Clarification on WHY US Military bases are banned?

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  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Taylor5636-PGO We need to band together and get this more in the light. Maybe we cant get the geoblock on spawns lifted, maybe we can just have it be in operational areas of bases and not residential. Maybe we can at least get a change in the rules that residential areas are good for wayspots.

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I said US because I have never been outside the US and have no clue what a military installation looks like elsewhere. From what i'm learning here in this thread and other threads though is that other countries military bases are JUST for military soldiers and sensitive government activities, which is NOT how it is in the US. However people even in the US think this is how it is... The "rules" as they are basically ban whole towns from playing Niantic games. Because they are self contained towns. Some bases have NOTHING around them for miles and civilization is only on base.

  • Taylor5636-PGOTaylor5636-PGO Posts: 39 ✭✭✭

    But I don't agree with that rule either. There are a lot of them that I don't like, and honestly I would love to open something up for other counties. This just happens to be a big pet peeve of mine.

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    The common sense thing needs to be, look its a PLAYGROUND, or its a CHURCH... At least those we can all agree on are not sensitive, not "obstructing emergency services", they are not unsafe. 100% eligible.

    This also doesn't apply to military bases outside the US since apparently they don't have these.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,041 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When considering questions like this it is often useful to think about it from a corporate perspective. In particular, Niantic seems to focus heavily on the following questions:

    • Could this present a legal liability for us?
    • Could this be a source of negative PR?

    If the answer to either of those questions is yes then Niantic is likely to take a very conservative approach. These questions are why there is a strong prohibition against things on private residential propert-- Niantic got sued by some homeowners who were unhappy with disturbances from PoGo raiders. Niantic takes a conservative approach to pedestrian access because they don't want the publicity of having someone die while accessing a wayspot that's in an unsafe location, and they also don't want to get sued for that.

    I think the prohibition on new wayspots on military bases comes from the same principle. They would rather be conservative and outlaw things on military bases than to possibly make a mistake and have someone get killed or interfere with a military operation because they were trying to access a wayspot.

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

    Canadian bases have those things plus many more that I listed previously on residential sides of the base

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's valid, and I understand. Thing is random people don't have a hope or prayer getting on a base if they aren't supposed to be on there. Not to mention if you look at the map right now for a military base there are TONS of pokestops/wayspots on bases already and it isn't an issue (at least at the bases i've been on and Peterson AFB that my father was in command of). I think at the least common sense things like playgrounds, baseball fields, water parks... Those should be approved just as they would if they were anywhere else.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,041 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TrevorAlan-PGO Yeah, I understand. And yes, Niantic's decision to keep (some of the) existing ones while not allowing new ones is logically inconsistent. For example, a few years ago they very aggressively removed everything they could identify as being on K-12 school grounds.

    People often ask why it's OK to allow things on restricted-access corporate campuses but not on military bases. My response is that when you try to get into Pixar to get to a wayspot the worst-case outcome is pretty much that you get arrested and convicted of trespassing. The risk of doing something stupid on a military base is significantly higher.

    Some years ago a Russian Ingress agent was visiting San Francisco and hanging out with a bunch of locals. She told a story of breaking into a Russian military base to get to a strategic portal there including running across rooftops and dodging military police to do it. It made a great story but I was also glad that she was still around to tell it.

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lol that reminds me of Chekov from star trek IV asking "Where are the nuclear wessels?" in San Francisco.

    New wayspots for obviously civilian things that would get approved off base, like playgrounds sports fields etc should be allowed as I have said. And if a person was dumb enough to try to get onto a base in the US (it has happened, many times, and with 0 to do with a niantic game. Even happened twice while my father was in command of Peterson and my family lived on base) They're not going to **** you down unless YOU have a gun. Its the same thing, worse-case outcome is arrested and convicted of trespassing. (And you might end up on some lists). It's not a trigger happy warzone **** to ****.

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    IDK where my other response went... Maybe it's stuck in a review? anyways TLDR of it was "when you try to get into Pixar to get to a wayspot the worst-case outcome is pretty much that you get arrested and convicted of trespassing" --- Same thing on a base, they aren't trigger happy mow you down if you try to get on a base (which people have attempted or have got on a base many times, two times while my father was in command not for any reason as playing a Niantic game). You might also end up on a "list" but it's unless you also come in weilding an instrument that dispels lead capsules... Its the same story as a "corporate campus"

  • Khatre-INGKhatre-ING Posts: 115 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    niantic can't make a rules for each country, each one being applied worldwide.

    in most country picture aren't allowed in military facility so you'll have to break the law to create a poi.


    it seems to be different in the US but that like the private residency rule, the rest of the world lost their POI there because of dumb US lawsuit

  • The26thDoctor-PGOThe26thDoctor-PGO Posts: 434 ✭✭✭✭

    For me a military base would be a definite no go area where I am.

    After reading your post I don't see why they shouldn't be where you are although I feel like you have a **** load of hoops to jump through to reach a point where US bases are accepted/unblocked and others aren't.

    Good luck.

  • ApplPsydarr-PGOApplPsydarr-PGO Posts: 61 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    I just want to add some of my own personal experience. When I got to my first duty station after tech school my car broke down on me and I didn't buy another for 5 months. I literally walked everywhere. I would have been upset if Pokemon Go was out during that time and I was restricted in my playing abilities.

    Now as a Veteran and allowed on bases I enjoy taking over some gyms and dropping an incense but it's still not the same as playing off base. Soooo many community areas that can be improved just by including more waypoints on bases.

  • Sunlitgarden-INGSunlitgarden-ING Posts: 140 ✭✭✭

    For me at least, the geoblocking suggestion in another thread was not a judgment about how valid or invalid they should be; just a way to save everyone's time (submitters, reviewers) when they have no chance in a fairly large area.

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for your service. With my posts here either 1 or 2 people are giving me disagreement reactions... Or a bunch of people aren't getting the message. People legit think that Military bases in the US (and apparently canada is the same) are unsafe, top secret warzones, with soldiers marching around and you'll be shot on sight the moment you get near the perimeter. Which is the farthest thing from the truth. I've only just recently come to this realization that this is the public's perception from interacting with the wayfarer group. (It doesn't usually come up in normal every day conversation, or in Colorado Springs its an Air Force town so everybody knows) They must think military bases are like what you see in the movies and on TV...

  • purplepopple-INGpurplepopple-ING Posts: 185 ✭✭✭

    In Spain, there are laws about even photographing military locations including ones where personnel live on site. Or at least with the "**** Law" of using photographs of the police and military without first getting permission to use them. Police can sieze a person's phone if they suspect a person taking photographs is doing so to commit a crime or by taking the photographs may be putting the police in danger. In legal fact and through judicial review, police and security forces can be filmed. But when taking photos and risking threats, in practice for most people without lawyers on call, not hugely feasible.


    (I tried to take a photo for a nomination and was asked by a member of security services in Spain to delete it. Not making that mistake again.)

    I would assume in other countries, there would be similar issues.

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dang, uh that's crazy @purplepopple-ING ... Yeah its 100% not like that in the US... So i guess it would need to be a distinction about different countries? But as it stands now, there's already a background approval system, like certain areas of the US, or different countries will get nominations more or less likely approved. Essentially, if your go into a secure area, you're not going to have a phone or anything with a camera on you (eg: The Pentagon, or certain levels of it. )

  • SiIverLyra-PGOSiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's the same in Israel as far as I'm aware - photography of military bases/buildings/structures is illegal. Even on compounds located inside cities, there are always "photography is prohibited by law" signs hanging on the outer walls.

    Yet I've seen some nominations - and even existing wayspots - inside military bases. I find that in most cases they aren't marked as such on Google maps, so maybe some reviewers aren't even aware that they're accepting a nomination located on military grounds.

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yeah it's totally not that way in the US. Look up a military base, Peterson AFB (CO), or Patrick SFB (FL) on Google Maps, you can street view all around them, and in 3D mode you legit have full 3D models of everything, and also the locations on base are mapped and you can GPS to them. Snapchat, instagram, look up those bases people post on them all the time.

    So for me its my lack of understanding and ignorance about military bases outside of the US, because I'm a military brat in the US its all I know, but its a night and day difference. But apparently people in the US even think that photographing anything on a US base is illegal or even bad and its 100% not.

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So unless someone from Niantic wants to give a solid policy as to why US military bases are banned, it seems to me it's a lack of understanding what US military bases are and what are on them. People are assuming they are hostile secret areas which is the farthest thing from the truth. So I'll probably try to bring this question back up at an AMA, and the rest of the military community playing Niantic games here should also chime in because apparently nobody else understands.

    At the very least we should have it be allowed for things like adding playgrounds, parks, museums, public facilities, things that would normally be approved on a base to be allowed. Since there is 100% nothing unsafe or secret or illegal about them.

    About the geoblocks and such... that IDK how that would work... seems much more slippery but if we could at least have housing areas on bases be unbanned that would be AMAZING!

  • SiIverLyra-PGOSiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh, don't get me wrong - there's satellite view for military locations here too, and even Street View for compounds that are located in cities. But I imagine Google's stuff went through at least some level of approval from the local government - and naturally that can't happen with stuff photographed by civilians, Wayfarer content included.

    Point is, this isn't a US-only issue - it's a deep, deep rabbit hole for Niantic to go down, on the international level... and Wayfarer IS international after all. So I'm not surprised things are so vague, and that there's so little clarification from Niantic about this subject.

  • ApplPsydarr-PGOApplPsydarr-PGO Posts: 61 ✭✭✭

    For my base the only place you couldn't photograph was the flightline. Everywhere else you had phones and photographs everywhere haha. Theres horseback riding, a golf course, 2 lakes, campground, trails, archery, and even hunting allowed on base. At one point there were 2 elementary schools and college classes on base but some of that moved off base. So much goes on, it really is a small city.

  • Daemare-PGODaemare-PGO Posts: 63 ✭✭✭

    Yeah I suggested the geoblocking to save time and ratings. It's frustrating to follow the rules and then get punished for it.


    Until Niantic changes the blanket statement, it should be taken as all POI submission on military bases get 1*. Per Casey's statement last year: https://community.wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/discussion/6420/military-bases-again . I hope you bring this up at the next AMA, as everything you said about military bases is true (though I don't see people talking about them like they are secret war stockpiles/centers). I brought up the mapping thing because I have remembered seeing that before (my father was Army 30 yrs and is the deputy commander of an installation now) and most of that 3rd party mapping was approved and scrutinized. Residential and recreational areas shouldn't be a problem, but it is what it is. I have a very good feeling though that the military is the reason for this rejection-status though. Most likely for a similar reason as the Pokémon spawn ban. Your dad might be fine with it on Peterson, but others may not. By all means bring it up at the next AMA, I'll definitely give you an upvote, but going against the rules only causes more confusion and given what you've said on here, NIA could take action against your account due to your disregard of the rules (I hope they don't).

  • holdsfrom-PGOholdsfrom-PGO Posts: 25 ✭✭

    ​​The same can be said for other discussions(https://community.wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/discussion/18153/active-submitter-or-multiple-on-a-military-base/), but I don't think this problem will be solved until Niantic responds.

  • purplepopple-INGpurplepopple-ING Posts: 185 ✭✭✭

    While I get the US frustración, the inverse also is possible true. Standard set by voval English speakers can then feed down to other language communities minus refinement. The best example is British post office boxes. So much noise around them. The ones in Spain are not at all special and not at all historical, with possibly a handful of exceptions. They are pretty common. They are rarely painted any special color other than yellow or blue. They are just there. The British discussion though means in extra info section, I get links to Niantic views on British post office boxes which are not applicable. (That doesn't even get into the whole Spain issue of, "do we ignore the Niantic rule on private residences?" because 20 meters is nutty as it can take out almost a whole Village.)


    A blanket ban worldwide works best. If there is a US exception, it needs to specifically state that the ban exists in Spain, Israel, etc. List the banned countries so no ambiguity like post office boxes.

  • TrevorAlan-PGOTrevorAlan-PGO Posts: 789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love how from my posts I've collected 55 disagreement reactions... And most of them are from when I'm stating (over and over) how military bases are NOT top secret, unsafe, warzones, with soldiers marching around and such in the US. Anyone want to speak up and argue otherwise to me?

  • flatmatt-PGOflatmatt-PGO Posts: 1,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see nearly that many flags in this thread, so this must include comments in other threads as well. For me personally, I believe the only times I've hit "Disagree" on your posts relating to this subject have been when you've misrepresented the current wayspot guidelines (whether intentionally or unintentionally) or admitted to voting against the current wayspot guidelines.

This discussion has been closed.