Observations showing up in wrong country despite map placement appearing correct

I place an observation in India. According to the iNat map, the observation appears to be in India. But the automatic place description claims the find is in Nepal.


Also, I have many other observations placed inside India near the Nepal border which correctly have an automatic place description in India, yet show up in a search for Nepal records. For example:


Can anyone tell why this is?

** website


You can change the description to what you prefer, iNat has no control over those automatic descriptions.


Okay, I changed it. However, when I look under “Encompassing places”, it still says:

[Nepal] (Country)
[East, NP] (State)

And I believe that stuff is true iNat attribution, not just an outside suggestion, right?

So it seems like something is still off there involving the mapping. The map clearly shows that that location is within West Bengal, India, and I placed it on a trekking route that is clearly on the Indian side of the border so far as I understand.

Also, the other issue is still there. I have all these other entries from that same route whose automatic place is West Bengal, India, and it looks like they should be in India based on the visual map, but their “encompassing place” is listed as Nepal as well.

I’m wondering if there’s something misaligned between the visual mapping and official mapping in that part of the world?


your observation does seem to fall within iNat’s standard place boundary for Nepal, which is based on a many-years-old definition from GADM. comparing this to the current OpenStreetMaps map, it looks like the iNat Nepal boundary (orange) is shifted to the the east:

i wonder if the GADM boundary was just defined this way? or was it projected incorrectly when iNat adapted it? or has there been a lot of tectonic shifting since the GADM boundaries were determined back in the day?

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I have a similar Problem:
My observations at Mu Koh Surin National Park in Thailand are listed under Myanmar.
On the Google Map the location is correctly shown in Thailand, but if you click on ‘Details’ behind the adres you’ll see the ‘Encompassing Places’ here Myanmar is listed as country instead of Thailand.

Example: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/151829519

If you look at the map of whole Thailand under ‘Explore’ you will see that the Koh Surin islands are outside the boundary of Thailand. These boundaries are drawn by the Inaturalist team I guess?

Anybody able to correct the status of the Surin islands?

I have the same problem: my observations from Białowieża Forest in Poland, taken close to the state border, are listed as observations fof Belarus. For observation the place is described correctly (“powiat hajnowski, Polska”) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/140659954 or:
but the observation could not be found when I searched all observation for Poland.

based on a previous thread, it looks like maybe this is a known issue, and apparently this should be noted in a flag on the place:

iNat’s boundary for Belarus (in orange, adapted from GADM) looks shifted to the southwest vs the OSM boundaries. i’m guessing the boundaries may not have been projected quite right here when they were adapted from GADM, but i’m not sure. based on the Thailand example above, you might have to note the problem in a flag on the place, but probably it will not be corrected any time soon.

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I was hoping that this was just some minor issue with the Nepal-India boundary. If it’s a problem with national boundaries across the world, then the place attributions become less meaningful.

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