Clarifying geoprivacy & reasons for obscured coordinates; user-to-user trust

If they have trusted you, true coordinates should be included in an export. If this isn’t working as expected, please email help@inat.

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Two potential useful changes:

The first is less niche:

  • Make trust not apply to private observations, or have this as an optional setting. If I’m making something private, I likely have a very good reason. I know some people use “private” for observations at their house. I may trust someone with the coordinates of random threatened species, but not trust them with my personal locations. This seems like it would be a simple way to let people retain some control over what they’re sharing.

Similar, but probably very niche:

  • Allow the option to only share the locations for auto-obscured observations, but not manually obscured ones (or some other way to provide more control here). If something is auto-obscured, there are lots of people who I would trust with that location. If I manually obscure something, it’s probably because it’s on private property or some other case where I can’t really share it with anybody.

This second idea is likely niche enough that it isn’t worth implementing, but thought I may as well express it.


I think separating the two is valuable but i might go either way with it. For a conservation organization, i might want to share my threatened species with them but not the location of my property or observations on other people’s land which i don’t have permission to share. Alternatively there may be community groups who i’d be happy to share the precise location of bees and weeds on my land, but if i don’t really know them i may not want to share threatened speceis locations with them.

Perhaps it’s all very niche but I think it might get broader use.

personally i haven’t used private observations much at all, so i don’t have any preference for those


Would you mind make a Feature Request for each of these, @reuvenm? I wouldn’t want them to be lost here.

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I can give a use-case for why at least retaining the option to access user-set private coordinates would be helpful. Our staff work with private landowners and our agreements with them regarding data privacy may require that, while we can use the data internally for research and conservation purposes, it is not to be made publicly available. In many cases, we’re dealing with land areas where obscuring an observation won’t disguise the location or could lead to accusations of trespass from sensitive neighbors, so private is really the best option. Conversely, we may have landowners who would like to share a trust relationship with their local biologist but still want to keep locations private.

I’d like to see an option for manually selecting which private/obscured observations I can share with my trusted users; the all-or-nothing makes it challenging.


Thanks. A handy feature.

I suspected that this might have happened while I was on leave, but I missed the addition when checking my account, because the option is so obscure.
Might it be possible to have “manage your relationships” also within a grey box, rather than just as a blue footnote to “your relationships” - so that it is more obvious?

Also, am I correct?

  1. You can view and set relationships with others, but you cannot add them from this location. To add a relationship, you have to do it via a traditional project. Or alternatively, you can follow a user, and then come here and give them permission to use your coordinates.
  2. If you give a person permission, does it apply to all their projects, or just the one for which you gave them permission? So if I create a project on Aloes and you give me permission to see your coordinates, will it apply to a project I later create on Rhinos as well?
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OK - for item 2 - partially.
The private_ fields will only be included when using the user filter and you are the user, or when using the project filter and you curate the project.
This confirms that I will need a project to see the trusted coordinates - the “private coordinates” do not download for straight filters. But what about 2 projects?

3 posts were split to a new topic: Users trusted with hidden coordinates: checkbox doesn’t stick

What does “location” mean here?

What does “location” mean here?

From, you can change/remove relationships, but not add new ones with other users.

I want to trust someone with my locations. It isn’t clear to me from this thread how to do that. I’m on the page: but the list is empty and it doesn’t allow me to add anyone. I’ve been to a user’s profile page and looked for a way to trust them and I can’t find it there. I was expecting a ‘trust XYZ’ button to be next to the ‘follow XYZ’ button on user XYZ’s profile page.

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You can only do it if you are following them, are you doing that ?


I’m not following anyone. I used to, but it clogged up my dashboard which I use to retrieve lost notifications. Ok, so then to be clear, the only way to trust someone is to follow them first? If so I would like to suggest that be changed. If I trust someone with my locations it doesn’t necessarily mean that I also want to follow them. And vice versa.

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As of right now that is the only way to do it, unless you want to give them your password so they can log in as you which I suspect is highly unlikely.

unless you want to give them your password

eh, they can just PM me for the locations. That way is better, in some ways, than the trust system, as I can then keep tabs on who is visting a population.


A post was split to a new topic: Comprehensiveness of conservation statuses on iNaturalist?

Answering my own question here. Just discovered that if you go to any of your own obs (doesn’t work on other people’s obs for some reason) and, where a user has made an ID or a comment, click on the drop down ‘flag arrow’ and you’ll see that you can trust them there. It works for me and I don’t follow anyone.

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alexanderr appears here now too right?

yes he does. Or did, before I ended the test by removing him again.
update: bouteloua has now added a feature request here:

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A post was split to a new topic: Unable to download all hidden coordinates for my project