Website observations search narrows to specific location when selecting a city

Platform: Website

Browser : Firefox, version 115.0.2

Screenshots of what you are seeing:

Description of problem:

When searching my observations I use the search box to submit “Waltham, MA”. I expect it to draw a box around the city of Waltham (or an approximation of the city boundaries), however it instead draws a box specifically around Waltham High School. Any attempt to search the city at large always auto-narrows down to the high school.

Step 1: Go to “My Observations” (could be your own, or to mine, windrifter)

Step 2: In the search box, type in “Waltham, MA” and wait for the options provided by Google to load. Select “Waltham, MA”.

Step 3: Observe that iNat draws a box around the high school instead of the whole city.

As the location appears to be provided (or suggested) by Google, the expectation is the iNat borders would match what Google Maps returns for the same search. Either that, or there would be an override, setting a “custom boundary” that’s essentially a rectangle covering the area, but which doesn’t draw the specific city borders. See screenshot for Google Maps’ version of Waltham, MA:

As you can see, there’s a wide discrepancy between what the two maps display for area boundaries (The iNat search fits between “North Waltham” and “Bentley University” on the Google Maps version).

I tried searching a few cities surrounding Waltham, just to see if it can be replicated for other localities. It appears this also happens with Weston, MA, which narrows to Weston Reservoir Woods.

the general situation described here is already covered in an existing thread:

I’m going to close this to focus on the existing discussion for this known issue.