Supporting Rural & Remote Communities - Discussion



  • X0bai-PGOX0bai-PGO Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭✭✭

    “we shouldn’t have Pokémon GO queries/discussions here at all.”

    So what’s the excuse for the Ingress queries/discussions that regularly take place in here?

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 5,049 Ambassador

    That’s fair. 😂

    I did think that when NianticThia got their role, we might get better communication (and we have with the events schedules etc.) but it’s still lacking. Maybe the new associate producer they’re getting will step in now and then.

    But I think there should be a place for people who play Pokémon GO to voice their views for Niantic to maybe “glance” at.

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,686 ✭✭✭✭✭

    i still havent read a single thing here that would help Rural & Remote Communities.

    Without getting into each game this is rather pointless. Niantic should fix the problems in Wayfarer that lead up to giving huge problems to local communities outside of big cities.

    Also it does not help that Niantic still keeps stum about Cells and keeps their secret sauce recipe for themselves.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with what you are saying, but that has always been the case and is not new.

    So you are free to make your own time to nominate or focus on catching Pokémon.

    It is your own play style that you decide.

  • Duiomar-PGODuiomar-PGO Posts: 458 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It does seem like the moderation team has lightened up a little on pokemon go specific discussion. I don't think there's any one reason it could be pinned down to but an ingress gameplay question making it into the last AMA has made people rightfully take the restrictions against game specific talk less seriously. It would be great to see parity in how the games are treated but at least it seems like this is a case of a rising tide lifting all ships.

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 5,049 Ambassador

    There’s some (though less than there are Pokémon GO ones), I agree and there shouldn’t be. It’s poor forum management from Niantic in general.

    Perhaps we need a “This forum is for Wayfarer related queries only. If you have a query about <game> please visit <forum link>” when posting a discussion, like the grey box you get when posting in Invalid Reports etc.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't like to talk about game-specific stuff here either.

    Recently, there was a thread about the 20m rule in Ingress, but that is a topic that should only be discussed in the Ingress forum.

  • Shore5-PGOShore5-PGO Posts: 4 ✭✭

    As a small town trainer I know how hard it is to get stops approved especially when google satellite maps or street view isn’t updated. I have community members who are trying to creat at least one wayfarer spot in there small part a mile away from town but they keep getting denied I asked if there is a play set they could use. They tried and still nope because the satellite puts there nominations near what once was a burn pit or near things that are no longer there. I’m trying to help them but it’s hard.

  • Wonderdude2k-INGWonderdude2k-ING Posts: 39 ✭✭✭

    This has been quite the interesting discussion to follow. A lot of tough questions to address, especially for an all-volunteer workforce.

    Supporting Rural & Remote Communities - why is this a top 3 goal? It's something worth unpacking. Obviously, Niantic is a for-profit business. They achieve higher profits by both increasing revenue, and keeping costs as low as possible. Sparsely populated areas are a huge challenge for Niantic, since the business receives infinitesimal revenue per dollar spent. Since the cost to Niantic is very little, Wayfarer community members are being tasked with taking care of this low-return work.

    Yeah, this sounds completely cynical. When viewed from a business perspective, however, it's cold reality. As seen in the above comments, some community members receive satisfaction by believing they are expending their efforts to help underserved communities. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not me. I want to see the fruits of my labor first-hand. Besides visible positive local impact, in-game rewards would help compensate for all that extra work. A medal or badge just isn't very satisfying for me - why not offer Ingress CMU or Pokecoins for Wayfarer work? It costs Niantic nothing...other than a tiny amount of revenue paid by Wayfarer reviewers. This is the exact reason I stopped spending money on Niantic games - there's no way I'm paying to work for a multi-billion dollar corporation.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Simply written, it is in Niantic's interest to have a database of local and remote wayspots as soon as possible.

    And it is also important for us to continue our game.

    They are in our best interest.

    And to be clear, the rural and remote areas that fit these definitions are not the underpopulated areas of the US, Japan, and Western Europe and Far East Asia.

    These areas are already overflowing with enough density WAYSPOT.

    Players look 500 meters around their homes and **** that they are short, but there are parks a kilometer away with many wayspots.

    Therefore, these areas are low priority.

    Our targets are Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and South America.

    Now it is important how quickly we can develop databases for these regions.

    Other than Niantic, we are also working hard to create databases.

    Currently, Foursquare is leading the way as Niantic has used it in Turkey and Russia.

    However, wayfinder knows that Foursquare has many things that are far outside the definition of POI.

    That is why we believe it is listed as a high priority issue.

  • kitunefree-PGOkitunefree-PGO Posts: 14 ✭✭


    Unfortunately, I am also in an area with a terrible spot disparity, which is considered rural, but for that reason I would like to work to increase the number of Pokéstops in the countryside. However, there is nothing that can increase the number of PokéStops, simply put, an object like the Tokyo Tower. However, I think I can apply for it if I use something established in the region. It would at least meet the criteria for appropriateness, but at the same time it would have the drawback that it would not show up in the photos we would submit. That is the problem I am having.

    It's a place that can be explored, exercised, and is highly community oriented, but how do you determine what is highly community oriented?

    ex1) For example, one speaker who became famous on 3/11 who sacrificed himself and kept issuing evacuation orders.

    ex2)This is the most common, but a street (sidewalk) designated by the community.

    For example, student street, greeting street. This is something that cannot be recognized by the photos to be submitted, which are decided by the community. Naturally, the explanation and reasons for the nomination should be detailed.

    *I understand that even if there are three appropriate reasons, they will not be accepted.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If there are permanent signs in place explaining historical facts, history, origin, etc., they may be approved.

    However, if such an object does not exist and there are only mass-produced speakers or it is just a road sign, it will be difficult.

  • Duiomar-PGODuiomar-PGO Posts: 458 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the "our" and "we" usage is just a quirk in how they write and not actually suggesting they are part of niantic.

  • Wonderdude2k-INGWonderdude2k-ING Posts: 39 ✭✭✭

    For perspective, I live in a medium-sized US city - 2.8 million residents in the greater St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area. I grew up in a different US state, Montana, which is larger than all of Germany. Montana currently has only about 1 million residents. So, I'm very familiar with "remote" and "rural" areas.

    In any case, I'm still struggling to understand what level of support Niantic expects the Wayfarer community to have for rural/remote/low population-density areas. Is it worth the time and effort of reviewers in populated areas to rate a church nomination in a community of 800 residents, with the nearest town being 60 miles (96 km) away? Obviously, it's not at all worth it to Niantic - if it were, they'd pay employees or contractors to develop the game in those places. Personally, I really don't like being guilted into working for free, in order for a billion-dollar company to squeeze out extra revenue with zero benefit to me.

    Perhaps Niantic can more effectively achieve their business goals in low-return areas by assigning rural/remote nominations to rural/remote reviewers? Those community members would certainly be more understanding of these types of nominations, as well as be more empathetic in situations where a national chain breakfast restaurant or global corporation gas station is the true social center of a tiny hamlet or village. In addition, since an amount of reviewers in populated areas receive personal pleasure by giving back to underserved locations, Niantic might consider offering Wayfarer community members the option of prioritizing rural and remote waypoint nominations from their home countries.

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,686 ✭✭✭✭✭

    that is quit a good idea. infact i already told this idea to Niantic 2 years ago.

    The Idea was:

    • Make an Rural&Remote (R&R) "Area" accountable exclusive for an experience person to submit/review. Like "claiming" an Area. It needs to be a trustworthy person, that is abit like an Ambazz. Their contributions would be reviewed by special agents, and would only need a very small amount of votes to be accepted (or rejected). Also, the contributions would be very very fast in review, like a week only. Niantic could make a map of these Areas, and survey the Areas where there are few or no wayspots. This would give people the incentive to actively submit there, and have their contribs only reviewed by able reviewers (fellow uns). Also, the claimed Area would become open for everyone to claim if the person isnt submitting there at all.
  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Waypoints were originally (2012?) seeded with post offices and historical databases. Many POs and markers have been added since then, so an update of them would help. Plus, I'll bet there are databases of places of worship that could be used if there's no wayspot in, say, a 1k circle.

    Maybe such things can be extracted from the 4Square database. (Don't use all of 4Square, please! Define a subset!)

    If Niantic worked on incentivizing reviewers (instead of working to dis-incentivize), there might be enough to review these auto-submissions. But no, instead we have nominations waiting years, promises unkept, unclear requirements, unclear cooldowns, etc.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    May I ask a question to the American Wayfider for confirmation?

    My understanding is that I have an image that a nomination with an upgrade applied will be reviewed by reviewers in all the countries and regions where I have nominated.

    For example, I am in Hokkaido, Japan.

    Hokkaido is the northernmost region of Japan.

    In Pokemon, it is Celestic Town in the Sinnoh region, so it is quite a Rural.

    But I don't have the impression that it is particularly slow.

    And when I review a nomination for which I believe an upgrade has been applied, I also review the nomination for Okinawa Prefecture, which is the farthest south.

    The straight line distance is about 2500 km.

    So as long as you are in Japan, the speed to decision will vary depending on whether you have an upgrade or not, but we do not consider Japan to be a region no matter where you are.

    Now, in the U.S., how is it reviewed if you have upgraded?

    Will it be US-wide, as in Japan, and will nominations from Hawaii or Alaska be reviewed by reviewers in New York State?

    Or is that not the case and there are certain restrictions?

    For example, are they separated by time zone?

    It would be helpful to know for future reference.

  • tehstone-INGtehstone-ING Posts: 1,122 Ambassador

    Upgrades will go to reviewers anywhere in the country including territories and other holdings. For example as a reviewer in the US I see nominations from all 50 states including Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, and other small islands owned by the US in the South Pacific. There is no consideration for timezones, it appears to be anywhere at all that is considered part of the country by some mapping source, OSM perhaps?

  • tehstone-INGtehstone-ING Posts: 1,122 Ambassador

    Upgrades can be reviewed by anyone in any place considered part of the country in which it is located. For example as a reviewer in the US I have reviewed nominations from all 50 states including Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Rico, US Vir gin Islands, Guam, and several other small islands in the South Pacific.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am not a native speaker and rely on automatic translation, so perhaps its a habit of mine.

    However, one thing I would add is that the majority of agents who have been playing Ingress since before Pokémon GO launched (myself included) have some kind of affinity for Niantic.

    And those players don't see themselves as Niantic customers, but as their fans and supporters.

    Therefore, it may be more appropriate to say that they like Niantic itself rather than the Ingress or Pokémon GO games.

    So they want to know what Niantic's vision of the future is, and we want to help them by sharing that future with them.

    It's like they're already getting a lot of reward for their efforts by "us having fun playing their games".

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ok, thanks.

    It looks like my guess is correct.

    And then, even in a country with a vast area, such as the US, if the upgrade is applied, even in rural or remote areas, nominations are not left unattended, and urban delays may be more of a problem.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,418 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @tp235-ING I am in California, on the western coast of the United States. I get upgraded submissions from the entire continental US, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, and some minor outlying islands. I vaguely remember seeing one from the Northern Mariana Islands. I also occasionally get things in Mexico and I'm pretty sure they've always been in the northern part where the S2 cells overlap with the US. I might have also seen things that are just across the border in Canada but I'm not certain.

    So yes, we see things from all over the country. The farthest I have seen is around 9100km away, and I regularly see things that are 3000-4000km away.

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,728 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Same here.

    I also get occasional nominations from

    • Canada - don't know why I get them, but they are in English, and culturally similar enough that I'm fine with them.
    • Mexico - maybe because my Bonus location is in Florida?

    Wait - Canada has white stuff on the ground! What's that?? (Just kidding 😁)

    But seriously, for Guam, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, I use Google Translate and give them my best shot. Usually I can give a score, even if mostly 3* for "Maybe, but I don't know". But sometimes, culturally, I'm just not qualified. I wish these skips didn't count to my daily maximum.

  • patsufredo-PGOpatsufredo-PGO Posts: 4,086 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I haven't give any single thoughts here yet, am I? Well then...

    Either if you'll be interested with this or not, but currently I live in Tangerang, Indonesia (just west to current capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta). My home location is set at Tangerang and bonus location currently at Bali.

    Assuming that everyone have knowledge about reviewing regions based on S2 lvl6 cells (the main reasons people in some countries got foreign nominations),

    • From perspective of my home location, nominations I got to review are from western edge of Java Island (incl. Jakarta, Banten and West Java provinces) and southern edge of Sumatera Island (incl. Lampung province).
    • From perspective of my bonus location, nominations I got to review are not only entire Bali Island, but also easternmost edge of Java Island (incl. some regencies in East Java) and Lombok Island.
    • National-wide, I've received many nominations from Sabang to Merauke (and this includes a few Singapore nominations but none from Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and East Timor), however the distribution aren't the same. Most nominations I've reviewed are from Java, uncommonly from Sumatera, Borneo and Celebes and rarely from Papua. Trivia, over half of population of my country resides at Java Island.

    So it's nation-wide and doesn't restricted by time zones (Indonesia has 3 different time zones). However because of L6 cells, reviewing regions still depend on where the reviewers live, example reviewers from Batam (which located just south to Singapore) may get nominations not only from Singapore, but Malaysia as well. Additionally, I recall that some reviewers from Malaysia and Brunei also occasionally got Indonesian nominations.

    And that's about my country. Maybe one selected Ambassador from my country can explain this even further.

  • patsufredo-PGOpatsufredo-PGO Posts: 4,086 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Niantic has a secret recipe for giving "rural and remote" areas in their definition a boost: If you are submitting in an "Area [Insert Information that Niantic doesnt want to give out i.e. S2-Cell]" that does not have many wayspots (i.e. Pokestops and Gyms) you will be likely to have a rather quick process when you make a contribution - it will be reviewed in short time like 1-3 weeks.

    While this is true, however it doesn't check the composition of land masses and water masses. As such, coastal regions (or cells dominated by water) are also prioritized by the algorithm. Here's a nearest example from my location:

    This cell consisted of northern part of Jakarta which dominated by waters (Jakarta Bay). Because the density is counted from a whole cell but not the land mass, this area is prioritized even if Wayspot density per land mass on that cell is already higher than other cells below it. Hence I got a lot of fresh nominations from that area frequently, meanwhile one part of the area is already like this:

    I believe this is also true for Sydney CBD, and maybe in some coastal cities around the world as well.

  • SethLegendary-PGOSethLegendary-PGO Posts: 32 ✭✭

    How to support Rural & Remote Communities? Simply do not spend too much time thinking.

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