Hiking trails/trailmarkers - whats eligeble?



  • LukeAllStars-INGLukeAllStars-ING Posts: 4,625 Ambassador

    those three are the only kind of trailmarkers that got approved. They are visually unique which makes it easier, of course. But its still hard to get them through.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    These were when I was first starting to submit but for the spelling I know lol. But I always try to keep the spelling that is on the sign itself for identification purposes. But yeah those are the signs that my city have put up even the one you think may look fake but those are them lol heres a pin of one of them. Helps the trail is named as well on google maps

    Dropped pin

    Near Kingsway, Cold Lake, AB T9M 1T2


    Another farther into town as well

    75 Ave, Cold Lake, AB


  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    Eligible only means it's worth considering. It would still have to meet the other criteria. Mind that the Rejection criteria clearly state:

    "Nominations and edit submissions may be entirely rejected if it meets at least one of the following rejection criteria:"

    And some of the rejection criteria may be applicable to markers. Specially the mass-produced and generic part of the first rejection criterium come to mind. That's why atypical markers (like the things handcrafted in stone) do get approved and simple road sign-type markers don't.

    As I said before: we all should look for unique objects to nominate instead of taking a shortcut and grabbing an easy but visually boring marker because be honest: do the wayspots below really motivate you to go explore the Galgenbos?

  • Xmacke7x-INGXmacke7x-ING Posts: 220 ✭✭✭✭

    If you reject trail markers if they are mass produced then most of the trail markers I know are not eliglbe. I think this rule does not apply here because you nominate the trail and not the marker. The trail marker represents the trail. And the trail is by definition not a mass produced object.

    The other thing is the possibility of duplicates. The case above me shows that there clearly needs some clarification on repeated markers.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭

    From the reviewing screen regarding "Visually Unique".

    "Visually Unique - A visually unique nomination should not be something that is common in the area."

    If I have one eligible trail marker to review I will (grugingly) accept it as Niantic say they should go through provided it meets all the other review questions (e.g. can I actually locate it or have a good idea that it is at the pin).

    If I have an eligible trail marker and there are any identical trail markers shown on the "nearby" list then for me the marker is not visually unique and gets marked accordingly. One trail marker of "Type X" every 500m seems acceptable, not every 30m as I have seen in some instances.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with that. No one wants to see 50 markers all within a s2 cell. If they are fairly spaced out great. But if they are 15-20 that are all within a block id be less inclined and vote down based off of visually uniqueness

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 774 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's sad that you zoom out so much to prove your point. In reality, those markers are mostly over 100 meters apart. That is over a minute walk, ignoring the paths. And since there are almost no other wayspots in the area, it appears that there are plenty, while in reality there is only about 10 markers in a square kilometer area.

    This is what trail marker wayspots are for. To have something to interact with from time to time while walking.

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You're right that those Waypoints wouldn't motivate me to go there for exploring the area (discovery criteria). But...

    Would that kind of walking route with many portals/stops/gyms motivate me to go for a walk/run (exercise criteria)? Yes, definitely.

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    @TWVer-ING I didn't zoom out, just took a screenshot without changing the map. True there is enough separation between them. Good point. (Still Niantic should give some pointers about this.)

    Nevertheless I believe that there's better objects to select than those trail markers. Look on this website to find a report of someone who took a walking tour there. Look at the pictures. Those would motivate much more to go there. Enough permanent objects to choose from: a fence, an information sign, some kind of dam, a small cottage house next to a pond,... What do you think about the trail markers in this context, @Kellerrys-ING ?

    In conclusion: in the absense of other permanent man-made objects, a trail marker is perfectly fine to mark a trail... but this seldom is the case on organised walking trails. It just takes a little creativity and a bit more effort...

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 774 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I already said that I agree with you that more interesting stuff should be nominated first.

    However, I fail to see which eligibility criteria the cottage, the fence and the dam would meet. The only eligible thing in those pictures (aside from the trail markers and information panels) is the Dirty Bucket Camp sign.

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NeohBel-PGO Essentially the same as Twver wrote above.

  • WandHerring-PGOWandHerring-PGO Posts: 139 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm all for loosening the rules of what constitute an acceptable trail marker, however the criteria are also clear:

    Does not seem to be a great place of exploration, place for exercise, or place to be social. The object is mass-produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting.

    I think Niantic (mistakenly, arguably?) trust local communities to police themselves on the matter and find a balance on how many trail markers are accepted. Yes they're eligible even if mass-produced, but at some point they stop being visually unique and can saturate a region, which is a rejection criteria. @NeohBel-PGO's screenshot highlight what can happen when reviewers are too lenient: all the POIs are visually indistinguishable from each other.

    It's possible Niantic doesn't want to give clearer guidelines because it could create conflict between submitters as everyone may try to get the marker most advantageous to them approved before the maximum POI density is hit.

    So, in conclusion, I don't think it's in the spirit of Wayfarer of having hundreds if not thousands of nigh-identical nominations getting approved 100m apart, nor is the product Niantic is trying to build. They're merely letting us determine how much is too much, based on local knowledge.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TWVer-ING is correct for the definition of visually unique. Basically if you stand near the poi can you find it without assistance. If there are for example 10 all around a 20m radius (i know you wouldnt have 10poi’s within this radius) it would be harder to pin point which one you are actually trying to find. But in that case if they are very spread out every 100m then its easy to find them

    It also makes sense if the markers are every 100m. Especially for any trail that has a lot of bends/turns in it.

  • WandHerring-PGOWandHerring-PGO Posts: 139 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    I stand corrected, though the term seems needlessly misleading when words like "discernible", "conspicuous" or "unmistakable" convey the idea of something that can easily be spotted better. It translates even worse in French; while "unique" can still mean "one of a kind" or "exceptional/original", the former is way more prevalent in everyday language. That's kind of a point against trail markers though, because a lot of them looks like generic road signs.

    I do think that there's still some weight into my argument, because markers are generic, mass-produced and not visually interesting, but I do concede it's significantly weaker than I originally thought.

    I would however like to challenge you on another point. An argument that has been thrown around repeatedly is the two excerpts from previous AMAs: "As long as the marker represents a trail it should be accepted." (before 3.1) and "this criteria is much more inclusive than before," (after 3.1). I think it's misinterpreting what was going on before 3.1 and what the last AMA is referring to. An important condition for trail markers (which is also clearly stated in the September AMA) before 3.1 was the necessity to have the trail name on them. That's what the latest part of the November's AMA question is alluding to, and what the "this criteria is much more inclusive than before," is likely referring to. Hiking trails don't need to have an official name and it doesn't need to be on the marker anymore. As long as the trail is distinguishable from any random path (e.g. through specific, permanent markers), it's now eligible. I don't think neither of those answers are to be interpreted as a word of God when it comes to the question of how close markers can or can't be as they, as I read them, talking about the visual characteristics of the markers instead of their localization.

    Edit: Actually, I'm challenging this interpretation of what "Visually unique" means because in the review form, the criteria reads:

    Visually Unique

    A visually unique nomination should not be something that is common in the area.

    So there's definitively more to it that simply the idea an nomination must stand out in its surrounding. The form is outdated, yes, but the new version of the criteria also don't provide the definition of visual uniqueness you quoted so, IMO, either both pre-3.1 info must be taken into account, or neither.

    Post edited by WandHerring-PGO on
  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    Well, if you read the definition, it clearly says that not only you have to recognise them easily, but they also have to be "visually distinct from the buildings and objects nearby". Hence, trail markers can be rejected if there are similar markers in the surrounding area.

    Still, It's not clear what "nearby" means in this definition, but given that the simple signs get rejected often, I'd say the community tends to rule that they can't be on the same duplicates map.

  • YX3am-INGYX3am-ING Posts: 38 ✭✭

    these look like bike routes and niantic have said they qualify in november ama but id want to see pedestrian access for it atleast. Niantic should come in to clarrify if biking routes do meet the criteria or not because to me they really dont

    re: your number 7, about OP's #8 bicycle sign.

    Could you point out where you find the infro about bicycle routes? I am familiar the guidance about bicycle trails, but I can't find anything about biking routes. In my jurisdiction, a sign like #8 would be for bicycle routes as part of road infrastructure, it would not represent the same thing as a bike trail.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They don’t mention “route” specifically in the AMA. Definitely a miss wording on my part. I was basically thinking that a bicycle route is similar to a bicycle trail. I also said that I probably would want to see a clarification for it because to me they really dont meet the criteria.

    My apologies

  • donandlan-PGOdonandlan-PGO Posts: 201 ✭✭✭

    The markers aren't the poi, the are literally markers for the POI. The marker isn't to be held to the "mass produced" criteria, the POI is.

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 774 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Actually, the definition is not in the criteria, but in the "Help" section, under "Reviewing a wayspot nomination". So it still applies. There used to be a bug report thread about the term visually unique, in which Casey acknowledged that the name was poor and didn't represent what they intended by it, but that thread was deleted when they cleaned up the bug reports. Hopefully, when they update the reviewing page (and hopefully that is still scheduled for mid January), the definition is updated on that page as well, or that category is removed entirely.

    Well, if you stand next to a trail marker, and you cannot (or barely) see another one from were you stand (in real live, not in app), then I wouldn't consider the other one "nearby".

    What is the difference between a route and a trail? They both promote exercise, which is what makes it eligible.

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    Then the question arises: should the second trail marker be markes as a duplicate?

    If a second trail marker is nominated on the same trail, following this logic, then they both mark the same POI... which is reason to accept the first marker, but reject all other markers on the same trail. No?

  • YX3am-INGYX3am-ING Posts: 38 ✭✭
    edited December 2020

    @TWVer-ING Trails are dedicated for bicycles as a leisure activity, and there’s freedom to exercise. Trails exist for a user’s pleasure, generally to get the most out of biking or to follow a path see what's in an area.

    The bike routes around me are meant specifically for traffic and have the purpose of moving people. They often (not always) share road space with vehicular traffic or pedestrians, there are lots of stop and crossings, and it's a standard part of infrastructure. While bicycling is inherently a physical activity, my local bike routes are not meant for exercise - they are meant for traffic, even when it's a bike-only pathway deviating from car routes. They are not a good place to go for exercise, or to enjoy public space. The sort-of exception is when it's a hybrid path (route merging to trail, or route passing through park with priority bike space); in those situations, it's the characteristic of the second thing that make it a good place for exercise, not the route identifier.

    In another person's area, maybe it's different; I don’t judge other places based on what my local area has in place. I look at the characteristics of the path. I wouldn't approve every pedestrian walkway or staircase even if it deviates from the roads, is titled, and has visible signage; same for bicycle paths. Just because you can walk / bicycle in an area (both are physical activities that can be done as exercise), that does not mean the area is a good or decent place to go to for exercise.

  • donandlan-PGOdonandlan-PGO Posts: 201 ✭✭✭

    Trails and paths are different than statues or park exercise equipment. To use them, you must travel and move. The various markers ensure you stay on the path and don't get lost and further promote the purpose and exercise aspect of the trail/path POI. Some are long enough to pass through several towns, and the various markers and entrances make sense. Some are in wooded locations where even though they are "close" to each other on a map, while on the acrual trail/path, you can't see the next while you are at the present one. Those also make sense to me. Some trail/paths are short enough that the entire path is visible from a single location. A single marker would be more sensible.

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 774 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh, you are talking about "bike lanes". Then I agree with you, those do not meet any eligibility criteria.

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2021

    Who created this scheme?

    The point rejectable is totally ridiculous. Most rejection reasons are no K.O. like the K12-argument .... so lots of rejection reasons have something like a gray area so that they should be part of the considerations and weightings in the step before. So I hope this subpoint "Rejection" in this scheme is something like the ironic hint to the reviewers, who only search for how to reject totally fine candidates....

    Post edited by Guna1411-PGO on
  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    Anything on a school ground should simply be rejected because of numerous reasons. Same with all other rejection criteria: no matter how 'good' the nomination is, if it's clearly violating one of those, it shouldn't become a Wayspot.

    I know of magnificent works of art located on the median **** of a highway (unsafe) or in a friend's backyard (PRP). I alsof think the street lanterns in our local park are quite beautiful, but they would (and should) be rejected instantly because there are hundreds of them around the park.

    Niantic made those rejection criteria so they are not to be blamed for putting people in dangerous situations or in any place they shouldn't be. Just because you don't agree, it can still be a valuable point from their view.

    The scheme you're referring to was made by me btw. Thanks for the insult.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I believe the problem with some of the rejection criteria specifically the mass produced rejection is overused in my opinion. People will say that any trail marker is massed produced/generic even if it has a sign on it with its own name. They say this because it simply is a sign. Where I see it differently because how many of that sign with the trail name are actually produced? Maybe 10 so thats not mass produced what so ever. To me people are using that rejection criteria as a easy way out to vote down nominations that clearly meet the criteria and have been specified by niantic.

    thats kinda where the whole rejection criteria falls really short with me.

    completely agree with no safe access denied and school grounds and such but the generic/mass produced is used as an excuse to dent everything under the sun. To me if niantic says this is eligible I tend to look passed the generic mass produced rejection reason.

    i dont see anyone using that reasoning for a baseball diamond as they are all built the same. And you can use the same logic on them all but people accept them. It will take niantic to come out of there cave to address this issue but until then we get this 🤷‍♂️

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 774 ✭✭✭✭✭


    "The object is mass-produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting." is listed under "Does not meet eligibility criteria". It should not be applied to objects that do meet eligibility criteria, or objects that placemark a place that meets eligibility criteria. Niantic has made it abundantly clear that that excuse should not be used for trail markers. People who still use that excuse for rejecting trail markers, should not be reviewing.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Again, you are pushing the same old argument "If Niantic say something is eligible then it cannot be rejected", which is blatantly untrue and false. Perhaps you might like to actually read the first paragraph of the Criteria section and then tell us if you are going to ignore these guidelines, do you think you should be reviewing?

    What makes a place or object eligible to be a Wayspot?

    A note on eligibility: if a Wayspot nomination meets one of the below criteria, that's great! But remember that eligibility alone isn't sufficient to turn a nomination into an accepted Wayspot. Carefully consider the eligibility criteria, along with the acceptance criteria, rejection criteria, and content guidelines, when evaluating nominations.

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You're halfway true. Some of the rejection reasons are KO-criteria like K12-schools or technical categories like watermarked pictures. Lots of other possible rejection criteria can have a something like a scale, what means they can be KO-arguments, but they can also be only minor impacting contra arguments for your evaluation. The often in this thread mentioned pedestrian access is one of them.

    There are examples like stuff inside traffic circuits without pathways, that are KO-criteria. But also there are examples for gray zone or at least different arguments how to think about these examples:

    • lighthouses, whose pedestrian access can be blocked by tidal effects
    • area, that only can be accessed with very restricting conditions; a need for a tourguide, very small timeframes of opening times, or something like that
    • paces, where you need to do strange things to be there, although you can stand there... like swimming or using a paddle boat to access an island

    These bullet points have in common, that all of them are contra arguments for the wayspot, but they are no simple KO-arguments,. To say it with the words of a wise Jedi master: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!" ;)

    Extreme example: Mont Saint Michel is only accessible during low tide. But who the hell would think about pedestrian access in a heavy case like this? It's totally outnumbered by pro arguments. Looking at a random lighthouse at a more stormy coast the same situation can be the KO-argument....

    .... and for the discussions about the catchphrases visually unique, interesting, mass-produced, generic ... please have a look in my thread about the bridges. there is a big problem in the rules, and it's too elongated to discuss this in two separate threads at the same time. I think we will end up in a new thread about this problem, where Nia is needed to clarify something.

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