Show my own photos in "species list" in new Life List

The new lifelist feature - - vastly improves one of the perhaps lest emphasized functions of iNat, the ability organize your own listing on it. However, it is currently difficult to look through my own species if I have more observation of each of them. That’s because I have two options: either show all the observations individually, sorted by date - and see my own photos in the thumbnails - or switch to “species”, where I can nicely order it by taxonomy and see on item for each species - but with the default species photo, not mine.

I am thus proposing to add a function, which would work exactly as the “species” tab in life list right now, but would show my own observations instead, perhaps allowing me to tag, for each species, which of my photos is shown for it. Otherwise it could look and work exactly the same as the “species” tab does today, so making it hopefully easy to implement, as no new graphics interface is needed.

This would turn the lifelist into a “gallery of my species” - which is I think I currently keep for some families outside of iNat and having this here would for example motivate me to enter my 2400 species of bird to iNat in some capacity. So this makes me think that it could also motivate others to put more stuff here, which is, after all, the ultimate goal.

I was thinking something like this would be nice too, my thought was in the Species tab of Your Observations using Explore, which is what I usually use instead of my life list. But that seemed too specific, so I didn’t suggest it.

Ideas for Explore page improvements or changes can be added here:

I never though about it, simply because the “lifelist” option as it currently exists is just closer to the desired result than the “explore” page. But if the “explore” part gets a complete revamp, then it could make sense to have this there as well, that is a great point.

Yes this would be extremely useful. I find the default species photos are often unhelpful - for trees for example - because they tend to be centered on things such as flowers which are only visible for a very short period. Ideally they would show leaf from both sides, bark, form and then flowers and other key distinguishing features but more often than not they don’t. I found this thread because I was wondering if I could create my own species life list just as a special purpose private list.

Cheers Andrew

Possible, but would impact site performance and would have to be based on some sort of rule, not manually chosen. If implemented, it might have to be a view you have to manually toggle.

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Thanks for the reply! Manual toggle is fine I think, there is already plenty of such things. The need for automated selection is understandable, as implementation of the manual one would be more complex I imagine (with the added need to store this information).

Any news on this feature request? This would be particularly useful when sharing lists of species within specific areas (e.g. a nature reserve) on external websites using the provided widget code. It would make more sense and be more effective to show the pictures taken within the place rather than a random picture of the species taken somewhere else.


No updates, I’m sorry. However, dealing with site load is still a top issue for us so until that’s improved, I doubt this is something we’ll implement.


Just replying here to throw my name behind this idea. At least personally it would be a big driver for me to go out and try and get better photos of a lot of species (iNat is the main place I keep my non-bird lists, so I look at the lifelists page a lot).
Fully understand the need to prioritise improvements and that this sits down the list, no hurry or anything, just flagging my support for this idea next time y’all revamp the lists tools.

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I’d like to put in another vote for a way to have the Species section show my own photos. This has been something I’ve been hoping for for years. It’s really frustrating when I switch to the Species view that my own photos get replaced by the default ones.

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This is a wonderful suggestion!
Meanwhile, I use Lightroom and have smart collections that collate my best representative photos of each species into albums. Albums are named & sorted taxonomically. Creating them was a lot of work, since each photo has to be keyworded and I have to flag new species photos and change out poor photos for better ones as I take them.
The upside is that I can keep the best photos for quick reference outside iNaturalist for when I don’t have internet. I’ve seen too many online platforms abandoned over the years to ever solely rely on them to store this precious information for me.

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