Smaller than the state of Texas? -- The problem of missing places

It frustrates me that there is no place for the Sargasso Sea, since it is a recognized, distinctive place, with its own unique biodiversity. I was going to try to create the place tonight, using the agreed coordinates of 20° to 35° N and 40 and 70 W, as seen on both Wikipedia and American Oceans; but I got to the KML step and saw the limitation to “smaller than the US state of Texas.”

Under most circumstances, I can understand this – we don’t want to overload the servers, and places on land larger than Texas probably do have thousands of observations. However, as large as the Sargasso Sea is, the paucity of oceanic observations means that the Sargasso Sea does not have such an overload; you can see that in this screenshot, in which I have outlined the Sargasso Sea in green:

That cluster of dots at the western end is Bermuda, which could be excluded in making a place that is just the sea itself. Not a lot of observations; but its area is larger than the state of Texas.

I don’t suppose there is a workaround?


if you’re just trying to use the Explore or Identify screens, you can always approximate the search area by searching in a box or circle:

That can only be approximated, since neither a rectangle nor a circle captures the oval shape of the Sargasso. I have had frustration before searching for places that lack a defined place, because I can almost never get the rectangle to 1) include the entire area and 2) exclude all other areas at the same time.

Also, it would be nice to be able to subscribe to the place, so that I don’t have to guess when a new observation might have been added.


i guess you’ll just have to wait until computing power improves or indexes become more efficient somehow. see


I share your n frustration about Sargasso sea not being recognized. I have the same kind of problem. I am a marine biologist in a South Pacific archipelago named New Caledonia and I cannot get all the observations made in the EEZ of the country included in any project because it is bigger than Texas. It is very frustrating.


As a work-around, could you maybe accomplish what you’re trying to do by creating several sub-places, e.g. Sargasso Sea north, south, east, west, central, and compile all their observations into a project that covers the entire area?


A circle may not be much better than a rectangle–maybe worse.

Having Bermuda included sorta messes things up–being terrestrial and all. But without it, there’s essentially no observations to speak of. Field trip to the Sargasso Sea anyone?

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Seems like an admin should be able to make a special exception and help out with this…


I would like places for the Laurentian Great Lakes watershed (and the watershed of each of the individual lakes).

Yes, if an admin could do that it would be great.

I agree particularly with island nations, I wonder if the Inat team could create EEZ’s as standard areas? like they have with countries, Maybe the EEZ without any land?

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