Lessons learnt from trail marker submissions

AeriTheBOFH-PGOAeriTheBOFH-PGO Posts: 186 ✭✭✭

Trail markers are my favourite kind of submissions as I like exploring remote areas, times have changed so I figured I'd share me and my friends' experiences in case it helps someone, because resubmitting something may take a bit of effort out in the sticks. Disclaimer: your mileage may vary.

tl;dr version:

  1. Reviewers love the sign itself being big and centred, a bit of scenery (and the trail itself) in the background is no longer cool
  2. If the trail you're submitting happens to be named as a road rather than trail or track, it then becomes 50/50 even though satellite view and supporting photo clearly shows it's not car accessible
  3. Even if the trail marker is front and centre, reviewers expect to be able to read the trail name without having to view full sized picture

Long version:

Even not that long ago, it was okay to submit as the main photo a trail marker (maybe slightly to the side) so that showcases the actual trail as well, but now that's a big nope, unless the marker with the name is big and centre, it gets rejected as low quality photo.

Not okay, low quality photo even though trail name still easily comprehensible:

Okay, the accepted photo isn't even that great, it was a backup photo:

Sometimes, the location being inside a forest park or national park isn't quite enough, even though it's pretty obvious the place isn't for driving around.

Not okay because it's a road:

Okay, after explaining thoroughly in supporting statement it's not car accessible and it's at the junction with something that's actually named a trail:

Now, this probably comes down to some reviewers being lazy (explains the amount of cooldowns some people get)...

Not okay, can't read trail name without extra click, trail names are printed on the side of the triangles:


Hope these tips help some of you out there and happy exploring!


  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 761 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Reviewers also love photospheres, because trail junctures are generally never near roadways.

    Reviewers also hate photos that show any perspective (near! far!), so even when the photo ends up being subjectively "ugly", they very much prefer pics that are centered on the sign.

    Reviewers also hate trees. Heaven forbid your marker is on a tree, or that the trail passes through the woods, and therefore might be under tree cover.

    Reviewers also love "names". You will have trouble if your trail markers use iconography instead of words. Or if your trail is literally named after the creek it follows, so that all that the signs say is "12".

    But that's just me grumping over frivolous rejections.

  • KetaSkooter-INGKetaSkooter-ING Posts: 160 ✭✭✭

    Good writeup of the best way to get trail signs approved, now if only we had submitter trainings. I think your reviewers were too stringent on the trail names. Who doesn't love a bit of scenery.

  • AeriTheBOFH-PGOAeriTheBOFH-PGO Posts: 186 ✭✭✭

    I'm quite lucky I haven't needed photospheres yet even for submissions under tree cover, probably because at my local, Google is almost as good as OSM in putting named trails on their maps. Also in most cases, if I can, my supporting photo would be far back enough to show something that is visible on satellite view - e.g. a trail intersection, bend in the trail, or even power lines in the faraway background. This would give reviewers some perspective based on the shape of the road or proximity to something that they can see. Unless visible from satellite view or street view, the POI always MUST be in the supporting photo.

    When I submit something, I take into consideration how the POI would look on a PoGo photo disc as well as Ingress key - this means POI dead centre, and usually 4:3 ratio plus landscape orientation.

    Also agreed on the bit about reviewers loving names, we have a couple of trails here where the markers usually only have an arrow and the icon representing the trail (the icon is very distinct and unique mind you), and those markers are very 50/50 to get through. Usually it helps a bit if we put a lot of effort into supporting statement - such as which section/track of the trail this marker sits on, brief history of trail, etc. etc.

    Sometimes, I do like to push the boundaries, this is okay, I wanted a bit of mountains in for Mountain View Track:

    Not okay, too much scenery even though you can still read trail name without clicking into full-sized photo:

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