I am helping to plan a Bioblitz this spring and summer. The location is a residence and property. She is helping to plan the Bioblitz and has given us permission to access her site. She is nervous about observations becoming public - she doesn’t want people to know where she lives. Additionally some of the team members do not want certain species to be listed for fear that sensitive or endangered species will then become targets for poaching.
SO - is there a way to hide this project from people who haven’t joined?
I do have it so that only project members can post to the project and I have selected that members trust the admins with hidden coordinates. Is there anything else I can/should do?
The lead coordinator of this project wants only observations entered into iNaturalist, so I am in a bit of a pickle with trying to assuage fears and keep all our observations in the same data format.
Any help or advice is appreciated. :)
No, there is no such thing as a private project, or private observation.
You can obscure the coordinates of all the records, but all data is visible to all users.
Hi @tanyadapkey, there isn’t a way to force other users to enter all their observations with geoprivacy set to obscured (through a project or any other means). It will rely on careful training and follow-up if/when people have forgotten to manually mark it as obscured. All places are also public and searchable.
iNat has a bit of information about this on one of the About pages:
It’s NOT a way to collect secret information
iNat is fundamentally about sharing information. If law, local policy, or the particularities of your project require that you keep information hidden from public view, iNaturalist is probably not the platform for you. We do perform some limited obfuscation of coordinates where threatened species are concerned, and if that’s enough for you, great, but if you need more secrecy, seek out a different platform. We totally understand these needs, but we can’t be a tool for everyone.
Hopefully those sensitive species are already automatically obscured on iNaturalist. Even still, if anyone is observing other non-sensitive species nearby, they should be obscuring all their records from that day to protect the sensitive one. More about taxon geoprivacy here: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/curator+guide#geoprivacy
Maybe you will make a traditional project instead? It will be harder to gather all observations, but you will be able to add every observation you want to. Plus you wouldn’t need members to join the project so it’s name won’t be shown on observations. As I understand Bioblitz will be on that property alone and not a bigger territory?
The Bioblitz will just be on her property, but she didn’t want her address there so I chose the county polygon instead. I am unclear how to create a traditional project, right now it looks like my only options are Collection or Umbrella.
Thank you, helpful info here. I will share with the group the geoprivacy info as this may solve the sensitive taxa issue.
It’s in the bottom of creating project page, there’s a link in text. If participants will use obscured locations her property won’t be shown on the map. You can use some neutral name for the project, so it won’t be obvious it’s about this particular place.
A user also needs to have 50 verifiable observations in order to create a traditional project.
I don’t know the size of your county, but if it’s small or if the property is near the border, some observations with obscured coordinates might no be included in a collection project. This happens if any part of the large rectangle that represents an obscured location falls outside of the boundary of your project. This is done to prevent people from finding true locations by making many small places.
For collection project: If all your participants only submit observations from that location during the bioblitz time period you won’t need a specific location. You can set the location to Any or country or state. This will make sure the obscured observations do not fall outside the county polygon. You will have to make sure all of your participants obscure their observations.
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