iPhone app does not use time and location stamp in photo EXIF

I’m not sure if this is a bug or a feature, but I hope it’s a bug. When I upload a jpg using the Web interface, the uploader reads the date/time and geodata from the jpg and correctly places the photo. When I upload a jpg using the iPhone app, the uploader ignores the information in the jpg and places the photo based on where and when I am located at the time of the upload.

Maybe the settings are not good in iNaturalist ? Facebook only uses GPS data from photos if it is allowd to use GPS data by iphone.

YEsterday, satyrday evening the photos were processed without any problems near Amsterdam with an Iphone
I think in the Instellingen you have to give permission to iNaturalist to use location data or GPS data always. Maybe these:

Instellingen->Privacy->Locationsvorozieningen->iNaturalist (Bij gebruik van de app)
Instellingen->Privacy->Locationsvorozieningen->Camera(Bij gebruik van de app)

Yes I notice this. I thought I used to be able to upload photos several days later and it would tag the location from the EXIF, but now it just puts the location as “unknown”.

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Can someone elaborate on the steps to replicate this, including your device?

When I open the app and record an observation, the app gives me a warning that there is no location data. The map shows the entire world.
If I take a photo with my camera on the ipad, it saves the metadata with the location, but will not upload the metadata.
When I try to open the site in the browser, it will upload the image, but not the location.
When I copy the image onto my desktop and upload it using the browser. It will copy the image and gives me a message saying that it is uploading the metadata, but it does not.

It may be the locations where I take images are not close enough to a phone network to get accurate data. I don’t know how the GPS data is recorded. I can see locations on my device when I look at the images, but they do not transfer at all.
During the inaturalist challenge, I am having to add the locations by HAND to all of the images in certain parks.

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Do you have an iphone?
What are the permission for location data for the camera app and inaturalist ?
IT seems that you did not give permission to the camera to use the Location information.

Instellingen->Privacy->Locationsvorozieningen->iNaturalist (Bij gebruik van de app)
Instellingen->Privacy->Locationsvorozieningen->Camera(Bij gebruik van de app)

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In case you don’t read German ( I don’t) go to Settings/Privacy/Location Services and make sure Inat and Camera both have location services turned on.

I notice that if I have airplane mode on, the iNat app says there is no location. But if I upload a photo taken without airplane mode, it takes the GPS data of the photo correctly. I wonder if in anyone else’s case this is attributed to network connection. However if I make a blank iNat obs on airplane mode it still picks up the GPS satellite, so I have no idea.

Are you using a laptop/desktop, or a mobile device here?

Can you please send a full-sized copy of the photo to help@inaturalist.org?

Is your GPS of GPS antenna broken ?

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Since I started this thread, I ought to note, I haven’t seen this behavior replicated. Something has changed. I seldom use the iPhone app, mostly because of the poor quality of photos from a phone, but I tried it again yesterday and although I was in an area without phone service (as usual), when I got to an area with phone service and could do the upload, it accurately located the observation.

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This is odd. I often use airplane mode when using inat to save batteries. The locations show up just the same. Maybe you need to manually change settings to tell gps to turn on during airplane mode.


I don’t think GPS is affected by turning on Airplane Mode. At least it isn’t on my Samsung Galaxy S9 running Android 9. Turning on Airplane Mode on this device turns off Cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, but not GPS. Once in Airplane Mode, one can turn Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth back on manually.


On my dinosaur Galaxy 5, Airplane mode turns off all location services. I have to manually start an application that accesses the GPS to get the phone to use GPS again.

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What version of Android is it running? Just curious.

Version 6.0.1

This issue has been happening to me as well, sometimes the location would show other times the app says “unknown”.

I seem to have this issue to and my permissions for the camera, app, and location services are enabled. I am running the latest version of iNaturalist. Also, as a feature request could you maybe add current favorite locations to the map settings? So that way, if we do have to manually enter the location it would be a bit easier.

I would encourage you to submit this as a separate Feature Request topic, otherwise it may get lost in this thread.

Ok, ty.

If you have a photo that has location/date data which is consistently is not read by iNat, please email a full-sized photo to help@inaturalist.org so we can take a look. Generally I’ve seen this caused by two issues: 1) the photo simply doesn’t have the data embedded in it and 2) it’s formatted in such a way that iNaturalist cannot read it.