What does this mean?

i was wondering what this question means under “other” when im trying to join a project. it says, “Do you want to make your private/obscured observation coordinates visible to the project curators?”
then options, “Yes, but only if I add the observation to the project myself.”
“Yes, no matter who adds the observation to the project.”
or “no”
what does all that mean?? more specifically what are “private/obscured observation coordinates”?


Basically you have the option of obscuring coordinates so that it won’t show people viewing the observation the exact location, it gives it a zone of uncertainty of a few miles I think that it will show up in. This is useful for, say, if you’re observing stuff at your house, or if you find something that is a rare or endangered organism that is at risk for poaching.

But the exact coordinates can be useful for some scientific observations, so its good to have the option to have those coordinates available for project coordinators. If you trust them, of course.

For example, there’s a mushroom DNA project in Ohio and a gentleman in our state working on a sequencing project. I tend to hide locations of species that I forage (sue me, I don’t want to give away my spots,) but anything I send him to test I’m perfectly fine with sharing to the group unobscured, on the off chance I do stumble across something of scientific significance.


hey thanks alot that was very helpful!


No prob, glad to help!

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just to add to @lothlin’s answer, this link provides extra info on how geoprivacy/obscuration works: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#geoprivacy


One other quick addition that, while the actual amount of obscuration varies depending on latitude, a good rule of thumb is that it is around 15-20 miles (25-32 km).

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