Ideas for a revamped Explore/Observations Search Page

The ability to (easily and intuitively) be able to get from one page of the list of observations to another. Personally, I like having the ability to not only scroll through pages in the list, but also type in a page number. I made this little screenshot from a different website, but this is what I’m talking about. Put it at the top and bottom of the list. :)


To do that, I just edit the URL directly. So if I’m on page 10:
I just go up to the URL box and change the “10” to “50” if I want to jump to page 50.


Certainly that’s not a good solution for an interface design, though. I’m placing this idea for a revamped Explore/Observations Search Page here, not looking for a workaround. Thank you, though.


1) Once a well defined taxon has been selected in a “taxon box”, display upper taxomic ranks after another clic is done in the box.

For instance:

In the example above, I am searching for a species that could match an observation, after the AI failed to help me. If I don’t find a species that matches in the Tribe, I want to search for it in the Subfamily, and then in the Family.

This feature would spare my time (and likely server resources as well, because it would avoid useless intermediary requests).

2) Clicking on an upper rank taxon would update the page according to the new taxon selected.

3) This feature is to be transposed in different contexts, in different pages, wherever a quick access to upper taxonomic ranks makes sence.

This feature request may be considered also as a superset of this other one:

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Another alternative: could the footer be an accordion, collapsed by default, or collapsed after a few seconds?

When searching for an ID for this observation:

The display of possible candidates like this does not help:


  • Explore page: for flowering plants (Angiospermae) add radio buttons to display “First” or “Flower” or “Fruit” or “Leaf” or “Overview” photos for the species in the results.
  • “First” is the default selection and corresponds to the current behavior: display the 1st photo in the Taxon page (“Curation” / “Edit photos”).
  • API: add support for the same options, when requesting for species photos.
  • Taxon page (“Curation” / “Edit photos”): add radio buttons “None” or “Flower” or “Fruit” or “Leaf” or “Overview” so that photos can be flagged accordingly.
  • “None” is the default selection and means that the photo is not flagged as containing any particular content.

This one’s a request for maps throughout iNat, but thought I’d plop it here too:

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[Note: Cassi suggested I repost this request here.]
When I view a set of my Observations in Map view, particularly when the set is spread out widely east-west, the side window showing the list/thumbnails of observations blocks a significant portion of the eastern part of the map. See, for instance,
and the attached screen capture.
To see the full breadth of observations, I have to either manually move the map or change the enlargement to bring those observations hidden under that side window into view.
Please consider resizing the frames of these two elements so that they are non-overlapping, e.g. with the map taking up perhaps 3/4 of the left part of the frame and the observation list contiguous to the right.
Thanks for considering this.


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Totally agree. When I want to get to the bottom of a page, I want to get there in one mouse or scroll-bar motion. IMHO, infinite scrolling ought to be banned from the internet! Not that I have a strong opinion on this…


Actually, that’s one of the good things that should not be thrown away. There are certain users who tend to post good observations, and others who tend to post observations I would as soon give a miss unless I have lots of extra time. Avatars help me to know who’s who.


The avatar is a courtesy to the rest of us, a visual reminder of who you are.


iNaturalist is self described as a social network. I don’t think displaying an avatar is childish or unprofessional in the least.

In grid view the small avatar takes up far less space than a username in text would (although at the loss of some visual information).

And it’s the observation photos and multiple lines of text that currently take up most of the space in list view.


I hope I’m not asking a repeat question, but I would like to under Explore, be able to click species, and have all the species sorted alphabetically, or better yet, be able to sort by Genus. Currently, the results are by the most observations first.

Let me give an example, I’m working on a verification of a list of species, so the search criteria was: taxon - Asteraceae, place - California, USA. The results appear, and I then click the header at the top named species. Now a nice list of all the species observed in California appears, but I would love to sort the over 1200 species names into something better, like alphabetically.



I don’t remember if it was brought up here, definitely the need was discussed somewhere, but it would be cool to be able to have an ability turn on a display of a second in a row species photo as a small icon within big one (or the species would take 2 spots of the row instead of one), so when you’d be looking in explore at species list for e.g. moths you’d see pictures of their caterpillars (should be added as 2nd pic) in that icon.

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It used to be able to be done with the checklists, but my understanding is they are buggy and no longer supported. You could try it and see if it is an accurate representation for a smallish area, before using it on a larger one.

  1. identify the place you want to do this for (eg for this example, Gisborne, New Zealand)

notice the url showing that we are looking at “places”, I used the top left search to find Gisborne. Also that it lists taxa seen there in frequency order, same as for the species tab on the explore page.

  1. select the “View Check List Page >>” option at the bottom of the taxa selector at left

This could potentially show taxa that were manually added to the list but not seen, so if desired just check the “observed” option at right, and choose the taxonomic view instead of the photo view

  1. click “observed = yes” and taxonomic view:

A simpler view, one that doesn’t show every taxon level but still sorts by them, is the plain view. Have a play and see if it works for you.

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Two suggestions. #1 seems feasible but large, #2 is way too specific and probably no one but me would use it, but I’ll throw it out there anyway.

1. Add a “Projects” tab. Similar to the “Observations” and “Species” tabs, it could include all projects within your search area (probably limited to 500, like the others). They could be ranked by observations and species, separately or together, although separately would be preferable. Clicking the “x observations” link for a project could automatically populate the project search bar with the project ID, similar to how clicking that link for a species fills in the species search. The projects would be subject to any and all search parameters you impose, including specific species, Wild / Captive and certain users’ observations.

2. Within the “Your Observations” search, species view, use your own photos as taxon photos.
I told you this was niche. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but didn’t post because it seemed like a waste of time. Then I saw this topic, which is the exact same request but for your life list (where it makes much more sense). However, that wasn’t good enough for me, because I don’t like iNaturalist’s life lists. They’re confusingly organized and just don’t make sense to me. All I want is a nice, simple display of your species observed, filterable, easy to understand. So I use the “Your Observations” filter on Explore in place of my life list. I’m looking for exactly the same functionality as described in the linked feature request, but for that page.


Oh, one more suggestion: Make filter settings “sticky”. I like to filter my observations by Date Observed, not Date Added, and it bothers me that I have to reset that every single time. This could also be useful in other situations, and I can see no way in which it would be worse than the current setup.


Ability to search pinned locations or basic text in “location” field.

Thank you!

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It looks like this is the place to suggest a change for the Search filters on the Explore page?

Over the next 10 days there will be a lot of people searching for observations that need IDs for the City Nature Challenge, since only research-grade IDs count towards the project. However, there are a fair number of users who post observations that are opted-out of the community taxon, so their IDs will never reach research grade. Since adding an ID will not contribute towards making these observations research grade, I would appreciate a filter on the search to include only observations that accept the community ID. (Or maybe for next year :) )


Hi @fluffyinca,

I also have some search preferences that I would like to be preserved by default, but I did find a work-around: Because the search settings are preserved in the URL, you can bookmark your search results for quick future reference. For example I created a bookmark to show only observations that “Need ID” for the City Nature Challenge project in my area, sorted by oldest first (since most people are looking at the newest).

The benefit of using bookmarks is that you can have a bunch of different searches at the ready, too! (So at least for me, having the search parameters in the URL is actually more helpful than having the last search saved by default.)