Impossible to create a project by place with "Île-de-Sein"

I try to create a project for observations on Sein island in Brittany, France but I cannot. “Ile-de-Sein” is perfectly situated when enterring a single or multiple observations, but when I try to create a project, it does not exist.
Any clue to solve that ?
Thank you.

Welcome to the forum!

To use a place for a project, the place must exist within iNat itself. To use it for an observation, iNat can look up the name in Google – that’s also how iNat gets location information for the box on the Explore page.

Google only knows the bounding box and the lat/lon of the place, so it’s fine to use that to map a single observation or to show on Explore, but iNat wants more precise boundaries for projects, so the information from Google isn’t enough.

If you want a project for this place, you’ll need to create a new place and upload a kml for the island.

Openstreetmap has a couple different boundary definitions:


How can I create a new place ?

A perfect new place should be a kind of circle 500m larger than extreme points of main island (in order to accept birds seen in seawatch for example) but how can I do that ?

As an example, I used a QGIS plugin called QuickOSM to pull in a shape for Île-de-Sein, keeping the main islands only. I used Reproject layer to convert to UTM 30N, then buffered to 500 m and saved as kml.

If you like this shape, you can copy the data here:
Just save as kml and then you can use it for your place. If you want to modify it, you can follow my steps above, or load the pastebin data and use that as a starting point.

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The shape is perfect, thank you, but I miss lots of details to understand what I should do.

I started to copy your data and paste it in notepad to save it as <Ile-de-Sein.kml>.
Is it correct ? And now, what should I do with that ?

Well, I managed to find how to do it by myself.

For others people interested, it’s in the “more” menu, then, “places”, then, “add a new place”.

Thanks a lot jwidness !


Glad it worked out. You can also get to the new place screen more directly with the link I posted above:


Well, it’s look likes it’s not without issues.

When I search my observations via Explore, making a square around Sein island and tick “(my) your observations”, I’ve got 98 observations of 59 species.
When I open my project (, I have 53 observations for 41 species. And most species : me with 35 species (I’m the sole observer of this project).

In order to be counted in a place, the entirety of the observation’s accuracy circle has to be within the place boundaries. Maybe some of the observations when you made a square got counted inside the square (which ignores accuracy circles), but had some parts of their accuracy circle outside of the place boundary?

Edit: Here’s the search of your observations within the Ile-de-Sien place boundary: It’s numbers match the project.
Here’s also a search of a box around the area, but only the observations not listed within the place:
It looks like these observations have large accuracy circles like I suspected, for example this one: As you can see the circle extends in the water outside of the place boundary.

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Arf. A pity that an observation entered with Ile-de-Sein (from google), doen’t count in Ile-de-Sein (from jwidness).

Ideally you would use smaller accuracy circles on your observations. But the alternative solution is to make your place larger. Here’s a shape that I think will include all your observations:

You don’t need to make a new place for it, just edit the existing one with the new kml.

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I uploaded the new kml but it doesn’t seem to have any positive efffect ??

It takes a little time to process the change, but it looks almost done now. I see 98 observations.

Yes, I went to bed before the changes applied but all seems to be good. Big thank you.

Another quick question : is there a way to produce easy kml for simple shapes likes circles or squares without installing a software. I may try to use QGIS but I have no idea of how it works and I’m afraid the time investment should be disproportionate.

You can do a web search for online kml tools. I have not used these, but here are some examples:

Google MyMaps also does simple kml editing.

Again : Thank you very much !

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