fixed categories possible?

I don’t know if it’s possible or if it’s installed and I don’t know about it but
I’m trying to help improve my knowledge of Japanese birds, dragonflies and butterflies and help along the inaturalists with an interest in Japan’s animals by say twice a day going to
Explore, then type in Japan for location and click on the birds and insects-buttons in the filter-list. That way I can check every record added that day to see if i can verify a record or suggest a different ID.

Is there a simpler option to do this? (not that it’s that difficult but still). I really have no knowledge at all about plants, moluscs, algae etcetera. Having to select the filthers every time is a bit time consuming and I often forget to do it in the right order so that at first I get to see all records in the Netherlands (where I live)

There is of course the option to select subscriptions, but that presents the results in a different manner and I haven’t found a way to make it present only odonata, birds and lepidoptera.

Am I overlooking something?

Hope to hear from you


PS. I’m sorry if it’s been talked about earlier, I couldn’t find the keywords to find it in the forum.

@housecrows I approved your post in the General category for now, since at this point it seemed to be more of a question than a specific feature request.

As documented here, there are a number of additional filtering capabilities in iNaturalist that are not available through the standard Filters interface, but instead require direct manipulation of the URL. The good news is that these URLs can be bookmarked in your browser (or saved in a text file outside your browser) and returned to repeatedly to view new observations.

The following URL should find all of the verifiable observations of birds, lepidoptera, and odonata in Japan:,47792,47157

To only see the ones that you have not already identified or marked as Reviewed, use,47792,47157


Thank you Jim, this link,47792,47157&view=observations
seems to show exactly what i’m after…very nice and better than the route I take each day as in it excludes beetles etcetera.
It’s easy to adjust to your liking if you may decide to add beetles to the query (add ,47208)
Great that url’s are actually readable like this one.

thanks for that!


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Btw, i tried to make the same link for the Netherlands, Taiwan and South-Korea. To complete the areas I usually check for species I know or want to know, but only Japan appears to have an area ID, the others are demarkated by a Bounding Box.

I suppose this is a question of understaffing or did I miss something?


Don’t type the location into the location box right there on the front of the page, click the filters button, on the form click more filters and enter the location there.

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There’s a similar but different way to look at things instead of the Explore panel- it’s the Identify panel. Your Japan-based view would look like this url:,47792,47157

You can adjust the place pretty easily. Click on the first entry and you get a popup of the record that you can look at and then jump easily to the next one. Once you get used to it, you can go pretty efficiently through a large set. :)

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South Korea= place_id=6891

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: ) thanks @cmcheatle , that helps!
and thanks @whaichi I would have found those using Chris’ method…but this is helpful

I always wondered how it was that Netherlands (in Explore-screen) also contained records from nearby Germany and Antwerp, it’s not the finest country definition available in inaturalist…

The first source does not draw from iNaturalist, it is held in google maps. When it does a bounding box, it just takes the north/south and east/west maximum values and builds a box from that. The locations in the 2nd source are true maps.

@lotteryd Thanks for the tip. I know that screen but then I miss out on all the fun :)

I find that quite often ‘research grade’ records are misidentified. That’s so easily done as person A submits a record, Person B thinks he knows what it is, gives an ID and person A - understandably thinking that person B is in the know - affirms the ID.
The system is a bit tricky for this I think, but in 90% of cases it probably does work.

So I prefer to see all new records. Not because I know so much, but because I like to learn and to get to know the pitfalls in ID-ing Japanese birds/dragons/butterflies.

and btw: I know people make these mistakes, because I make them more often than not. I think i’ve learned enough about a new species to be able to ID it, only to discover later that that species doesn’t occur in the area or that it’s a lookalike to my eyes maybe but a different genus altogether.


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That explains it, thanks
Is there a reason for those GM-areas not being used in the location field here
There’re probably very good reasons for it, but still it would seem that most people would put the area they want to search there.


There is a very long and technical reason why the site maintains 2 different types of locations, mainly related to supporting functionality in different places in the app (what you need functionality wise to search is different than to enter an observation etc)

@cmcheatle I figured as much. Then maybe there’s an option to make the location-filter more visible for everyone…but that’s no doubt one of many things the development team are currently working on.

thanks for that Chris,

I dont want to claim to be speaking on behalf of the site, but it has been raised before, and I don’t think they want 2 different location filters on the same screen as that could very confusing.

I always hesitate to suggest things, as I know full well how website-development and implementation are two completely different things/and stages in time and everybody has an opinion without having seen more than the fin of the shark that is a website (weird image, but you get what I mean)


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You can do this in the Identify panel also. Just click on Filters, and check both the Research Grade and Needs ID boxes (and Casual too, if you want to see absolutely everything).

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Ok that looks good, but my version seems easier - for me -, then I can see if records have a green label or not.
The link-suggestion you gave works a treat, I have it as a quick-link on my pc…now i only have to get used to it being there

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