Mapping Species Distributions


Pacific anemone (Anemone multifida), photo by Jim Riley.


Vascular Plants: Jamie Fenneman
Fungi: Michael Beug
Bryophytes: Steve Joya
Algae: Michael Hawkes


Photos are how we visualize our wild species, and photos on E-Flora BC are a big part of the project. Donations of photos are always very welcome. If you are interested in donating photos for use on the E-Flora site, details on how to submit them, the types of photos we are looking for, copyrights and permissions, and how photos will be selected are provided below.


  • If you wish to submit photos to E-Flora, register here. You will then be sent a password by us for uploading your photos.
  • Once registered, you can submit photos by going to our Photo Upload page. Fill in as many details as you can and then click on submit.


  • Each photo submitted to E-Flora BC is first vetted by an expert--experts donate their time to help us with identification accuracy. This means that it may take a few days before your photo appears in our photo gallery. In some cases, if our photo reviewers are very busy, it may take a few weeks for photos to be checked. Now and then it may take longer than that depending on the species group, volunteer time, and identification difficulty. If your photo is slow to appear, it most likely is because of this and not because of the quality of your photo.
  • Photos that are accepted for publication will appear in our photo galleries. They may also appear on our information pages, as the lead photo on our atlas pages, or in our Biodiversity Blog.
  • Photos that cannot be identified to the species level , or that are blurry, cannot be used on E-Flora BC and will be deleted from our database. If you send multiple shots of a species, we may choose to use only one or two. Others will be deleted. It is good, though, to send in multiple photos so that we can choose the best representation for the species.
  • Our software automatically reduces the resolution of your photos before they appear in our photo galleries. This is aimed at discouraging photo theft.
  • Once your photos are uploaded to the E-Flora database, use our 'edit my photos' feature to keep track of them, to edit the photo details, etc. This is available for registered photographers through our Photo Upload page. This is your own personal editing and tracking site.
  • If you are interested in making your photo contributions count for more, then include location coordinates with your photo and we will map your record.
  • Blurry photos will be deleted from our database.

Seaside bittercress (Cardamine angulata), photo by Gary Ansell.


  • We are interested in photos of BC species that are part of our official BC flora. That is, species that are native or naturalized. To check if a species is presently considered part of the BC Flora, search for your species on the BC Species and Ecosystem Explorer.
  • Because there is a growing use of E-Flora BC for species identification, we are interested in habitat shots, whole plant shots (habit), close-up shots of flowers, flower parts, seeds and fruits, twigs, buds, roots, mushroom caps and stalks, spores, etc.--all morphological parts.
  • Photos do not need to be taken in BC, but should represent species, subspecies and varieties that are found in BC.
  • We do not accept photos of garden plants unless they are of species that have naturalized, or 'gone wild', in BC and have been included in the official BC flora.
  • We only accept digital photos.


For more information on photos on E-Flora BC, visit these pages:

Frequently Asked Questions by Photographers
Frequently Asked Questions About Photo Use

Pink sand verbena ( Abronia umbellata var. breviflora ), photo by Matt Fairbarns.


Because of the multiple purposes of photos on E-Flora, we aim to provide multiple shots of each species in the photo gallery. Don't be put off from submitting a shot because there is already a photo of that species in the gallery, or even if there are many photos. If your photos illustrate something useful ecologically, or distributionally, or provide good insight into habitat--or if they are just plain beautiful--then we would love to have them. We need many photos to help users identify the plants they find. And many users just simply like to browse collections of species photos.

Because we will be mapping photo records, it is also important for us to obtain photos for each species from significant new locations. This mapping component of E-Flora is an important addition, and will help to fill in distribution information for our wild species. This is important for species where there is no specimen-based dot on our maps.

Just use common sense when submitting your photos. If we already have dozens of beautiful photos of a species, then we probably don't need more--unless your photo is documenting a significant range extension for a species (i.e., your site is much further north or south than any other dot on our maps), or an unusual colour form, or there are few distribution dots on our map and your photo record would be a significant contribution.

Western pasqueflower (Anemone occidentalis), photo by Allan Carson.


What you are agreeing to when you become an E-Flora photographer

1. At E-Flora BC, you retain copyright of your photos. We provide a blind contact form with each of your photos so that anyone interested in using your photos can contact you for permissions.

2. E-Flora BC will not provide permissions to use your photos; we direct all contact to the photographer.

3. By submitting your photographs to E-Flora, you agree to allow E-Flora BC to use the photograph as part of E-Flora BC, an online atlas and associated database that is openly accessible to the public on the world wide web. The photo will appear in our photo gallery, and may also appear in our general botanical information pages (such as this one), as the lead photo on the atlas pages, or on our Biodiversity Blog. This includes display on large-screen computers as well as small-screen devices, where the format may be adjusted to fit the screen size.

4. E-Flora BC will display the following information with respect to your photos:

  • Your name will be displayed next to the photograph in the photo gallery.
  • Copyright information will be displayed on each photo gallery page.
  • Your name will be included in the scrolling list of photographers that is provided in the search section of each page in the photo gallery. Users will be able to view all of your photos by clicking on your name.
  • The URL to your home page, or other site, will be linked to beside your name, if you provide it.

5. Note that a blind contact form is attached to each photo in the E-Flora photo gallery that allows people to contact you without revealing your email address. Your email address will not be displayed in the photo gallery. Photos used in our introduction pages provide email address links only with permission.

6. Note that any photos that are published on the web are open to photo theft, and this includes photos on E-Flora BC. We aim to protect your photos through automatic reduction of the resolution of each photo you submit in order to render them unusable. We also use photo blocks to make it more difficult to copy an image, Read more about blocks here.

7. For photographs submitted to E-Flora BC, adherence to Canadian copyright law is the responsibility of the photographer.  Please ensure that you own and control the copyright to all photos that you submit to E-Flora BC for publication, and that you have the right to submit the photos to our site.

8. Copyright Infringement and DMCA Policy. E-Flora BC respects the intellectual property rights of others, and requests that users of the site do the same.


Pseudohydnum gelatinosum (toothed jelly), photo by May Kald.


1) If your email address changes, be sure to let us know so that we can update your contact information.

2) Photos published on E-Flora BC are available on the site for many years. Because of this, it is a good idea to consider the long-term. Designate a beneficiary--someone who will hold the copyright to your photos after you pass away. This could be family, a friend, a nature club or others, often someone who shares your passion for nature and nature photography. Why is this important? It is important because your photos will continue to be displayed on E-Flora BC, and requests for permissions to publish them will continue. Who can give that permission for continued use?




Recommended citation:  Author, date, page title. In: Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia []. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Date Accessed]

E-Flora BC: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography UBC, and the UBC Herbarium.

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