Using Heron Island as an example, if I type ‘heron i’ (so I don’t even need the whole thing) into the search bar, the place Heron Island comes up straight away. If I type the exact same thing into the search bar on the explore tab, I get nothing. In fact, no matter what I type in the explore tab I can’t actually find Heron Island at all, even if I type out the full place name verbatim. I’ve found this issue with a number of places. This makes no sense to me, as that top search bar takes me to the explore tab anyway, so how could the two give different results? Also, it seems strange that some places are literally unsearchable on the explore tab.
In a similar vein, the order of place names differs. @bushbandit brought this up with me today. He has to type the full ‘Victoria, AU’ for it to appear at all in the explore tab (I can reproduce this). When typing in Victoria, numerous other places, including specific streets, appear before the entire Australian state. But using the search bar on the home page, it only requires ‘vi’ for it to appear. What dictates this order?
the “location” box in explore is searching places in google maps, and will often not find iNat “places”. If you click on “filters” and then “more filters” at the bottom, there is a search box labeled "places, which only searches iNat places. when I type in “heron i” there, Heron Island, Queensland is the first thing that comes up.
That probably explains some cases, but Heron Island is certainly on Google Maps, and so are many other ones that don’t work for me. I can’t search for Heron Island, Australia no matter what I type, and it’s definitely a (very famous) place outside iNat.
if you type “heron i” in the location box on the Explore page and press enter, it does give you a place for Heron Island. i think it’s been discussed elsewhere that the order of the results returned in the autocomplete list isn’t ideal / consistent / expected, and i think what you’re describing as a problem here falls into that broader discussion.
I had a similar issue with Places I had created, and the solution was to give them Parent places. If you didnt create these places you can’t do that, but it would be interesting to know if they have Parent places?