Non-rectagular or circular map locations

Hello, this is my first post on this forum, so be gentle with me :-)
Is there anyway of being able to define a non-rectangular area on a map to designate a project coverage? - What I am hoping for is a free-form/Polygon area, drawn using the mouse and clicking (like on an estate agents map search) - is this possible or can it be added? Thanks

Yes, you can create a new place by submitting a KML file that contains the coordinates of a polygon. I use for this purpose. Your mileage may vary.


Another +1 for CalTopo. On the left side you’ll click the orange “Add” button, then select “Polygon” and begin drawing your project area borders. Once you’re done, click “Export” and make sure the polygon you just drew is checked and select “KML (Google Earth)” from the top drop-down menu. Tada!

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Google Earth Pro is free and is super easy to make KMLs (as well as Shapefiles and other GIS files) in.

Since it caches image tiles it can be used (in a limited fashion) offline too.

When online you can look through historical imagery of your area of interest, which can be really useful for a variety of purposes.

CalTopo is ok, but I think there are a lot of better, or equally good, options out there.


Welcome to the iNaturalist Forum @russpw!

To implement the good suggestions above, you will also want to review the Help topic on projects and how to create new places from KML files for limiting project areas.

Also note that before anyone can create a new place in iNaturalist, they have to have posted at least 50 verifiable observations first. There is more about this limitation in the same help topic.


It’s worth checking if your place has already been created. You can open any observation inside your area and examine the left sidebar to find a list of existing places it falls inside.


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