Observations not added to project

I recetly created a place (https://www.inaturalist.org/places/boac-garden) and a Project (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/boac-garden) to collect observations at that specific location. I have modified the place to include a slightly broader area than needed to account for inaccurate location tags. Now most of my observations for that area are show up, however another user, who is a member of the project, is not getting his observations included. The project also does no show up on the list to manually select it in the Android app or even on the website.

I have attempted to set the project requirement open except for the place. Any suggestions or has anyone else seen this issue?


Hi Bradley,

You’ve got a few different issues going on. As for the issue of the second user’s records not showing up, can you send an example of an observation that should be there? When I use the Explore page to search for observations I only see your records showing up for that “place”: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=141428&subview=table&verifiable=any

So, my guess is that second observer’s records are not contained within the place (e.g. they are outside or the uncertainty distance makes them overlap the place boundary and appear partly outside. This is a common issue for tiny places.


Here is 1 observation that should be there https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29987256.

Would it be easier to make the Project to monitor a physical address instead of a defined location?


Actually I took a look as well, the records do appear to be centred inside the borders of the park.

There are 2 possible causes I can think of:

  • they appear to be very close to the borders of the park, and have accuracy buffers that extend well beyond the park. Ask them to try reducing that buffer to something much smaller, or even 0.
  • it does sometimes take a little time before records get added/indexed into new places. It may simply not have finished yet, since all the stuff got created today. If after about 24 hours, they are still not there, then it is likely the indexing failed, which is a recurring issue the site has
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Bradley, this record’s uncertainty bubble does extend outside of the place boundary, so that’s definitely the issue. I am quite sure that if you do either of these things they would show up pretty quickly in the project:

  1. reduce the uncertainty bubble of the observation (not recommended because then your changing the true data).
  2. expand your place boundary to catch these edge records. You may want to extend it ~30 m in every direction to capture the majority of records plus their uncertainty distance.

Projects dont support that, nor do you want to do it, as people can free text enter anything they want into the field that supports the name. For example the google maps address might be 123 Maple Street, but if I want I can enter Maple Street Park etc.

Projects can only be linked to a place defined in the iNat data.

In terms of not changing the uncertainty buffer, I think that partially depends on how it was done. The photo does not appear to have embedded GPS coordinates in the metadata, so if you’ve just clicked on the map to place the sighting, the buffer that was created is kind of artificial, and not ‘data driven’

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I extended the boundaries to include the office building and some more of the surrounding area and that seemed to get it.


Perfect solution! In the past, I have created additional user defined place for an area, covering approx 20m outside the boundary, and called it “Someplace and surrounds”.

Another way is to create two projects, a collection project to auto pickup the bulk of the obs, and then a traditional project to add specific obs that didn’t get picked up. Then have an Umbrella Project that picks up both projects and acts as the main public facing project page. I personally prefer this option, as it also gives the ability to bring in obscured observations etc., but is is a bit more work, and a little “messy” in approach for some people.


Thank you for the suggestions! I am going to leave it with the modified boundaries on the place for now and see how that does.
The over-arching goal is to use this “project” page to have a nice log of the species found on corporate campus and mainly in the pollinator garden we planted. The data and photos collected will help us with the process of obtaining and maintaining a Wildlife Habitat Council certification. With any luck we can even preset this back to the site leadership for permission to expand the garden project or even add additional plots.

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