Locations not being obscured

Platform: Website

Browser: Chrome

URLs: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/39230705

Description of problem:

Step 1: I upload an image

Step 2: I input coordinates, select geoprivacy obscured and save the image

Step 3: I view the observation page under chrome’s incognito browser where I’m not logged in and the observation is marked obscured but the dot is at the actual location.

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It’s obscured for me:

Can you send me a message with a screenshot of what you see while logged in & out of your account?

Edit, just reread your report: The location of the “stemless” dot is randomly generated; if it ends up near your true location it would have just been by chance.

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I have tried editing the observation and moving the point manually and the point shows up at the new location when viewed in incognito mode so it doesn’t seem to be a matter of chance.

Maybe it was a fluke, I was moving it around last night and it wasn’t obscuring but it seems to be now.

That is pretty eerily close to the true position…

Now that you had edited the position, here’s what I see:

I’ll leave this open for now in case you or others come across any other examples of this happening.

Yes, they were tracking each other perfectly last night too.

I can’t replicate this, my guess is that the public location just ended up being close to the actual location by chance. Also, the fact that it was marked as obscured means that people wouldn’t assume the public location is the actual location. If it does happen again do let us know. You might want to delete the screenshot showing the actual location from your post here.


I manually moved it so the screen shot of the unobscured location is not the actual location. It was happening repeatedly right up until I posted.

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I think I figured out how to replicate it. If I switch the location from being obscured to private and back to obscured the obscured location shows up in the actual location. I manually moved the point to illustrate so this isn’t the actual location.


It still looks obscured to me. I’m guessing that even though you’re using Incognito Mode iNat still has some history of who you are since you’re coming from the same IP address. Can you look up the observation from a smartphone not connected to your home/office wifi, so you’re coming from a completely different IP?

It does show as obscured, but if you zoom in the obscurred / supposedly random point is on the actual location. I double checked on my work phone.

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That is really strange. When I view it the dot shows up at the very edge of the rectangle, unless you moved the observation and that is the actual location now.


I do have the app installed on my work phone tied to me, but I used the web version to check it and didn’t log in. Are you sure that you’re looking at the right observation? I’m showing the obscured location for the first Arphia ramona I posted displaying at the location you indicated.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/39269473 is the observation with the issues. It’s the southwest most one in your screenshot. It looks like it’s showing up in the actual location in your screenshot too.

I was clicking on the observation linked in the original post, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/39230705. You’re right, I see https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/39269473 the same as you do, in an “obscured” box but at your original location.


We’re taking a look at this.


Just in case anyone wanted an additional data point on this:

I just ran into what may be this bug again (obscured observation has same location for the stemless dot in separate browser sessions, one private) and was reminded of this post. Did this ever get resolved?

OK, this bug should be fixed, meaning it should be impossible for an observation to have the same private and public coordinates. I attempted the method described here and it’s working for me.

Any observation that had the same public and private coordinates should also be fixed, but if you come across one please email help@inaturalist.org.

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