What technologies and data sources does the project use?

Modified on Tue, 06 Feb 2024 at 05:36 PM

The central iNaturalist database is PostgreSQL, with heavy reliance on elasticsearch for search. The web application is built using the Ruby on Rails framework, and our API is built around Express. Our web frontend is a mix of plain Rails views and React for more interactive views.


The iNaturalist iPhone and Android apps are both developed using native tools for their respective platforms. Seek is built with React Native.

Most useful data on iNaturalist is provided by users. Maps and geocoding services come from Google Maps, except in the iPhone app where they are from Apple Maps. We utilize Flickr and Wikimedia Commons as sources for some images used on taxon pages, as well as the Catalogue of Life and a variety of other data sources to import taxonomic information. For a list of taxonomic authorities and policies, see the Curator Guide. Many of the geopolitical boundaries we use originally came from GADM.

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