How are Observations selected to be shown in a Project or search WRT physical location?

I get different results depending on how I look at a place/location.
I know that obscured observations may not show up in a project/within a boundary, but I’m also noticing that in a project that I had set up for National Moth Week at a specific location (moths only, no date restrictions, and a shape that I created) does not include some observations from that physical place.

When I enter my own observations, if I’m in a park/open space, I enter/edit that if it doesn’t already say so in the Locality Notes in the import page. I’m trying one now, that populated that field with “Hayward, CA, USA” instead of “Garin Regional Park…”, and I try to make my observations consistent when that shows a street address or just a city while I’m actually in a park.

So how do collection projects, place/location searches, places/locations with boundaries work, respectively? Do they look at the map, the Locality Notes, the Location field in the Explore page, the Location field in the Filter window (which includes locations that don’t show up in the other Location field)? Or something else?

it’s based on the lat / long coordinates + the positional accuracy value that gets entered with the observation. usually if you know that your coordinates definitely fall within the boundaries of your place, the issue is that the positional accuracy value is too high. it sounds like you might be using a smartphone to input observations, and think if you’re manually placing the observation on the map, you can’t directly input a positional accuracy value, but it’s controlled by how far in you’ve zoomed in on the map. so if that’s the case here, just make sure everything you see on the map when you place the observation also falls within the boundaries of your project’s place.

do you have an example of an observation and project where you think the observation should fall in the project but does not?

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This project or the associated one:

And this is the user whose observations are not in the projects (there may be others at other times, but since I knew he would submit observations I noticed):,Insecta&nelat=37.32626274317423&nelng=-122.1770277046744&place_id=any&subview=map&swlat=37.32508964952974&swlng=-122.18010488664731&user_id=virusmanbob

In the two Places I’ve entered in the Filters (below), his show up in one but not the other (my shape, even though the markers are within it).

Something weird is happening now with the map, when I went to find the missing observations. I went to Explore>Location=“Santa Clara County, CA, USA”, Filters>selected Insects and Arachnids, changed Place to “Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, CA, US” and updated, and it went to someplace in the South Pacific ocean on the map. But “Monte Bello Open Space Preserve parking lot, CA, US” goes to the correct place and shows my shape.

this is your place:

below is one of that user’s observations from the set of observations in your second link above. they all have the exact same coordinates, and most have positional accuracy value of 196m. (one has an even larger acc value of 732m.) that accuracy value is saying that the observation theoretically could have occurred anywhere within 196m of the point indicated by the coordinates. when you look at the map on the detail page for this observation, you see a pin which reflects the lat/long of the observation, plus a big circle around the pin, which reflects the positional accuracy.

below, i’ve overlaid the big circle on top of your place polygon, and you can see the circle exceeds the boundaries of the place, which means that it will not be found if you search for observations in that place/project.

if you want that user’s observations to be included in your project, you will need to either expand the boundaries of your place or ask the user to change the positional accuracy of those observations so that the whole circle will fall inside the boundaries of your place.

this is actually a common point of confusion. here’s something i wrote in another thread that will apply here (you can read the rest of that thread if you’re interested in more details):

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ok, thanks. That, I think, answers something else I was wondering about, i.e. whether the inconsistencies in listing places affects the results, and it sounds like it doesn’t. So if I look for observations in a city, they should also show up in the county that the city is located in (even if how the city is listed doesn’t include the county, or says “US” vs “USA”, etc.), subject to the positional accuracy, correct?

if you can find an observation in a given city, and that city falls entirely within a given county, then, yes, you should be able to find that same observation in that county, regardless of the names of the city and county.

I feel the pain of this. I subscribe to a small place,
so I end up seeing only those observations made with very accurate cell phones. Petty much no one using a dedicated camera places their map pins with small enough circles to make it onto my dashboard.

I did ask, but he’s too busy with a class right now and suggested I add them to the project. It seems I can’t do that as easily as I can with my own in a batch edit. Or is there a way to do that with someone else’s observations other than one-by-one, which I’m not willing to do?

because your project is a collection project (as opposed to a traditional project), you can’t just manually add observations to it. you can only control the project setup. so if the observer won’t change his observations’ positional accuracy, then your choices are to just let it be or to expand the boundaries of your project place.

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