Using the iNaturalist Website

Four women photograph a toad at night

Want to use a better camera?  Want to upload a LOT of photos at one time?  Use the website instead of the app!  Go to and login.  Then follow these steps:

  1. From your iNaturalist dashboard, click Observations, then Add Observations on the observations page.
  2. Drag and drop your photos onto the screen.
  3. Click “Select All” at the top of the page to edit the information for all of your images at one time.  Or hold shift and click to select a subset of your images for which you wish to edit the information.
  4. Make sure the date and time are correct.  If not, click the date area to add it.
  5. If your camera does not have a built-in GPS, click the location area to add your location.
  6. Choose your geoprivacy settings.  Choose “obscured” if you do not want the exact location visible to everyone on iNaturalist – a great observation if you are sharing observations from home!  Remember that “private” observations are not shared with the City Nature Challenge at all and do not count toward our totals.
  7. Tap “Captive/Cultivated” if the species you’ve photographed is a pet or a garden plant, i.e. a species brought there by humans that did not arrive on its own. Don’t forget that the focus of this event is on WILD species though!
  8. No need to select a project to share your observations with the City Nature Challenge!  That will happen automatically.  Choose any other projects you’ve joined and want to contribute to by clicking “Projects” and selecting from your list.
  9. For each image (no shortcut here!), click the “Species” box.  Either type in the name of the species if you know it, or pause after you’ve clicked to let the image recognition algorithm run and make suggestions for you. It’s best not to guess! If you know a species is a bird, but do not know what type of bird it is, it is completely okay to type in “bird” and get help from others.
  10. Once all of your photos have at least a date/time, location, and identification, lick “Submit” to upload your observations to iNaturalist!

Things to consider when using the iNaturalist website:

  • You can use any camera, then bulk upload MANY images at one time.
  • You can bulk edit the data associated with the images.
  • You’ll need to find your location on the map – but there is a search function on the website!
  • The website is difficult to use in the field, which means you have to go back and remember to add your observations later.
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