Difficult to select observations on mini map

Platform: iOS, Website

App version number: n/a (website)

Browser: safari

URLs: all observations

Screenshots of what you are seeing (don’t know how to post a photo)

Description of problem:
I find it almost impossible to Select Other observations (of the same species etc) using the mini map on the right side of pages for single observations, I can zoom in all the way, but then when I try to tap it to get the option to view it but nothing happens 99% percent of the time it’s really annoying (on the website using an ipad)

Step 1: open a observation using a iPad (haven’t tested with other iPads but it should have the same problem, may even effect all touch screens but I don’t know)

Step 2: try to select another observation from the map

Hi @benjansss and welcome to the Forum!
If you could provide some additional information, it would be helpful.

What exact URL (address) are you on?
Can you add a screenshot?

I don’t really see how an exact URL address could help given it applies to all observations, also a screen shot would be nothIng more then a photo of the mini map and wouldn’t help illustrate the problem.

It would help to know what page you are on, and where you are clicking. An important part of solving a bug is figuring out when / where / how it happens.

Are you on the Explore page, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?
Do you have the same problem when using another browser such as Chrome or Firefox?
And if you take a screenshot, there may also be more information visible on the screen that will help.

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On Android it’s pretty hard for me to tap on an individual observation too. It took me about 15 tries for this one.

You can add a screenshot by tapping the photo icon in the lower right of the comment area.


Firstly no it’s the maps on individual observations pages that Im referring to (but it also applies to all maps) secondly I only have safari on my ipad (I’m pretty sure you can’t even use Firefox etc on a iPad) and lastly a screenshot wouldn’t show where I’m clicking as I’m not clicking I’m tapping a screenshot would only show the map with no indication of what I’m doing ( I also don’t know how to post a screenshot here)

Sorry should have specified there’s no photo icon on my of this page

Yes, everything that is not including using a mouse is a pain to click on.


The website was not really created with touchscreens in mind. I agree, it can be difficult to navigate using a tablet / iPad.

If you go to the App Store, and search “internet browser”, there are many options available to download which are compatible and safe to use on many devices.

If you go to https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/ there are instructions for taking photos of your screen. I know it is not intuitive that it can help, but it would be appreciated.

Are you trying to select individual observations from the distribution map visible when looking at an individual observation?

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Ok I found the photo icon (in a different place then for bouteloua)

And yes the problem is trying to select individual observations

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OK. Also for me, it took many many attempts to get the link to open.

The best solution may be to request that the clickable-link area be made larger. I’ll check if there is already a Feature Request for that open.
edit: I haven’t found such a request so far.

Meanwhile, keep trying! It may take a lot of tries.

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This may not be relevant to your questions… Just some tangential notes, I guess. So, FWIW…

We can get Firefox or Chrome for iPad or iPhone from the App Store.

Screen Recording:
With newer iOS versions, we can make a video “screenshot” that shows the actions taken. That feature is called Screen Recording. You can add the icon for that function (looks like a dot within a circle) to your Control Center, e.g. Settings -> Control Center.

That noted, I do not know if we can upload a screen recording in the forum, but it seems likely a video screen recording could be emailed to help@inaturalist.org

Settings Screenshot for Control Center:

Control Center Screenshot:

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I am using Chrome. I have to zoom in a lot to get the click to respond. SUCH a tiny responsive area for the red teardrop. You have to hit it just so

Not sure I’d classify this as a bug. The iNaturalist website is unfortunately not really designed for use on touchscreens/mobile devices. It’s a design/coding choice, and there’s a feature request to make the site work better on mobile devices: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/mobile-friendly-website-responsive/1224

Something I’d be all for, but it’s a significant amount of work.


I also have trouble clicking an icon on the map; I thought that feature just did not work.

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besides the design / architecture choice, there is actually a little bit of misalignment of the UTFgrids vs the marker / grid tiles. so even when clicking with a mouse, you don’t always get the expected result.

see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/open-test-of-map-tile-improvements/7833/88 and https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/the-selection-areas-for-a-lot-of-things-are-too-small-or-misaligned/9155/8.

also, it seems like sometimes the UTFgrids stop responding, though zooming in an out will usually solve the problem.

that said, those problems may not be easy to fix.


Wow, those are some very impressive graphics! Quite helpful.

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i’ve made an interactive version of this available to all, in case anyone wants to see how things line up for observations that they care about, or in case it might help to troubleshoot and address misalignment.

page: https://jumear.github.io/stirfry/iNat_map_obs_interact_area_viz.html
code: https://github.com/jumear/stirfry/blob/gh-pages/iNat_map_obs_interact_area_viz.html