Why don't my oceanic observations show up on my map?

I have submitted observations of pelagic seabirds viewed from ferries and boats that do not show up on my map of personal observations. Why not?

Can you provide a few more details please? Are you using the website or app? Can you give an example of an observation that isn’t showing up? Are you looking at the map on the Explore page, or your Edit Observations page, or somewhere else?


As above, it would be helpful to know specifics but possibly this could help- This is a common issue I have with my pelagic observations & IDing- double check the default location you have presented and maybe clear locations to just show global. This happens specifically for pelagic observations because these observations may be outside of the defined area for your default location (you default to say, USA, but the bird was seen just far enough offshore to not count as the USA location on iNaturalist).

For example my profile defaults to New Zealand, but anything a bit too far out to sea or on offshore islands can only be found by switching to location New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone (essentially NZ waters) or by clearing location.

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If the accuracy circle is very large (many kilometres of uncertainty), the observations do not show up on the map. I’m not sure what the exact threshold is.

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Depending on how far offshore, it might be international waters, not in any country’s EEZ. In that case, would clearing location be the solution?

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Thank you for all these replies. I have checked some things out and see that pelagic bird sightings offshore of North Carolina (USA) are showing up on my map of sightings on the website. The ones that are not showing up are the ones from the Tokyo-Hokkaido ferry in Japan. Most likely they are not showing up because I entered them with a fairly large circle of uncertainty. That they could be too far offshore is possible too but less likely.

yes, if the positional accuracy value is larger than the diagonal of 0.2 x 0.2 degree bounding box (~30km, depending on distance from equator), then these observations will not be mapped by iNaturalist.

you do have some observations that are unmappable due to large positional accuracy values, and they seem to match the observations you’re describing.

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