Thank you Carrie, it is a great relief to have a possible resolution of this issue. The incident happened at the end of last year when I was already tired from the delightful discovery of iNat leading to my applying for funding for a restoration study and action Project on the Creek. I had spent hundreds of hours struggling through dense undergrowth on challenging terrain to locate old landmarks and make new observations, using this wonderful feature of geotagging from which to derive and map geographical micro-site or “Zone” boundaries allowing 20 year old photos (untagged of course) and hundreds of hours uploading both old and new photos as iNat obs, comparing 20-yr -old obs with current ones in the same micro-sites.
I was not at the time aware of geo-tracing, which I recently discovered but can not yet use to geotag photos, so I created each “Zone” Place based on the locations of current obs which of course were not perfectly located, and often failed to record location at all.
So the creation of those Places took many hundreds of hours. Then when i learned how to find the “disappeared” Places using Universal search I did the “tidy up” of deleting unused ie duplicate places - after checking the one being deleted was not the one used in a Project - then there was the sudden horror of seeing that all the iNat obs that existed were being collected in each Project, doing goodness-knows what to iNat Server load, having no idea why except that I had undoubtedly caused it by deleting Places. I spent that night spent frantically de-populating 60-odd Projects by adding one of the few places that survived deletion (because I was then unaware of the option of Exclusion from Projects, which might have been faster); then days struggling to learn to use the old google-forum for help, the discouraqing news that my undertaking might be considered excessive use of iNat, my consideration of abandoning both the iNat and onsite projects, and then weeks recreating the Places, somewhat more quickly this time because I had already learned to use the iNat features and had learned something of the site’s geography, but still requiring many tweaks to each Place over subsequent months. Editing Places is a slow process because it takes a day or two before each change becomes visible, eg in the Umbrella Project overview map, the only place to see multiple Places side by side, I believe?
Anyway, I managed it in the end, I really appreciate the facility to do it, and I am delighted to hear that this is an issue that might be resolved. I would appreciate an update on this when possible.
In case of future errors on my part, I don’t suppose there is any way for a user to “back up” their Places and Projects?