Locality notes fail to update when pin moves

This bug is about what is pointed in this picture, I believe this explains what I have in mind, and which I can’t translated correctly to English.

This issue has happened to me on several occasions, but I never realized how common it was, until an user mentioned it that here www.inaturalist.org/observations/19932097
I remember that in the exampled I paste above, when uploading the observation of that coral, I remember that, in the example above, when I uploaded the observation, I used as first word to started the searching in the map my locality at that moment which was Coquimbo, and from that point I shifted to Playa del Carmen, that’s all, after doing that I saved my observations.
Is this considered a bug? to me not, but to that user it was pretty confusing… Hope I was clear trying to explaining this
(to the forum moderator, if you need to rename this, feel free to do so)

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): website

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Chrome

The top red circle is the place name that you entered, and it tries to find a matching place name in the mapping system. The bottom red circle is about two lists of places for which your actual pin location is inside of. The list at left are the iNat place names, which are not user defined, and the list at right are the “places” created by other iNat users.


I’m pretty sure this is a bug because I know that it happens sometimes, but I’m having trouble replicating it, meaning it’s not the intended behavior.
Here’s what I’m doing – for me, the locality correctly changes to Playa del Carmen when I move the pin.

  • Upload a new observation and type Coquimbo into the search box. Choose it for the location.
  • The coordinates and locality notes are now set to Coquimbo.
  • Use the map display to move to Mexico and click on Playa del Carmen.
  • For me, I see Coquimbo in the search box up top, but the coordinates and locality notes have both updated correctly.
  • Click Update Observations, then submit the observation. Coordinates and locality notes are Playa del Carmen, not Coquimbo.

@diegoalmendras are you doing different steps to cause this problem? Can you reproduce it?

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Now I can´t reproduce this problem, I tried it uploading a photograph with metadata and alright, and I did the same, screen capturing this photo, to wipe out metadata, but then it worked well…

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Do let us know if it happens again.

It might be when it’s a partial match in the search…

In this example I edited an observation that had a pin location in Gisborne. I type into the search box “auckla” which is a partial of the city name “Auckland” and press enter. It moved the pin to Auckland but left the locality notes as “auckla”. When I zoom out and moved the map and clicked a location just outside of Gisborne it set the pin but kept the “auckla” locality notes. I’m not sure what it would do if I saved it though…

It’s not just partial matches, as far as I can tell, the locality notes never update automatically when you move the pin within the Observation Edit page. It’s never been clear to me whether this is intentional – the locality notes do update on pin movement in Observation Upload (as described above), but you are also supposed to be able to modify your locality notes separately from choosing a pin location. That way, for example, I could pick a spot on a map, see the automatic locality notes are something like “Yellowstone National Park”, and then change them to something else that I want like “Camera Trap 12”. If I realize I’ve put the pin in the wrong place and I move it a bit, should the locality notes go back to “Yellowstone National Park”, or should it keep my modified notes?

The Observation Edit page is truly ancient, so the “Where were you box” doesn’t change when you move the marker. It’s there so you can search google maps and/or to enter a custom place name.

Are you referring to the web uploader? I don’t have a strong preference because I rarely if ever use it, but I think Id prefer that the locality notes change when you move the pin. The notes field is close to the Update Observations button, so it seems to me like it should be among the last things to be edited.

In my head I was imagining the Observation Edit page, but I suppose the question works in both contexts: web uploader and Observation Edit.

I also don’t have much need for editing the locality notes, so I don’t feel that strongly. I can imagine there might be someone doing what I described above (changing the notes to “Camera Trap 12”) who would get annoyed about having to fix the locality notes each time they manually move the pin, but I think more commonly people would want to have the locality notes update automatically. I guess in sum, I’d rather see the Observation Edit page work like the web uploader – i.e. the locality notes auto-update when you move the pin unless you’ve edited them manually already.

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