I recently posted this to Facebook. It may be of use/interest to Inaturalist. I hope so! My post:
An Inaturalist update: Inaturalist is a citizen science project with which I’ve become obsessed. You take pictures of organisms, upload them to the website via the app, and the social network identifies them.
With so many things spiraling out of control, particularly in the nature department, it is pleasant to think about one thing that is spiraling in the opposite direction: Inaturalist has been in a state of frenzied growth over the past couple of years. It started in 2008.
-By 2012, 100,000 observations had been uploaded.
-By 2015, 1 million had.
-By 2016, it hit 2 million.
-By 2017, 5 million.
-By 2018, there were 15 million.
-In August of 2019, they announced that 25 million observations had been uploaded.
In the past month, the community has raced to 26,748,845 observations, representing 235,176 species.
There are some fascinating graphs here. One shows the exponential growth in the number of observations. Another shows the linear upward growth in species represented in the database. A third shows the linear downward trend in number of new species per observation, from 1 in 1 in 2008 to 1 in 400 today.
There are now 730,958 observers, and 96,293 identifiers. There are nifty monthly and all-time leaderboards, showing who is doing the most observing and identifying.
I am proud of the 1366 observations I’ve contributed since 2017, representing 382 distinct species. I can now identify most of the trees where I live. I know what a long-leaved lupine and germander speedwell look like.
But I am small-time compared to Inaturalist Stakhanovites like ck2az, who has submitted 28408 observations, or silversea_starsong, who has identified 3356 distinct species, or rajibmaulick, who has identified a jaw-dropping 169717 observations—all in 2019 alone.
Why do I care? Inaturalist documents the awesome profusion and variety of nature. It cures “plant blindness,” the condition of being unable to identify any of the plants one sees from day to day. It sharpens one’s vision and appreciation of the natural world. It puts one in touch with a rapidly growing, global community of fellow amateur naturalists. And in this moment of rampant environmental devastation, it reminds one of the amount of nature that remains to be defended.
So please sign up! It is free. There are no ads. My username is raphael1c. Follow me, and I’ll follow you. So curious to see what you observe.