Relationship between iNaturalist and iRecord

I have been recording UK observations for a couple of years using the iRecord system. I have now discovered iNaturalist, like it and am using it for my observations from outside the UK. My question is what to do about my existing (>2000) and future UK observations. Is there a mechanism to migrate between iRecord and iNaturalist (including images) like there is for Flickr? Were I to migrate would I need to wipe my iRecord records to prevent scientific compromise through duplicate data for any studies drawing data from both systems? If duplicates are OK is there any mechanism to propogate and synchronise new records entered in iRecord into iNaturalist or vice versa. Is there any communication/co-operation between the two projects?


Welcome to the forum @rkl! @tiwane or @inat_staff might be able to answer your questions.

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See here for ‘some’ info:

and also see here:

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Thanks. That clarifies the relationship and the way the information flows and makes it clear that I moving what I have built in iRecord to iNaturalist would not be a good idea. I also think that switching from iRecord to iNaturalist for future UK observations would create unnecessary work at the NBN end so I will continue using iRecord for UK observations.


For everyone else’s reference, this looks like the definitive statement from iRecord:


I´d love to know if any of these issues are resolvable at iNaturalists end…
Are any of them issues that limit data flow in other countries that might be addressed any time soon?

At the very least point 5 sounds plausible to resolve at one end?!

Point 7 is a non-issue IMO. I’ve made bad identifications and uploaded them in iRecord just as I have here! Perhaps more simply just related to iNaturalists broader user base. From one identifier I heard mentioning this, it also seemed to be related to a glut of bad autosuggests - which in the instance he mentioned is already significantly better… and will only continue to develop with time as the ML resolves common species.

Point 2 I wonder about also - one identifier on iRecord forum discussing this said it was fairly simple to resolve using existing filters when importing.

I think @bazwal said on another thread that he is uploading to both… which I´m currently considering.

I tried downloading a spreadsheet from iNaturalist and then uploading it into iRecord, but this so far seems very difficult due to iRecords photo upload limitations via spreadsheet…
Also slightly frustrating if some of the architecture for this is already in place and just needs fine-tuning!..(or will be resolved in the near future).


Many people post their bird observations to both eBird and iNaturalist, and both contribute to GBIF so I imagine there are many duplicate records already from that. People have asked if there are issues with that and there’s been discussion but I haven’t seen any major objections so I’m guessing it’s not a big deal to have the same observations on both websites.

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Ref the iRecord comments (

Comment 1: Although it would be good to have feedback from UK expert data verifiers to iNaturalist I don’t see it as a ‘deal breaker’ - the data is being brought into the UK system and as long as UK verifiers are happy with their verifications then lack of feedback, although a shame, does not seem worth bothering about - perhaps GBIF and users of GBIF would think differently - it would be interesting to have comments from them here.

Comment 2: Surely there should be a software solution to the removal of duplicate data - I don’t see this as an insurmountable issue.

Comment 3: I would think this is an education issue which iNaturalist should look into with their users - the date and location should always be allied to the observation - if a specimen is taken home and photographed later then on entering the observation the recorder should amend the date and location to match the actual observation and not allow the date and location of the photo (EXIF data) to over-ride this.

Comment 4: Blurring of location details to protect important species is a common aspect of record management - surely discussions between iRecord and iNaturalist can resolve this issue ??

Comment 5: The actual names of recorders can be important in understanding a persons experience and should be held with and passed forward with any observations/records. Again, discussion required between iRecord and iNaturalist !!

Comment 6: Personally I would like to see all relevant observations/records from iNaturalist passed into iRecord wheher they have reached “Research Grade” or not - I do not see where such data comes from as being relevant - records entered into iRecord can be without photos and can hold little extra information other than species, recorder, location and date - surely no different form any record on iNat ??

Comment 7: Again, I do not see the difference between records entered into iRecord and those entered in iNaturalist - a record is a record and they all need/require verification no matter where they are entered. I cannot help but feel a little disillusioned here and worry about NIMBYism creeping in. I also worry about the fact that iRecord verifiers and volunteers and in some cases are already close to being overwhealmed by the volume of data - if that is the issue causing a ‘lack of interest’ in combining teh iNaturalist data then improved solutions need to be found to aid the iRecord verifiers.

Steve J. McWilliam.


There are tons of examples of this happening on iNaturalist. It’s difficult for other users to tell what the situation is or how to deal with it. If I see an observation of a dead insect on a white background, I usually leave a comment asking if the date and location are accurate for when the insect was last alive and wild. Usually the observations are made by new users who make a few observations for a school project and then never return. Should I mark the date or location as inaccurate before receiving a response? Doing so or not doing so will both result in mistakes.


It seems like a possible solution to many of these issues, if there was interest, would be for iRecord, or indeed regional recording schemes themselves, to create traditional projects on iNaturalist, and import only from those projects. This would be a way of capturing data from observers who choose to be included, and who are attentive to the requirements of recording schemes and record centres, while excluding the large number of records from more casual users, which may be more likely to have issues with locational accuracy, date errors, absence of observer name, or misidentifications.


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