Enter GPS coordinates in apps

I keep an amateur insect collection and sometimes I use iNaturalist to help me identify tricky specimens. The easiest way for me to do this is by taking pictures with my smartphone through a microscope and adding them to an observation. INaturalist then pulls the incorrect GPS coordinates from my photo of the pinned specimen and there is no option for me to manually enter the correct GPS coordinates. I have to approximate the location by moving the pin on a map. I realize that I could send the photos to a computer and then use the iNaturalist website which does have a GPS field, but if this field were in the app too it would greatly simplify things.

In decimal degrees?

1 Like

Yes, I think that would be the most convenient format.


Hello there! I too would like to request a manual option for entering location. I’m a Botanical Illustrator and love using iNaturalist app during my research phase! I work a lot in the field and strive to identify what I’m observing, so I can make an accurate note in my field journal. Because I do work a lot in the field, I’m not always able to upload information in real time, sometimes it’s a timing issue other times it’s because of no cellular service. I would like to submit a feature for the app, perhaps to be considered for future updates. Would it be possible to enter the coordinates and or address of where the observation originally took place without having to pan the map by hand? Right now, the only way to easily enter a location is to ensure data connection is strong and click, find my location but it isn’t one hundred percent accurate. A tweak is often needed. The only way to do so is by selecting the map and panning it, as best as one can, until relocating the observational site. This is extremely time consuming and often impossible because it’s difficult to retrace where you were on the map. An easier, more accurate way would be to simply enter in the address and submit! Right now, when I click on Edit location, I must pan the map manually. It’s as if I am virtually going back to the observation site, which is a lengthy process and sometimes impossible to retrace. If I click on edit locality notes, I am able to enter a place, such as a Park or even botanical garden but when I click save it always asks me if I want to save the observation without any coordinates. Surely, there’s an easier way to submit coordinates accurately without having to retrace your location via panning the map manually? Yes? Fingers crossed!

Thanks again for developing such an amazing app and for your time and consideration.

All My Best,


Hi! Welcome to the forum. :) Just a quick note that you can use iNaturalist to record observation locations even when you have poor or no mobile data. I often use it in airplane mode. The GPS works fine with no mobile data or airplane mode on. The only things that won’t work when making observations are that you won’t be able to select a taxon (since it isn’t connected to the database) and computer vision won’t work. Turn auto-uploads off in your app settings. Then you can manually type in a taxon, description, add photos, get the GPS, and then refine/upload when you’re back to better cell service or wifi.


On my Android phone in airplane mode, sometimes the GPS works, but often it does not work fine. I’m not sure if it is where I am, battery life, or what. I just went on a 3 day backpacking trip and no GPS recorded. So now, I use the Android app to upload my observations, but then I have to enter my coordinates that I copy from a separate GPS app into the web browser after I hit EDIT.

It would be so much better and faster for me if I could directly enter coordinates into the Android app! You can’t even search a location using the app, you have to tediously zoom every time.


You should definitely be able to search for a location in the search bar when creating or editing an observation, this will at least get you in the right area.

Which version of the app are you using? If you have a computer, you might also consider adding observations via the web uploader and/or geotagging your photos if you have a GPS track from your hike. The web uploader is definitely more efficient if you have a lot of photos.

Version 1.12.4.(363). I don’t see that search at all. Just the word detail.

Yes, I need a computer. Uploading multiple observations sucks right now.

1 Like

Yeah, looks like you’re using an older version of the app. I recommend updating via the Play Store, but if your device is running something below Android 6, that might not be an option.

1 Like

It worked, I updated, thanks! The new edit location is better. Try importing of geotag or edit lat/long would be nice because I export that from Locus Maps.

FYI, as of v1.20.8 of the Android app (released somewhere around August 1 2020), you can paste coordinates in the form decimal latitude, decimal longitude (e.g. 1.23, 4.56 for latitude 1.123, longitude 4.56) into the location search bar:


This is on the list for new functionality additions to iOS, now that the app has been rewritten as of version 3.0. Can’t provide an estimate as to when that will be, however.

1 Like

Really need this. Sometimes the phone GPS is really bad and automatically feeds the accuracy circle km order plus/minus. But I knew where I was much better than that, so I try to change the location after the fact but can’t.

1 Like