Bounding Box vs. Shapes when selecting by Country

In the “explore” section, when I search for some taxa in say Italy or Germany , a bounding box is created around the maximum extent of the countries borders. Doing the same thing for Portugal or Austria results in the actual borders being the searched area. This leads to croatian observations showing up in the “Italy” search results, because Croatia falls into the Italy bbox.

Shapefiles for country borders are obviously there (otherwise the max. extents wouldn’t be known), so I’m curious as to why, and with what rule, it is decided, which countries get to have their borders as a searched area, and which get a bbox.

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Hi Max, welcome to the iNat Forum! Can you share screenshot(s) and URLs to help illustrate the issue you are running into?

For example if I search for Italy (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6973) I see the actual boundary of Italy and not a box. If you use the search area in the website header, or the Place filter, you’ll get search results that match the country boundaries. The Location filter uses Google Maps and can sometimes show unexpected results.

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