Ways to Improve the Private Geoprivacy

Branch off of this topic. I’ll leave it at that and you can read that to catch up on the topic. What can we do to improve the private option on iNat for identification purposes but still retain the location’s privacy.

My suggestion is to have users choose a location setting. What this would do is, if an observer submits a “private” location sighting, the global icon will at least say the county, state/province or country, depending on the user’s preferences and will automatically add that location when the user submits a sighting.


I’m happy to respect their wishes and have the observation remain private. We don’t know the reasons for the privacy, and there is some suggestion that they might be putting it with a misunderstanding of what private location means in terms of an observation, which the new on-boarding will likely help. That aside, the only change I can suggest is perhaps having them go straight to casual grade and not be eligible for RG, which I think might be the case anyway? Not sure…

Actually, one other thing that could change is our deep-rooted need to get everything ID’d to species. I usually see this issue of private location setting raised as being a hindrance to getting a refined ID because the location or habitat can’t be determined from the location/map. As with all things to do with IDs, if the required detail is not present then just ID as appropriate and move on. A (polite) comment to the observer that if the location is marked obscured (rather than private) a more refined ID might be possible, along with a link to the help pages about obscuration/privacy, is usually enough to change the behaviour!


yeah, in my opinion they could be treated the same as ‘no location’ or ‘location not correct’-tagged observations, since the location isn’t available for ‘research’ anyway.That being said, I think otherwise they should just be left as-is.

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