Adding location to other user's observation

An elderly friend of mine has added the location of his observations as an address but iNaturlaist doesn’t seem to be able to convert that into a lat long place.

Is there any way to link the address to the location so observations such as this can become research grade?

I know the exact place this was taken since I was standing next to him when he took it…

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Only the person who added an observation may edit the location of that record.

Addresses are almost entirely linked via Google Maps, iNat has no control over the names used there, you’d have to determine what it is called there to make it work.


I tried to explain how to add lat long but it seems it wasn’t easy… I guess i need to ask him for his password and do it for him unless iNaturlist gets a fuzzy search function to link place with lat long…

You can send screenshots of where to add it, but adding regular place circle is much easier to understand than lat/long.

iNat does have a fuzzy search function – it relies on the Google Maps Geocoding API.

Interestingly, if I enter the address from the observation, Google does know where it is:

Your friend’s observation was entered from the web, not from the app, and if I put the same address up in the box labelled “Search for a location” in the web uploader, it finds it for me:

I’m guessing your friend put the location down in the box labelled “Locality notes”.

Since this box doesn’t ask Google for a lat/lon, it would result in an observation with a missing location.

It does seem like there is room for improvement to the UI to make it clearer the difference between those two boxes though.


From memory, I think if you press enter while in the locality notes it searches and if it finds a close match it will replace with that location description (and moves the pin), but if you don’t press enter and just click save, then it saves the description you enter WITHOUT moving the pin.

Pressing enter in the locality notes doesn’t do anything at all for me. Tab advances the focus to Cancel, but still doesn’t fill lat/lon.

Just tested it (browser on phone), and the uploader does seem to separate out the pin location and locality notes better than it does in the edit observation way of setting the location, which used to be where we added observations… Back then it was a common problem to enter a name into the location and not press enter to have it search for the place and move the pin. They improved it for the uploader, so that the top box does the searching and moving of the pin, and the bottom “location notes” box allows you to edit the description to show what you want it to read. Eg you can search for an address and it will move the pin there, and then enter “Fred’s place” in the notes so it would show that description instead of the physical address. Before the uploader was released, we would enter the address into the location “where were you” box and press enter, it searches and moves the pin, then we would enter the description “Fred’s place” into the same “where were you” box but NOT press enter, and when we select save it would have pin location at the address but the replacement description. The edit observation still works that way!

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I wonder how many more location mistakes like this have been made? If there are lots you might be able to force a search in the database to put pins on all the observations and have a voting system so other users could vote as to whether the search results look ok or not with a thumbs up/down button?

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