iNaturalist App

iNaturalist App

Launch Tool

  • iPhone
  • iPod Touch
  • iPad
  • Android

You can use the iNaturalist app to snap a picture of your observations of the natural world and then share them with an online community of nature lovers at iNaturalist.org. You can use this app as a sort of mobile field notebook to help you keep track of the animals and plants you see in your community. Record the things you see as you hike around the countryside, take a walk around your neighborhood, visit a city park, or in your own backyard. Then, you can get help identifying the things you have photographed by syncing them with the iNaturalist online community.

To use this app, in the Observations section you should tap "Add" to record something you see. Then tap the camera icon to take a picture. You can add a species name and notes on your observation. Once you've added some observations, tap "Sync" to send them to iNaturalist.org.

There are several other sections to the app including: Map, which shows you a map of your area; Projects, which contains a list of projects you can join; and Settings.

Going Further

For Educators

You can use this app and its associated website with your students to help them identify and learn more about the plants and animals they see in their community. One good way to use the app with your students would be to set up a project, which is a collection of observations with a common purpose. To set up a project, you would need to go to the iNaturalist website and set up an account. Then you can start a project in which your students can participate. Or, you could have your students participate in one of the many projects already on the site.

When you create a project, you get to determine exactly what you want your students to look for, the location where they should look, the type of project (i.e., a contest, observation contest, asessment, etc.), rules for observation, and what kind of information your students should provide for each observation. You can even use the project to provide rules for etiquette or safety when students are outside searching for plants/or animals.

You also may want to consider providing students with written instructions on how to use the app or perhaps conduct a demonstration with them so they know what to do once they're out in the field.

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