How do I connect a photo to another observation?

Hello! I’d appreciate if someone could help me out. I have an observation containing two photos of a spider walking on liverworts (1 and 2), and an observation of the liverwort only. I want to add the two spider photos to the liverwort observation without uploading duplicate photos (basically I want to connect the data of these photos to the liverwort observation) How do I do that?

Which data you want to be added? If you want to have photos connected, you need to duplicate observation, that way photos are connected, but as you already added observations and right now you don’t want to add additional photos, you ccan use observation field to connect observations or add links in the description of each observation.

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as far as I know, there’s not an existing screen that will allow you to do this. there’s been some thought about making a 3rd party tool to handle this, but i don’t think anyone has actually made such a tool yet. so then i think the only way to do this would be to issue a request directly to the API. would you be interested in doing that? (if so and if you need help with that, are you comfortable with a programming language like R or Python? or else what OS are you using?)

the basic thought process would be that given:

  • existing photo ids on obs 111823385 (spider): 188818860,188819896
  • existing photo ids on obs 111532888 (liverwort): 188291612,188299523,188299543,188299668

… you would want to make the following API request:

curl "" -X "PUT" -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "Accept: application/json" -H "Authorization: JWT" -d "{\"local_photos\":{\"111532888\":[188291612,188299523,188299543,188299668,188818860,188819896]}}"

(note that you’ll have to replace “JWT” in the command above with an actual JWT. you can get one by going to in your web browser.)

Do I understand? You simply want to easily be able to move from one observation to the other? I would just copy the url for the spider into the Notes section for the plant and vice versa.


The only way that I know how to do this would be to upload the spider photos to the existing liverwort observation, then use the duplicate feature to create a duplicate for the spider and uncheck all but the two spider photos from the duplicate. Once the photos exist separately in the iNat database, there is no way to cross-link them to other observations.


You could copy the URL of the actual spider images into the notes of the observations using <img src="URL of images "/> for example <img src=""/> Some of us have done this to insert habitat photos into the notes.


You can press “i” on the photo af duplicaton


Good suggestion! In case you don’t already know how to duplicate an observation, here’s a helpful link:

Afterwards, don’t forget to delete the current spider observation (or combine the 2 spider observations into 1: here is a tutorial which tells you how to combine them:

As far as your comment …

… remember that it is not considered a duplicate observation if the same exact photo has 2 organisms, and is used for 1 observation/ID of each. So the spider photos can be on both your spider and your liverwort observations (assuming same day and location as your current liverwort photos).

And as @ahospers already mentioned, click the i on the spider photo after duplication is complete, to see that the photo data is now connected.

Thanks to everyone for the answers! I knew that you could connect photos to multiple observations if you uploaded a photo and then used the iNaturalist duplicate function, my question was whether you could connect a photo to multiple observations after the observations have already been made.
I don’t use the site in English, so I was unsure what some of the functions were called and that’s probably why my wording was off in a few places.
I’ll think about what to do but you’ve all given good suggestions.

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