Automatically deal with obs whose coordinates are 0, 0

see the 2nd suggestion above

Most are from Android. Here’s one that wasn’t:


if any come from established iNat users who might be willing/able to help explain what they did that would be useful

I almost always use the Uploader on a Mac Desktop.
I have had a number of obs in the “Null” project - I think that’s the O-O location you are talking about?
All accidental, due to photo either not having a GPS recorded (my camera intermittently loses connection with internet) or location being accidentally deleted whe I tried to modify it either during upload or later. I don’t know what I did wrong when modifying locations to arrive at this.

I joined the Null Project, so now when one of my obs falls into the void, at least I will see the Null Project “Stamp” (is that the word?) ie link, in the obs, if I look at it again; and from time to time I check the Null Project to see if any of my obs are there.

Apologies if this is not the issue in question. So much technology, so many context-specific meanings of words…sigh.


Hi, I accidently get my location to appear 0,0 all the time, i believe i know why too. I post several observations in quick succession on mobile a lot of the time. I use the “get current location” option most of the time. However, sometimes I’m moving too quickly and submit the post before it even is finished determining my location, and thus defaults to zero.


Is there a reason you use “Get current location”? When you make the observation the location should already part of the observation.

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Can you throw an error message and prevent observations from being saved if the coordinates are 0,0?

As long as there is the option to “Edit location” that starts the map off at 0,0 there will always be some users that save from there without making changes.

But also, multiple people have commented saying they had poor cell service when they were making observations. Could the location possibly be being stripped to 0,0 when auto-uploading obs in poor connectivity areas? :woman_shrugging:

When I selected a picture in the gallery if my Samsung galaxy s7 and shared with inaturalist, the coordinates translated over. I got a new galaxy s10, with all location permissions allowed, and now it puts in 0,0 as the coordinates.

Heh, this is turning more into a bug report, but it’d be good to root out any technical causes for this.

@brantport14 can you please email that photo to so we can take a look at it? And the next time this happens, please send us a log file as soon as possible. To send a log file, go to the Settings tab in the app and tap three times on the version number. You will then have the option to email the log file to us.

Also, aside from any bugs, it seems like people would be OK with the app not letting someone upload an observation with coordinates 0,0?


Yes. If someone ever makes an observation at exactly 0,0, they can file a bug report. :wink:


The gauntlet has been thrown.


Github issue here:

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Great, thanks, looks like the null validation is live and there aren’t new observations coming in at 0, 0.

I was trying to test out what exactly happens when I try to make an observation at 0, 0 on Android, and it looks like it just won’t upload the observation. Weirdly though, it totally disappears from my list of observations, so I’m also not able to find it in order to try editing the location, or even just to delete it, in order to make the “Sync 3 observations…Upload” message go away. I had made 3 observations trying to see if adding a different date, or adding an ID that I could search for would make it appear. But searching for the ID I added (human) still does not show the new/“null” location observation in my list of observations. Samsung S7 using 1.12.4 (363).

Short version: I tried to add an observation at 0, 0 on Android, but now I can’t find it on my app.
(cc: @kueda @budowski)

There are around 950 observations, from before that went live, that still need to be marked as location inaccurate:

Here’s the message I’ve been using if anyone wants to help out:

Hi, it looks like the location was accidentally saved at coordinates 0,0 — in the Atlantic Ocean! :) To add a location, click the “Edit” button, and use the map to drop a push-pin to more accurately depict where you were when you made this observation. Even just a general location is helpful. For now, I marked this observation as having an incorrect location in the Data Quality Assessment section, so please reply here letting me know once you’ve fixed it. Thanks!

@bouteloua, how exactly are you making a 0,0 observation in the Android app? That should be close to impossible unless you’re using the simulator / virtual device and forcing the OS to always return 0,0 coordinates.

Create a new observation by choosing an image that doesn’t have any GPS coordinates, then try to add a location (“edit location” ) but save without making any changes. I’m not sure how all those other Android observations got created at 0, 0. This is the only way I know how to.

before sync:

after sync:


Ingenious. Now we have two more bugs to fix, but at least we have solid repro conditions. Thanks.


In reply to the other thread asking how to DQA these… it was suggested that a comment should be made in the first instance rather than just put the DQA, but I think they should be marked “location not accurate” immediately and the comment put as well, as the observer might never come back with a reply. If you know you yourself will be around to change your DQA should they respond and fix, then marking it inaccurate from the outset is a better option.


This may be too late to the game to help -
But about 1 in 10 of my observations’ location metadata gets stripped when uploading photos. When that happens 10/10 times all I have to do is reupload one photo and the coordinates will sync.

Even when I have bad service my Android always records a location, but the location may be inaccurate (but never set to 0,0). If I don’t catch the coordinates have been stripped it get puts to 0,0 (or used to at least). Thanks @bouteloua for catching those!

I’m looking forward to seeing how this new fix works out!


Thanks to everyone who fixed those last ~950 observations!