Accuracy circles and projects

Our local organizations are having great success getting new users to contribute to projects during this COVID-19 era. But I keep seeing a lot of observations with accuracy circles that are huge! Well, at least 176m seems huge to me as the size of the parks we are working with are not particularly big.

It is frustrating because they are new users and are unaware that this is happening, and it is causing their observations to not be included in the project they set out to participate in. I have surveyed a few of them and I can’t see a pattern since some use the app onsite and some used the website later at home.

I also awkwardly contacted some of them and asked them to shrink their circles, but then gave up and just expanded the boundaries of the project so some really interesting observations would be included in the project - but that feels like it defeats the purpose.

Am I missing something or is it just one of those things everyone works with?


I have the same issue. When I joined two years ago INat seemed the ideal tool to increase local Reserve users’ ecological awareness and enjoyment leading to contribution in conservation, by increasing their knowledge and enjoyment of the very same area they are walking through, potentially increasing data collection or in some cases eventually hands-on participation.

I subscribe to my area, and of course all my localised iNat Projects, and have tried greeting new observers and tellling them there is a Project in which they can see more observations near their own. But this approach can be confusing or even intimidating to new users unsure how their observation attracted the comment and whether they should respond.

If their observation is already collected by the Project, I can comment with a link to the Project, which they may enjoy as it shows their new observation already.

I only recently discovered the link to any Places collecting the Observation, under the hidden Location Details. It seems that the Place itself does not exclude Observations with Accuracy circles that cause Projects to exclude the same Observations, indicating Observations which would be collected if the Project used the same criteria. Am I correct in this, and if so, could Project code be changed to permit those same Observations to be collected?

I have also given some observers detailed instructions on reducing their accuracy circles, but this is heavy-duty communication work, and to new users who dont know the terms, can imply criticism.


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