How to set the location on images for iNaturalist

I am unable to place locations on images using GPS coordinates. I have tried degrees, minutes, seconds and decimals but neither work. My images are exports from Lightroom and probably do not have GPS metadata. I use Lightroom to adjust exposure and crop for most of my images.

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can you edit, enter the coordinates, and then take a screen shot before clicking save?

Before I discovered this wonderful method I typed the location info into Lightroom manually. Lightroom would convert the decimal format I typed to DMS, and the upload resulted in accurate locations. The entry field is at the bottom of the Default metadata page here:

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Just to be clear, are you talking about adding the location to an image file itself, or an observation record ?

Once added to the site, inat does not have any photo metadata editing capabilities, so if you want to add something to a photo, it needs to be done outside the site, and then the photo reuploaded.

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try splitting your location into seperate Lat and Lon fields, or Latitude and Longitude. Try both, I’m not sure what iNat looks for. I’m think it’s because you have both in the one field that it doesn’t fetch them.

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here is how my camera adds GPS exif:

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Screenshot is attached.

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That changes the location on the observation, not the photo. They should of course be one and the same, but that screen changes no data within a photo.

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I am talking about adding the location to an observation.

So you are saying that when you hit save on your screen shot above, the coordinates you had entered in the Lat and Lon boxes did not save?

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Thanks for the reply.

Yes! I have manually entered coordinates (from my camera metadata) in both formats, Decimal Degrees and Degrees, Minutes & Seconds. My recent screenshot shows latitude and longitude in Decimal Degrees. Either way, the location returned (Where were you?) and the map indicates a location in Yantai, China.


You have to update the text box string manually if you re-enter or edit the co-ordinates. I’m guessing, you initially entered 37,1822 * 121,5330 for your data which is in China.

When editing, you need to change the focus out of the lat/long boxes in order for the map to update (ie go into the accuracy box or something else) if you want the pin to move, as untill you do so, it is not saved yet, or alternatively hit the save button at the bottom.


I followed your suggestions and it worked. Thanks.

Am I correct to say that GPS coordinates must be entered as decimals? Most cameras, phone and other devices record locations in DMS. Converting one to the other is easy but time consuming.



I’m unsure, every camera or device I have ever used to collect GPS has used decimals.

As far as I know, it only accepts decimal entries, that is based on a request I remember to implement a different format for a nation whose default standard was something else, and being reading it was not possible.

I believe that was for an entirely different coordinate system, not just for a non-decimal format.

If having to convert degrees-minutes-seconds (d-m-s) to decimal degrees is a significant workflow across iNaturalist, it might be worth a feature request to allow coordinate input boxes to accept and convert d-m-s data. Unless I am missing something, and that is already possible…

One would just have to settle on a format convention for input. For example, if the input is in the format
assume it is d-m-s data and convert. Otherwise assume decimal degrees.

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