Adding observations, images and locations to iSpot

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

  • 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)

If you don't have a photograph just 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 - you can click on these for extra guidance.)

You don't have to complete all the boxes on the "Add an observation" 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 are going to add an identification to your observation, please do make use of the "Get recommended" button, which will make sure your name is matched to a species dictionary whenever possible - this will ensure your observation ends up 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" for more information about the identification process.


As part of making an observation you'll need to provide the location for it. There are several ways to add the location:

  • the location may be added automatically when you upload a photo if you have used a camera that records location coordinates when it takes the photo.
  • find a new location by clicking on the "Use map" button which allows you to find your location on a map by searching by place name, post code or grid reference. When you have found the location you want, click it on the map, then click the "Done" button.
  • select a location you've previously created by starting to type its name and then selecting it from the list that appears. (You can see your existing Locations by going to your My Spot Map page.) If you have already added latitude and longitude details before clicking on an item from the displayed list then you will be asked if you want to use "All the details" or "Just the name". Selecting "All the details" will change all the current location details to that of your previously created one, whereas selecting "Just the name" will only change the name.

Note that when you set up the location, you can choose to hide its precise point on the map - if you tick the option for "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.

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