Location error on map

This seems to be a bug. I can’t seem to explain it any other way. Note the below observation:


It shows an observation in the middle of Santa Monica.

Once you click on the observation the location moves to Topanga state park - which by the way is the correct location.

The Lat/Lon is correct in the image above and can be checked by using google maps. See the third image above.

The Lat/Lon is also correct when viewing the original photo on my iPhone - so I don’t think there is a problem with the metadata on the photograph. This is the third time I have noticed this. Any recommendations or explanation would be appreciated.

Thank you,


On my desktop, this is what it shows. Shows the location as obscured, but open the details and it says the geoprivacy is open.

The coordinates are obscured because the taxon is threatened. You should see a statement about that at the bottom of the details popup shown in these two screenshots. Perhaps there is a bug, or we need to be more explicit with the observation geoprivacy listing as I agree it is confusing to say the geoprivacy is open. The observation geoprivacy may be open, but that is overruled by the threatened taxon, so the location is ultimately obscured.

We currently show the actual coordinates of observations to the observer on the observation details page, but all users including the observer currently sees the obscured coordinates in all other user interfaces. If you open the legend on the Explore map you’ll see that all observations that appear as circles instead of “pins” are obscured.

Thank you. That clears things up. You mean this legend.


It’s still a little confusing for people - with terrestrial plants appearing in the ocean and the like - but I understand why it’s done. There might be a way to clarify this for users. For example, the threatened status appears on individual observations, but not on the species overview. In addition, on the app the observations show up as pins - not circles - at least on my iPhone. I know of one botanist scrambling to find a new population of a rare plant in the middle of a housing development.

Thank you again.

yeah, if you are trying to find something another observer has seen, especially very rare stuff, it is probably better to contact the observer directly… although I do enjoy a good treasure hunt, even if unsuccessful!