Community noticeboards = ineligible?

I just got a community noticeboard rejected after it was reviewed by a Niantic employee:

Up until now, I assumed that community noticeboards, as long as they are freestanding and outdoors, fall under the "Social gathering point" criterion, and as such are eligible. I know there's been quite some debate on them in the forums already, but in my view, there really should be none as there's been official confirmation from Niantic that they are valid Wayspots.

This was first confirmed in the (now obsolete, but still good as guidance) AMA from January 2019:

"Q25: In the UK we have "Community Notice Boards" in residential areas, often maintained by the parish or district council or the residents' association. I think these make good portals but that's a heavily debated topic on the OPR chat and about half the notice boards I submit get approved. Does NIA think these are eligible to become portals?

A25: They do hold the function of being community gathering places. But like many things, it is likely to be very situational. They should follow the same guidelines as the Little Free Libraries."

And later confirmed again here in the forums (after the AMA's were retired), by Casey back in March 2020:

I was assuming that this made community noticeboards eligible no matter whether they look boring or not, as long as they provided information for the community. My specific example has the added bonus of a permanently fixated map of the entire town and all its suburbs.

Does this still hold up? Did something change and I did not notice? Why was my noticeboard rejected by Niantic themselves, even though they confirmed themselves that these are valid Wayspot candidates?



  • Stephyypooke-INGStephyypooke-ING Posts: 504 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Maybe they are angled to avoid their reflection which often results in a submitter identifiable rejection. They could probably get the photo at less of an angle and still avoid the reflection which I agree would probably be better.

  • ForzaComo-INGForzaComo-ING Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    I disagree that every notice board is eligible. Does that look like being a community gathering point? Definately not all are.

    Should the notice board inside my condo apartments basement be eligible? I often meet my neighbours there and indoor wayspots can be eligible?

  • GearGlider-INGGearGlider-ING Posts: 1,303 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2021

    @Germiyoshi-ING Just submit it again. Niantic review decisions are rare.

    I can't believe Niantic approved a nomination that mentioned pokemon go in the description, generic fast food restaurants, but rejected this. This is incredibly helpful to the community.

  • Roli112-PGORoli112-PGO Posts: 2,119 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NianticDanbocat surely this was a better nomination than your poop station. @NianticTintino can you hold your internal reviewers accountable for goofs like these.

  • GearGlider-INGGearGlider-ING Posts: 1,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The only reason I could see this being rejected is if Niantic Reviewers could not confirm location for whatever reason. But if that was the case, Niantic should add their own rejection reason so we don't end up with misconceptions like OP has, where they thought that an eligible nomination could possibly be no longer eligible.

    Niantic rejecting Pavilions and Athletic fields back before OPR caused a lot of OPR reviewers to reject them even after Niantic said that they were now eligible. It took years of AMA clarifications and getting information around before these objects stopped getting rejected all the time.

  • Germiyoshi-INGGermiyoshi-ING Posts: 23 ✭✭

    @X0bai-PGO Whether it says "." or "Niantic review decision", it's utterly useless to me either way. Rejection reasons provided to me after a community review are not always helpful either, but they did point me in a certain direction before (photo too dark, person in photo...) and in subsequent attempts I could try and eliminate any disturbances. I'd love to have proper rejection reasons even if Niantic reviews a nomination.

    I struggled with a front photo because 1. reflections, 2. busy road and narrow pavement, 3. bad zoom on my phone camera. But I will try, thank you.

    @ForzaComo-ING I understand your point, but in that case, I'd find it great if there were examples of a "bad" and a "good" community noticeboard. If there is no such clarification, I assume that every noticeboard can potentially be eligible, and it's down to the submitter to sell their nomination as good as possible, and emphasise its importance.

    (Besides, the example you mentioned sounds similar to the noticeboard within the supermarket. The free-standing outdoor noticeboards are their own object, visible from far away and with the fullest of potential to gather the community, whereas indoors noticeboards are embedded within another object and thus not really eligible. At least, that's how I understand Casey's clarification from last March.)

    @GearGlider-ING If that was the reason, then I think that whatever employee reviewed my submission, should get new glasses. The noticeboard is visible on satellite view and the pin was positioned exactly on it.

  • Melurra-PGOMelurra-PGO Posts: 350 ✭✭✭✭

    As others have said, if you submit it again, you will most likely get normal reviewers and hopefully an approval.

    I don't speak German and haven't seen your full nomination, so you may have already done these things, but here are a couple potential tips:

    • I agree that having the map and the info board makes it a stronger candidate. Maybe title the nomination something like "[Town Name] Info Board and Map" (in your language).
    • Reviewers might interpret the board as disused because it just has one small-print sheet of paper in your photo. If possible, a photo of the board with more notices would be better. Barring that, you can mention in your description what kind of things they post (community cleanup events, lost pet notices, farmer market dates and times, etc.)
    • If the board is maintained by a council or organization, and they have a website or e-newsletter, you can link to that in the supplemental info so that reviewers can see that the organization is still active.

    Here are some screenshots of a community info board I submitted that was approved, if it helps.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,030 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The criteria was updated in November 2020 with Update 3.1 and any criteria clarifications on what is eligible that came before that update have been superseded. If you can make a case using the existing criteria, great, but previous comments should not be taken as "the truth".

  • Maxyme99-PGOMaxyme99-PGO Posts: 902 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To tell the truth these community noticeboards are one of eligible things that I can never get approved in my area, no matter how many times I tried to nominate them.

    So far, I tried nominating these noticeboards 7 times (3 were different noticeboards, and fourth that I tried nominate 4 times), and all were rejected for the same reasons: "don't met criteria" and "seasonal".

    They were all community noticeboards, all in very public open place, visible on streetview, and I took photo in a way that my reflection wasn't visible in noticeboard. One looked similar to your nomination, others looked a bit better, some even had permament image of local town/village crest added near title (not a sticker, it was made together with the board, a nice permament part of it, and it looked permament on the board), and looked very interesting as a POI for a small location that had none other POI or just one POI.

    I think these are almost impossible to get accepted in my location (no matter if they're upgraded or not), like trail markers in some areas - definetly eligible, but in some locations just can't get throught, as reviewers don't like them. It's pretty sad as it is, but seeing your thread made it even sadder for me.

    I'm really sad to see that even Niantic workers reject these community noticeboards while they got them to review, as it's another example about they really random reviews (we got a lot threads about weird rejections from Niantic workers recenlty).

    And I also agree that maybe adding some examples which noticeboards are eligible and which not might be helpfull. Without any examples all of them can be rejected by reviewers, and by Niantic workers, like we seen in this thread.

    I hope that if you submit it again you will get good reviewers that don't reject all community noticeboards and you will get it accepted. Good luck!

  • 1253mi-PGO1253mi-PGO Posts: 49 ✭✭

    Its funny. I had a noticeboard rejected just this week for having visible faces on posters... and reviewers not finding it in an older street view (though comparing closely to the photo should have been enough). Seems I was a bit heavy with the blur second time around so it was rejected... again. Third time should get through but it sucks that I'll have burned two upgrades on something that should have passed the first go.

  • Thanks, @Germiyoshi-ING for bringing this to the forefront. Could I trouble you with the nomination location (latitude/longitude) so we can re-review the candidate? I will await your reply!

  • Jeroenix-INGJeroenix-ING Posts: 204 ✭✭✭

    There are noticeboards:

    ...and there are noticeboards:

    I suspect the former will receive much higher marks than the latter, while some that are nothing more than A4 paper frames will just be rejected on basis of temporary or mass produced (too generic).

    I would 3* or 4* the example in the OP's nomination based on what I can see. I would 5* a really nice looking ones like the first example in this post, with high marks for visiuality and even culture. In my experience boards like that are often found in the smallest of towns or at churches. Big cities tend to mass produce them and distribute them across neighbourhood supermarkets, libraries, etc.

    I hope this thread will be followed up with an opinion from Giffard, I'm getting curious if Niantic sees the OP's nomination as too generic as well.

  • patsufredo-PGOpatsufredo-PGO Posts: 2,075 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So..., we can only appeal nominations rejected by Niantic internal reviewers?

  • flatmatt-PGOflatmatt-PGO Posts: 1,320 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I believe there was an official comment in a thread somewhere recently that asked for examples of nominations rejected by Niantic (for quality control purposes I believe). No idea what thread it would be, but I remember it.

    So in short, yes, at this time, you can sort of appeal Niantic-reviewed rejections.

  • Germiyoshi-INGGermiyoshi-ING Posts: 23 ✭✭


    1. I had mentioned the map in the description of the Wayspot (as the first thing, actually), but still gave it the title "Infoboards Albshausen" since I like short titles and it's spot-on since it's two infoboards for separate purposes.
    2. Yeah, the submission was made when COVID-19 restrictions were at their worst. Since I can't improve the photo, I was stuck with this nomination for over a year. Depending on what Niantic will decide after their response, I will go around there and check if there's more notices now.
    3. The infoboard does have council notices, do you really think that a link to the council's website could be beneficial?


    Yes, this is true. Since the refresh, we have three main criteria. In my opinion, an infoboard meets the criterion "Social gathering point" and actually does hold an important purpose as the main source of council information for the people here in the countryside, informing about important community news and upcoming events at the church or festivals etc., and thus, I think it should be eligible. If this is not the case, it would be great to have a Niantic employee say why the council notices are not a social gathering point anymore, as they said before the refresh that they are. (Besides, the submission was made BEFORE the criteria refresh.)


    The nomination was located at (51.196210, 9.516985). Thank you kindly for your response and for your offer to look into the nomination again! I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

  • Thanks for writing back with the requested details! We have reversed our decision and the nomination has been approved now.

  • SiIverLyra-PGOSiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 817 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can people who have had their nominations rejected by Niantic post them on the forum, or send them to someone via DM, for re-evaluation? I've got a couple that I firmly believe are perfectly eligible, and were rejected by Niantic in the past.

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 2,964 Ambassador

    What made this nomination special and different than the dozens other that have been reported with "." rejection reasons or the new "Niantic review" text?

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 1,321 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This sets up a precedent. Is this what the appeals system is going to look like? Like a reverse of the invalid report appeals process? Do we have to state that something was a Niantic Review Decision? The in-app support is limited in effectiveness and a neverending circle.

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