Pitfalls if I make a public video about iNaturalist?

In the past I’ve done a lot of live presentations about iNaturalist to groups, but with covid-19, I’m being asked more and more to produce these as videos. If I do, is it ok to make them public? I’m just an iNaturalist volunteer, not staff. This seems like the kind of thing one sees on YouTube all the time, but I want to check if there are any intellectual property issues or pitfalls I want to avoid.

So far I have an introductory video and one on taking plant photos. Others will be about using the database for various missions, growing your iNaturalist community, etc. (I don’t think the intro one is as good as your tutorial, but they wanted me to do it.)


I think this kind of thing sounds like an excellent resource, and I don’t see many downsides. I guess the only thing to avoid would be appearing as though you represent staff, but, as you already brought that up, it’s obviously on your radar. I hope the vids turn out great!


Can you provide links to your videos? I’d like to watch the one on taking plant photos.


I’m polishing it, but will post when it’s up!


Like @cthawley said, just don’t misrepresent your relationship to iNaturalist (or iNaturalist itself). You can find the logos on the press page. I look forward to seeing it!

Here’s a recent video about iNaturalist & exploring at home from It’s Ok to Be Smart.


Seconded, and this seems like a great topic for the new Educators forum! https://forum.inaturalist.org/c/educators/30


There are more videos


I have been wanting to make videos about iNaturalist, and using iNaturalist, on my YouTube channel as well. Does your statement apply to any of us? Can we also use iNaturalist distribution maps and seasonality diagrams in videos about species and habitats? It does seem like we would have to restrict ourselves to using photos set as public domain or having appropriate creative commons licenses. Or is our use of iNaturalist material considered as Fair Use as long as the videos are educational?


So I’ve now got an introduction to iNat video (23 minutes) and one on taking photos of plants for iNaturalist (7 minutes). They are both at a beginner level. The Intro one covers how to submit an observation via cell phone and on the web, and then uses “explore” to plumb the database and “community” to contact other iNats. So there’s a lot of overlap with the official videos but not quite, and they have a local (Mississippi) emphasis. After some thought, I’m going to leave the videos as “unlisted” rather than “public” on youtube, mainly because I give my inat ID in the video and encourage people to tag me, and I don’t want to go wild with that. But anyone who wants to DM me through iNat (@janetwright), I’ll be glad to send you the links to the videos. Would be interested in what others are doing, too!


Yes and yes

If you are featuring any observation photos in your video, please do check that they have an appropriate license.

Use of the iNaturalist logo and wordmark are ok in the context of presenting about iNaturalist.

Sorry for not clarifying sooner!

1 Like

For those of you who asked about tips for photographing plants, the thread below has two much more detailed resources (one is a pdf and the other is a slide show) about this subject. My little video has a much more modest goal – to encourage beginner iNaturalists to take multiple photos that show various aspects of the plant (preferably in focus). :-)


Thanks! I’m excited to show my viewers how iNaturalist can help them!