Adding the map of a new place or area when creating a project

Dear all,

I created a new project. The project is limited to a very large and well known archeological site (> 1km2). The place is not among the places that exist. If I load the KML file, it does not create a new place. If I try to create a new place, I get this message:

What am I doing wrong?

Kind regards and thank you in advance.

welcome to the forum

To create a place, you must first have 50 verifiable observations


Thank you! I need to have a project where I can put the observations though … or the whole project ends being very untidy. So far I put mine on QGIS, but then I thought I could share them. PS: I did not find that in the docs, could you please send me a pointer?

Kind regards

The iNat documentation for making places is here:
and notes the 50 observation requirement.

You can see some more info about this on existing threads like though there are others.


Posting observations to iNat before you have a project to put them in should work just fine. If you then make a project based on a place, it will automatically populate with all the observations that have GPS coordinates within your place polygon. You can also add tags to your observations so that you can pull them up using a search (like find all my observations tagged Site A) and then work with them or manually add them to a project.


It sounds conceptually unusual. The conventional way in the scientific community is that you have a project, and then our researchers go out to the field, collect observations for that project, then we look at the observations on the resulting maps to make considerations on the population within the project. Research bodies’ funded work is structured on projects, to which you attach observations, not on random unplanned observations that are suddenly aggregated into a project.

I tried your workaround, and I created a project, went on the field, returned with a real world observation, uploaded it, but it does not allow me to add it to the project I just created. I guess I will have to get to the 50 observations?

Kind Regards

“Project” has a specific meaning in iNaturalist terms – it is just a collection of observations that they basically give you a webpage for. You go to that page, and you can see all the observations that were collected. Some are for research but some are just for fun. I assume that you’ll have to get your 50 observations before you can start adding places or making your own iNaturalist projects. Getting 50 observations goes faster than you think – I made my first 50 observations in just a couple of weeks, because I had a particular project in mind that I wanted to set up in iNaturalist.
You can do a lot on the iNaturalist website to set up complex searches using their filters (like all my observations with keyword “X” from place “Y”). If you set up a search that gives you a set of results you find useful, you can always bookmark that search page or copy and save the page address and then you can use that to pull up those observations whenever you want. It’s not quite a project, but is a way of keeping track of good data.

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The more projects I see, the more I understand what @kueda wrote on his profile:

If you want me to join your project, you’ll have to describe to me what it does that can’t be done at If it’s just another combination of place and taxon except with your logo on it, I’ll pass.

Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with your creating a new place; that new place can then be used as a search filter. If I felt more sure about how to create KML files, I can think of a few places I’d like to create that would improve my iNatting experience.

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