Lightroom Plugins
   iNaturalist Lookup
   iNaturalist Publish

iNaturalist Lookup Plugin

iNaturalist is a website that helps us all explore nature and share with each other.

The plugins I have created are to help you integrate Lightroom with iNaturalist.

This plugin allows you add to your own iNaturalist fields to your photos. First you must select one or more photos. Once the plugin is started, a dialog will appear where you can enter a iNaturalist keyword, for example a common name like "Belted Kingfisher" or scientific name like "Ceryle alcyon". You can also enter part of the names, and choose from the top selections. Once selected it will store iNaturalist field values for each of the photos, for example:

  • Taxon Id
  • Taxon Name
  • Common Name
  • Rank

It will also add a Common Name and Scientific Name to the Caption.

You can add multiple names in photos, and remove names also.

The latest version adds the scientific name to keywords. So when you import into iNaturalist it auto selects the species name for you.

Installing the Plugin

Download the plugin by clicking the link below

Version 1.0.1 (19 Feb 2018) Adds keywords

Version 1.0.0 (11 Nov 2017)

Unzip the file

Open Lightroom click File | Plugin Manager... then click the Add button. Select the inaturalist_lookup.lrdevplugin folder.

If installed correctly you should see the inaturalist plugin in the Plugin Manager list.

How to use Plugin

In Lightroom select one or more photos. Click Library | Plug-in Extras | Lookup Name. You should see the dialog below:

Type in some text like "Belte". The plugin will lookup iNaturalist for a matching name. It will only start searching when you stop typing.

I can see "Belted Kingfisher" is on the top of the list so I can just press the "return" key. If I wanted a different organism like "Tricolored Bumble Bee", I could press the "Select" button on the right of the name.

If you press the Ok button it will select the top organism. If you press the Cancel button, it will not change the metadata fields.

Once selected, the plugin will fill in the iNaturalist metadata for each selected photo.

If your photo has more than one organism type in it, you just simply need to open it again and enter the new organism and it will also add it to the metadata fields

To remove an organism from your photo, you just need to enter the organism name again and it will be removed. It will only remove the name if all photos contain the name you want to remove, otherwise it will add it to all photos without the name.

Here is an example of a thumbnail with 2 different birds in it. I have set up Lightroom to show captions under the thumbnails as shown below.

View Metadata

When adding iNaturalist data to photos its handy to show the iNaturalist Metadata. To show the iNaturalist metadata Open the Metadata section on the right side of Lightroom as seen here. Click on the iNaturalist Metadata link at the bottom

You should now see the fields used by iNaturalist


  • Caption - Text string delimited by the | character. In form "Common Name (Scientific Name)"
  • Taxon Id - iNaturalist Taxon Ids delimited by commas
  • Taxon Name - iNaturalist scientific names delimited by | character
  • Common Name - iNaturalist common names delimited by | character
  • Rank - Taxon rank delimited by commas (species, genus, family, ..)
  • Siting Group Id - Will be used by Publish Plugin to combine organism at same siting delimited by commas

I strongly encourage you do not edit these fields because you may end up with messy data.

Showing Caption on thumbnail

If you want to show the caption on each thumbnail in lightroom like I have shown above follow these steps:

In Lightroom click on View | View Options. Under the Compact Cell Extras select Caption in the dropdown box as shown below.

Setting up Hotkey

In Lightroom you cannot map keys yet, but on a Mac you can through settings.

On your Mac Open Settings

Click the Keyboard icon, then the Shortcuts tab at the top.

Click the App Shortcuts item on the left as seen below

Click the + button at the bottom

Find Lightroom in Applications List. If not there, click "Other" and find it. In Menu Title enter

Library->Plug-in Extras->   Lookup Name

Its important you have 3 spaces before "Lookup Name"

Enter your keyboard shortcut. In my example I choose Shift | Option | L

Now if you go back into Lightroom, select Library | Plug-in Extras. Next to the Lookup Name you should see your keyboard shortcut.



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