Citizen science and global biodiversity
Citizen science and global biodiversity

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Citizen science and global biodiversity

3 Browsing iSpot

When using iSpot for the first time, a good place to start feeling your way around the site is to take a look at some of the latest observations. As mentioned in Section 2, anyone can see what’s on the site without registering by going to the home page [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (Figure 2). Then click on the photos of latest observations that are shown in the first carousel of images with latest observations, as well as observations that are not yet identified. If you have registered and logged in, you will also see a live feed of other people logged on to the site.

iSpot homepage
Figure 2 homepage

You will notice that, in addition to the main global view of the site, iSpot has other, localised page views, called ‘communities’ (Figure 3). These are currently broken down into the following: Global, UK and Ireland, Chile, Southern Africa, and Hong Kong. Depending on your location, you may choose to navigate to one of these. Your browser will remember your selected community the next time you visit, and you can switch to any of the communities at any time.

iSpot Search bar
Figure 3 Selecting a community in iSpot from the Taskbar

There is a wide range of wildlife posted on the site. In order to navigate through this you can filter through the species groups to find the one you are interested or filter out those unconnected with the species you would like identified. To do this, under the ‘Latest observations’ carousel look for ‘Filter by group’ and select the icon representing the iSpot species group you are interested in. There are nine categories to choose from: amphibians and reptiles, birds, fish, fungi and lichens, invertebrates, mammals, other organisms, plants, and all species (see Figure 4).

iSpot icons
Figure 4 iSpot species group icons

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371