Site broken when Google domains are blocked

Using a pihole (which DNS sinkholes * and + other advertising domains), the site is broken. The observations list won’t load and I can’t upload new observations.

Pihole is a network level device so I can’t change that.

The site should be coded to fallback to something else rather than Google domains being required to be present.


In Chrome DevTools, just block all google related domains and this behaviour will be seen.

I can’t upload images here either as that’s blocked.

Welcome to the iNat forum!

I’m not convinced this is exactly a bug report as the site is designed to use google for maps and locations to run, so it is working as intended. It sounds like it might be better phrased as a feature request, though I’m not familiar enough to know what that request would look like/how it would be phrased - it seems like it might involve a serious amount of work to address the issue.

It looks like pihole allows for whitelisting. Can you edit the whitelist to allow iNat to run as desired?

The forum is a Discourse product, so I don’t think use of google domains here could be modified by iNat (though I could be wrong).


there’s no bug here. it’s unlikely that the website is going to move away from using Google stuff any time soon. so if you want to use the iNat site effectively, you need to allow yourself access to Google stuff. here’s an explanation specifically about why moving away from the Google Maps platform in the foreseeable future would be unrealistic:


(moved out of #bug-reports - if there are actionable ways to improve usability when Google is blocked, you could submit it to #feature-requests)

“there’s no bug here”

Perhaps I can clarify. Core functionality on the site that has nothing to do with Google is blocked unless Google is enabled.

I understand that I can’t use Google Maps - but what would login and observations list be blocked?

The bug is that core functionality that shouldn’t depend on Google actually does.

If I block Google, I understand and expect perhaps 10% of the site not to work (the bits that need Google to function) but I don’t expect other non-Google-reliant parts to also stop working.

i assume here that you’re mostly talking about the Explore / Observation Search page (and variants of it such as My Observations). i haven’t looked at how exactly the page is structured, but based on the discussion that ends in this post (, i’m guessing that it’s not a straightforward thing to redo that page to make any part of the page function without the maps being available. there had been talk in the past about revamping the Explore page (see so if that ever happens maybe that will bring with it better handling for the problem you’re describing here?

in the meantime, you may be able to filter for observations using the Identify page ( or by using the API. (or just allow yourself access to

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.