Add interpolating-coordinates to GUI for observations without location

Add a button in the detailed observation view for observations without location to edit the observation with a default location based on observations of the same observer just before and after this observation.

This feature is already available in the edit of an observation: ?interpolate_coordinates=true

Description of this feature and the suggestion to create a feature request can be found in this forum topic:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/interpolating-coordinates/5170/6

Platform(s): website

This is based on a weird URL hack, but I’d be pretty wary of making it an official and easily accessible functionality unless it had some massive accuracy circles or somehow had some extensive testing to verify accuracy. I also feel like for one point, it’s not that helpful (it’s easy enough to just drop that in between some of your other points on the map). I can see it being useful for multiple points, but then I start to worry about accuracy. I guess I’m just wary of any situation in which data is added to an observation that doesn’t really require human input/verification. I also wonder what data repositories/data users would think of it. I personally wouldn’t want to use interpolated data and would want a way to filter them out.

One potential issue that I can think of that would need to be screened out if implemented was if a user tries to interpolate multiple points from the same “trip” or day. You could end up with interpolations based on interpolations unless you explicitly track and exclude which points have been interpolated. Depending on how it’s implemented you could have some nonsensical locations generated if a user went to multiple discrete locations (like interpolated points in the middle where they definitely weren’t).

There could also be some weird interactions with ongoing time zone issues I guess.

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See a feature request about wrong locations in stead of no location:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/fix-observation-location-using-other-observations/14403

How would you handle the first or last observation in a series since there is not a before or after. What if you visited multiple locations in one day.

The alorithm is already implemented. The only thing to do is to integrate it in the GUI of the apps and the web and add the possibility to correct the location and accuracy if the algorithm makes a wrong decission.

When using this feature the location as well as the accuracy should be possible to be manually adapted.
In the end it is the user who adds a location and accuracy, not the algorithm.

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This would be very nice. Just mark the observation with the coordinates used for the interpolation. Is there een option in the “Data Quality Assesment” to mark the location as “Bad”? I am not familiar with these options in iNaturalist as i never use this. There migt be a suitable observation field for it or a solution like https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/35847445

In the iOS app i also had problems if sometimes the GPS coordinates where not read from the photo. It puts the photo than somewere in the ocean.

In general Adding the right coordinates are a lot of work compared to other websites so it would be nice if one button does the job. I was wondering if there are not easier ways to do that.

I think interpolated coordiantes would be much much much more precise than adding coordinates manualy. In Indonesa and Sri Lanka i could easily make mistakes of 400km. It is presumed that the observer knows where he is, but that is not the case. I know in which country i am.

As far as i know there is a weighting time component in it.

How would you handle the first or last observation in a series since there is not a before or after. What if you visited multiple locations in one day.

ill fill in coordinates based on a time-weighted average of the nearest observations in time.