When does the map of project area start to work?

Hi I have added a new project and added a KML file to define the area
I have over 50 verifiable observations but all over the UK - currently the project is including all my observations - do I have to get 50 within the defined map area for it to work and exclude the others outside the defined area?

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No, sounds like something is wrong with the setup. Edit your project and check the settings. If you listed yourself under “include users,” take that out. The place file should be enough to include any observations by anyone, including you, within that place.

Thanks for your reply. Just looked - I had not listed myself but I am currently the only member (others will be invited once I’ve set it up properly). I then saw that under 'Observation requirements ’ it listed Include Places so I added the project there and all observations disappeared included the 5 or 6 that should have been there. So I’m still doing something wrong

It will probably help to get constructive feedback if you can post a link to the project you are referring to.


Is this the project?
If so, it is a very small “place” so you would need to ensure that the observations have accuracy circles that fit completely within the boundaries.

Also your project only begins at a specific time, so any observations before that will not be included.

For me the time shows as "Start time: January 2, 2:20am AEDT " which is only 5 hours ago as I write this, so after the time you first posted your question.


Defining a small place messed me up for awhile too. What helped is creating a pin for observations in the small place. The circle of accuracy obscuration for the defined pin can be made small enough to fit within the boundary of the .kml. I haven’t been able to figure out how to use the pin from my iphone but I tend to submit most of my observations from the computer anyway… I just manually adjust the circle instead of using the pinned location when uploading from the phone.

Yes this is the project and the start date should be 1 January 2023 and all observations in that area should qualify - I will check the date

just checked and the start date is definitely 1 January 2023


is the link

You have it set so that only project member observations show up. You are the only member so far so only these five observations are eligible…

Each of the five observations that are eligible to show up have a circle of accuracy obscuration that extends beyond the boundary defined by the .kml (they circle extends beyond Church Ln)…

Try editing the five observations to shrink the circle (such that it’s entirely within the boundary) and see if the observations then appear in the project.

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Users should only change accuracy circles to be smaller if they are certain that the observations fall within the new, smaller circle. Changing the accuracy value just so that an observation falls within a given location shouldn’t be done unless the user is certain the location is present there.

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Totally agree.

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I’d actually be curious to know the stance on place boundaries that are defined intentionally larger than the actual place to accommodate the default circle that extends beyond the true boundary. This doesn’t pollute the observation data, per se… but it’s still misleading.

Circle of obscuration? I’m going to have to research that
Anyway I moved the the circle on one observation so it was entirely within the defined area and yes it appeared. I could not make the circle any smaller so as to make records more accurate - is this right?

The project was to help the church record all it’s species (or as many as possible) and there will be other users. Do I understand that the circle,which appears to be the default setting and is used to mark the location, is causing the problem I’m encountering. I do not have location enabled on any device for security purposes so I always manually input the location.

i think i’m getting a better understanding of this now - thanks for your input

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If I do alter the circle by editing the project does it alter it for just me or every member?

The circle isn’t for obscuration (which is a different iNaturalist function), but represents the uncertainty around the location. We rarely know any location with exact certainty - even GPS devices and phones (a subset of GPS devices) have a limit to their accuracy. The accuracy circle is a way to quantify this. The rule to use is that you must be sure that your location lies within the circle. So if you are not very sure of the exact location, you should make the circle large enough so that you are sure that your observation is within it.

If you just enter a location (like a town name), the accuracy circle will be automatically generated to encompass all/most of the town, etc. You can edit this by moving the center of the circle or changing the accuracy radius, but you should only do so to represent the true location. You shouldn’t edit the location/circle just to give you the result that you want in regards to a project.

The location and circle radius are displayed to all users and exported to GBIF for use by scientists, so it is important that this information is accurate.

For an observation to register as within a place, its entire circle must be within the place, so for very small location, this can be a challenge, as many circles will cross the place boundaries. There are other ways to do projects for small locations (manually adding observations in a traditional project, using observation fields, etc.).


The circle for each of the five observations extends across Church Ln. You may want to adjust the circle just enough so that it is within the boundaries defined by the .kml… also being sure that the actual spot where the observation occurred is within the circle.

If you “pin” a location for the church, you could make the circle as large as possible without crossing the boundaries set in the .kml and this would accommodate the majority of observations on the church property. Each member would need to create a similar pin (or at least understand that they need to be precise enough that the circle is within the boundary) Example…

The other option is to use a “traditional project” and add observations into the project so as not to rely on a defined place. If you’re going to have multiple members, I think you’re better off sticking with your current project (and not switching to a traditional)… the stats page (in the newer style projects) will become interesting over time as some observations receive more engagement than others. This is especially true if the “observational” project eventually becomes more of a “restoration” project.

It’s just a little tweak you need to make to the observations… keep going. It’s a neat project idea. Even better that it involves a group.