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Orienteering Markers - Guidance from Niantic

My local park has an orienteering trail guiding walkers around the park. I have subbed a couple of these before and they were accepted however this one was rejected. When I asked for guidance in a Telegram chat of reviewers there were mixed opinions, mostly negative though.

The argument was that people shouldn't be using Ingress/Pokemon to find the markers because they should be using other instruments. However in my mind then trail markers shouldn't be acceptable because most walkers would use the same instruments to guide them around the trail and wouldn't be relying on a game to do so.

I know for a fact that I wouldn't have located these markers without submitting for Ingress/Pokemon however I enjoyed exploring the park for this purpose and I know that other trainers would be the same if there was some guidance that these were acceptable candidates.

Please could Niantic offer some official guidance on these so I know where I stand before submitting the rest of the trail.


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

    I have used ingress to navigate around orienteering trails and agree it's no different to using a map and compass the same way someone would with trail markers.

    I would definitely not have done any of the orienteering trails near me if they wasnt waypoints so they definitely encouraged me to exercise and see different parts of an area I would have never have visited if they wasnt there.

    I think they are just as valid as trail markers and goes directly to the heart of what niantic stands for exercise and exploration.

  • Scottspencer001-PGOScottspencer001-PGO Posts: 4 ✭✭

    That surely defeats the object of what orienteering is about. “Trail orienteering (TrailO) is an orienteering sport that involves precise reading of an orienteering map and the corresponding terrain. Trail orienteers must identify, in the terrain and in the presence of decoys, control points shown on the map.

    I accept one in a park or area which shows the course is there, but every single one is the complete opposite of how you are supposed to do it (you are meant to use a compass to find the next marker, not know where it is). Some even have a sign at the start of it. The rest to me seem like duplicates of the same thing.

    So to me it comes under “exercise and exploration” but to the degree that one should suffice then be done as intended and use a compass and explore.

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

    Your missing the point I would have never have done an orienteering Trail with out the game. So having the portals made me do it and get exercise. Normal trail markers you can buy a book or even print out the whole trail on a map and use that to follow the markers so it's the same thing just smaller. I know you are ment to find the points In orienteering but as i say i would have no interest in going to them if it wasnt for the portals already there.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,976 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coping my response to the other recently opened topic on this very subject.

    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.

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

    But in that reasoning why wouldn't trails fall under the same logic. There are also lots of churches about so should we say there is one church in the game already so that covers them all?

    It might sound silly but niantic have there own orienteering trails in ingress. You may disagree but the Mosaic missions are the same thing, you visit the starting marker then on most that I have done you have to work out the location by answering questions which is not to different from orienteering.

    It's very much the same thing so to say that they should be all lumped in as one would go against what niantic are actively doing already to promote the exercise and exploration that they want. As I say if it wasnt for the local orienteering portals that are by me I would have never have done them. meaning i wouldn't have had that few hours of walking that I did have and have done on a few occasions if it wasnt for the orienteering markers. I'd have visited one portal and gone back home.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,976 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You're comparison apples to bananas there. Would you advocate submitting individual goals on a golf course? What about individual goals of a football field or individual bases on a baseball field? The portals on a mission are Wayspots that already meet the criteria on their own and were simply collected together to form a course after the fact. So you cannot equate Ingress missions with an orienteering course. These also do not fit Niantic's guidelines for trails signs in that they are not along a marked trail nor do these signs contain a trail name.

  • Alex23R-INGAlex23R-ING Posts: 6 ✭✭

    Surely they are on a trail though? It's an orienteering route so by the very definition you are following a trail.

  • Pangarban-INGPangarban-ING Posts: 31 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    They are not trails like a hiking trail, they are called "courses". They are set us as a challenge to find the way from one point to another using nothing more than a map and a compass.

    Normally things like trail markers are good waypoints because they encourage getting out and walking, exercising, enjoying nature, etc. But if several orienteering markers in an orienteering course was a waypoint it would actually ruin the course because people could find them using their phones instead of the proper map.

    As @TheFarix-PGO said, a course as a whole would be a good waypoint, but not each marker.

  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    But orienteering trails do encourage people to exercise and explore an area. The one I ha e near me is spread over 3 parks and is around 10km if you visit each Marker which I have only done because they are waypoints. If they was just a single marker I would have never have done the course. Yes they are designed to be done with a map but those maps normally show the rough location of where the markers are which is no different to having them in game. As the same of Trail markers its basically the same thing just smaller and at least each orienteering marker is different with it's own unique reference to that Trail unlike walking trail markers that will be the same on every post. I know many people who have also walked the orienteering Trail as a direct result of them being waypoints. If they wouldn't have been there they would have visited the one for the whole Trail and left the area. They absolutely encourage exercise and exploration that wouldn't have been done if they wasnt there. They are engaging people to actually go to different areas that they possibly would ha e never gone to before.

    Post edited by Dazzz123456-PGO on
  • Alex23R-INGAlex23R-ING Posts: 6 ✭✭

    Not sure I buy that argument, here is the local map provided by GMOA (behind a pay wall)

    Pokemon/Ingress are no different to the map, both would provide an approximate locations and then it's up to you to explore the area to find the point.

    By submitting the points as Wayspots it's actually making the route more accessible because people can explore for free rather than having to pay to access it

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

    Making accessible to all is a good thing right? I wouldn't pay to do the trail but I'd happily walk it if I could see it in game.

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

    Hopefully Casey will see that these absolutely meet the criteria.

  • grsmhiker-INGgrsmhiker-ING Posts: 170 ✭✭✭✭

    That map is very helpful, as it gives an idea as to the scale of the course (most locations are 50-100m apart except for two across a river from each other) and the number of locations (~20). With that in mind, this could go one of two ways...

    • treat them like individual holes on a disc golf course, where only the course should be submitted and not each hole...
    • ...or treat them like exercise courses, where if this particular case were a fitness trail they are far enough apart that each piece of equipment could be individually submitted.
  • Dazzz123456-PGODazzz123456-PGO Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    Comparing it to a golf course wouldn't fit as there would be an element of danger (being hit by golf balls) and trespassing issues. Plus each marker is unique.

    They are for exercise but they are also for exploration around an area. Which you wouldn't have if the markers are not in game for references.

    Named trails you can also download a map for and it will also have the markers on the map for guidance in which direction to go. There is literally no difference. As each orienteering Trail is named.

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

    Unfortunately there is no official word from niantic on there eligibility just because it was rejected doesnt mean it doesn't qualify.

  • keikopokgoddess-PGOkeikopokgoddess-PGO Posts: 3 ✭✭

    The provided pic apparently showing an orienteering trail marker seems to make such markers rather bland and it seems a little inane to argue that each orienteering trail marker having a different qr code box makes each trail marker significantly unique as a man made feature from a Niantc standpoint.

    If there were some other significant feature to the marker either perhaps in the form of artwork or if the qr code opens up an educational website page, it would seem reasonable to accept the nomination provided the Niantic nomination picture and/or description addressed the significantly different addressed orienteering trail feature.

    Otherwise, why dont we just start addressing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bases of local community softball/baseball fields as acceptable Pokestops? Each base promotes physical activity. Every basktball court should (not) have 3 Pokestops; one for the court and one for each of the two baskets. Lol.

    I think comparisons to holes on a golf course is a poor comparison. Asking poke trainers unfamiliar to golfing to negotiate a golf course is dangerous. In the wrong spot near the tee box is very dangerous - could be like being shot with a bullet. Driving landing zones are also similarly very dangerous and if over a hill or around a dog leg even less sensible clues to the impending danger. Besides, a group of boisterois trainers could certainly be very distracting to those trying to make that $100 putt.

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

    The reason we dont consider them the same as 1st 2nd 3rd base is because they are very close together they look the same and it misses the exploration part that orienteering trail markers provide.

    Although they may look bland to you they are all different and walking Trail markers here are exactly the same but they are eligible a d they are also bland. So the fact that each is unique makes them more relevant.

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