Not being able to search for Washington State

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Platform (Android, iOS, Website):
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URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices:
Screenshot_20200418-212916 Screenshot_20200418-212842
Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):

Step 1: Go to the “explore tab”

Step 2: Type in Washington in the location bar

Step 3: watch as Washington State doesn’t appear for any of the options when searching for “Washington” or “Washington State”, making it impossible to filter by the state

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It started working for me.(didn’t work at first)

WA(space) pulls it up as well.

Search in the bar on the home page and it appears immediately after ‘was’

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I finally found that I could solve this problem by typing the state name followed by the comma:
New York,

Huh. I get Washington State as soon as I’ve typed “Was” and it stays there for me through the whole word.



But as a general rule of thumb, you get better results for geographic searches if you use the Place search instead of the Location search.

More info here.


When searching observations, Washington state won’t come up to filter observations unless I manually use the place filter for iNat places.

This has annoyed me in the past. If you search for ‘Washington state’ or ‘Washington, USA’ you should get it.

I see the same thing as @jwidness start typing in was and click on Washington, USA and you’re all good. I don’t believe this is a bug.

EDIT: I’m guessing you’re already on the Explore page, but in general if I want to start searching in a place, I’ll use the header search.

After I did some experimenting, I find that the Location search on any Explore page (or My Observations page) is geographically contextual primarily to the displayed portion of the map. Thus, if I’m zoomed out to have the entire U.S. displayed in the window, “Washington, USA” comes up as the 2nd choice right after Washington, D.C. But if I have, say, only New England in the mapped view, I get a list including “Washington PA, USA”, “Washington NC, USA”, etc. but no Washington state. Curiously, when my map is zoomed into mainly Texas for example, I do see “Washington, USA” in the list of choices, so the contextual list is either glitchy or has some randomness in the results. See the attached screen capture examples for a New England view and a Texas view.
Additional experimenting with this same search indicates that if my map view is currently in some far away land where there is no local “Washington” placename, Washington state still comes up as the 2nd choice in this search. So apparently, the search function is forcing the insertion of local/regional results in the map view when such results are available but not otherwise. The trick seems to be to make sure the desired geographic area is within the current map view.

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Yes, that’s because Location search is powered by Google. If you use regular Google maps, it also biases results toward the current map bounds.

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