About CalPhotos   

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Uses CalPhotos?

Usage & Permissions

Contributing Photos

Contributing Annotations



About the System

Data Model

History of the Image Collection


CalPhotos has been on the web since 1995 and was one of the first online image databases specializing in natural history subjects. The database currently contains 810,521 digital images of plants, animals, and other natural history subjects, along with descriptive information including scientific and common names, location and dates of photos, and other information provided by the person or organization that contributed the photos. Around 2,800 (in 2017) new photos are added each month by a variety of organizations and individuals that have registered with CalPhotos.

The taxonomic and geographic information that accompanies the photos, along with the annotation system, which allows experts to review identifications for the photos, result in a uniquely useful database for scientists, students, and other people interested in natural history. In addition to numerous ways to search the photos, common and scientific name browse lists and photo thumbnail browse lists add functionality for people searching for specific photos or taxa via web search engines, and make browsing easy and user-friendly.

CalPhotos images are used by a huge variety of organizations and people around the world, including students K-12, college faculty, students and researchers, environmental organizations, parks, museums and zoos, publishers, and members of the public interested in nature. See Who Uses CalPhotos? for a list of some of our users.

CalPhotos partners with Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) to share CalPhotos images with EOL that have specific licenses. CalPhotos also provides a web service allowing the dynamic inclusion of CalPhotos thumbnails on other web sites. The UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre uses CalPhotos this way. In addition, thousands of links to CalPhotos exist on other web sites, from simple home pages to other databases such as the EMBL Reptile Database, AmphibiaWeb, and Calflora. See Organizations That Use CalPhotos for their Websites for more information about how CalPhotos images are used dynamically on other websites.

CalPhotos 810,521 images of plants, animals, people, and landscapes. Access is also available via the specialized forms below or by using the custom query form. [VIEW SAMPLE]
CalPhotos: Plants 447,262 photos, mostly California plants, from Brousseau, the Cal. Academy, and others. [VIEW SAMPLE]
List of species (text)
CalPhotos: Fungi 12,017 photos of fungi [VIEW SAMPLE]
CalPhotos: Animals 188,336 photos of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, etc. from the Cal. Academy, AmphibiaWeb and others. [VIEW SAMPLE]
List of species (text)
CalPhotos: Landscapes 35,209 landscape photos from California and other parts of the world. [VIEW SAMPLE]
CalPhotos: People & Culture 6,821 photos of people, their culture and habitats from around the globe. [VIEW SAMPLE]

Contributing Photographers information about the photographers who contribute their photographs to CalPhotos.

Contributing Reviewers information about the experts who review and comment on photographs.

CalPhotos is a project of BNHM   University of California, Berkeley

Questions and Comments
this page last updated: Jun 5, 2024