Annoying Apple Map symbols on base map in iOS

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): iOS

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About): iOS 16.6.1

Screenshots of what you are seeing:

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

With the iOS version of the iNat app on my phone, occasionally I will “Explore” the local iNat observations of an urban area where I find myself. On the base Apple Map of many/most urban areas (as displayed within iNaturalist using the iOS app), there are innumerable small pins or icons for commercial entities, points of interest, etc., of varying colors and shapes. Some cities show more of these, some less. The attached screen captures of downtown Austin, Texas, and the city of Tarifa, Spain, show how these symbols obfuscate and confuse any examination of iNaturalist observations of such areas. The proliferation of colored “dots” is just too much. Such symbols are absent when viewing the same areas in the Explore tab in the desktop iNaturalist app (which uses Google Earth), so it seems to have something to do with the Apple Map options incorporated by iNaturalist in the iOS version.

Q: Does Apple Maps have options available (e.g. for fundamental iNaturalist use) to hide/dispense with all of the commercial symbology on such maps?

Q: Are there display options within the iNat app (iOS) that would allow a different base map display?

If you’re using the iOS app, it’s using Apple Maps, not Google Maps. So it’s not a bug, it’s what we get from Apple Maps.

I’m not sure if it’s possible for us to not show those symbols in our iOS app. Maybe something we can look into.

My apologies to Apple and Google! My description has been edited to correct my earlier error.

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It’s possible for an iPhone user to change the display for Apple Maps to “Driving” mode, which shows far fewer symbols than the default, which is “Explore”. But that change doesn’t impact the iNat app display. Perhaps iNat could set the map display to “Driving” via code?

My solution is to set Google Maps as my default iphone map application, and access iNat through Safari whenever I want to see species distributions in detail.

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