Issues with lat and/or long set at 0

Continuing the discussion from Implement more filtering tools for Casual grade observations:

  • Observations that look like they were added at 0, 0 show up as “Unknown” location but also geo=true: whereas they should probably be considered geo=false.
  • On the website, the translation of 0,0 observations into unknown location observations appears to have actually been implemented as a translation of any lat = 0 observation to unknown location. This can be problematic because there may be observations with legitimate coordinates where lat = 0. (See the next post for details.) Additionally, the Android app also seems to display long = 0 observations with unknown location. (The iOs app will need to be checked to see how it behaves.)
  • When viewing coordinates on the observation page on the website, lat = 0 observations display a blank lat value, even if the corresponding long <> 0. similarly, long = 0 observations display a blank long value, even if the corresponding lat <> 0. It’s probably better to blank out a 0 lat or long value only in cases where the observations are at or very close to 0,0. (This is not a problem on the Android app, but the iOs app should be checked to see how it behaves.)

sorry for going a little off topic, but do you know if there have been any related bugs reported since the fix for the 0,0 problem (other than this one)? i tried to search through the forum, but it’s there’s a lot of stuff, and my brain isn’t working right today.

specifically, it looks to me like the way they addressed this was to effectively make any observations along lat 0 show up as location unknown (rather than, say, making only something near 0,0 show up as location unknown). (unless at 0,0, observations along long 0 still look okay on the website, except that their longitudes shows up as blank rather than 0. they do not show up on the Android app, however. i’m not sure about the Apple app.) the unknown location designation for non-0,0 lat 0 observations seems problematic because you could potentially have legitimate observations along lat 0. (it’s probably relatively unlikely that something has exactly lat 0, but maybe someone is approximating when putting in coordinates?)

just for example, here are observations with lat 0 in South America: some of these could be bad location observations, but there is at least one group of observations at La Concordia, Ecuador (which is right near the equator) that also are showing as location unknown because of this problem. here’s a screenshot of one of them (, which shows no map and blank lat:


anyway, please let me know if anyone’s reported this kind of thing before. if not, i might turn this into a bug report.

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I’m not aware of other related issues having been reported. I went ahead and broadened the topic title and turned the first post in this topic into a wiki – we can probably just consolidate the lat/long at 0 issues in one place.

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