Make Collection and Umbrella projects show up in Nearby Projects in the app

Platform(s): React app

Description of need:
Due to an apparently intentional design decision, only Traditional projects or projects that have been converted from Traditional can show up in the Nearby tab in the app. This makes it harder for users to find projects they may be interested in, and it makes it more difficult for project organizers to publicize their projects.
It also means that mostly older projects (from back when Collection wasn’t an option) show up in the app, which I personally think makes iNat look outdated and kind of stale.

Feature request details:
This request is to make it possible for all project types to show up in the Nearby tab in the app. Whether that means assigning a lat/lon to Collection projects or using some other method, whatever works best.

Is Nearby Projects something that shows up on a computer? I’ve never seen it.

No, it’s only on apps.

i guess this is true, but i think the better long-term approach to address the issue is to make something that allows for easier searching of projects by means other than just a search term or location. in addition to search by location and term, allow search by date, taxon, project type, etc.

adding a location to projects is fine, but it strikes me as almost wasted effort, since, on its own, i think its ability to reveal interesting projects is kind of limited.

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Agreed with the request - I admin a lot of projects, and my collection projects get just a trickle of new members while abandoned traditional projects continue to add new users who I’m assuming discover them through the nearby section. I also personally used to use the nearby project section while traveling to discover areas and species of interest, but the listings are becoming pretty dated.

I would amend the request slightly to give project admins the option of having their projects appear, so collection projects that are only meant to be part of an umbrella project, invite-only projects, personal projects, and projects that are still being worked on (lacking icons, header graphics, etc.) don’t fill up the nearby list.


i think part of the issue here is that the results returned from /v1/projects don’t seem to be ordered in any logical way. so if you simply sorted the projects by update date, that would give you more recent projects.

i created a page that will help to show the results of GET /v1/projects in a more human-friendly format.

using that page, you can see what the API will bring back for different parameters. by default, the Nearby page in the app seems to apply only lat/long filters, not any sort order. so here’s roughly what i get, using approximate lat/long (

note that the projects returned above are relatively old and not necessarily located close by. but simply forcing an order gets me a fresher list of projects (

but the projects above are still sort of far away. so specifying a smaller radius than the default (500km) gets me more relevant results (

… but i don’t think any one set of parameters will necessarily give me the most optimal set of projects. so i think it’s still better to empower users to find projects using at least all the filter parameters currently available to /v1/projects. (ideally, we would also get new date and taxon parameters, too.)

feel free to use the new page to see how well different sets of parameters work in bringing back relevant projects.