Ideas for a revamped Explore/Observations Search Page

I have never figured out how and when the page does refresh, as results are often unexpected, and one sees that place or date, and perhaps something else, have changed when going back just one click, intending to view the results one had been looking at. I thought maybe it was required to press the “Update results” at a certain point, but I haven’t figured out when.
Sorry I just realized that’s off-topic, and expands on pisum’s minor bug report, which i would like to see followed up.

maybe something to address in the new Explore page

one more minor bug:

  1. open the Explore screen
  2. open the Filters box
  3. select 1/1/2020 as the date you want to filter by, but change your mind, and select Any observed on date. note that the date is still in the Exact Date box, but Exact date is not selected. you can even close the filter box, and open it back up, and the Any option is still selected, but the date is stipl filled in. not a problem. everything is filtered on Any date at this point.
  4. click on the Download option. note that the download setup reflects 1/1/2020 instead of Any date.

i didn’t check any of the other similar filters or other download options, but the revamped page should probably correctly handle all of these possibilities.

I would like to be able to search for observations of others on which I have checked anything in the Data Quality Assessment section. I’m especially interested in searching for observations that I have checked “as good as it can be”, in case extraneous photos have been removed or additional photos added.


I keep coming across reasons where I’d like to be able to view a user’s identifications in a different format than a chronological list. For example, this morning I wanted to look at all the observations one expert has identified as a specific taxon.

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Just switched over to an Apple IPad from a Microsoft surface. I notice that when I am looking at the latest observations on the main Explore page in Map view I don’t see the users name or icon beside their observations. Grid and List views work fine. Is this the design of Inaturalist for iOS or do I need to configure something differently on my device.

My old surface showed the user name and their icon in the same Map view.

This probably isn’t a priority but I’m sure many people (myself included) would appreciate having a way to filter observations to show only ones that you yourself have favorited/starred. There is currently something similar in the observations tab, being the “popular” filter, but this would be a more specific version of that by showing only observations that you personally have bookmarked.
I realize that something similar exists with the “Your favorites” page, but that’s difficult to navigate and search through, whereas what I’m proposing would be much more convenient



this could just be a function of the width of the browser window. even on a Surface, if you reduce the width of the browser window enough, the screen will drop the user icon from the observation list and pop-ups on the Explore page map view.

there is a page that will allow you to see identifications that others have made by identified taxon. (for example, here are all the bird identifications that i made for others: it would be nice to consolidate that page into the Explore page.

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I also wish for taxonomic and perhaps also alphabetic sorting in addition to most observed sorting, which is also great. Otherwise for me the Explore page is nearly perfect.


I love separating my observations by taxonomy as it makes it easier and more interesting to see what I’ve found and cross-compare. I would also love to see some more options for the filters.

  1. I understand why this isn’t in place as it would get cluttered; but if it’s manageable, divide up the “Other Animals” filter. I myself have cnidarians, crustaceans, myriapods, and cartilaginous fish all labeled as “Animalia,” when I believe they deserve their due time. Would it be feasible to possibly combine bony and cartilaginous fish, or mollusks and crustaceans together into singular respective filters? Or something like that?

  2. An option for the little blazes that appear next to observations’ species names (Endemic, Introduced, Endangered+All its subcategories). It’s a pleasant surprise to find that an organism I identified registers one of these attributes, but it would be much more convenient to find and group them all with a click of a few buttons.

(It should be noted that I mostly use iNaturalist for mobile so if one of these features exists on desktop I apologize)


Been thinking about this as well, Would make searching much easier, especially when you are identifying a specific group as well as adding observations. Here are my suggestions for “better” grouping.

  • All insects, crustaceans and arachnids into a “Arthropods” group
  • All fish (including lampreys and hagfish) into a “Fish” group
  • A Cnidarian group
  • A Annelids group
  • A Algae group

That’s about what i can think of right now that i feel is needed to improve the search

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The categories section in the filter box doesn’t have “other animals” as a choice which is annoying to me since I have an interest in crustaceans. Please add the icons for both “other animals” and “kelp, diatoms, and allies” (which is also missing).

Within the Filter window I’d like to suggest filters for:

  • obscured location - any/yes/no
  • location accuracy - < Xm
  • observation licensing

It was pointed out to me I can set these via the URL, which is great, but exposing these via the user interface would be a huge benefit to making this functionality more discoverable and easy to use.

My specific use case is to apply these filters in the Identify page so that I can focus my efforts on identifications have accurate unobscured locations and licensed under an open license.

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I would like Accuracy as a filter, to find those I need to reducd to get them collected by Projects. I just spent several hours bulk editing several thousand of my obs to change the Accuracy of those few that I will never find otherwise.

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Like @tonyrebelo, I use the full-screen map view all the time. To see individual observations without closing the map:

  1. Click on the pinpoint for the observation.
  2. In the popup window showing the observation, right-click on either the image or “View.”
  3. The observation appears in a new tab.

I do encounter a problem in Chrome: I still have to close the map view to go to the tab for the observation. I don’t think I have to do that in Safari. Even if I do, I can still open a whole bunch of tabs from the map before having to switch out of the full-screen view.


Haven’t read through all the suggestions, so maybe this has already been mentioned…

Whether in the Filters interface, or just in the URL, I would like to be able to specify multiple values as “all are true” (AND operation) instead of just “any one is true” (OR operation).

For example, &place_id=50,53170 currently will show observations located in Nevada or located in the Mojave Desert.

I would like an option like &place_id=50+53170 that would show observations located both in Nevada and in the Mojave Desert – that is, in the area of overlap between the two regions.



Sort the observers tab by most species observed, rather than just re-ranking the top 500 observers by most species.


I don’t think this was requested yet (or maybe I just used the wrong search term), but if the ID count is going to be fixed, I’d like to be able to search/filter based number of IDs. In my experience, an observation with 9 or 10 IDs is less likely to need correction than one with only 2 or 3.

Edit: maybe instead? or in addition? Can we have the ability to search/filter by score?


Actually it would spare server resources and user time.
More and more often I have to wait 5 seconds before I can click on the observation to open it:

But once the page above is loaded, a click on the observation opens it quickly. So, there is really a performance issue specific to this intermediate page, useless if only 1 observation found.


Save user time perhaps which is important but in terms of server resources it may actually be more taxing on the server to have to look up and dynamically add to the page all the specific observation ID numbers versus a standard slightly altered search url as is done now.