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

Great advice here!

brewed my own search URL for the Greater Antilles,7526,6931,6848,8748,7488

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thanks, that makes sense!

By the way, you can eliminate those annoying %20 spaces by just using commas without spaces, still works.


I have not so far succeeded in searching for a place or places using the place ID, with ids instead of id for multiple places. No other change attempted. Can sopmeone tell me what I am doing wrong please?
(I made a screenshot too but can’t see how to attach it)

Place_id not place_ids

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Thanks cmcheatle!

I am trying to learn to use the Explore Search, thanks to this tutorial.

I have now successfully searched for all obs from two Places, and I’m trying to narrow that down to the obs from those 2 places with a Field (not a Value, yet).

This is the Field:

This is its name: (copied from its page in Observation fields)
Observation field: RENH 2019 First report

This is one of my many unsuccessful attempts:,131701&field:RENH%202019%20First%20report=yes&subview=grid

I also tried using the Field number, using commas instead of %20 for the spaces in the Field name, and using + instead of the spaces, because that’s how the Field appears in another Search, I think it was in finding “Observations with this Field”.

Help please?,131701&field:RENH%202019%20First%20report

Thank you jwidness!

I had “Grid view” in the url because it was created when I added the first place, in order to create a Search…should that always be removed? If not, when can it be left in, or added?

Or maybe it was the “=yes” that was the problem. I got that from the Tutorial. Maybe it is for whe a Value is to be added.

Oh I get it! In the Tutorial, the example of a Field was "Roadkill, for which the Value in the example was “Yes”. Duh!

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Search for disagreeing IDs on my observations?

apologies if this has already been mentioned but I couldn’t find it: is there a function similar to ident_user_id , but for searching for obs that a particular user hasn’t identified?

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I think someone once told me how to search for a group of obs using these modified urls, and then bulk edig them. I couldnt try it at the time as I had to learn to create custom searches.
Can someone please tell me again?

For example, i would like to bulk edit to add or remove a field, change a field value, or change coordinates.

I can do this in “Edit observations”, but I dont know how to get an Explore search result into that page.

On that “Edit observations” page there is a “search” button next to the “batch edit” button. If the search filter you are looking for is not available on that page, you can try adding it manually to the URL eg &field:Sex=female (or precede it with a “?” instead of an “&” if it is the first search parameter (eg

You can then “batch edit” the results, remembering you have to open the drop-down “batch operations” if you want to easily apply the same change to the whole group that you have selected.

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Excellent, thanks Tony. I had sort of tried that, but it didn’t work, probably because I did not yet know how to create the url correctly.

eg I didn’t know about the ? being before the first parameter.

I will now direct my efforts to following your instructions, which I have bookmarked.

**On that “Edit observations” page there is a “search” button next to the “batch edit” button. If the search filter you are looking for is not available on that page, you can try adding it manually to the URL eg &field:Sex=female (or precede it with a “?” instead of an “&” if it is the first search parameter (eg

Does anyone know if there is a list somewhere of the rules for creating these Searches, with what code is used for place, field, etc, and their negatives and plurals?
I’m finding it impossible to locate the answers in this thread which I think has the answers somewhere but I can’t remember them all and find them when needed.

One problem slowing down my search attempts is that neither the Edit Observations page nor Explore find my Projects,
Could that be because they were created in error on the global portal?
so i have to add the Project ID, or the Place ID (which is not offered in Edit my Observations) as well as the Field.

This is compounded by this Place

currently resulting in 0 obs in Searches

which means there are multple ways my searches can be wrong.

I think I have just accidentally added the Field Endemic to a batch of obs in Witheford Reserve, but can’t find them to remove it. I don’t know what the Search was that produced those I added the Field to, so i can’t replicate that. My browser doesn’t show me the page with the Search results I edited.

any help with any part of this appreciated.

It is not now urgent, as I have manually removed the field from each of the non-endemic species among my 100 most recent observations. So the “Search result” I accidentally edited must have just been my most recent obs.

Thank goodness it is limited to 100 obs!!!

I still need to learn to use the Search urls though.

A post was split to a new topic: Exporting IDs to measure ID accuracy

It is written with a technical / IT oriented audience in mind, so approach it knowing that, but the best place to see what is available and how to fill it in is here :


  • typically what you want is to look at one marked ‘get’ as that means it is the search function
  • so for exampe to look at what can be searched for on observations you would look at Observations/get/observations
  • under that section is a list of all the parameters that can be searched on. It will include a description, in relevant cases a dropdown with a list of accepted values or a box to enter something, such as a user id
  • at the bottom of the section is a ‘try it out button’ which if you have filled in anything in the 30-40 options above will generate a series of things
  • one of those is a request url, you can then copy everything after the 1st question mark (if you copy the whole string when you run it in your browser youll get the data but in a format likely useless to you), so something like this
  • you can then go to and paste what you copied at the end of the url to run that search
  • if you manage to put together a search that is invalid, typically you will just get every record on the site returned
  • I cant guarantee the documentation there is 100 percent updated, only site staff can do that, but they would not be making frequent changes to their api as that is a major endeavour with site wide implications.