Why doesn't Turkey have a proper map outline?

When you select a country as the location in an iNat search, the area searched follows that country’s border – even for countries with quite complex shapes, like Greece. However, if you select Turkey, the resulting map area is a crude oblong, which of course necessarily includes parts of several neighbouring countries. It’s the only country I have seen without a more precisely defined border. Is there a reason for this?

Example showing the natural border shown for other countries:

This isn’t just a recent glitch; I’ve been wondering about this for a long time.

I’m assuming that when you refer to an “iNat Search” you are talking about using Explore? I also see the box, though you can see the true borders if you go to the iNat place for Turkey: https://www.inaturalist.org/places/turkey

Maybe it’s something to do with the name change from Turkey to Turkiye?

Yes, by Search I mean Explore (issue only happens on the website; it works fine in the app).

That’s even more curious, so it seems “Turkey” is just not linked with the proper place in the system then.

I wondered the same but typing Turkiye doesn’t help.

This is not the case for me on the iNaturalist website (observations page). When I select Greece in the Explore tab a bounding box is shown, same for Bulgaria and most (but not all, e.g. Austria works!) country names. E.g. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?nelat=41.74887841151184&nelng=29.65399996254603&place_id=any&subview=map&swlat=34.54280003479891&swlng=18.99486781182008 is the resulting URL when selecting Greece as location. In the Android app “Explore” tab the area follows the country borders (Greece, Turkey, others…) correctly. Hope this can be fixed, it would be very convenient to select only the observations which actually are in a specific country.

How odd! Greece and Bulgaria work just fine for me. I’d need to know more about how this works behind the scenes to have some idea why different users are getting different countries coming up as bounding boxes. (Maybe it depends on the language you are using iNat in?) Hopefully someone with some expertise will be able to shed some light.

No problem here:

No problem here:
GR iNat

Sounds like this is the old issue of inaturalist preferring Google places over inat names. The solution is to ignore the Location search box on the website and instead use a place filter, like described e.g. here: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/incorrect-county-boundary-for-jefferson-davis-ms/26825


You can find them directly in the « Places of interest » menu at the top of the map.

Yes, it’s the new name that’s causing the issue. When Google returns results, it gives iNat the name Türkiye, but iNat can’t find anything when it searches its own database with that name.


A similar issue exists for Czechia. When typing Czech into the location box I am being offered Czech Republic and its variations (including Czechia if I type it fully) “Powered by Google” which all only lead to a rectangle. The correct iNat location Czechia is only available through the filters.

Edit: It is actually like that for all countries I tried. The search at the top always returns a rectangle from Google. Does not matter if Germany or Bulgaria.

However, after several attempts I now got into the state when clicking on the items offered by Google actually does not do anything. Simply nothing happens.

Does anyone know if there is a feature request around this issue yet? Rather than workarounds such as

The solution is to ignore the Location search box on the website and instead use a place filter

it seems to me there should be a more permanent solution. In the previous discussion on this topic @pisum suggested improving this through: “a place filter that searches and returns only iNaturalist places”.

I’d like to know if this is something under consideration by the iNat staff because I cannot find a feature request yet. If it does not exist yet, I’d be happy to create one.


this exists. see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/incorrect-county-boundary-for-jefferson-davis-ms/26825/2.

the issue is that this is separate and somewhat hidden compared to the “location” filter box on the web version of the Explore page.

iNat staff have had revamping the web Explore page on their priority list for many years now. i would expect the place/location confusion to be resolved only as part of or after that revamp effort.


I guess I misinterpreted your original comment, so thanks for the clarification. Reframing current funcionality is a good temporary solution but restructuring the functionality is more appropriate for the long term. My point here is that the location filter should either exclusively return (which is what I thought your comment advocated for) or at the very least strongly prioritize iNat places to avoid the issues raised in both these threads. If you believe this is on the team’s radar for a more fundamental revamp I’ll leave it at that. Thanks again!

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