By default - due to the default CC-BY-NC - license it is not allowed to reuse an observation on Wikipedia (or any other platform of the Wikimedia ecosystem. Yet there are a little over 36k observations reused on the Wikimedia ecosystem. This is possible since is is possible to change the license of observations on iNaturalist to one of the licenses compatible with the Wikimedia ecosystem. These are CC0, CC-BY and CC-BY-SA. Here I’ll describe the steps to follow to reuse your observations on for example Wikipedia articles. This tutorial will have two sections. First I’ll describe how to change the license and secondly, I’ll show how to import an image from iNaturalist to Wikimedia Commons, the media repository of the Wikimedia ecosystem. It is not possible to directly use the image from iNaturalist.
Select a compatible license
- Click on Account settings in the menu on the top right corner
- In the Settings windows go to “Content & Display”
- Scroll to the bottom of that page, where you will be able to switch the license of your observations, your photo’s and your sounds.
- Select one of the Wikimedia compatible licenses. The Wikimedia compatible licenses are indicated with a blue icon.
- Don’t forget to save the setting before leaving this page
Import observations into Wikimedia Commons
The default way to upload iNaturalist observation (with a compatible license) is to use the upload form. This is a multistep process that involves first downloading the image from iNaturalist to your local computer before uploading it to commons.
However, there is an extension that allows directly importing images of observations to Wikimedia commons. This extension needs to be enabled first. It builds on iNaturalist taxon identifiers being available in Wikidata. I will not yet describe the steps on how to add iNaturalist taxon IDs to Wikidata, yet. Happy to do so in another thread. When a taxon described on Wikidata contains a mapping to the iNaturalist taxon ID, the iNaturalist2Commons user script allows an easier way to import iNaturalist observations. I refer to the install instructions on the iNaturalist2Commons page.
Once installed it is possible to import iNaturalist observations (with a compatible license) to Wikimedia commons using the following steps.
- Navigate to a category page of a taxon: e.g. **Category:**Otospermophilus_variegatus
- The following button will show:
- Pushing the iNaturalist import button will lead to a window with images from iNaturalist that are eligible for import:
- Select one of the image e.g.:
- and push upload image. This will open another window. Like with changing licenses on iNaturalist, it is important to not leave the page yet, but to confirm the upload by clicking on the “upload file” button at the bottom. Navigating away from this page with this confirmation steps means that the image will not be uploaded.
Once the image is uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, it is possible to reuse it on any Wikipedia article (across the different language versions)