iSpot: Sharing nature
iSpot: Sharing nature

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iSpot: Sharing nature

Adding observations, images and locations to iSpot

Observations are the main thing on the site. To make an observation, you need to provide:

  • a photo and/or description of your observation
  • where you saw it (the location)
  • when you saw it (date)
  • what you saw (the identification, if you are able to suggest one – this is optional)
Find out how to add an observation on iSpot.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

If you don't have a photograph you can describe what you saw in as much detail as possible, including size, colour, behaviour etc. You can make observations simply by clicking on the 'Add an observation' button. Follow the guidance to add details of your observation and upload any photos that you have. (Look out for the small grey question marks – click on these for extra guidance.) You don't have to complete all the boxes on the page, but it can help get a good identification if you give as much information as possible.

If you want to see all the observations you have made so far, go to 'My Spot' and choose the 'Observations' tab towards the top of the page.


If you add an identification to your observation, use the list of names via the 'Get recommended' button, which will make sure your name is matched to a species dictionary whenever possible. This will ensure your observation is placed in the correct group on iSpot, and means that you will be able to see any other observations of the same species. See iSpot etiquette [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] for more information about the identification process.


When you add an observation you are asked to give the location for the observation. You can create a new location or if it is a location you've used before you can start typing in its name and it will appear. (You can see your existing Locations by going to 'My Spot' and choosing the 'Map' tab towards the top of the page.) If you are creating a new location, it is possible to type in the latitude and longitude if you know them, but most people click on the 'Use map' button, which allows you to find your location on a map, searching by place name, postcode or grid reference. When you have found the location you want, click it on the map, then click 'Done'.

Note that when you set up a location, you can choose to hide its precise point on the map. If you tick the option to 'Hide precise location' it will be displayed on iSpot as a 1km grid square, and other users will not be able to see the precise location. This might be useful for your home address for example.


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