Ideas for a revamped Explore/Observations Search Page

Pagination instead of infinite scloring

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I realize this is probably not super useful to most people and it might require a significant change, but I think that being able to view multiple searches in one Explore “output” would be helpful to me.

For example, combining these two searches into one:
Obviously terms like “order_by=xxx” would apply to both included searches, so I could search by date observed with the observations intermixed.
This would allow me to view and sort my observations of pollinators and the plants that they’re pollinating. I can’t think of too many other uses for something like this, so just having it as a manual-url-editing-only option would be fine so that some “power users” could use it.

Another (perhaps more useful) suggestion I would like is to be able to search for multiple annotations in an “AND” manner instead of an “OR” manner.
For example, searching up Cicadas that are Nymphs and evidenced by the Organism is not possible right now. The closest we have is searching for cicadas that are alive, and searching for cicadas that are nymphs (seems like a minor difference, but this then also includes adult cicada organisms and nymph molts):,22&term_value_id=5,24&taxon_id=50190

I think this could be achieved in a similar manner to what @jdmore suggested for places:

So having &term_id=1+22&term_value_id=5+24 designate the “AND” annotation searching.

(Maybe we can add this tool to the explore page (the software already exists on GitHub so hopefully it won’t be too hard)

Not sure if this has been suggested, but I think it would be beneficial to be able to search for observations that have a community ID. Mainly for difficult taxa like insects where most observations won’t reach RG but there can still be consensus on their IDs; it could be useful to be able to search those.

Something like this?

Not exactly. That thread is about changing whether a taxon search uses the observation taxon or the community taxon. I’m asking for the ability to do an observation search that only includes observations that have a community taxon, regardless of what taxon they are. Similar to how you can filter for just Research Grade, Needs ID, casual, captive, verifiable, etc. observations.

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Since every observation with at least 2 IDs should have a community taxon, isn’t this a subset of the request to be able to search by number of IDs?


I miss a lot of main groups in the filters categories:
Porifera, Cnidaria, Bryozoa, Echinodermata, Tunicata …
It is worse for botanics or mycology, there is just one filter “plants” respectively “shrooms”.

I’d like the filter to be a little bit more specific. If I want to search for marine Mollusca I’ll have to click the snail button and then scroll through endless observations of land slugs. Maybe a filter function for land/amphibic/aquatic/marine species can be added?

Search functions: Combined search (e.g. Porifera AND Tunicates, Hieracium AND Crepis …), excluding search (e.g. Plants MINUS Mosses, Hieracium MINUS Hieracium pilosella …), safe search for phobics in the account settings (NEVER show spiders …).

I also second map search by drawing polygones. Crude shapes drawn only by hand would suffice as well.

Those ideas have probably been proposed already, so consider this post an act of approval. Anyway, thank you for wanting to improve iNaturalist. It really is worth it.


It sounds like you’re looking for the filter manipulations as described here:

This is possible:,48824

Also possible.

Because these are not monophyletic groups this would have to be assigned to individual species/groups which would get very complicated, especially with how to define brackish, amphibious, etc.

A good approximation for mollusks would be to exclude Stylommatophora:

I suppose you could exclude spiders from all of your searches but that might be a bit of a pain.

You can create a place by uploading a polygon you have drawn, and then you can search within that place.


To add, you can also search on the map rectangle you’re viewing.


Wow, very helpful, thank you!

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I have a Macbook Pro and at least an inch and a half to two inches of real estate goes to the heading which is an inch wide for a 1/4"-3/8" area to type in observations, explore, location and my screen is only 7" tall… Or allow it to be toggled smaller if one prefers or needs more room. When I go to the map feature to see my observations around the world, my observations along the side take up a third of the screen - so turning those on or off to be able to look at the map could also be useful when trying to ascertain something like the range a plant or animal lives in.

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You can open map to the whole screen:image


I agree. Developers tend to have huge monitors. Your screenshot is a useful reintroduction to the real world.

I feel like when you sort the search by number of faves, it shouldn’t show observations that don’t have any faves at all.


Disclaimer: I have not read through this entire thread. Sorry if I’m just reiterating ideas already presented and dealt with (whether rejected or prioritized and added to the backlog)

Two filtering suggestions:

Filtering for no records. I’m lazy when it comes to entering observations, can’t be bothered to just enter everything, but if it feels significant, I’ll enter it. Filling in the gaps (whether on a species level or related to phenology or geography) is a fun game and adds valuable knowledge. This option could increase the number of such observations. Not only could it be applied to existing finds, it could also function as inspiration for new searches. My guess is I wouldn’t be the only one using it as such.

I could also imagine use cases for a more general filtering based on number of records (above, below or between input thresholds) but the presence or absence of records seems to me the most significant distinction.

Filtering for observations based on geoprivacy level / precision.

You can already search for not-observe taxa and for geoprivacy.


I never thought of the possibility of searching directly via the url. Nice to know this offers more filtering options.

While that indeed addresses the geoprivacy issue I couldn’t find anything to say how to search for no observations, though. Either we have a misunderstanding or I’m afraid I’ll need to be spoonfed with instructions. I’m not talking about taxa (or some combination of taxa and other filters) unobserved by me or other specific observers but taxa with no observations at all. Hence this is not actually a search for observations but a search for taxa.

For instance, I added the only observation of Mediodactylus bartoni specifically because noone else had added one. I would like to be able to find such taxa.

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Ah, check those topics (wiki and also others about urls), I remember mention of searching by number of observations in taxa, but I don’t really remember how. But I can tell you if you can observe small crustaceans or worms, 99% of them have no observations.