Naming a location

Hello, How do I assign a name to a location? I would rather not have my home address listed for all the world to see.

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I assume you mean what shows in an observation record and not that you have created an actual location from your home?

Can you please clarify if you want to edit an observation already made, or for when you enter new ones and if you use the website or one of the mobile apps.

I have the opposite issue. I always had the civic address added to the observation but now only get the coordinates. I can’t figure out why it won’t add the addresses anymore?

I made a pin that is centred on my home suburb, with a circle big enough to cover the suburb. Enough info to be useful … but not Lives Just Here. A lot of bio blitz photos include the street address. I think iNat should obscure that down to suburb by default.

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iNat are looking into allowing a “geofence”, a limited sized area the user can set, wherein locations will be automatically obscured. I’m not sure what stage that is up to or even if it will actually be implemented, but there was a lot of conversation about it in the old google groups.

If you wish to have better labelling of the location, or just to take out the descriptive part that gives your address, and still leave the pin in the same location, then you can edit the observation and enter a different name in the “Where were you?” field above the map. Don’t press enter, or the system will try and find a place of that name and move the pin to there, but if you instead go down to the bottom of the page and click save (really stressing the “don’t press enter” in the where were you field!), then only the descriptive label of the location will change. This can be handy for giving more detail about a place, such as “Eastwoodhill Arboretum, Gisborne NZ” instead of “Ngatapa 4072, New Zealand”. It can work the other way too, so instead of showing my home address, I can have it say “Urban Backyard, Gisborne”. This doesn’t alter the pin location, so it’s still evident at the place the pin is located.

You can set obscuration on an observation, so that the system will randomise a point on the map for the purposes of showing the observation to the world, but it stores it accurately internally. I believe you can then allow others to see the true location details.

One thing I used to do when I first joined, and didn’t want others to see a big clump of observations around my house, was to find the nearest named park to my house. I enter that location name into the “where were you” field, hit enter (this time I WANT the pin to move!) and set the accuracy radius to large enough that it comfortably covers my house. There are probably 50-100 houses inside that moderately small radius, so I am happy that it doesn’t give away my actual address as such, and the radius and location is small enough that it doesn’t detract too greatly from the value of the observation. The downside of this option is that it does mve the pin, and sometimes being able to “street view” the observation can give additional information that can help with an ID. I can recall one observation of a tree at a park in Rotorua, I went to street view to see if it had better views of the tree, and noticed that there was a big burn mark up the side of the tree. A google search found an article about the fire that had been lit against the side of the tree, and not only did that article give the species of the tree, but it gave the history of when it was planted and by whom! On another occasion, I found fungi growing in ground that looked like it had had a tree removed from some time ago, and a google street view revealed the tree before it was cut down! That tree species was helpful in determining what the fungi was.


I do not want to have my personal home address displayed. I figured out how to fix that by choosing “obscure” when posting the observation location.

Thank you. This is very helpful!

It’s important to remember that the actual coordinates are displayed, regardless of any text place guess (eg address or town). So even if your address wasn’t showing, anyone can navigate to the coordinates. So I’m not convinced hiding the text would make any difference, as long as the coordinates are public. It’s a bit of a red herring.

What you should do is set the geoprivacy to “obscured” or “private” for any observations you make around your house. This can be done when making the observation, or after it’s been posted. Personally, I use “obscured” for observations I make around my house.

Are you using Android or iOS? Just curious.

I recommended we not show street-level place guesses anymore because they were often incorrect, and a) caused a lot of people to write in to help@inat and ask why the place guess was wrong (which, again, is not a real issue if the coordinates are accurate, because its the coordinates that matter) and b) I’d rather us not display inaccurate information, so a slightly less specific place guess seemed better.


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