Re-name "Collection Projects" to something more accurate such as "Saved Observation Filter" or "Saved Observation Search"

Platform(s), such as mobile, website, API, other: Mobile and website

URLs (aka web addresses) of any pages, if relevant: N/A

Description of need:
Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin: since “Collection Projects” are, per the FAQ, " just [a] saved observations search," it’s inaccurate to call them “Projects” and challenging for new users to understand. Updating the name and removing Collection Projects from the lists of projects users can select when making observations would do wonders to decrease this confusion.

I am fine with the existing name, and calling them ‘projects’ is fine, at least in my opinion.

I use a collection project to help monitor the biodiversity in the area I’m responsible for as part of my conservation job.

It’s not just a place as I, like many who set up collection projects, made a distinct shape that is not one of the established iNat places.

Modifying the list of projects isn’t a bad idea, but what I would suggest is that there is a marker or note to indicate that your observation will be included in X project rather than removing said project from the list.


I don’t get at all how those are not projects, if that’s what most projects are, they function as such, and are more than just filters used when setting them up, FAQ is used to explain to new users how each type of project function, so of course it’s described in a simple way there.


Welcome to the forum! :handshake:

A project, by definition is: “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim”.

The FAQ linked to says “Observations are never “in” a collection project; they either meet the project’s requirements and are automatically displayed when the project page is loaded, or they don’t.”

These projects collect observations that address it’s aim by using a filter. I think the name seems to fit pretty well–once you know what it does. There may be a more descriptive name out there though.


I’m fine with the term “collection project,” which seems pretty descriptive to me. I wish iNat would re-name the “traditional projects,” as this term means nothing (what “tradition”?). The name “Custom projects” would be a lot better for “traditional” projects.


Don’t forget to vote for your own observation! @happylittlepothos

I can see how these fall under “projects”, but I do think the proposed new names are more precise descriptors for what a “collections project” actually is and so I would prefer them. Just because the FAQ explains in more depth doesn’t mean we can’t head off any confusion at the start with a better name.

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Grandfathered in? That is what we started with?

Like the booby trap Placeholder which disappears when you add the first ID (because WE know it is temporary - grumbles off)
iNat could be courteous and call it
TEMPORARY Placeholder
then newbies wouldn’t get sideswiped.

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Brainstorming alternative names:
Automatic Project (Collection) vs. Manual Project (Traditional) because the main difference is whether observations are automatically or manually added. The third kind, Umbrella, is already very descriptive.

Another set of alternatives:
Filter-based Project vs. Curated Project


I would get behind the Automatic vs. Manual Project proposal if you make it a feature request.

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Filtered versus curated

yeah i use collection projects as outreach, for instance, for documenting species in a park or a town area. I don’t think the word ‘Project’ should be removed. The collection projects are not just the search, they can have associated fields, journal entries, and other things like that. They also can function as ways to share private coordinates with people running the projects