How to use iNaturalist's Search URLs - wiki

I have a wizz-bang fancy search url bookmarked that’s custom made to find unknowns that I can further categorize (incl by putting them in certain projects)

but I also want to give people a chance to ID their own unknowns (as discussed in the thread that was titled something like “why do do many serious power users upload many unknowns at a time”)


does use case matter? honest question here, I can’t imagine that the answer of “how to use x to get y result” would be different based on whether I just like x, or z won’t work for me, or what. the way x and y relate to each other is not altered by my internal motivations. I am Autistic and baffled


It came across as a benign, curious question to me.

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I have a similar (sort of) use case… here in NZ we have a lot of spider experts that used to do a lot of identifying in iNat, and while I was learning spiders, it occurred to me that it would be good if the experts held off a week or two to let us newbies have a go at IDing… and then they just work on the difficult ones. I was considering that their time and expertise was better spent on the difficult stuff, and it also gives us a chance to challenge ourselves before the “answers” appear…

Of course, it depends on what background you come to iNat with, some will be viewing it as a data source, some will be looking at it as a learning opportunity (this is me!)… others will see a social network to engage with, and some will consider it just a means to find out what something is (ok, this one is me too). We all probably have different blends of these factors.

So I guess what I am saying is, how X and Y relate to each other are altered by your internal motivations. If the motivation is to have these observations reach the “correct” ID as soon as possible, then any action that delays that would be equally baffling. I find it baffling that so many users seem so highly motivated to have them go to RG as soon as possible and become invisible to the majority of identifiers… we miss so many interesting and wonderful observations because others beat us to the IDs. A long time ago I realised this and turned on the RG flag in my own saved Identify filter, so I get to review everything, not just the “needs ID” stuff. There will be many users that just don’t get why one would need to identify observations that are already RG, whereas I just don’t get why they wouldn’t!

I like your use case, Charlie… some people, however, will be baffled by it :)

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Is there a way to search all observations on which I have checked the box that the community ID is the best that it can be? Thank you.

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I am pretty sure these would new search capabilities. Maybe worth chiming in on


Thank you. I did as you suggested.


2 posts were split to a new topic: Cannot export observations when searching for multiple user_ids

Hopefully I haven’t missed it, but: is there a switch that’ll exclude “Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved? >>> No, it’s as good as it can be”?


Is there a way to check if you’ve made the first observation of a species or group in a county, state, etc? I know I was the first person to observe Black-palped Jumping Spider and devil’s walkingstick in Vermont, but I’m kind of curious about other possible records.

If you look in the upper left corner of the thumbnail of the Jumping Spider, you will see that you have been given credit of the first observation.
My thought is this is the first posted observation not the earliest observation date. Another thought as well is that the observation needs to reach RG (confirmed).

As for the walkingstick, for some reason your observation is not research grade and is possibly not first. Currently, someone else holds that distinction.

Thanks. The walkingstick isn’t research grade yet because there was some uncertainty related to its range expansion into Vermont, but the same specimen was observed a year later by someone else, whose observation did end up making research grade. Oh well, this isn’t really the topic for that. I’ll check out the feature you posted about.

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Is there a way to limit an “Identify” search to observations that have been given IDs by a particular user? There are a few very prolific problematic identifiers, and it would be nice to be able to easily check through them.


This one will work:


Sorry, I was intentionally ignoring you I’d just missed your reply.

In hindsight I don’t think the use case mattered (other than for curiosity, I always find it interesting to see how people are using iNaturalist and might find something I could use myself). I often ask people why they want to do something though since I’ve come across situations where asking why has meant that someone has realised there is another way of achieving their aim. Most people (including me) are often very bad at thinking of all the alternative ways of doing something.

It might be possible to do the “more than 3 weeks ago” search using a javascript bookmarklet to calculate the date 3 weeks ago then insert it into the url. I’m not sure exactly how to do it or 100% sure that’s possible (I’ve never created a bookmarklet, and don’t currently use javascript enough to be fluent).

Is there a way to build a query for observations by taxon name, rather than taxon codes?

I’m trying to create a link to iNaturalist observations of taxa in a curated project to link to from a Flora, so people can easily access a repository of images in iNaturalist that fulfil a set of quality criteria (from a defined area, research grade only, and with one of our staff having contributed an identification, among others).

I can easily construct a URL for all the criteria I need, except being able to search for a taxon by name. In order to use numbers I’d have to manually look up the taxon codes, which introduces too much maintenance burden for this feature to be feasible.

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yeah, just taxa/your search term here:

Thanks @bouteloua, I’m looking for an observation search URL, rather than to search for the taxon. So I would like to be able to search for observations of a taxon using the taxon name in the query string, rather than its code. I hope it makes better sense now!

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Thanks @JeremyHussell, that works.

For some reason I had tried the taxon_name= syntax before and got nowhere. I wonder what I got wrong.