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Orienteering Markers - Clarification?

Can @NianticCasey-ING give some clarification on Orienteering Markers. Its been discussed a few times on the forum but havent had any clear clarification on whether to accept or not?

An Orienteering Course is described as “An orienteering course is composed of a start point, a series of control points, and a finish point. Controls are marked with a white and orange flag in the terrain, and corresponding purple symbols on an orienteering map. The challenge is to complete the course by visiting all control points in the shortest possible time, aided only by the map and a compass.”

I get the idea that submitting one as a portal will let people know that it is there as a course, but having every one in the course seems to defeat the whole idea of the game and seems more like submitting just to get another portal.

A few examples:


  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,969 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just like a golf course (or a football field) you do not summit every goal (golf hole) along the course. The course is eligible, but the individual goals are not.

  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 2,524 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I dont know what the clarifications were, but I would say the start and end of the course if they have them and any interesting point (like on a castle ruins or something like that) would be acceptable though I assume the intersting thing would be it's own portal rather than the marker

  • Pangarban-INGPangarban-ING Posts: 31 ✭✭✭

    I believe some of these have been accepted because people are thinking "these are a kind of trail marker". But they aren't trail markers.

  • TheAuraStorm-INGTheAuraStorm-ING Posts: 88 ✭✭✭

    The purpose of orienteering markers is to find them using a map, not through use of a GPS tracker.

    I’d accept one portal for the entire course, but will reject individual markers.

  • JudyB-INGJudyB-ING Posts: 2 ✭✭

    There can easily be multiple courses available at any site. In a small number of places there may be an information board advertising the courses, but very often you need to download the map in advance of visiting the site, or get one from a local tourist information office. So it would be rare that the start and end of the course could be easily identified.

    There's an example here (for 3 courses) in the University Parks in Oxford for anyone who wants to see what you get in practice:

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    Each marker is part of a trail the orienteering Trail. They may be designed to be found by a map and compass but they are also designed to encourage exercise and exploration. Each Marker is unique and has own unique lettering and numbering referring to that trail. Every poi in game you currently visit you may walk past as you never noticed it before and you are using your gps phone to find them. That's what niantic want you to do explore and exercise.

  • Alex23R-INGAlex23R-ING Posts: 6 ✭✭

    Totally agree Dazzz, without these being POI's in the game I wouldn't have found half the things in parks.

    Seeing the orienteering markers as POI's in the game has definitely encouraged me to explore more

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see orienteering courses as the same as golf courses - one POI not one per hole/marker. If, as in some places, the orienteering course uses existing named trail markers as it's points then they would be each be acceptable under the trail marker guidance.

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    It's far from the same thing, a golf course would be potentially dangerous if every hole had a waypoint. So an over all waypoint makes sense.

    But the fact that orienteering trails actively encourage people to exercise, explore and areas goes to the heart of what niantic is doing which is get people moving.

    Each is unique and will have a different symbol, marking or number. If each is visited you will walk a much larger distance than you may normally by not having the entire trail. As I said my local one spreads over 3 parks and approx 10km.

    These trails will definitely get people exploring and walking more. many people in my area often do the trail as the waypoints are already in game and are working.

    They are no different to a normal trail just on a slightly small scale. And at least each Marker is different unlike normal trails.

    I dont see why people have suddenly decided to start rejecting these used to get in all the time and niantic hasnt said they shouldn't get in so you shouldn't start rejecting them as they are still worthy of a waypoint.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't think Niantic restrict golf courses to one POI on safety grounds, it's just simply it's one sports site and I think an Orienteering Course is one sports site.

    I agree they would get people exploring, but the same is true of non-named walking trails and Niantic have decided that trail markers without a trail name aren't valid, despite both functionally being effectively the same.

    I'm not saying there isn't a case for all trail markers being valid but I don't see how multiple orienteering markers for the same meet the current guidelines without a trail name. I'll be interested in any response from Niantic.

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    But it is a named trail. All orienteering trails are named and each marker is unique unlike normal named trails. Named normal trails have the same symbol on each post. Orienteering trails are all different. What criteria do hiking trails meet that orienteering do not?

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Most orienteering markers don't have the trail name on them, just a reference code/unique identifier. If they have the full trail name on them then yes I would consider as named trail markers in the same way as hiking trails.

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    I wouldn't say most orrinteering trails dont have the name on them I'd say some dont. And examples of what people are showing me I'm sure the QR codes that are on them will bring up the trail name once scanned. If a person is purely doing the trail with a map and compass only then the trail name would be on the map making it a named trail.

    The fact that the people who are creating these trails with QR codes on them just shows to me that they are trying to engage with more people and trying to reach a younger audience.

    In either case they do bring well need exercise into a world that is becoming fatter. If the orienteering trail markers are in games then it will get even more people walking, exercising and exploring.

    One for the whole Trail will just mean that players on all platforms will visit 1 poi and go somewhere else not even taking into account the trails.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can only speak from local courses - I've not seen any that have the trail name on them (and to be eligible under trail markers they'd need the name on them regardless of the trail being named).

    I'm genuinely not sure what the case is if a trail marker has a QR code that will give the trail name, but it's not readable by eye - interesting question, and one I'd have to leave to Niantic.

    It's certainly an interesting question as to whether an Orienteering Course should be treated as a sports course - like a golf course or as a trail - I don't have a strong opinion either way,. I've always thought of them as more akin to a golf course, but can see both arguments.

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    I've just started seeing a sudden surge in there rejected orienteering trails around. It's as if a group has decided not a copy them any more. Luckily the trail where I live is named with a disc and the orienteering number on top (not QR). But as someone has already posted they was able to download the map and post on here for free (the same as a normal trail). That map gives you a rough area to explore and walk too (like a normal trail). The only difference I see is slightly smaller. They meet the exact same criteria as a named trail and each one is named and like I said every Marker is unique unlike trail markers.

    When I was younger I did an orienteering trail at school in local woods and fields and we absolutely explored and had exercise.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There seems to be a surge in walking trail markers being rejected too. I've had several over the past couple of months that had the trail name on them rejected for weird reasons.

    I'm genuinely unsure on whether an orienteering trail should be treated as one sports course (like golf) or each point should be valid even if the marker hasn't got a trail name readable (not a barcode) on it - hopefully Niantic might chime in.

    They certainly fit the exploration and exercise criteria, but then so do trail markers without a trail name on them and they're not valid.

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    Totally agree I'd even go as far as to say that some of the unnamed walking trails should also be accepted just because they are so old but that's a totally separate topic lol.

    I can only speak from personal experience but I know the orienteering trail that is already in game at the moment absolutely encourages the exploration of an area and I know how lazy I can be I would not bother doing an orienteering Trail if it wasn't in game.

  • zeebb-INGzeebb-ING Posts: 5 ✭✭

    The whole point of orienteering is to find these hidden markers with a map and/or compass. If they are all mapped in a gps game with a photo of the marker (which has a code that you should use to prove you have visited it) then it defies the point of the activity.

    Marking each one as a duplicate is bad too as then all the photos of the entire course could be found on one wayspot.

    Perhaps 1 marker in a large area maybe acceptable but no more. Would be better if there was a map or something that signifies that there is an orienteering course there, not the individual markers.

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    I think what everyone is missing here is we are playing a game, not actually doing an orienteering Trail. The question is not are we cheating by using the game to find the trail markers. The question is by having the markers in game does it encourage you to walk the trail exercising and exploring that area.

    If you want to do orinteering then go for it. Turn the game off and download the map and go find markers. But as a game then why wouldn't each Marker not deserve to be in game? They encourage exercise and exploring which goes to the heart of niantics values.

    Each marker is unique and I know that people will disagree but they are, even though it's small like the numbers on the markers. It doesnt fit to make it one poi because we are not orienteering we are playing a niantic game that wants us to exercise and to look about.

    I haven't done orienteering since I was younger I have no interest in it at all what so ever. But thanks to the trail that I have local to me I have walked an orienteering Trail many times and so have others, and the only reason is because all the markers are in game.

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