iNat user and observation stats

#1

Hi, I’m doing a short presentation about iNaturalist and want to report on the total number of iNat users and observations. When I go to the Stats page and scroll down to the Users graph, the total appears to be about 1.6 million, and the Observations tab indicates about 20 million observations. However, if I just go to the Explore page, and turn off a specific location so that I’m viewing the whole world, the number of observations listed there is 17 million with 489K Observers and 70K Identifiers (I know many users both observe and ID, so that is double-counting), far below 1.6 million. Can someone please explain the discrepancies in numbers? I’m guessing a lot of “users” have registered but never bothered to post an Observation or make an ID. I would just like to say what the approx number of users and observations are, and if possible, be able to explain the discrepancy with the Explore page numbers. Thank you! Jon

#2

A large number of the accounts on the stats page are spam accounts. I think only the iNat staff would be able to give you accurate numbers on the number of accounts that have ever created an observation/identification/comment/message.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&subview=grid&verifiable=any&view=observers is your best bet for an easy-to-grab number since most people who add IDs also add observations. So ~629,000 observers. Be sure to uncheck “verifiable” in the filters since that excludes captive/cultivated observations.

#3

20MM+ includes non-verifiable observations.
17MM+ is only verifiable.
there are probably a lot of users who haven’t made observations. i personally started that way, just making identifications for a month before starting to add observations. there are probably a lot of organizational accounts that will never make observations or people who add one observation just to get something identified and then delete the observation. probably some people sign up just to try out the system but never get beyond that.

#4

There’s some weird stuff going on with the stats on this site. On the Explore page my account is listed with 11,789 observations, on my profile I have 11,803, and if I do a search I come up with 11,795. Not a huge number difference, but the discrepancies make me wonder how accurate any of the other stat reporting is. Same with identification numbers, on Explore I have 163,797 IDs, on my profile 168,657.

I don’t know if this is helpful, just thought I’d mention it.

#5

difference is non-verifiable

i get 11789

identifications are counted a little differently i think, but i think discrepancies here have to do with ID changes, among other things.

UPDATE: i’m now consistently getting 11796 instead of 11789 for verifiable stuff. so maybe there are/were some sort of edits, updates, or indexing going on the background. 11803 remains unchanged.

#6

Ok cool, thanks everyone. This is helpful.