Clarification for Permanent Picnic Areas Without a Pavillion or Canopy Overtop
From what I have gathered, the general consensus is that a permanent picnic area that has a concrete base with mounted tables & chairs and some sort of structure over it are eligible. Picnic areas that do not have permanent structures are not eligible. But what about the middle ground? A picnic area that has no structure over it, but the tables and chairs are permanently mounted into a concrete or brick base or are built into the ground? I have also seen people debate over permanent BBQ's being a deciding factor as well. 3 examples of picnic areas like this are below.
Example 1: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/xkTqSf9_X4mneYn-h1KS6609FIaVeKsoxbvJ0fEyN3nkvb9Kbu_wlBpYepm_o91XkVtOLG9achraRZXjsntVC6MlTpk=s0
- This is my rejected submission, so maybe I am biased. It is a small park-like setting with permanently mounted tables and benches (they are all bolted into the bricks, but it is difficult to tell without zooming in). It is outside of an office building but is accessible & open to the public
Example 2: https://www.cityofsanmateo.org/ImageRepository/Document?documentID=59329
- This is a large cluster of picnic tables that are visually built into the ground with no way of being moved or removed. There is also a permanent bbq. Essentially the same and as permanent as a similar area that has a pavilion or canopy over it
Example 3: https://patch.com/img/cdn/users/148732/2013/07/T800x600/aadbd6d375afebea1475a40342404ddf.jpg
- Smaller picnic area that appears to have tables built into the ground with no way of being moved or removed. Like the one above, there is also a permanent bbq. Essentially the same and as permanent as a similar area that has a pavilion or canopy over it. This one does have a sign defining the area
Is it possible to get clarification on these from Niantic? My personal belief is these should be treated the same way as pavilions or as long as they are visually permanent (ie: mounted, bolted, or built into the ground). Individual tables are and should continue to be ineligible. Same with any "loose" tables or benches. This would only apply to clusters or areas that are exclusively small picnic areas/parks.
Thank you all for taking your time to read this and to also share your opinion!
These just look like generic seats, benches and tables to me. There is nothing inherently special about them and there are millions/billions of them around the world. If you start accepting them, then people will want to submit seating areas outside restaurants too.
As much as a picnic table has the same function as a gazebo, a (proper) gazebo is usually a unique structure and is distinctive to the area. Picnic tables are not distinct or unique.
NianticCasey stated in his comment regarding athletic fields that "please keep in mind that our goal is not to ingest every possible POI to get as many Portals/Wayspots as possible, but rather to ingest unique, interesting, artistic or notable local hotspots where players could gather or learn/discover something about their community." The bold text is the key here; generic benches/tables are not interesting, artistic or notable, if they were, they would be significant enough to be approved on their own merit.
The reason that picnic shelters are eligible has nothing to do with the picnic tables, but because they are created to be rented out to groups for gatherings (parties, reunions, etc.). While you can feasibly have a gathering at the three locations you gave, that is not the intended purpose of those locations. Whether the picnic tables are bolted down or not has nothing to do with their eligibility. Even a single covered picnic table is not eligible because it is not a place where a group of people gather.
@TheFarix-PGO is this like an american thing? Be used honestly I've never heard of a rent out picnic area in my city (glasgow)
It could be. I am in the US and have been a part of school trips or business family events at parks where areas like these, both covered and uncovered, have been rented out for our events. Usually we just have to go through the local government to reserve the area.
Around here (Calgary, Canada), it seems (in my experience) that the rental option is for such places on private property only; most public locations are first-come-first-served, unless it's going to be a really large gathering... in which case, it's less about "rental" and more about "permit".
Having said that, this is likely to vary between jurisdictions.
I find it interesting that most of the gazebos/pavilions I've seen as portals are (I believe) less likely to encourage gatherings than the pictures provided in the OP example above, particularly when there's a BBQ involved. :)
I've had three approved that look like the second photo, but each was a picnic "area" with defined borders, no roof, but multiple permanent tables. To me the two important factors are the permanency of the structures, and the fact that multiple tables mean that larger groups can gather.
I struggle to see what criteria picnic areas meet. Most, from what I've seen in the UK, are just a couple of wooden benches and tables - usually the mass produced and generic looking type. If they're eligible submissions and can be confirmed as such by someone from Niantic, fair enough but I genuinely struggle to see what criteria they do meet.