Geolocation correct if app is used in the field, address/street/town is not

Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): iOS

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About):

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : chrome

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices:

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Step 1: use the iNaturalist in field to take photo and submit as an observation

Step 2: Resulting issue: geolocation data ( map) is correct, but descriptive details like street and town are highly incorrect

Step 3:

This may be more of an issue of Google Maps than of iNat. iNat doesn’t generate the location detail information, it scrapes it from the mapping source.

Google Maps is extremely erratic in terms of the accuracy of its location detail information.

I find that sometimes it’s exactly accurate, and other times it’s very far off, as in having towns named completely the wrong thing and in locations that are kilometers apart, including roads that have never existed, and the like.

As per the instructions for bug reports a screenshot would be useful.

As long as the GPS location information is correct the rest is not so important.


Welcome to the forum! I’d agree this doesn’t seem like a bug. You can always edit the locality notes and change them to whatever you like.

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Can you provide more details, such as an example observation and/or photo with geo information in the exif?


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FWIW, our iOS app uses Apple’s Maps API for reverse geocoding.

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Here’s our FAQ about locality notes, which I think is what @lisamr2020 is referring to.

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Odd as it seems to use Google Maps imagery. I suppose it’s a result of making it easier to work on iOS. That would explain why I get slightly different address information on my phone than when using the website.

Either way, Apple’s geocoding information is often even worse than Google’s so the likely cause is the same.