Niger vs. Nigeria on Explore map



A little bug to report (I’m from France).
When I write “NIGER” in the part “Explore”, it is the NIGERIA map that appears (see the sreenshot).

Many thanks


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About the Bug Reports category

When searching for a place using that particular box, you’re actually searching Google Places API results (not quite the same as Google Maps search, unfortunately). If you don’t use the autocomplete results and just hit ENTER, we use the first result from Google and try to match that to an iNat place record. In this case, first result from Google is Nigeria and not Niger, which means this is a Google problem that is sort of out of our hands. I suggest you type the word “Niger” and chose “Niger” from the autocomplete results instead of Nigeria.

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Thank you very much @kueda for your reply.
The problem is that even if I choose “Niger” in the dialog box, it is the map of Nigeria that appears. Thus, it is impossible for me to see the observations made in Niger !
Did you manage to see the map of Niger ?
I don’t know if I am the only person not able to see the map of Niger !..
I thought it was a translation problem (I am working on the version of Inaturalist translated into French), but when I use the English version, I have the same result: impossible to see the observations on the territory of the Niger.
But I understand that it’s not a Inaturalist but a Google place API problem.
Thanks a lot.

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Yes, when I type in “Niger” I get a dropdown list, and the second choice on that list is “Niger” (Nigeria is first).

When I click on the second choice (Niger) it still takes me to Nigeria on the map.

So does appear to be a bug, at one end or the other.



The dropdown has “Niger” and “Niger Nigeria”. The first gives the map of Niger, and the second gives the map of Nigeria, at least when I do it.

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When I type in Niger I get a dropdown with 5 choices:

Nigeria (Dubai…)
Nigerian Law School
Niger River

I don’t see a “Niger Nigeria”

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Forum "replied to" icons don't seem to show consistently

One solution is to use the Place search in Filters:

This searches iNaturalist places and not Google. I generally use that on the Explore page.

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I start with a default of California, and when I change location to Niger, I get:

The second produces a map of Niger, and the fifth produces a map of Nigeria.

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Good work-around, thanks Tony

Hmmm, quirky. When I start with California, I get a different list than what I posted above, but it still doesn’t match your list. My list has Niagara Falls NY (!!) between Niger and Nigerian Law School, which bumps “Niger Nigeria” down to 6th place and off my dropdown.

BUT, now the second item (Niger) does take me to a map of Niger. Whereas, starting from a fresh Explore page, the same second item still takes me to Nigeria. Yes, clearly need to filter by Place instead!

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I tried the Tiwane solution and actually it works.
Thank you !



Yes, I know we’re supposed to use “Places” instead of “Locations,” but I always forget.

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Thanks, Tony. I’ve never quite understood this. Why do we have “locations” if “places” is always best?


Too few observations fall within place - Pichincha

I may be wrong as I wasn’t on the team when the Explore page was created, but I think the original idea was that this would at least move the map to a place the user entered and they could scroll around, use the Places of Interest menu, Redo search in Map, and so forth. Google had (and of course will always have) many more place names than we ever could. Definitely something to consider when we revamp the Explore page.



Google will always know about more places than we do, but they don’t provide us with geographic information beyond centroid points and rectangular bounding boxes. What’s on Explore right now is a compromise between the need for people to get some result, even if iNat doesn’t know about the place you’re searching for, and the need to show results filtered by actual place boundaries. Using iNat “places” definitely serves experienced users better, but using Google serves new users better, who generally don’t care about exact boundaries and want a general sense of the geography. Almost all the confusing parts of iNat stem from the divergent needs of these two groups of people, even though they depend on one another.


closed #15