Playground rejected because it is "visually not unique"


today i got rejection for my submission, but i do not understand the reason. The reason is that it is "visually not unique", but it is a playground they usually don't look unique. But they are valid submissions.

Can someone explain this to me? If this is a Valid reason then 70% to 80% of all playgrouds have to be removed because they aren't looking unique.

This is the photo is submitted:


  • LukeAllStars-INGLukeAllStars-ING Posts: 4,610 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In big cities, wayfarers sometimes give only 2* to this category. This can get it rejected. Thats why 2* in any category can also get a 5* nomination rejected.

  • Nadiwereb-PGONadiwereb-PGO Posts: 1,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This happens when reviewers give passing marks on all categories but "Historic or Cultural Significance", because they misunderstand what that one means.

    It's annoying, yes, but there's nothing you can do about it but renominate and hope for better reviewers.

  • G4rden3r-PGOG4rden3r-PGO Posts: 6 ✭✭

    Actually it is misleading because cultural can mean a lot and nothing in everyones opinion, maybe the should change cultural aspect more to meeting people/friends. Then it would be more clear

  • Johnsonsine-INGJohnsonsine-ING Posts: 193 ✭✭✭

    That playground looks perfectly fine to me, I can understand why you're confused and frustrated. It appears someone actually used Reject for this, or? If that's the case, that's just wrong. Ordinary playground-look or not, it's still a good candidate.

  • LukeAllStars-INGLukeAllStars-ING Posts: 4,610 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Noone rejected it, the overall rating in the "historical/cultural meaning" was too low, so the nomination got rejected. Thats why 3* is neutral for me, 2* is not really unique/important and 4/5* is special/has a high meaning.

  • Nadiwereb-PGONadiwereb-PGO Posts: 1,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The golden rule I keep in mind is that if I want something to pass, I give at least 3 stars in every category. 2 stars is a rejection.

  • G4rden3r-PGOG4rden3r-PGO Posts: 6 ✭✭

    yeah i will do this now too, i got an excellent rating but i have given a lot submissions a 1 or 2 star rating in this. because i have a different understand of an cultural aspect than Niantic. Maybe they should write something under the stars, like "Bad/Ok/Good" or for the explaination "Bad/Spelling or Grammar/Good" and for the historic/cultural: "Not interesting/Meeting People or Friends/Historic"

  • KwyjiboHan-PGOKwyjiboHan-PGO Posts: 113 ✭✭✭

    It was rejected for "visual uniqueness" not "historical/cultural significance". Please stop spamming the "vote everything 3" meme.

    I don't know why wayfarers rejected this on visual uniqueness. Unless it was right next to another playground of a similar design, this should have been good.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My best guess is this:

    People were overall "meh" about the submission for whatever reason, with a tendency toward rejection. I don't know for sure (and nobody else does either, regardless of what they assert), but my guess is that the algorithm works like this:

    • Niantic assesses the overall rating from all of the reviewers to give it a pass fail. If it fails...
    • Niantic looks for one or more strong reasons from the 1* rejection list (e.g. private residential property, seasonal) to put in the email. If it doesn't find anything there to send in the email...
    • Niantic looks for low ratings on the other star fields to find something to put in the rejection reasons.

    I strongly suspect that when you get a rejection reason of cultural relevance or visual uniqueness what's actually happening is that the overall vote was a slight tendency toward rejection with no real clear explanation for why.

    I recommend examining your submission to see how you can spiff it up and then resubmitting. I might try to find a different angle for the photo so that the playground "pops" more. In the photo you presented it sort of visually blends into the background. A better photo is probably the make-or-break for this.

  • toniukupaoni-INGtoniukupaoni-ING Posts: 41 ✭✭

    Your theory can't be correct for the simple reason. High quality POIs ( sport fields, murals/street art and playgrounds) are usually targeted with "The nomination does not appear to be historically or culturally significant" or "The nomination does not appear to be visually unique." rejection reason.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,300 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks OK to me as a "playground". Resubmit, sometimes it can take 2 or 3 goes to get a Waypoint approved.

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

    Its the same scenario as historic/cultural importance though. If people vote 2* or lower (1/5 or 2/5 are both a failing grade) you are essentially putting a rejection on that nomination. Would work the same as visually unique, titles, photo etc

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @toniukupaoni-ING There is a difference between a high-quality candidate and a high-quality submission. I've seen cases of good candidates that were so badly presented that they got rejected.

    I helped someone with one recently... when I looked at the submission I saw a mediocre photo of what looked like a run-down house, and the description/supporting info gave me no clue that it was anything other than a crappy generic bar. When I started digging into it to see if I could help the submitter do a better job I learned that it was actually an award-winning iconic neighborhood bar with a storied history, precisely the sort of place that would qualify as a local gem. There was zero clue about that from the submission.

    I've seen sports fields submitted in a way that they were essentially impossible to verify. I've seen playgrounds submitted such that it's impossible to tell if they're on private or public property. I've rejected a couple of really awesome murals because it was completely impossible to verify the location... one of them was so cool that I spent a full 15 minutes poking around on maps and web searches trying to find any information at all that would let me confirm the location. (If only the submitter had taken a supporting photo that wasn't just a shot of a nearby parking lot.)

    Thus I think my theory still holds water.

  • toniukupaoni-INGtoniukupaoni-ING Posts: 41 ✭✭

    Ok, I'll rephrase it. High-quality submissions with high-quality POIs are targeted with those rejection reasons. So your theory is most definitely not correct.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @toniukupaoni-ING Your assertion an unspoken assumption, which is that people are reviewing accurately and in good faith. That has been demonstrated time and time again to not always be the case.

  • grsmhiker-INGgrsmhiker-ING Posts: 158 ✭✭✭✭

    I think what you might be missing here is that some reviewers are known to (incorrectly) give very low stars for some categories as a matter of course. For example, 1* in historic/cultural significance if the subject is not "historic as in old" or to the visually unique category if the subject is not "one of a kind"... some have even argued here on these forums that playgrounds should be rated low because the equipment is a "mass produced object". To give another example, there were cases where individuals here have argued for 1* pedestrian access if a sidewalk does not go all the way up to an object in a grass lawn.

    Now we don't know the numbers required, but say hypothetically 10 people review and 8 of them give 5* all around, but one person gives 5 in most categories but 1* for historic/cultural and someone else gives 1* for visually unique. Normally (we think) the majority of reviewers would win out and the submission is accepted. But say by chance you get a larger number of strict reviewers, so that six people rate 5* all around and four rate 1* for visually unique, and if the reject threshold is low enough, perhaps this can cause a rejection.

    To put it another way, using an example of a rejection I got last month, I can think of no reason why someone would rate a church as being "not historically or culturally significant" unless the reviewer looked at the building and said, "that's a new church, not an old building so it's not historic!" and clicked 1*.

  • Lechu1730-PGOLechu1730-PGO Posts: 537 ✭✭✭✭

    I had a similar problem recently. An awesome photorealistic mural, but GSV showed a with white wall. The mural was big and the photo qualify was so low that when I zoomed in trying to identify if it was real or faked it was too blurry to notice any defining details.

    On a whim I used Google Lens on the image. It brought up other pictures of the same mural, including one of the painter posing in front after just finishing it. I gave it 5*.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @grsmhiker-ING Oh, I absolutely understand that different people rate things differently, especially visual uniqueness and historical/cultural significance. Niantic has not given us much specific guidance for historical/cultural significance other than "use your best judgement." For visual uniqueness the guidance is, "Does the nomination stand out from its surroundings? Wayspots that are easy to locate and visually distinct from the buildings and objects nearby make high-quality Wayspots and should be rated highly. If you think the nomination looks bland and will be hard to locate, give it a lower rating."

    Given that, I don't believe that the "incorrectly" portion of your first paragraph applies. Differently, certainly, but when the definitions are extremely vague I don't think that there's a case to be made for incorrect, except maybe at the margins. It's probably safe to say that someone rating the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramids, or the Statue of Liberty as 1* for cultural significance has made an error.

    It may well be the case that every single category is require to meet 3* or higher in order for the submission to pass, but I do not believe that to be the case. Rather, I suspect that there is an overall yes/no calculation done based on a weighting of all of the individual fields. My reason for believing this has to do with a casual conversation with a Niantic employee at an event a couple of years ago so it may not still be true but my intuition tells me that it is. I'd be willing to wager that the main "Should this be...?" question and safe pedestrian access carry more weight than visual uniqueness and cultural/historical significance.

    I have seen many people assert as truth that rating something 1* for any field counts as a rejection. The only thing they are basing that conclusion on is that sometimes historical/cultural significance or visual uniqueness show up as a rejection reason. This argument does not pass the "smell test" for me, partially because it would be a rather illogical way to design the algorithm for scoring the ratings, and partially because it places way too much faith in Niantic having done a perfect job of generating rejection reasons in email. Yes, it's possible that a 1* in any category counts as a rejection but it just doesn't make much sense to do that and the evidence I've seen isn't particularly persuasive.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Lechu1730-PGO OH! Nice one. I hadn't tried that, but I'll keep the trick in my back pocket.

    I bet if the submitter on your awesome mural/white wall had done a really good job with the supporting photo you would have been able to approve it more easily. I've submitted several that were newer than street view, including one that technically wasn't done yet but was close, and another that I submitted the day after it was completed. I've always made it a point to take supporting photos that clearly put the artwork in enough context so that it was easy to align my photo with street view and I've used the text to say something like, "This is on the north side of (identifier of the building), and was completed in month, year."

    The apps are really bad at guiding people on creating good supporting info.

  • Kroutpiick-PGOKroutpiick-PGO Posts: 367 ✭✭✭✭

    Looks like this question is coming back every few days : "is a 1* or 2* rating in any category leans towards rejection?"

    Since we don't have any exact answer from Niantic, why don't we just follow the rating guidance given by them instead of speculating "if a single 1* = rejection", or "if a 2* means rejection or not" ? :

    Rating Scale

    You will be asked various questions about a nomination and answer by rating on a scale of one to five stars. In general, use the following guidelines when deciding how to vote:

    If you strongly agree, choose 5 stars

    If you are unsure or have no opinion, choose 3 stars

    If the answer is definitely no, choose 1 star and select a rejection reason

    This is the advice that is given within our local community and IMO, it follows the guidelines provided by NIantic :

    If I'm unsure, because I'm not convinced about historic or cultural significance but may understand why someone else would think that it can have significance according to his knowledge of culture, or his knowledge of his community, then I will follow the "If you are unsure or have no opinion, choose 3 stars" rule.

    I will not give a 2*. To give a 2* means that I'm not "unsure or have no opinion", I'm already leaning toward "a definitely no" answer.

  • 52cucumbers-ING52cucumbers-ING Posts: 225 ✭✭✭✭

    Niantic gave us a 1-5 scale so I'm going to use the entire scale. I use 3* when I'm indifferent, 1* when I'm a solid no and 2* when I'm torn between the two. That's how scales work.

    If Niantic wants to clarify how it all works they're free to do so and it would be great if they did but they did not create a 5 point scale with the intention of us only using the 1, 3, 4 or 5 score.

  • Kroutpiick-PGOKroutpiick-PGO Posts: 367 ✭✭✭✭

    As a precision, I'm not saying "never give a 2* rating".

    I'm just giving a reminder to everyone that : when you're unsure or have no opinion, give 3* instead of 2*.

    To give 2* means that your opinion is below the "unsure or no opinion", it's already going towards a "no".

  • HaramDays-PGOHaramDays-PGO Posts: 1,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The playground that OP posted is perfect. Nice and bright, some nice wooden pillars with ropes, looks like a very public area with some nice looking benches. It is unique. People often mess visually unique with "oh it must look like the Licorice Fortress" or something similar, but really its just asking that if you were in the area, can you easily see it?

    Welcome to the club of strange rejections. To be honest, if something is a 5 star candidate, they should just 5 star the first question and be done with it and move along.

    Quoting one of NianticCasey's very first quotes about this phenomenon:

    This one is tricky and requires a bit of a nuanced read on the 'uniqueness' category. I chatted with a few folks internally too and they agree, the uniqueness category is intended to gauge whether a wayspot is unique compared to its surroundings, as @Kaleido said. It needs to be visually distinct from the buildings and/or surrounding area and not bland, generic or hard to locate.

    In this instance, I would say that baseball fields should be reviewed similarly to playgrounds (not on K-12 school grounds of course) with respect to uniqueness. Many playgrounds are similar to one another and feature the same equipment but are easy to locate and visually distinct from their surroundings. You also need to consider the surrounding local area. Let's say this is your regular run-of-the-mill baseball field, it still meets our criteria but is not visually unique. But there may be other stadiums around the world that have a community art project or something else that sets it apart, which can give it a higher vote for visually unique.

    Not a super straightforward answer, but hopefully this somewhat answers the question.

    So the difference between a regular run-of-the-mill and another with a community art project of some sort... is what it's meant to kind of entail visual uniqueness but almost everyone's statements here don't mention that.

    imo, If there are 23 picnic shelters in a park that are very close to each other and don't look that different, that is what I would vote down as not visually unique. For the most part, there is zero reason to give 1* or 2* to for visual uniqueness if there are no duplicates in the first place.

    This is still, very much confusing overall, so I will also advise people not to vote below 3* on any nomination they find good for approval.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Part of the reason that people don't understand visually unique, cultural/historical significance, etc. is that Niantic doesn't do a good job of communicating those things to users. Most people read the help documents once, if ever, and it's unlikely that they pay attention to those nuances. Niantic would get much better reviews overall if they built better guidance into Wayfarer itself. For example, the text "A visually unique nomination should not be something that is common in the area" is abysmal. "Give a high rating if it's easy to find the nomination at a glance, and a low rating if there are things nearby that look similar" would be much better. For that matter they could change "Visually Unique" to something better. "Easy to Find" maybe?

  • thegathaterra-PGOthegathaterra-PGO Posts: 108 ✭✭

    Resubmit with some closer up photos. This may help to make it look more unique. Although it looks fine to me.

    Try and get a bit creative. Worth resubmittion

  • exculcator-INGexculcator-ING Posts: 67 ✭✭✭

    Everyone here is assuming the Niantic's algorithm for dispatching e-mails with the appropriate rejection criteria is working correctly.

    I find this strange, given how frequently it fails to work. I've have had multiple instances of being told a candidate was rejected, for whatever reason, when it wasn't even rejected at all (i.e. they were accepted). So I pretty well much ignore any "reasons" for rejection when I see them; they can't even get rejected / accepted right all the time, let alone actual specific reasons.

    This canidate was probably rejected for some entirely other reason. Just resubmit it.

  • Nadiwereb-PGONadiwereb-PGO Posts: 1,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Do you have actual proof that you were sent a rejection email for an accepted submission? This is the first that I hear about this and this would be pretty huge.

  • 52cucumbers-ING52cucumbers-ING Posts: 225 ✭✭✭✭

    A lot of people have heard an explanation for how this worked that they really liked and have decided that therefore it must be the correct explanation. It might very well be, but it might also very well not be.

    Whichever it is, ignoring the rejection reasons in the email is pretty good advice. If it gets rejected you can assume someone didn't like something about it and that's about it.

  • XapwvKhanon-PGOXapwvKhanon-PGO Posts: 86 ✭✭

    En mi caso por mi parte e solicitado uno más de 16 veces y mis amigos otras tantas si la comunidad se empeña en no admitirla la van a denegar siempre aunque sea valida

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