Welcome developers! iNaturalist has a lot to offer fellow programmers interested in biodiversity, from data to software to infrastructure.
Almost all of the software we write at iNaturalist is open source, so if you want want to add some new functionality to the web site or our mobile apps, please go right ahead!
If you're adding new functionality, please start by opening an issue on Github so we can talk about what you want to do and come up with a solution that meets everyone's needs. Then you can fork the code base and issue a pull request when you've got work that you'd like to see integrated into the released versions of the software. We'll look over your changes and either integrate them or suggest some improvements.
If you're considering forking our web app code in order to build a narrower version of iNat, please talk to us first! While we welcome forks to the software, we don't want to fork our community. Social networks lose their value when they fragment, so if you're thinking of making "iNat for Country X" or "iNat for Lepidopterists" or something, let's discuss ways that we can incorporate your needs into our existing infrastructure.
We maintain a REST API that we use internally, but you can use it too! Check out the API reference for info on how to use our API.
We also have a much faster Node.js-based API for read-only operations and stats. We highly recommend using that for retrieving observations.
Looking for some data to play with? Here's the DarwinCore Archive (DwC-A) we generate for our partners at GBIF. It contains all Research Grade observations licensed for re-use, formatted as CSV. It was 131 MB in June 2016.
Here are some projects maintained by collaborators that make use of our API: