Using town boundary and not zip code to show place

hey, i’ve noticed that my town does not exist on iNat, which is sad considering we’re an actual town with a functioning government and conservation commission and all that.

what we don’t have is a post office, so every observation made in our town gets listed as being in the town where our mail gets delivered from. i should not need to create a new place and project just to look at observations in my town.

1 Like

Hi @flask, this sounds like it may be an issue with how Google or Apple describes places in text based on GPS coordinates, which gets entered into the Locality Notes section on iNat. Can you provide some examples so we can help troubleshoot?

You can use the Explore page to view observations in a certain area and/or you (or someone else) can upload the boundaries of your town. But uploading a new place to iNat doesn’t change the locality notes that were generated by Google and Apple or written by individual observers.

1 Like

if you have a look at nearly ALL of my recent observations, they all mark the location as being in jericho vermont, but i assure you, i am a quite well into bolton, which is the town where i serve on the conservation commission, and so therefore all observations IN BOLTON are of interest to us.

a few of my recent observations tag me as being in huntington, but in fact i’m in bolton, on the wrong side of the winooski river to be in huntington. it’d be cool to just have my bolton observations say that, but it appears that for mapping purposes we do not exist. i think this is because we have no zip code of our own.

It’s not because of your zip code, this is an issue with Google’s geocoding service. When you upload an observation to iNat, the text description of the location comes from Google (though you can change that description later if you like). As an example, you have an observation from (44.438708, -72.906013). If I plug those coordinates into Google’s geocoding service, the top result is in Jericho:

Since Google is telling iNat this is in Jericho, that’s the information getting filled in. However, iNat does have a boundary for the city of Bolton, and this observation also knows that it’s within the boundary. That information is found on the observation page under more details about the location.

If you would like to change the text description for your observations, you can batch edit and change many at once. Go to, choose Batch edit, and select the ones you want to edit. Then choose Edit Selected and under Batch Operations, fill in the text you want, e.g. Bolton, VT. Then Apply, then Save All.

You can also try reporting the issue to Google Maps, though I don’t personally have any experience with how well this works.


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