This tutorial is directed towards former users of BowerBird.org.au to discuss the differences between projects on the two sites.
On BowerBird anyone could create a project and anyone could join a project. Once you joined a project you could add your sightings to them. There was a bug where you didn’t necessarily see posts if they weren’t also added to a project you were a member of. The most popular projects were for generic life forms (e.g. “Insects and Inverts”) but some projects were also for particular sites, parks or other reserves.
On iNaturalist the first sort of project isn’t really needed as there are easy search filters to apply once you go to “Explore”.
Having a project for a particular site isn’t really needed either because the advanced filters can do that for you but creating a project for this allows it to be shared easier than an advanced filter.
In iNat there are currently two types of projects, as well as “traditional” projects.
- Collection Projects automatically find observations based on its criteria. This sort of project would be used for a bioblitz where the restrictions would generally be limited for a particular day for a particular location - these are all optionally set in the project parameters. Other parameters include limiting to particular taxa or people (users). These projects are convenient as nobody has to manually add records.
- Umbrella Projects are used to hold a bunch of Collection Projects. For example, there is an umbrella project for the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria that lists all the excursion projects.
- Traditional Projects are still available but in most cases they are no longer required. These can have different criteria but one requirement is that observations must be added manually to them (i.e. such a project needs to be added to an observation). This is most similar to how projects on BowerBird worked.
In most cases a Collection Project is all that you need.
If you want to create a project or aren’t even sure if you need to create a project you should ask in this forum. There are also tutorials for iNaturalist projects so you could search first and the answer may already exist.