Vague location names on observations

It seems that lately there are more, shall I say, vague location names on observations, i.e., I can’t tell what part of the world the ob was made.
Examples: Vega (Google, OSM), Hytti (Google, OSM), and others that appear to be in Russian or Polish which are locations in the U.S.

I can imagine the language thing is challenging but on others, is it feasible to include country or at least continent? Otherwise, it requires opening the observation, then changing the zoom level on the map to figure out what part of the world it is, which affects the likelihood of me being able to provide an ID.
I’d rather spend my time trying to provide IDs instead of trying to find out if it is someplace I know nothing about.



That field can be manually edited during or after upload of the observation. I suppose there isn’t a way to display the location, but you could filter your updates by place so that you don’t receive updates of observations from places you are unfamiliar with. This might be impractical if you wanted to see all observations except those in, say, Russia. In this case I would recommend using the Identify tool, which is much easier to fine tune. You can have a separate tab open you check regularly and it has the added benefit of showing observations that were not originally identified as the taxon you subscribed to and thus did not originally show up on your dashboard.

You could also mention something here about adding the actual location on dashboard updates.


Your screenshot is a bit too small to be legible, unfortunately. Aside from manually editing the place name, we draw “place guesses” from Google or Apple Maps, and those are affected by which language the user has their phone set to. So if someone in the US uses iNat in Russian, the place guess may be in Russian.


I’d wondered where those come from. I’d guessed it was something like that.

The “place guesses” can be quite random in my experience and are sometimes the name of a place a reasonable distance away from the location, even in urban areas where I know google maps knows the name of the park I’m in. I mostly ignore them.


I believe as long as those names are not used anywhere and only circle is used in search it’s ok to leave them as they are.

They are used in the search. The “Description / Tags” search searches the place name too. I discovered this when I tried searching for “road” to find roadkill (people use a variety of comments in the description e.g. “roadkill”, “road kill”, “dead on road”, “sadly killed on a road”). I has no impact when doing a location search though.

I still don’t think it really matters. I’d guess well over 90% of observations have a “place guess” as the location name rather than a manually entered name so there must be a large number with vague or inaccurate names. I’m not sure I can be bothered to make sure my observations have sensible place names.

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