I also use it because it has attracted a decent amount of experts.


I have used iNat while travelling. As far as I know, I haven’t been anywhere with its own Citizen Science platform but if I were someplace like the Netherlands I would use iNat first and maybe create a local account for stuff like invasive or at-risk species, as a courtesy.

If I knew that a local app existed with purposes and functionality that were complementary to iNat, I might make a point of contributing to it, just as I might contribute to such an initiative at home.


I use iNat and I want my observations there;

I support iNat’s concept and part of that support is committing to post on the site, building its presence and its capacity globally;

I know that iNat data contribute to the GBIF project and I understand how that works;

I don’t have knowledge of every Citizen Science app in every country and I don’t have the time, technical expertise or inclination to learn them all.


I would just use my normal app/platform that I am familiar with


Smaller regional websites for recording your nature observations might be more vulnerable to disappearing in the future due to lack of funding or staff.


I always use Inat when abroad, regardless of what local equivalents are offered. Inat is global, easy, free, and awesome.


I have done a bit of 4 corners travelling which has taken me to 20 countries. Since 2015, I have used iNaturalist extensively with just recently using eBird as well - I have been trying to help out in bird counts and having eBird identity and app is handy for that. I am having to do a bit of catch up with my eBird lists because I am entering data long after my actual trips.

Of 3001 species, 1620 have been birds. I never considered using local data bases mainly because I have been unaware of them. I do not travel with guide books so I have relied heavily on iNat for identification - local experts have always been helpful. eBird’s Merlin resources has been a boon to this in recent years with their international packages that really help with identifying local bird calls.

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i use inaturalist for simplicity, Though, there is sometimes the lack of ID in certain areas.