What is the difference between a directional sign and a navigational sign?

Spinky108-PGOSpinky108-PGO Posts: 104 ✭✭
edited July 2022 in Criteria Clarifications

Whenever I review sign nominations that I think are either directional- or navigational signs, I always ask myself which one of the two the sign is, basically what the difference is between the two. For me, both of those names of signs sound like they have the same purpose, take/lead you to a destination, which is how I would describe it.

Edit: I think I posted this at the wrong place, I don't know how to withdraw this so I can post this at the right place.

Post edited by NianticGiffard on


  • Melurra-PGOMelurra-PGO Posts: 384 ✭✭✭✭

    I would consider them synonymous as well. Maybe in some regions or countries may have a distinction in their signage or language. Most of these kinds of signs are you not eligible, so fortunately, "what is it?" does not come up a lot.

  • Spinky108-PGOSpinky108-PGO Posts: 104 ✭✭
    edited July 2022

    They do encourage exercise as in walking actually, at least some of them do.

  • Spinky108-PGOSpinky108-PGO Posts: 104 ✭✭

    I don't have an example as in a nomination photo from someone nominating a navigational- or directional sign. But signs with place names with arrows that points to the direction, sometimes also with information on how far to the destination somewhere is, that are located either at the nature or on sidewalks. I usually accept those because I think they encourage exercise as in walking. Good for the health, you know. Also good if they are easily accessible.

    What is the difference between a navigational- and directional sign, tho?

  • Spinky108-PGOSpinky108-PGO Posts: 104 ✭✭

    I can see where Giffard, or whoever clarified that is coming from with that thought. Often when I review signs I believe are either directional- or navigational signs, the submitters leave the trail marker tag in the "what is it?" section of nomination reviewing. The signs when they have that tag when I review them do have place names and sometimes also information on how far away the destination is on them. You could be right on the names meaning the same thing for the same type of sign.

    The signs I review are not just signs that points to locations, they also have place names and sometimes info on how far the destination is. I believe some of those signs are valid actually. If they are located at the nature or sidewalks for example.

    Why does Niantic have both of those names as options to categorize signs? Perhaps they believe there is a difference between the names?

  • Spinky108-PGOSpinky108-PGO Posts: 104 ✭✭

    I'm talking about signs with place names, sometimes also information on how far to the destination somewhere is and arrows that points to the direction.

  • Melurra-PGOMelurra-PGO Posts: 384 ✭✭✭✭

    That's what I was picturing as well. As @WheelTrekker-ING explained, Niantic has previously indicated that these are not eligible. While the destinations they point to may be eligible, a (for example) "Greenwood State Park <-- 5 MI" sign is not.

  • Spinky108-PGOSpinky108-PGO Posts: 104 ✭✭

    Well, if the sign is located at the nature, it could be eligible. They as in Niantic are not being specific enough in my opinion with what they mean by nature signs. People could assume any type of sign located at the nature is eligible, because nature signs are on the list for places to explore on eligible criteria list, that is if the sign located at the nature has a name on it at least.

    A navigational/directional sign with a place name located at the nature should be considered eligible as it technically is a nature sign depending on how people would define a nature sign.

  • Melurra-PGOMelurra-PGO Posts: 384 ✭✭✭✭

    I see. Although Niantic is not specific about "nature sign" (which is why we see little plaques nominated and accepted that say nothing more than something like "White Oak (Quercus alba)"), I would not buy that a directional sign at the edge of a forest that says "Nearest Town <-- 10 KM" would be an acceptable nomination. Just because something is on the "what is it" list does not mean it is automatically acceptable, and even if it is eligible, the nomination still must be considered in context to see if it meets at least one of the three acceptance criteria: is it a great place to socialize, explore, or exercise? Even if we apply a very broad definition of "nature sign," you have to consider if the sign in question to see if it meets criteria (typically the exploration criterion for nature signs). Eligible nature signs are ones that typically have some kind of explanation of the environs and often illustrations, photos, and/or diagrams which show how the place where they are located is interesting to explore. An example would be a sign titled "Silver Woods Wildlife" with a paragraph explaining common wildlife found in Silver Woods with photos and species names of some of the animals. A nature sign that just says "White Oak (Quercus alba)" does not really provide a lot of information on the area and is probably not something you would stop to read to guide or inform your exploration, so it's pretty borderline. A directional sign in a natural area doesn't promote exploration, and I've never seen an example of one that would.

    And as WheelTrekker mentioned earlier, a trail marker (indicating a trail at that exact location) is not to be confused with a directional sign (pointing at something far away from where the sign is physically located).

  • Spinky108-PGOSpinky108-PGO Posts: 104 ✭✭
    edited July 2022

    Sometimes a directional/navigational sign with place names could be eligible as something to explore as it encourages you to go to the places and explore them. If the direct- or navigation signs are located at the nature, they could also be eligible as places for exercise, because they encourages you to exercise as in walking to the destination. That could at least be the case if the sign is located right at a walking path in the forest, or on a sidewalk beside the forest/nature area. As long as there is safe access at the sign with walking paths, it could be fine.

    The reason that the little plaques you mentioned do get accepted, is most likely because of the historic plaque being on the criteria list for something to explore. People assume almost any plaque can get accepted.

    A directional sign that says "nearest town <-- __ KM" could be eligible depending on its location. If it is located in a nature area, it could be a place that encourages exercise. That's how I see it for that example you gave of a sign.

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,292 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Spinky108-PGO Why does Niantic have both of those names as options to categorize signs? 

    Niantic didn't create the "What is it" list - OSM (Open Street Map) did. OSM let people add things ****-nilly. OSM's goals are very different from Niantic's. But the list was free (open source).

    Niantic has allowed additions to the list, but they haven't removed anything.

    I think this whole discussion assumes that tags in the "What is it" list were read and approved by Niantic to mean something. Think of them as random instead.

  • Ladyfoil-PGOLadyfoil-PGO Posts: 32 ✭✭

    I hope i am posting this in the right discussion, please correct me if i'm wrong.

    I've been judging some contributions and there are A LOT of path markers. Those are mainly stickers with an arrow on them, or standard bicycle route signs, indicating route 50, 89 or whatever. Since there are lot's of wayspots with those markers accepted, i have not dismissed them, but just given them two or three stars (didn't find the discussion about the starts yet, if someone could explain me that would be nice - just a sidenote).

    After reading this discussion, i think i might have done that wrong, and i should have rejected them all?

  • The26thDoctor-PGOThe26thDoctor-PGO Posts: 2,536 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This can't be true! Are you trying to tell me that a multi billion dollar company like Niantic would go for the cheap and dirty option and sacrifice quality and precision.

  • Melurra-PGOMelurra-PGO Posts: 384 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for checking. Trail/path markers that are *on* or at the start of a *named trail* (for example, something like Greenwood Bike Path or the Ice Age Trail), are eligible and encouraged by Niantic. If it's just a random stretch of sidewalk or an unnamed path by a building, then it wouldn't be eligible.

    If you see ones that aren't on the trail, but are just something like a sign that says "Wildflower Bike Path <-- 2 mi east", that wouldn't be eligible. It has to be on or at the start of the trail.

    If you think a wayspot should be accepted, give it 4 or 5 stars on the first question. If it's neutral, you can use 3 stars. Of course, giving 1 star brings up the rejection reasons. 2 stars is not often used and it seems if it is unknown if this counts as a rejection or not, as what Niantic has said and reviewers' experiences differ.

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