What are your favorit things about iNat?

I like that iNat isn’t like all the other social medias. Would you call it a social media? And it’s a great place to get information


The social part of iNat is definitely nice, so that I don’t feel alone when I’m happy about some obscure find. But I can share those finds in my facebook group and a German nature forum I belong to. What I value most is how iNat stores and organises my photos, with map, calendar and lifelist and updates the wrong identifications. I especially value the storing of data since my external hard drive with all the photos crashed and I don’t know yet whether it will be possible to retrieve them.


I like that iNat is an archive of what/when/where I saw a particular species. I especially like that it is a place for me to keep a life list, a high quality one at that because my own IDs can get corrected or confirmed by others. I also like to see how the species I’ve seen are taxonomically related, so the idented tree of observed taxa is one of my favorite features.


That’s the first “all living” website I met, much easier than using forums, begging for ids of a few photos. iNat is a place to store your finds and it motivates you to go out more, I deleted many thousands of photos before I found out about iNat, because I believed those photos were useless, I imagine many users felt similar and others can find a new reason to naturalize when they will find about iNat. I like creating lists and filling them in, seeing what you can find makes it more clear that you need to observe more. Leaderboards also can be a strong motivation factor, even though some take it too far.
iNat has a strong social aspect, it would be something completely different without it, I don’t like choosing between it and e.g. taonomy/observations/science, they all work together. The downside is of course everybody is a volunteer and there’re only as many people ready to do real work with no payment.


A lot of people gave their answers to this on another thread: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/what-is-it-that-you-love-about-inat/34545?u=dallon


The working scientists (some of them) resent being reminded that iNat IS social media first. Encouraging NON-scientists to ‘see nature’ is the purpose of iNat.

If your photos are on your computer, for your eyes only, that, is not social media. Every observer who hopes for an ID is relying on social media. We are a neurodiverse community, treading gently on each other’s feelings. Slowly iNat is beginning to show up on Google, bringing in new people.

My pre-digital photos on print are not worth the effort of adding. But I have a resource of photos from my blog and there I can retrieve the good stuff to fill out my lifelist. I have seen … now where and when is the photo.

That we get new species added to CV each month has added an even better favourite layer to the iNat experience! Bonus points since we no longer have to climb the Hundred Obs Mountain first - the one I noticed has only 19 obs - which means we will be adding rare and unusual species to same old seen everywhere stuff :heart_eyes:


I like iNaturalist in how it engages more people to go out, explore, and gain an appreciation of the natural world.


I like iNat because it allows me to ID organisms that I know nothing about, and gives multiple opinions on an observation. It also allows me to see what organisms are where.


Interesting to see your tree. Can you tell me how to get to mine?

@JaneBP Here’s the link to yours: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/taxa?user_id=janebp

Thanks so much! That was very interesting to see!

Yes, iNat is a part of social media. It fosters a community of like-minded people who share and assist in identification of their observations of nature.

My favourite things about iNat start with its rules, in particular the rule that we all assume that posters mean no harm. I like that that rule is not lip service and egregiously bad behaviour is dealt with, mostly without undue arbitrariness.

I like that iNat is a non-profit that doesn’t treat its members as commodities to be monetized.

I like that its paramount mission is to foster learning about life on Earth and I like that it uses the learning process to build real knowledge.

I like the people I meet on iNat (mostly).

I like that when I was recovering from a nasty COVID experience it provided me with an easy-going way to be out in the world. I like that it reconnected me with the broad interests that had led me to a career in biology but had languished under the burden of managerial paperwork.

I like the forum, although I haven’t had much time for it recently.


Besides the typical answers of “I like inat because I use it to record my findings of the natural world and in doing so gain a greater appreciation for it”, I also find myself thinking something like “I wonder what beetle species I can find in Indonesia”, and then enjoying looking through the species of that taxon in that location.


I like that an iNat observation is always about that particular find in that place at that time. In this way, iNat becomes a collectively created and maintained audiovisual diary about all forms of live.

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One thing I really like to do with iNaturalist that I have not seen mentioned here is “armchair travel”. On the website version, I like to click on the Community > People option in the top bar to see Recently Active people. I select someone who has just been active, then go to that person’s profile and click on their observations whilst holding my breadth hoping for a bit of a generalist, for when those lovely squares fill the screen, they often provide such a sense of place, I am transported for a moment.

For example:
Welcome to Croatia!
Travel to South Africa!
No Way! Norway!

I do not get to travel much but just for an instant, I can imagine what it would be like to observe in that faraway meadow, sometimes at a seashore on another continent, or beside a creek on a mountain I have never seen. It’s just a lovely little thing those pictures all arrayed do.


I think a very underrated feature is the Filter button. So powerful.

I love the little secret ‘Fav’ in the ‘Sort By’ dropdown.

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Is a side effect, but I really love the Observation Map, is also acts like a traveler map, showing really clear where I have been, and where I should go to these areas with no observations. Is like these skratch or push pin maps. Please, I know I’m alone in this!!


From FB via Google Lens, coming home to iNat for the best answer.
Just your ‘typical’, four petalled brassica
but Chile does it differently!

We are learning so much more about the natural world around us from observing and identifying and reading the forum. A few years ago we never imagined we would be able to identify different kinds of Bumblebees in the field by looking closely at them! The fact that Leafhoppers and Ambush Bugs exist, and that we can find them, has changed our perspective of the world. We were more of a humanities student; this is our entry into learning about science.


Oh yes, I love going on these trips too!