CNC excludes (some?) threatened organisms due to obscured observation data

(this might be a bug with respect to CNC but it might be also an unavoidable byproduct of good feature implemantion).

Obscuring observation data for threatened organism excludes the observation from City Nature Challenge project. This is an example of otter observation:
It is either because of obscured date or obscured place - I’m not sure.

Recording threatened organisms during CNC is potentially one of the interesting outcomes of CNC. To highlight this aspect of data collected in CNC, would it make sense to modify the way that CNC projects aggregate the obscured observations?

I think this is just the system functioning in the same way as it works in regards to other projects/geoprivacy. The taxon is obscured in the Czech Republic, so the location and date will be obscured on the observation page and the bounding box will be used when determining if the observation is within any given place (ie, if the bounding box crosses the place boundary, it will not “count”).

I don’t think it would be worth breaking geoprivacy just for CNC.

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they used to relax the rules around obscured observations for community-created places assocatied with the City Nature Challenge, but i’m not sure if they still do. i didn’t check to see exactly what’s going on now, but it’s possible there are just too many places now that they decided it’s not worth the effort, or that it poses too much of a privacy risk now.


Clicking on the observations on the main page of the San Francisco CNC project under “Most comments and faves,” most do not have the CNC listed under the heading Projects.

So if the CNC project includes the entire county of České Budějovice, CK, CZ and the observation was made during the 4 days of the CNC, it is probably included in the project.

It is not breaking the obscurement - I’m suggesting to consider relaxing the obscurement strength - not removing it. Including such observations into CNC would result in decreasing the “uncertainty” of observation date from one month to four days and decreasing the uncertainty from obscured location square to probably generally similarly large CNC city area. I suggest that such decrease of uncertainty is not putting the animals into substantially higher risk than if they would receive the “full” obscurement. On the other hand, not including such observations into CNC project will result in missing some beneficial publicity and deserved acknowledgment of the iNaturalist who made the observation. I’m guessing the major obstacle is the necessity to implement this specifically for CNC projects.

I’m writing this after discussion within the department of our institute which was organizing CNC for our city - they missed this cool otter observation and it took us a while to understand why it is not included in the CNC project of our city. So I can see some negative impact of the obscurement: the otter observation might become one of the iconic outputs of CNC in our city (and hopefully it will) but it would not happen without lucky accident - somebody telling to CNC organizers that this behavior was actually made during CNC.

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Thanks for the info of past functionality. Based on this otter observation, the observation obscurement is currently not relaxed to allow for CNC project to capture it.

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I think through 2020 we listed CNC places as “admin level” places so that they behaved the way iNat standard county, state, and country level places do. That means that even obscured observations would be listed as being in that place, as long as their true coordinates were. But it’s not something that’s been done since and likely won’t in the future. We recommend using iNat standard places for CNC projects if that’s a concern of yours.


it looks like places associated with CNC projects from back in the day still carry the special status. so those CNC projects that use those places will behave differently than CNC projects for places that have started participating only recently. (so those projects using grandfathered places will have slight advantage over projects using non-grandfathered community-created places if folks are still treating the CNC as a competition between cities.)


That’s correct.