Search and filter identifications

Jean is doing a great job identifying many species (particularly in Senna) and offering a good discussion of his rationale. Anything that helps him, helps Inaturalist in general. All his comments on improving searches for comments would also be helpful. I made several long explanations (often incorrect) in the past and would like to make corrections and follow ups, but I have no idea which species I commented on.


Thank you Eric for your support!

Features needed:

  1. Provide a search for observations where I put a comment (any comment).

This of course would be combined with other conditions, e.g. search for all observations where I put the taxon X as an ID AND any comment.


I just realized that this search feature would also fix this other request for creating a list with other people observations.

Indeed, it would be enough to put a keyword in a comment in an observation. Then, searching for this keyword in all my comments creates de facto a list of observations (under my exclusive control, which might be a limitation).

Some iNaturalist users prevent others from adding their observations to a Traditional Project to which they have not subscribed. But they can’t prevent others from writing a comment in their observations. At least, all observations are open to comments. We got it!

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Hi @jeanphillipeb. I think there is already an ability to search for some of the comments text and identification info that you’re looking for.

Here are searches for…

Are these helpful?

[Edited to add: However, comments and observations are separately searchable entities at present, and I’m not aware of any functionality that is able to combine comment and observation data into a single query. That would allow a search for “all observations IDed as this taxon that have comments by user X” or “all observations IDed as this taxon that have this specific text in a comment”.]


Yes, for sure it will help! Thank you.

Is there an help page that discloses all URL tricks?

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Most of them should be here:

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That forum post deals with URL tricks for exploring or identifying observations, not comments. We don’t really have one specific to comments, but there are not many URL parameters for comments, and @rupertclayton listed them all above.

They are actually all available at, though you only get the text search box (&q= parameter) if you first click on the “Comments by me” or “Comments on my observations” tabs. Not sure why the search box is not offered on the “All comments” tab – maybe because searching the entire comments database is server-intensive. But in any case, one can construct the URL on one of the other tabs first with text to search, then just remove the &mine= or &for_me= parameters in the URL and press enter to search the text of all comments.

Unfortunately, however, comments included as part of identifications are not yet included in comment searches – this is currently an active feature request. There are also URL tricks for searching identifications as mentioned farther above, but they do not yet include searching ID comment text. So this doesn’t completely address the original request of this topic.



I’d like to be able to download my identifications (or, ideally, other people’s identifications, too, but my own would be enough) as a csv file or spreadsheet.


OK. Now how to I find the taxon number (as opposed to name) and observer number (not username) for the people? Probably easy, but I don’t know.

If you look up a taxon by name, then the resulting URL contains the taxon ID.

On a user’s profile, the link to follow them contains their user ID:

Maybe somebody knows something less fiddly though.


Excellent! I knew there had to be something simple. I appreciate this.


most of those API parameters actually don’t work on the Identifications page. but i made something to help present the results of the API in a more human-friendly format.

it doesn’t provide an interface for inputting parameters – it relies on inputting parameters in the URL – but i figure that’s no worse than the existing Identifications page.

it was hard to decide which fields to include and how to lay them out, but i tried to provide something that gives a lot of information without too much clutter. if anyone has thoughts for how to lay things out better, i’m open to suggestions.

there were some requests that i could theoretically accommodate (ex. export, mapping, etc.), but the methods available to me to accomplish this would be super inefficient for really large record sets. so i decided against even going down that path.

i included the notes accompanying an ID as a column that is returned in the thing i noted above.

since the API doesn’t include an option to find ID taxon = Obs taxon, my thing won’t be able to filter by that, but i did include a column that tells you whether there is a match or not.


Is there a way to find/generate a list of my own IDs that I have subsequently withdrawn? I’ve looked through the URL hacks and other tips how to find my maverick IDs, but I can’t figure out how to get a list of IDs I have made in the past but withdrawn. If that’s not possible to do right now, I think it would be nice to add that as a possible search. It would be informative to find out if there are things I’m commonly misidentifying on first try.

I don’t know, but try checking at

This should get you there:

But it’ll also include where you withdrew but already added another ID (either to refine or change it completely), as well as where a taxon change automatically withdrew and reidentified for you.

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Thanks! Does it include those that I withdrew without making another ID suggestion after someone with more expertise came along?

Yes, it’s all withdrawn IDs regardless of whether you added another ID afterwards or not.

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Apparently I wrote this reply last year but then deleted it (I imagine by mistake):

With the Notifications revamp likely taking up a large amount of staff bandwidth, I don’t see the creation of a dedicated IDs search page happening for a while, although I can’t rule it out as an eventual feature. So for those of you who voted, it’s up to you whether or not you want to keep your vote here or not. You can still add ideas and comments. Another possibility would be to close this and start up a topic in General until we’re ready to tackle it.

I’m happy to keep this open for now, but I’ll emphasize this wouldn’t be implemented anytime soon if we do decide to do it.

I may have misidentified as Urticaceae some Lantana observations in Hong Kong like this one.

I would like to be able to search my IDs with location and taxon filters (just as we do for observations), to review them again for correction.

Same suggestion as here: make all filters available everywhere, wherever filtering is applicable.