Downloading pictures from a project

I will be direct, but hopefully polite here, what exactly makes you believe that bulk downloading of photos, many of which are licensed and submitted as all rights reserved and republishing them is an ‘accepted internet practice’?


Thanks. Didn’t see that option yet. Will give it a try.

Update: nope, the API doesn’t offer a GET request for images with a CC0, CC BY or CC BY-NC license. Am trying the gbif-observations download now to see if that covers my use case.

“internet practice” isn’t written out, so pointing to a concrete paragraph in a law isn’t possible. I understand that thumbnail republishing is acceptable. That is also what Google search is doing and I hear no complaints, see no lawsuits around that practice. My practice is similar, using a thumbnail and pointing my site visitors to the original image at its original address of publication.

But the thumbnail issue is not really the point I am trying to make. The point is that without a proper bulk selection and exchange, it is difficult for linked data publishers to properly connect and attribute.

In my case to show an image of a plant pathogen to smallholder farmers and direct those farmers to inaturalist for more detailed images of the same species.

I’m far from an expert on the subject, but can anyone point out any photo site that allows bulk downloading of photos that you personally do not own or have purchased ?

This functionality is not offered on sites to prevent this exact issue. I guess if you want to create a crawler or something and take them regardless there is nothing we can do about it, but this should not be functionality that iNat enables.



Yet, the core issue is that no one is interested in bulk downloading. And certainly not in bulk downloading copyrighted content.
First preference is with an API or Sparql interface;
If that is not available, bulk downloading allowed content including attribution (iNat competition GBIF info is a good example);
Last resort is scraping which is unkind, but often badly/sadly needed practice.

All content on those sites is open licensed, all content on iNaturalist is not open licensed

I’m going to bow out of this conversation, as it is clear you are comfortable taking the content whether it is legal or not.

Sorry that you start insulting me Chris. You haven’t read my earlier writing and the preferences I indicate.
Sorry as well that you are not aware of the different copyright levels at inaturalist.

I’m perfectly aware of all the licensing issues on the site. The fact that you state that scraping content is an accepted and needed practice to accomplish what you wish is telling enough for me.

not true, the user is able to choose a license and some choose openlicense.

1 Like

i guess i’m not understanding why you need to download 17000 images. when i pointed to the API before, i was suggesting that you could use it to get image URLs with license info and then display those images via those URLs. assuming what you’re doing is non-commercial, that would seem to be okay as long as you’re respecting the licenses and doing proper attribution.


That’s exactly what I wrote, all content is not open licensed, some of it is, some of it is not, depending on the user choice.


I didn’t see a GET request for observation photos URL’s in the API.
Only delete, put and post observation_photos as far as I can see?

Non-commercial and proper attribution fully confirmed.

the photo URLs and copyright notes are buried in the results returned by the observation and taxa endpoints.


Thanks on behalf of 5.000.000 smallholder farmers (no exaggeration) who wish to apply non-chemical farming and need support with visual material on plant pathogens.
We are in the preparation phase and will drop you a note when online and running.

1 Like

Hi all, just a quick reminder of some of our community guidelines, namely:

  • assume good faith
  • avoid sarcasm with people you don’t know
  • avoid responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • if there is disagreement, provide reasoned, polite counter-arguments, with evidence, and
  • you don’t have to have the last word, so step away from the discussion if you need to

The forum should be a place where people feel comfortable asking questions, so let’s please keep the tone friendly and the content informative. Thanks!


I don’t see any insults?

1 Like

Yes, if what @jan416 wants to do is scrape properly licensed images from iNat and display them elsewhere using the proper attribution, that shouldn’t be a problem, as long as they use the API properly.


I think many choosing open license don’t know they have a choice.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.