Searching for Records

Symbiota portals serve data from specimens and observations according to regional and taxonomic themes. To search and view these data, you can use one of the tools described below.

  1. From the home page of the portal, click Search Collections from the top or side menu.
  2. If prompted on the next page, select or deselect collections from the provided list depending on which collections you would like to search.
    • If you do not wish to search specific collections, leave all the collections checked.

There may be three tabs at the top of the page, “Specimens & Observations”, “Specimens”, and “Observations”. Specimens are phyiscal collections of an organism, while observations are human observations or photos of organisms that are not supported by physical specimens. Use these tabs to select between these types of occurrences, if desired.

Specimen and Observation Collections

Notice that collections may be grouped together into categories. These categories may be minimized or maximized by clicking the small grey plus or minus box, respectively, to the bottom left of the name of the group.

Search Collections Options

  1. Click the Search button on the far right.
  2. On the next page, you can enter search criteria to find records of interest.
    • The criteria you can use will vary depending on the portal, but generally include taxonomic criteria, locality criteria, collector criteria, and specimen criteria.
    • Any number of criteria can be entered and search at the same time.
    • To define a latitude/longitude bounding box, polygon, or point with radius in which to search, enter the values in the provided fields or click the Google Maps icon to create the box, shape, or point radius in a Google Maps interface.
    • You can search for multiple values in a single field by separating the values by semicolons. For example, if you want to search by both Kern and Inyo counties, you should enter “Kern;Inyo” in the county field.
  3. Click List Display to conduct the search and view results as a list, or click Table Display to conduct the search and view results in a table.

List Display List Display

Table Display Table Display

To return to the Search Criteria page and refine your search, click Search Criteria from the navigation menu at the top of the page.

To sort the search results, click Display Table (or the Table Display button Table Display Button In the Search Results box at the top of the page, select the field you would like to sort by, a second field you would like to sort by (if applicable), then whether you would like to sort results in ascending or descending order. Then click Sort.

Depending on the portal, the Map Search function may be under the Search Collections menu item, or listed as a separate menu item on the homepage.

Click the Open Search Panel button in the top left corner. Once open, you can enter the same types of criteria into this search panel as were available in the regular search (described above). Then click the Search button.

To select specific collections from which you would like to search, select the Collections tab in the search panel, then check or uncheck boxes next to collections as desired.

Further customizations can be made in the Map Options tab of the search panel including grid size and min. cluster size. These will affect how many specimens will be clustered together on the map. You can also turn off clustering in this tab.

Once you have conducted a search, you can view a list of specimens by clicking the Open Search Panel button and viewing the Records and Taxa menu item. You can also download the specimen records, download a KML file of the specimen records, or generate a shareable link to these search results by clicking on the respective buttons on this page.

Map Search Display

Cite this page:

Katie Pearson. Searching for Records. In: Symbiota Support Hub (2021). Symbiota Documentation. Created on 11 Oct 2021.