Exporting observations

I routinely export iNat observations to a spreadsheet in order to print herbarium labels. I need a fast way to remove observations from my spreadsheet that I do not want to print.

  • all observations are from a project/defined boundary
  • all observations are posted by me
    My first idea was to add a collection number in the comments of my post and then remove all observations that do not have a “comment” (or number) from the spreadsheet. But, this does not work because you cannot export comments.
    Any other ideas out there?
    Thank you!
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I can make a couple of suggestions. If you’ve already tried and rejected these, feel free to ignore my post :-)

If there’s a characteristic that rules in the target observations (or rules out the non-targets), you can work with that using filters on the Export Observations query page. For example, if the observations you want are within a certain date range, you can omit the others using the date filter.

You can also sort by key characteristics in the Choose Columns part of the Export Observations query. For example, if you want to print only plant observations, you can go to the “Taxon” section of Choose Columns and select “iconic_ taxon_name” as one of your columns. In your downloaded spreadsheet, you can sort by that column, and all the “Plantae” observations will be together. You can delete the rest.

Hope that helps!

You can use this tool to export comments / take more control over your export :

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i would use a couple of observation fields to allow you to filter for selected observations. one would be something like herbarium code and another would be collection number.

while you haven’t yet put your observation specimen into the herbarium yet, you could set herbarium code = some temporary value like “herbarium A work in progress”, and once you’re done you could just drop the “work in progress” and set collection number to whatever the collection number ends up being.

(alternatively, you could just use a single collection number observation field, and set it to some dummy value until you’re got a collection number for it.)

then you would be able to filter by observation field and value, looking for only observations where herbarium code = “herbarium A work in progress” (or collection number = [dummy value]).

here’s an example where i’m going to export only my own Loggerhead Shrike observations from Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge where banded = yes: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/export?verifiable=any&place_id=119232&taxon_id=12024&user_id=pisum&field%3ABanded=yes

in the future, you might be able to filter for cases where a particular observation field has not been added to an observation, and in that situation you could just look for observations without a collection number observation field. but until then, you need to explicitly set some observation field = to a temporary or dummy value so that you can filter on it.

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