Suggestion on how to include habitat images

You are welcome! My wife and I also use the Google Blogspot (here and here) and when my original idea was not working (because I had not made the images “shared”) I was thinking of using the blog storage as an alternate - I just wanted something slightly (very slightly) simpler.

For those not sure how to do this link in the description or journal, you can just add the following:

<img src=your copied image link goes here> 

<img src=>
results in

The bottom line is there are other external resources available for image storage to link them into a habitat photo for the observation description (thanks for that idea @kiwifergus ) or to link them into a Journal habitat post.


@danaleeling I just used your technique on my observation here and my journal post here and I would say it was very simple and succesful. :+1::+1:


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With the recent implementation of the new ‘multiple species DQA’ function, if I remember correctly there were also comments from iNat stuff (I think it was @tiwane) regarding possible future options to mark the subject of focus and also to associate plant phenology annotations with specific photos in an observation (e.g. showing flower in one photo and fruit in another on the same plant).

If this is really something in development, I’d like also the option considered to mark habitat shots accordingly.

Three advantages come to my mind if this would become reality:

  • users won’t have to use external photo storage and HTML-coding to show the habitat in the notes or comments
  • less habitat photos on the taxon pages
  • possibilities to specifically search for habitat photos, which could benfit research and conservation efforts

and one further aspect: it was suggested in this thread to create and then delete a photo, while using the URL for showing the photo in the notes is not a solution. @danaleeling’s photo in this observation
( disappeared meanwhile

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I’d like to add that for some species habitat photos are actually really, really helpful for identification.

Although iNaturalist does generally discourage habitat and if something were to have a habitat image the specimen should be in the shot, etc. etc. sometimes the specimen is to small or it is simply impossible to include it in the photo. Habitat photos are really important for some species not just for identification, but to help learn about and understand the species. One species, a globally declining one, Latrodectus katipo when observed if has a habitat photo is incredibly helpful both for scientific research and for the identification because it is very habitat specific.

An idea I have is perhaps a box should be made similar to "captive/cultivated’, but for “Habitat Photo Included” so that when a user clicks it and incites that it has been added a message gets sent to them to remind them when and how habitat photos should be used. Of course, that could support the fact to add habitat photos and get people to be adding more and in cases when it is useful… Although, if they would get a message explaining habitat photos and that they should only be used when needed/appropriate perhaps that would be better.


I want to encourage habitat shots. Seeing only a closeup of a butterfly is much less useful when you cannot even see what plant it is perched on, when scrolling through images to glean data about the behaviour, habitat, and ecological interactions of species. With a zoomed out photo of the butterfly showing the plant as common, iNat could be a huge resource for these types of things, even for a casual browser. Of course, the zoomed in photo of the butterfly should be the first one, and other photos should include the identifying information as needed, but I want to lean towards including less zoomed in photos, and more photos.


I sometimes add habitat photos as an observation on their own, with a comment

This photo offers context for identifiable observations of this observation group. It is not meant for the identification of a specific species.

and add the observation group identifier to it and all related observations, sometimes including the link to those observations in a comment (and the other way round from the individual observation to the habitat photo and other observations).

Previously, I also checked the cultivated box to take the obsevration out of the needs id queue. With the new DQA feature available, I use that instead.

What do you ID observations like that as, if not meant for a specific species? Just like “plants”, or something like that?

Generally, I would think Kingdom Plantae would cover it all, but I’d say “State-of-matter Life” would probably be the most correct.

The new - one subject DQA ?
Is intended for multiple photos, each with a different taxon.

Habitat photos still need their own solution.

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Personally, I feel habitat images are fine, even great, as long as the organism itself is somewhere visible in the photo.


Neither of these are appropriate uses of those DQAs in that situation. For an observation where the identified taxon is not visible in any of the photos, downvoting “Evidence of Organism” would be a better option I think.


If you omit a date/and or location, the observation will automatically be casual without needing any DQA and regardless of whatever ID is applied to it.

Though I can’t think of any of my observations where simply including an uncropped photo or taking a second photo from a greater distance (with the organism still recognizably present even if not IDable) would not be sufficient to provide a sense of the habitat.


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