Location displayed as Missing or incorrect, but the right data is recorded

Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform (Android, iOS, Website):

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About):

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

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:



Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/):

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Step 1: Randomly looks at an observation

Step 2: page displays missing or incorrect location information, but the correct location data exists in the record

Step 3: see discussion with @loarie on this obs:

these don’t look like bugs to me.

this is an obscured observation, and obscured observations have their location descriptions obscured to the name of the county-level “standard” place where the location occurs. in this case, the observation is in the ocean, and iNat’s standard places are land-based. so there no county-level place to match to this observation.

i don’t think this would be considered a bug, but i guess you could make a feature request to have it display something like “somewhere on earth” rather than “missing” or something like that. (i’m not sure what the best alternative text would be.)

the system doesn’t force the location description and coordinates to match. the location description is just text, and you can put whatever you like in there. in your case, it sounds like your location description is accurate, but you can see on the map that your coordinates are near Antarctica. so you just need to fix the coordinates.

since your (bad) coordinates seem to be in the middle of the ocean and your observation is obscured, you get the same problem as noted above, since there’s no standard place. but once you fix your coordinates, all should be fine.

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Oh, that was not my bad coordinates on the vivid dancer obs.
I think it was a processing glitch.

The photo’s coords were fine. I uploaded the same pic again and it showed the right location.

the positional accuracy is huge on that observation. the only time i see that happen is when folks fat-finger the map when creating or editing the observation. you can fix that observation by just editing the coordinates so that they’re in California, not near Antarctica.


in the case of the skate obs (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/117598979), the location (Open) is not missing as the lat/lon figures are there. However, it is labeled as missing.

In the case of the vivid dancer obs (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/178859836), the location was input correctly, but the process picked up the wrong lat/lon figure somehow.

These appear to be glitches to me, but they seem to be pretty rare glitches as I have not noticed other posts addressing such issues.

With this one, I don’t see “missing” but it is labeled as “Open” when it clearly seems to be obscured?