Collection Project Observation Requirements Settings

Modified on Tue, 30 Jan 2024 at 08:11 AM

Below are the various possible settings available when creating or editing a Collection Project's observation requirements

First Section

  • Include Taxa: Search for and select that taxa you would like to include in your project. You can choose multiple taxa (eg Mosses, Birds, Frogs, etc) of any taxonomic level. Leaving this blank means that the project will include observations of all taxa that meet the other requirements of the project.

  • Include Places: Search for and select the iNaturalist Places that would include observations you want to have in your project. You can choose multiple places, and clicking on the place name in the pop-up menu will show you its boundary. Leaving this blank = “all Places”. For instructions on how to create a new Place on iNaturalist, go to the Places tab on our Getting Started guide.  


    Note that observations with a large accuracy circle, or with a geoprivacy of Obscured or Private, may not appear in small Places, unless the project settings allow users to trust admins with hidden locations. Here's an explanation for why that is.

  • Include Users: Search for and select iNaturalist users whose observations you would like to include in your project. The project will then only display observations made by those users, provided the observations meet the other project requirements. You can add multiple users. For situations involving groups, such classes and trips, this is a good way to only include observations by members of your group.  


    Do not add Users if you are using the Project Members Only setting (see below). In cases where both are chosen, the project will only show observations from users listed in the Users section.

  • Exclusion Filters: Use these to exclude taxa, places, or users from the criteria you chose above. For example in the case of taxa, you could always create a taxon filter of Butterflies and Moths (Lepidoptera), and then create an exclusion filter for the taxon Butterflies (Papilionoidea). This would cause the project to display only moths and not butterflies. Further examples can be found here.

  • Project Members Only: Check this box to only include observations made by users who have joined your project. For example, you might want to make a project for your remote learning class - check this box and have your students join the project. The project will then only show their observations (you will have to exclude yourself using an exclusion filter if you don't want your own observations to be included).  


    Do not add accounts under Users (see above) if you are using the Project Members Only setting. In cases where both are chosen, the project will only show observations from users listed in the Users section.

Second Section

  • With Annotation: This allows you to include observations which have annotations of a particular attribute (e.g. life stage), or a particular attribute and value (e.g life stage = adult). Currently there is a limit of one annotation filter per project. Do not select this unless your project is specifically for collecting data of this type. Most observations on iNaturalist are not annotated and thus won't appear in your project.

  • Data Quality: Select the Quality Grade(s) of the observations you would like to include in your project. Definitions for each Quality Grade can be found here. Selecting none = "all Quality Grades".  By default, only Reserach Grade and Needs ID are selected. You most likely do not want to select only "casual" for your project.

  • Media type: Select the type of media, that you require an observation to have in order to be included in your project.

  • Establishment Means: Change this if you want your project to only include Native, Endemic or Introduced taxa, like this project. Note that not all places and taxa have Establishment Means added to them. You can add them if you like, here's how.

Third Section

  • Date Observed: Select a single date, a range of dates, or which month(s) of the year the observations must be be observed on in order to be included in your project.

    • Any/Exact: "Any" means that all observations that meet the project's other requirements will be included, regardless of their observed-on date. "Exact" means the observation must have an observed-on date (local to the observation) that matches the date you enter here.

    • Range: Observations must have an observed-on date within the range you specify here. By default, the date picker also adds the current time and your account's time zone in the format of YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM HH:MM.

      For example, the date range above starts at January 3rd, 2024, 3:27 PM, -8:00 UTC/GMT and runs to January 24th, 2024, 3:27 PM, -8:00 UTC/GMT.You can edit those dates, times, and time zones to your needs. You can also remove all the time and time zone information and just leave dates if you want to count whole days, like 2024-01-03. If you do want to include a time, you must also include time zone information as well.

    • Months: Choose one or more months of the year here. The project will include all observations with observed-on dates in those months regardless of year.

  • Preview Observations with these Observation Requirements: clicking this button will take you to an Explore page that includes all the obvservations meeting your project's requirements. This is a good way to test them and make sure your settings are correct before saving them.

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