Android app- observations location in the right town but wrong area

I noticed when using the website and looking at my observations on the map, that some of my recent (this and last month) observations made through the android app appear in the right town, but far from the right area. They are not obscured observations. I am manually fixing them, but it is annoying. I thought I fixed them all yesterday, but today I see there are more. One is an observation from yesterday, and the rest are older. I don’t know why this is happening. I know they can be somewhat pushed out if many observations are clustered in the same area, but these ones are appearing far away.

Maybe check the App’s location permissions in your phone settings.

Best set to Location allowed all the time so has an accurate GPS lock.

the app has the permissions and most observations are in the right spot, it’s just a few random ones that end up in weird places. I think it’s just a glitch.

Were you in an area with a lot of obstacles (trees, tall cliffs, etc)?
The same thing happens to me in areas that are heavily forested, even in the middle of the city (so there are nearby cell towers).

some trees, but not a huge amount. I only started having this problem in the last 2 months and just noticed it recently. I’ve used iNat for months before with no issues.

Have the same issue with Android – it’s just finicky GPS on the device; sometimes the location data is accurate and other times it shifts almost 1/2 km away. Each time you open your camera app, try waiting a few seconds before taking a photo and let the location get set first. I’ve had fewer issues since doing this.


My habit is to always hit edit location in the app so I can see if the point on the map corresponds to where I actually am/was.

I can then either fix it in the app right away or later on the website.

I’ve had the odd issue when taking images at ground level in terrain depressions.

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A modification of this process that I have used on Android is to open Google Maps and then tap on the “my location” icon. This seems to force a location refresh.

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The Android app uses Google maps when you edit the location, so you don’t even have to exit iNat to do that.

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Sometimes it seems like the location gets stuck at like a nearby wifi hotspot or some other location. Unfortunately it’s difficult to replicate and thus investigate. Specific details, like your exact workflow for adding an observation, screenshots, version, URLs, etc would be helpful.

I know it’s a pain to fill out, but the bug reports template asks for all that info because it’s often necessary when it comes to investigating a bug.


I’ve taken screenshots and I’ll write an email now. It’s definitely an issue with iNat rather than my phone because whenever I edit one of the wrong-place observations, another one that was in the right place, moves back to the exact wrong place where the other one was. I keep changing them but then another takes its spot.

Thanks for this. I’ve had my phone be way off on the location for random photos and I think this might have been the issue. I’ve tried your trick and it’s helped.

The OP’s problem might not have been solved but I think mine has!