Isle of Man exists twice as a place–2

The first one lists as a country, the second as an island. Technically only one should be there, and it should be subordinate in the geo hierarchy to the UK.

I’m not all sure about that, but places are created by users, so that might be the case? Corect me if I’m not right.

This is part of the reason that the creation of places is being restricted to users who have a few RG observations. New users often create places without looking to see if they exist already. A curator can merge duplicate places but it gets a bit more tricky if there are projects tied to both places.

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The first one is an iNat standard place created by the site, or at least appears that way since I as a curator can not edit it.

The 2nd one I’m not sure, I can edit it, but it shows no info on who created it. The geographic definition simply appears to be a rough polygon around the island including some water.

I’m unclear if curators can do a merge if it involves a standard place ?

and it should be subordinate in the geo hierarchy to the UK

The Isle of Man is not part of the UK.

Technically it is a Crown Dependency (meaning it is under the direct soverignty of the British monarch, not the British state), along with the Channel Islands. It is not a sovereign state. I don’t know what category that iNat has it falls under.

The Channel Islands have been various treated on iNat so are not great for guidance in this case, the Channel Islands as a whole are listed under the UK but the separate parts (Guernsey/Jersey) as countries under Europe.

Since there weren’t any projects associated with the user-created place, I merged it with the standard place. Unfortunately now the URL has exploded in length:

Maybe the proper classification is island, which is an option.

To your point this is under the UK.

Guernsey is entered as an island which appears to be a single point and should be deleted and a country

Jersey exists only as a country, Alderney exists only as a parish subordinate to Guernsey.

They should be consistently treated.

It is correct that Alderney should be part of Guernsey. The Channel Islands are split into two separate crown dependencies, firstly the Balliwick of Jersey (covering Jersey) and the Balliwick of Guernsey (covering Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and a few others).

I understand it should be subordinate, I am just trying to illustrate the inconsistencies.

To illustrate another the Isle of Wight is entered separately as a county outside the geo hierarchy, a county a 2nd time under England, island, and local administrative area.

did it really matter that there were 2 places, if they were clearly different in geography? maybe someone preferred the second place because it included some extra water to catch observations near the shore?

i’ve seen lots of other examples of multiple places that differ just slightly in geography. for example, Central Park in New York has a place created by iNat staff based on NYC Parks maps (, as well as another place ( that includes the streets around the core of the park and excludes much of Columbus Circle (in the southwest corner). i can see reasons for both Central Park places to exist.

when do you decide that only one can survive?

It matters in the sense that every duplicate creates additional burdens on data tasks. One single one doesn’t really matter, but as more and more observations come in and people come onboard. each one is:

  • another checklist that has to be maintained by server processes
  • another place that has to be dealt with for place indexing and assignment of places to observations
  • another place that impacts collection project management and calculations
  • additional confusion for users in running filters etc especially if they are slightly different
    etc etc

And eventually they start to accumulate and have a quantifiable impact.

I really dont know what the answer is if one user feels the ‘Isle of Man’ means just the land and another user needs it to mean the land plus 500 meters of ocean off the coast.

The reality is it is impossible to know if a user really wanted it defined as land plus 500 meters of ocean, or if someone just did not check to see if it existed and created a new one and drew the polygon around the island as best they could freehand.

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