How to use iNaturalist's Search URLs - wiki part 1 of 2

This is very useful thanks…previously I have always “glazed over” when any sort of code or URL has been mentioned but atf least the first one or two examples sound feasible even to me…assuming the Url changes in the browser header with each filter.

Am i correct in my impression that it is not possible to bulk edit the results of such searches even using the filter to producd only kne’s own obs?


@kaipatiki_naturewatc Yes, the URL updates in the search box with each filter change. Anything you can filter through the user interface, you can copy/save/bookmark a URL that re-creates that filter each time you go there. After playing with the filter and seeing the resulting URL changes for a while, you should get a pretty good idea of how it works.

And then there are some other filter parameters NOT available through the regular user interface, such as the without_taxon_id= parameter mentioned earlier. This wiki will be especially helpful for documenting those, and I hope will eventually include a complete list of them. (I’ve been collecting a list as I learn about them, but it’s probably missing some things…)

If by “bulk edit” you mean edit the contents of your own observations, I think you would be limited to the capabilities of the Batch Edit functionality at{{username}}, after applying an appropriate Search filter. And that search filter could include manually adding other URL parameters not available through the standard Search filter.

1 Like

Is there a parameter such as without_place_ID. I’m aiming to exclude certain locations from my search. I tried <> and - but this did not work.

To create the opposite search of my URL,30464,30479,30481&quality_grade=needs_id&iconic_taxa=Plantae,Fungi,Insecta

1 Like

try not_in_place

1 Like

That appears to have worked.

So perhaps the wiki needs a few criteria ideas for IS and IS NOT. With that in place, I think this is a very powerful method to manage views in Inat. It is perhaps not for everyone, but for some, this would certainly give much greater flexibility.


Thank you jdmore. Very useful.
Re bulk editing search results, I am not sure if I understand, but in Edit my observations there are not the same filter options I think?

1 Like

Is there a way to search for an obs that has comments, or even better, comments by a particular member?

1 Like

I think I did not absorb this fully. I eill try using that url and see where I find myself. Thanks again.

1 Like

So in the case of my observations, I would go to, then use Search to filter the set of observations I want to edit (including any manual additions to the filter URL, if necessary). Then when I have the desired set, I would click “Batch Edit.” Empty check boxes will appear next to each observation, along with several batch options along the top, including “Select All” which will check all the check boxes. Then click “Edit Selected.” There will be further batch options at the top, but for some kinds of edits you may have to visit each observation individually. Hope that helps…

I’m not aware of a way to filter observations by comment presence or comment author, but maybe someone above my “pay grade” is…?


You can search using the URL for comments on all observation like this (for “robin”):

I feel like that’s not what you’re asking for though.


Good to know though, thanks

1 Like

Thank you jdmore that’s very clear. Will experiment as soon as time permits

1 Like

A most useful topic!

I am trying to see all comments for a particular taxon (species or subspecies). Is that possible? I have played around with urls for both the ~/taxa and ~/comments pages with no luck.

At present I have to go to the ~/observations page grid view and look for those with the most comments icon and open them at random. it would be also nice to on this page, only see those with comments, or order them descending with the most comments.


I would like to be able to find comments based on user id. E.g. I can remember that a comment was made by a particular person, but I can’t remember where. So it’ll be a parameter like the one for identification by a particular user (ident_user_id) but for comments. I tried various permutations of comment_user_id but couldn’t find the right syntax.


@karoopixie - there is no hack you are missing, this functionality does not exist.


Ah. Thanks, cmcheatle. I think I shall motivate for this under feature requests.

EDIT: Have added the feature request -


Can someone please post an example of ‘sort by’ parameters to categorize my search results alphabetically? e.g. Correa reflexa var reflexa is before Xerochrysum viscosum.
I would also appreciate categorizing my results by family names alphabetically arranged so that the species of (f)Asteraceae species = Xerochrysum would come become before (f)Stylidiaceae species = Stylidium (If that’s possible to do)


NOTE: this is in part cross-posted from this discussion:

Here’s a bit more complicated query that I found to solve a problem I had – a query identifying all Counties within a State that have a species on their checklists. For example, this can be done for Berberis aquifolium in Idaho (place_id=22) with this:
( ancestor_id is the upper-level place to search within, and per_page is needed because the default will give an incomplete list for states with many counties.)

To figure this out, I consulted the iNaturalist API docs. The newer alternative API docs are also a great source for hints.


I’m not sure whether I missed it, but although the programer interface (API) was mentioned, I don’t think anyone explicity pointed out that there are two URL syntaxes available.

One is the older set of parameters used by the original API and things like the export observations function, and the other is the newer set supported by the explorer filters page.

So there are alternate ways of specifying things, eg “with photos” can be “&has[ ]=photos” in the old search and “&photos” in the new. It appears that using a mixture of old and new parameters will cause it to decide to use one search mode and ignore parameters meant for the other.

Anyway I don’t know how to invoke it in the new mode, but if you want to find all the observations in your project that haven’t been ID’d by one of the project’s curators, try something like:




Is there a way to search for all observations that I have identified to a particular taxon (say, cyclosa, for example)?