I am a volunteer in Texas with the Texas Master Naturalists group. This group is sponsored in part by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
My wife and I are both members and we are curators with the Texas Nature Trackers projects Birds of Texas and Mammals of Texas.
The coordinator with TPWD would like all the data in the projects downloaded for import into their database. Currently for the Birds of Texas, there are approximately 411,000 observations!
I would like to look into downloading all that data via an API program. I am a software developer, but don’t have a lot of experience with this type of API so I was wondering if anyone could offer any advice?
Thank you for your time!
Welcome to the forum!
You mentioned two Traditional projects, but because observations have to be manually added, those projects don’t actually have all the bird and mammal observations in Texas. (More details about project types here.)
If you actually wanted all verifiable bird and mammal observations in Texas, that would be ~1.6 million observations.
Depending on what you want to do with them, you should probably consider downloading from GBIF instead – see the warning on the iNat Export page:
Can you be more specific when you mean “all the data”? For example, do you need observer name or upload date? Do you want annotations? Do you want the photo(s)?
i think the reason these projects exist is to allow the project curators to get the actual locations of private and obscured observations. i assume the reason they don’t just use the CSV download is that the projects now contain too many observations (>200000) to get a whole set all at once. it’s possible to break up the sets into smaller subsets to utilize the standard CSV download, and that’s probably what i would do.
of course it’s possible to use the API, too, but it seems unnecessary to me unless there’s something that the CSV export isn’t able to provide.
Let me get back with my TPWD contact. He implied the data he got can’t be gotten with the normal CSV download. I am not sure right now what that is so I will get back with you when I get an answer.