# Where to place observations?

So I went to a place called Farewell Bend State Park today along the Snake River on the Oregon/Idaho. I got photographs of a very rare (fifth record ever for the county) of a Snowy Egret, however he was on the opposite bank, meaning he was on the Idaho side. So when I add the observation, do I place the location where I took the photograph or where the bird was foraging?

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That’s a tough one. I normally keep a GPS track of myself so my points are of where I was standing when I took the photo. But usually I’m not at a significant border like this. I would say place the bird in Idaho. You can always describe your choice in the Description part of the observation.

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i would probably put the bird in Idaho and note observed from Oregon.

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I would use the coordinates from where you have observed it.
So others may can observe it from there too.
If you start to guess the coordinates of where the species was at the time of observation many things could get wrong.
So use your coordinates and note in the description the coordinates which you have to guess.

From a biological perspective it probably doesn’t make much difference since the distance is likely not great. But I would think the coordinates should correspond to where the organism is and not the observer. The observer’s location is largely irrelevant.

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the problem is this.
If you use the coordinates from where you observe you can turn on your gps and every thing is done.
If you start to guess where the observed species was many things can go wrong, you maybe missread the map or misspoint it on the map, if it is some thing like a bird you have to estimate the distance and may you fall over an optical illusion where you think its a little bird in front of you while it is a big bird far away that just seems to be small.
Many things can go wrong, if it is a static observatio as plants you should go to it and take the right coordinates, if it is an animal it probaly walks around in the region anyway so the coordinates are more regional than exact.

Again, the distance between observer and subject is not likely to be that great so whatever coordinates you use probably won’t have much effect either way. If the distance is so great it makes a difference you will likely not get an identifiable photo anyway. For those who are concerned if the organism was in one state/province/country or another (like the original poster), they can decide where to put the dot.

However if I’m standing on shore and photo a pod of dolphins in the ocean I will be sure to place my coordinates in the water and not on land.

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This is why there is the option to put an accuracy/precision circle on iNat locations. It allows you to communicate the level of certainty in regards to the observation.

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