Germany - iNaturalist World Tour

We’re featuring on Germany on the World Tour today.

Here’s the GADM Level 1 and Level 2 places we’re using. Again, my usual questions about whether these administrative units are correct and widely used.

What can we do to improve iNaturalist in Germany?

The site is only about 80% translated into German on both the Web and Mobile. Would improving that help? Whats the status of vernacular names? This has been brought up as a potential limiting factor to growth elsewhere in Europe, would work to add more of those help?

Are there any other outreach or institutional collaborator ideas we should be exploring in Germany?

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Sometimes English and German are mixed. Like in the comments section of the flags. For example: Gepostet von X about 2 hours her. “About” and “hours” are English, the rest is German. Grammatically correct would be: Gepostet von X vor 2 Stunden. The word “her” is not necessary.

Similar situations to Germany seem to come up pretty often - there is some other similar website, usually with a more local focus, that already fulfills the role of iNat. Some of these have merged into iNaturalist over time, but i don’t think it makes sense to expect that all of them will want to or will be a good fit. So it brings up the question, is there a way to make them more cross-compatible without losing that autonomy? Options to display data from the other site on the map with clickable pins? Some more formal way of bridging the gap? I’m just kind of brainstorming here but, it seems to be to everyone’s benefit to have that connection, even if the sites stay totally separate.


Well, assuming those sites contribute their data to GBIF, then they can show on the map. i agree that extending the functionality on the map to allow the GBIF observations to be clickable would be nice.

yeah with them not being clickable, and being tiny little dots, they aren’t really interactive… also i’d rather the link go to the other website directly rather than GBIF, assuming like iNaturalist there’s some form of discussion potentially present on each observation…

The biggest challenge with that is the data volumes on a place like GBIF are just overwhelming. For example it has over 8,000,000 records of Canada Goose. Trying to build a map with 8 million clickable pins is likely a nightmare.


annemirdl what’s the URL for that translation issue you mention? Charlie and cmcheatle, I agree clickable GBIF overlays would be cool - it would be possible just haven’t gotten to it

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For example

without trying to be off topic, but i feel loading times could be better on web and mobile in general.
On mobile alone i get picture mix-up quite frequently on my observations screen. e.g. as i scroll down a Vulpes vulpes observation might show some bird picture i took a week before. on refresh this issue gets fixed though, so no biggy. Still it’s a bit irritating at first and happens somewhat frequently.
otherwise i fell in love with iNat since i joined in October. So thanks for the new hobby, i guess.

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By the way i agree with @charlie : collabration or even integration with similar sites on national or regional levels would not only possibly boost inat’s reach in Germany but also benefit the conservation benefit potential of the site. naturgucker, lepiforum, kerbtier, blumeninschwaben (all .de) , etc. might if linked to on an inat observation help amateurs (like myself) improve upon their ID-skills. Most observers might be able to tell, that they found a coleoptera, but might not be able to be more specific than inats picture identification allows. a quick link in the manner of: " oh you found a coleoptera specimen! You might find out more about it here:". No disregard to borisb who does a lot of idenfying on coleoptera already, but being able to narrow down what an amateur sees before the expert helps might be of some interest and has educational value.
phew sorry for the rambling.
Regards again

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Welcome to the forum @toemmoe! If you want to provide a URL or other specific info you are able to make a new post in ‘Bug Reports.’ Otherwise tech issues like this might get lost in unrelated topics and not get attention from staff that might be needed.

I have no idea to improve the usage in Germany. I often share interesting observations to facebook and tell everybody I use it. Don’t know if this helps.

Sometimes I stumble over translation mistakes in common names. The one I remember I reported to Jakob to correct it. There were others, but have no example now. Nothing to improve site quality, just my two cents.
Still like iNat, although it takes lot of my free time and money ;)…

And: I don’t think it needs more translation. That’s not an issue for the usual internet-raised german.

The administrative units are correct and used.

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This also bothered me which led to me helping translate the site into German at Also when I found badly translated phrases, I searched for them there and suggested a corrected German version. It helped! :)
@martingrimm you are certainly correct about most internet-raised Germans, but I think it’s nice if people who are older (or younger) or less skilled in languages can also participate (thinking for example of a retired biologist I know).

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I got a chance to look into this today and it looks like both of these can be fixed in translatewiki. I left them in case you wanted to try, but otherwise I (or anyone else) can fix them.

The ‘her’ issue is the translation to ‘%{n} ago’ (ie ‘some-variable-ago’) needs to be changed from ‘%{n} her’ to just ‘%{n}’

The other issue is that the translation is only about %80 complete and there isn’t yet a translation for ‘{{PLURAL|one=about 1 hour|about %{count} hours}}’ so its just using the english translation (e.g. ‘about 2 hours’)

They suggest {{PLURAL|one=vor ca. einer Stunde|vor ca. %{count} Stunden}} for this (their suggestions are sometimes wrong)

Does that make sense?


toemmoe, this works on taxa not observations, but iNaturalist has things called ‘taxon links’ which you can make for a taxon/place that show up under ‘More Info’ in the ‘About’ tab, e.g.

Thank you for the explanation and the corresponding links.

I’ve done the correction (hopefully right).
I didn’t change ‘%{n} ago’ to just ‘%{n}’ though. I changed it to ‘vor %{n}’.

It’s always hard to find the context of the translations. Especially if they contain mostly variables.

{{PLURAL|one=vor ca. einer Stunde|vor ca. %{count} Stunden}} This looks right. Thank you.

New comment on @vow_or_con{vow:an|a} %{parent} by %{user_link}

Ein neuer Kommentar zu einer an observation von

Is ‘‘einer an observation’’ correct in German? I should expect that %{parent} should be translated by Beobachtung.
And ofcourse the an/a-problem that happens in the notifications, but that will be redesigned in future…

Correct would be "Ein neuer Kommentar zu einer Beobachtung von "