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Trail markers


I would like some clarification on this subject:

Trailheads, trail markers, mile/distance markers, etc. - Acceptable, if they have a trail name on them. Simple mile markers along a trail with nothing other than a number should be rejected.

In the Netherlands and Belgium we have the biking trails, the so called “knooppunten”. You have the start of each  “knooppunt” that contains: Name and section of the trail: for example “Knooppunt X region Y”

This one on the picture is the start of 'Knooppunt 93 Scheldeland'. So it has name of the trail on it. And it's at the start. You also have the "in between signs" with only a number. on it.

It seems to me, those signs at the start of the “knooppunt” are fitting the rules set in the guide. The in between signs are not, as they only have the number. And yes, “knooppunten” is the official name of these trails. 

But most of them are getting rejected . Even the ones with name, section and at the start of the trail are getting rejected. 

Same goes for other bike and/or hiking trail markers. They contain a name, sometimes even a logo,....

You'll see on the picture clearly it's not just a sign with a number. It has the trails name, ... So fitting the above mentioned guidelines. They also get rejected most of the time. Even if these signs represent directions for hiking trails, they get flagged with the “no safe pedestrian access” (it are “hiking”trails.... something you do as a pedestrian ;-))

I know some of the reviewers are disliking trail markers a lot. But they seem to be valid candidates to me. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not debating on having 10+ of each in every city (would be less on the visually unique rating). But imho they are falsely rated 1* atm. 

Curious to the point of view of the world wide community and perhaps Niantic..

With kind regards


  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not 100% sure if cycling trails meet criteria, named or not.

    The hiking trails should ideally be getting approved but I imagine a lot of reviewers probably 1* them for mismatched location since they're difficult to see on streetview, especially without a photosphere.

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭

    The guide doesn't say anything about bike an/or hike only trails indeed. Good question! I thought about them as 'a trail is a trail'. What the difficulties concerns of viewing them on maps: even when a fresh 360 is posted with clear view: you see the number of views on the 360 getting up, but it doesn't help to get them accepted. 

    Maybe the guide info on this subject needs some fine tuning @NianticCasey

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    December 19, 2017 AMA:

    Q52: Could niantic release a statement that clarifies the term ‘safe pedestrian access’ as portal acceptance criteria please? In my interpretation ‘safe’ is related to safety. And as such should not be an optional feature that can apply if deemed convenient or the time of the day suits. Niantic is classifying portals on roundabouts as unsafe for the full day. Not just for the morning and afternoon rush hour, correct? A cyclist may capture a portal from a bike (not by foot). But the safety aspect should ensure that every time the cyclist would need to get off his/her bike (eg to avoid a crash), they can do so safely, correct?

    A52: Safe. Pedestrian. Access. This is not safe vehicle access, safe cyclist access, or any other access. Pedestrian. Adventures on foot.

    Remember that Niantic's entire operation is based around pedestrian activities. If it is not designed for pedestrian access, then it is ineligible. As Andrew Krug use to say, "Adventures on foot."

    As for whether knooppunten sign counts as a trail sign, I would say generally no. From what I understand, the knooppunt numbers refer to specific to the junctions in the network and not the trials. The trails themselves are generally neither numbered nor have a specific name. For those few that do have a specific name, their markers would be eligible so long as the trail itself is meant for pedestrian travel.

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Thanks for your answer TheFarix. Get the point about the bike trails. Do you have an opinion about the second type of markers? Those for the real walking trails?

  • BattleTARDIS-PGOBattleTARDIS-PGO Posts: 46 ✭✭✭

    I hope trail markers can get approved. 3 of my first 4 nominations are trail markers because I thought spinning pokestops while hiking would be a great way to combine two of my favorite things

  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Trail markers are eligible if they're part of a named trail and have safe pedestrian access.

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭
  • NorthSeaPoet-INGNorthSeaPoet-ING Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    All I can recommend is keep trying, maybe tweak descriptions and titles where necessary, and provide links to the any information on the trails.

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭

    360's: done

    Links to official information: done

    Tweaking of title / description: done

    Nothing seems to work :) And spilled a lot of upgrades on those trailmarkers. In my opinion the Wayfarer guide is clear on this topic, but think it would need tget ao little tweak to avoid things like this.

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Did try to do everything possible for these candidates. New 360's, good title / description, links to pages with lot's of official info about these trails, .... Spilled a lot of upgrades on these candidates. In my point of view, the guide is clear about trail markers. But there's so much discussion about it. Maybe a tweak of that subject in the guide would be a great idea @NianticCasey-ING

    Also see for example:

  • AeriTheBOFH-PGOAeriTheBOFH-PGO Posts: 261 ✭✭✭

    Sadly I find trail markers are harder and harder to get through these days. About 6 months ago, it was 50/50, nowdays it's more like 90% reject depending on type. For instance where I am, there's a 145km clearly named trail that goes around the city, many of the markers on it are already wayspots, but there's a few in more remote areas and mountain tops that I just can't seem to get through. There's actually "street" view for most parts and photospheres for parts that don't, yet reviewers still reject it for not meeting criteria. I suspect a lot of those reviewers don't appreciate how hard it is to get to some of these trail markers.

    If it was me I'd pass markers for shared bike trails too, provided it is properly (and uniquely) named. The spirit of the game is to go out, explore, and get some exercise, so I think bike trails fit that bill.

    The irony is, when the duplicate submission bug was around, one of our subs got duplicated, first one got rejected, but the duplicate got through. 🤨

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭

    I see a number of different threads about the subject “trail markers” in the Guideline clarifications section. With a lot of different opinions. I really think it’s time for a good clarification from Niantics side @NianticCasey-ING.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 252 ✭✭✭✭

    Having getting several Trail Markers like this rejected as well, I feel your pain.

    As someone mentioned: Knooppunten are not eligible - they do not have starting point, but just reference points for people to make up their own trails. There is no name and they do not guide people to interesting locations by themselves.

    The "Wandelpad" ones are 5* candidates for me: they belong to fixed trails, designed by the tourism agency to guide people through the area and interesting locations.

    I also agree the bike trails with similar signs are eligible - if there is safe pedestrian access (they often lead through streets as well).

    The way these are being rejected and the comments people make, make it clear groups of Reviewers are collaborating to reject them with the same reason. For example, rejections from the past on Trail Markers have always included:

    • Temporary Seasonal Display
    • Generic Business

    When commenting outside of Wayfarer, feedback was:

    • "It's a traffic sign"
    • "This is not a Trail Marker, because it's made of metal."
    • "This is mass-produced" - while the signs have a standard, the trail on it is obviously always different. (They also seem to believe Niantic's example was handcrafted I guess?)
    • "Trails are only eligible if they are in the middle of the woods or the mountains." (Funny enough, I nominated one in the middle of the woods, which was rejected as "Obstructs emergency access").

  • thegame1745-INGthegame1745-ING Posts: 131 ✭✭✭

    The first 2 are a definite 1* for me. cycling markers, mass produced,...

    On the topic of the third example... Flanders has over 400 bicycle crossings and more than 900 walking route crossings (that are in the system. there are many more in reality). on every crossroad in between there will be multiple of markers type 3 you posted.

    walking trail crossings:

    bicycle route crossings:

    Add to that all routes that are not on these 2 websites. for example this route is not on the map and i went out to check how many markers are on it. 23 markers over a 5 km distance.




    I stick to the january 2018 ama about trail markers:

    Find markers that show the name of the trail AND have a description of the trail.

    However... i will accept the start (see number 1) from these kinds of signs as this would be the most important one from the walk AND markers that would actually make people go out for a walk in the fields, forest,... if they are visible on SV or satellite or there is a 360.

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭
    edited May 2020

    January 2018 is like 2+ years ago. The wayfarer guide is more recent. Why sticking to something old and ignoring the most recent info? I mean: on subject A the answer is “the guide is more recent, ama doesn’t count anymore”. On subject B the answer is “ama is more recent, guide is old”. If I’m not mistaking there’s even a more recent AMA with different answer on the trail-thing compared to the AMA of jan 2018. August or so, don’t know anymore if it was 2018 or 2019 . But then the answer mostly is “‘nah, I’ll stick to the older one”

    I get it, the AMA’s used to be a good resource. Used to be. Because the AMA idea is gone, there’s a new guide. And yes, I get it, some OPR’ers believe the AMA’s are holy ;-) But think the Wayfarer guide is the only thing to follow? If not, they would have implemented the complete and full AMA archive directly in the WFguide.

    It were also the AMA who often told each month different things about the same subject. One month black, the other month white, following month green with white stripes,....

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Casey has stated that the AMA clarifications still apply unless directly contradicted by more recent updates. Just because they are "old" doesn't mean those clarifications no longer apply or should be ignored.

  • OGMagus-INGOGMagus-ING Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    Just HOW difficult would it be to maintain one, coherent resource on/in the Wayfarer help?

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 1,081 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's okay in some circumstances, but If a new piece of guidance does't include a specific exception or additional constraint would that exception/constraint still be applicable? For example older guidance gave exceptions for low-density areas on certain submissions - that's no longer in the guidance but does it still apply?

  • thegame1745-INGthegame1745-ING Posts: 131 ✭✭✭

    Taking low density in account was only for a handful of items. But people looked at it as a general rule.

    Q11: In OPR, I’ve heard people interpret the “give lenience to portal spares areas when evaluation submissions” to also mean to be very strict in areas with portals. Some only give 4 or 3 stars to submissions that would be a suggested 5 star because there are portals near it. Should we abide by the guidelines for denser areas or is it better to only give 3/4 stars to these portals?

    A11: NIA OPS says, “Each Portal should be evaluated on its own merit without taking into account the density of the location.

  • PoMaQue-PGOPoMaQue-PGO Posts: 252 ✭✭✭✭

    So you are ignoring ?

    And do you give 1* for location if it's obstructed, i.e. under the cover of trees, instead of giving 3* as Wayfarer instructs you to?

  • thegame1745-INGthegame1745-ING Posts: 131 ✭✭✭

    i'm using ama guidance as clarification. as stated before. unless it's a contradiction a.m.a guidance still counts.

    and that states name AND description.

    and on the location part. it says 3* if you believe it could be there but can't find it.

    Note: At times, you may not be able to view the Wayspot nomination in maps or street views if the real-world location of the nomination is inside a park or under a tree. For these cases, use your best judgement to decide whether the nomination could exist at the real-world location. You can use the submission photo and look for clues in the background to help you decide.

    If there is no more visual reference point apart from trees it could be anywhere on the map. so i won't give it 3* because i don't believe it's there. and with all the fake 360 locations these days even 360 location is not going to convince me anymore unless i see reference points.

    So all these people just 3* items is one of the main reasons so many abuse cases get through.

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭

    But AMA things are lost on official channels when Google Plus shut down. In the new Wayfarer guide no official links to it. How are new Wayfinders supposed to know them? Don’t think “look at an opr or Ingress fansite” is a valid answer. The whole Wayfarer guide is newer / more recent than any of the AMA’s. They (Niantic) state we need the review according to the Wayfarer guidelines You know, the thing without links or referenced to AMAs.

    What trail markers concern: there’s even an more recent AMA then the one you talked about, stating different info on trail markers, yet this one is ignored and the older one is chosen. So not only a new / older thing, but also a thing of totally random use of resources.

    And the sentence “not because they are old, they no longer apply” is a sentence I recognise out of opr groups “not because something is old, it’s a valid portal”. The kind of black, white, sometimes gray but most of the time the color we want...

    We have something new (Wayfarer guide), something old (an ama of january) and something less old (an ama of august). Let’s use the oldest thing, because it fits better what I want. Don’t give me the explanation that “the trail markers Niantic means are the US markers, not the EU markers. Because in the “”US these markers get people to go out””, and ours are not” as seen in an opr group. Or I will really lmfao 😉

  • CrunchyTacoTM-INGCrunchyTacoTM-ING Posts: 12 ✭✭

    Btw: no sign of the AMA’s in the “Resources for new Reviewers” post of Casey in the news section.... So it seems the AMA aren’t that important for new reviewers.... Although: references to the Wayfarer guide ;-)

  • tehstone-INGtehstone-ING Posts: 1,132 Ambassador

    May be, but they're still valid. As always we must pick up the slack on reviewer education.

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  • thegame1745-INGthegame1745-ING Posts: 131 ✭✭✭

    @NianticCasey-ING any guidance on these types of signs?

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