Removing the location doesn't actually do that

This is a privacy issue. I had locations shared that I did not mean to share, because I didn’t think I needed to make the locations private, since they were supposed to be removed anyway

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): happens both when using the Android app’s “remove location” button and when removing the coordinates from the observation on the website.

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About): 1.28.5 (558)

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc): Chrome for Android

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages: I’ve been trying to remove them from this one (real coordinates replaced with fake ones since I can’t remove them and they were at my house)

Screenshots of what you are seeing: see below

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: create and save a observation with a location.

Step 2: edit the observation in the Android app.

Step 3: use the menu at the top right and pick “remove location.”

Step 4: click yes to confirm that you want to remove the location.

Step 5: save the observation. click yes to confirm that you want to save the observation without the coordinates.

Now it looks like the coordinates are removed:

Step 6: close and sync the observation.

Step 7: open the observation on the app or website. see that the coordinates are still there.


Step 1: create and save an observation with a location.

Step 2: edit the observation on the iNaturalist website through your web browser.

Step 3: remove the location coordinates.

Step 4: save, and confirm that you want to save without location coordinates.

Step 5: open the observation on the app or website. see that the coordinates are still there.

The location on that observation is listed as “Private” so other users cannot see it, but you can since you posted the observation (you will always be able to see the coordinates of an observation that you post). You can test this by using a private browser window to see what other users would see. This is what I see:

You could also check out iNaturalist’s help page on Geoprivacy:

Obscuring these observations will likely do what you want, but you can also set the locations to private as you have done.

If you think that there is still something incorrect happening, please elaborate.


My bad, I initially put it as private after it did not erase the coordinates to my house, and forgot to change it back to use it as an example. It should be public now.

I am aware that changing the privacy setting from public hides the coordinates from other users. But if the coordinates aren’t even supposed to be there, the user has no way of knowing they have to do that (especially since on the app, the coordinates look deleted until you sync and reopen it).

Furthermore, is there not a reason that removing the location is a separate function from hiding it? If users are just supposed to use the privacy settings and not remove locations, then why have the “remove location” option at all?

Great description of the steps to make the problem clear!

I can’t reproduce this on the web. When deleting the coordinates from one of my observations via editing in browser (Chrome), it does work right away, though the observation still shows the original Google-derived place, in this case a town (which might be good to get rid of). What browser did you use on the web?

I don’t have an Android device to test on.

I am using Chrome for Android.

Got it, didn’t see that in your original post. For now, if you have access to a web browser, you may be able to use that to remove coordinates if needed.

Works fine on my iNat on Android, ver.1.27.9 (551) - maybe it got broken in the newer version?

The website doesn’t have a “remove location” function. You can manually delete the coordinates and the accompanying text in the respective text fields in the Edit page and it works

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