Add option for smaller obscuring area

I would love to have more options for obscuring observations while still allowing an observation to display in the correct general area. I’m open to debate on the right size(s) to make the new options, but somewhere in the range of 200 m - 1 km would be nice. When I make observations at the reserve where I work, I often don’t want to point folks right to our sites for long term veg monitoring, minnow trap deployment, or unrelated observations with a time stamp close to sensitive species. I also don’t want the observations to fall outside of our reserve boundary, so I adjust the accuracy of each observation and adjust the location until the point is centered on a trail but still includes the actual location.

As I have started to go through the laborious process of asking other users to share the locations of their obscured observations with me, I’ve realized that I’m making these points less useful in the future, but I don’t like making them (nearly) useless in the short term by obscuring them out of the reserve.

I know others have brought up versions of this idea in other threads, but I wanted to make sure this made it as a feature request.

i think it would be nice to be able to obscure to a specific “standard” place. or it would be nice to make some community-created places curated, assigning them to specific people who are known to actively watch over them. then you could allow people to obscure to a curated community-created place, and maybe at the same allow the curators of the place to automatically be able to see the true locations of the observations in that place. i think that would address a lot of different things that people have been asking for in other threads. (if for some reason the place boundaries change to exclude an observation or the place no longer has a curator, then the observations go back to the default obscuration method. the reason i like being able to obscure to a place rather than a radius is that i think a place might be more tangible than a circle.

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Yes, please! A large percentage of my observations end up being shown in the wrong country (that’s country, not county!) when I set the geoprivacy to “obscured”. It would be really nice if I could change the size of the obscuring box from the default ~125,000 acres to something more like 25,000 acres (roughly the size of San Francisco) or 10,000 acres (a medium size town). That would allow me to give more accurate public information about my observations while still protecting my privacy.


I assume you mean observations like this one? For what it’s worth, the observation will be publicly indexed as being in the accurate district and country:


And they’ll show up when searching for observations in those places, eg

But yeah, the dots can be misleading.

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@tiwane That’s good to know. I’m glad they still get indexed to the correct places. It would be nice though if you could customize the size of your obscuring boxing in your preferences or something like that. I would definitely choose something much smaller if the choice were available.


I’m sorry, but after discussion we’ve decided we won’t provide smaller area options for obscuration.