Habitat observations

Rather often, I do many observations at one spot. Sometimes, an overview photo of that spot showing the habitat looks like a nice feature.
Habitat observations have been discussed at

The solution there is not optimal.
The internet is very dynamic, and “suddenly” a link to some ressource gets broken. The image may still be there on that other server, but get a new address. And then all those embedded links do not work anymore. Hence, I prefer to have the habitat observation also on iNat.

Still, I have to add both the links from the habitat observation to the individual observations, and vice versa, manually by copying the address from the browser’s address bar.

See e.g.

While that is just a lot of manual work for me, it may be beyond the computing knowledge for most users.

Related to such a feature is also the linking of two observations - e.g. one of an insect visiting a flower, and another one of the plant visited.

What do you think of such a feature, and how could it be implemented “user friendly”?


You can use obseration fields e.g. same observation set, but does really iNat comments save the link of posted photo or photo just being added and stays there? Do you have an example where link was broken?


Still waiting hopefully for iNat to enable Annotations on a per photo basis.

Now if the obs has multiple photos they are ALL of Fruiting (even if most photos are flowers or leaves, or the wide view - not habitat unless the plant is in the photo says iNat) That does remove a layer of useful information from the obs.


The comment field of observations works differentliy from the editor of the forum - it is not possible to drag&drop a photo there. Hence you have to use some html tags to embed or link it.

“Link rot” is quite a common phenomenon on the internet;

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“Observation group” is a good field for grouping some observations together - thanks for this hint. Still, an overview photo of the area is a different concept than an observation.

I know how photos are posted in comments, I just asked if the link stays or website saves the photo from the link as it should be possible in theory.
Add the habitat shot to a closer observation of one of the species seen, it’ll be better than having it as a separate unideable observation, as you can duplicate the photo, observations will be linked together on iNat.


Not really user friendly but your image of habitat, the Monocots at https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/105964334, has its own web address - the large image is https://inaturalist-open-data.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/177914494/large.jpeg
In the notes for each observation you can add the following
Habitat for many observations. Burmannia and Xyris can be seen even at this level. Sandy (perhaps even salty) soil. No shadow, except for the power poles. The main road is to the left (south). For a list of other observations made at this location at this time, see https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/105964334 <img src="https://inaturalist-open-data.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/177914494/large.jpeg">
This will give your habitat information and insert an image of your habitat into the notes of the observation. I would expect a minimum chance of link rot since the image is stored on inat servers - just an opinion of a novice.
I did a similar type of link when I did this nearby image note here when I was just trying this as an exercise: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/108557929

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External links are always inherently susceptible to link decay for a variety of reasons (I suppose unless you got a doi for them, but most people aren’t going to do that and even then the hosting could break), so I think in general its best to have them hosted on the same site.

I tend to agree that its not really that big of a deal to have the habitat shots duplicated in the individual observations; if you want to be really strict about ensuring the observed organism is included in the shot you might take a few different habitat shots to ensure you have one that includes each obs site, though I don’t think anyone is really going to take the time to bug you about it if you aren’t perfectly strict until we have photo-level DQA. You could also include a wider ‘site context’ shot of the specific organism (e.g. so you can see where in the habitat it is), which might partially make the habitat shots redundant.

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