Good Nomination and Bad Reviewers or the Inverse?

Hello - newer Wayfarer here with 5/7 accepted waypoints and about 900 agreements through about 2,300 reviews thus far. I used an Upgrade on a nomination I thought would be an easy yes, only to have it rejected for "mismatched location" and "third party photograph." These photos are original to me using a Pixel 7 which has a really nice camera and even better image editing. So instead of getting rejected for low photo quality, I'm getting rejected for "too good" of photo quality? The location is 100% as pictured, and the supporting images make that clear to anyone with a basic ability to compare street view to the photos provided. I used Google's photo tools to make a collage image showing two images to AVOID this exact issue since the sign isn't large or visible from satellite.

I cannot tell if that is just sloppy reviewing and the waypoint should be accepted, or if the rejection criteria are bogus and the waypoint itself is the issue.

I believe the waypoint meets the criteria of being culturally important, and encourages exploration. It draws attention to how Belmar is a founding member of a community organization that promotes sustainable communities and has been a member for nearly a decade.

Here is the submission:

Here is the street view for the location on photographed:,-105.0769402,3a,75y,135.06h,79.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfzjFh1eUi8liGPjsEC_Z_A!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

The commemorative sign is literally VISIBLE in street view. Even if it were not, the location is obviously the same and can be matched using the bus stop pergolas, and the park itself.

It's extremely frustrating to churn reviews to earn an upgrade, and then get a rejection for reasons that aren't even close to accurate.


  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,214 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sorry, city limit signs and neighborhood signs just don't qualify. People don't meet a the sign to socialize, or to study it, or to run around it. They're generic. They do exist, but not for exercise, exploring, or socializing.

  • Cowyn2016-PGOCowyn2016-PGO Posts: 433 ✭✭✭✭

    Wayfarer is weird.

    Old building with a plaque on it by it's architecture is "Explore" worthy and a Sign about Sustainable Network is not? I get that lines get drawn but explore is a pretty broad category and based on some of the things like Old Buildings/Bridges that get accepted I could see the idea of exploring what a Sustainable Network Town is like. I might if I was driving across country do a little exploring to see that myself. So personally, I'd explore it because I am interested in sustainability as a concept.

    The problem is IMO more that its a metal street-like sign and will be hard to get through, I personally would vote for this.

    This isn't a slam dunk mind you, it might take a couple tries or an appeal, but I do think it's worth another.

  • you can tell its there from the streetview, but that first picture absolutely looks like you took it from the web, looks almost more like a design element and not a photo at all. guessing the high resolution. i might not get so close up on the primary photo and it maybe it will look more real.

  • I guess it was expecting reviewers to be able to do a simple match of the cover photo to the supporting images. The same cloud is behind the sign in both the zoomed out and extreme wide angle shot of the sign. I thought that would make it abundantly obvious that these were my photos and not someone else's.

    I think this is just lazy reviewing and not an actual problem with my photo. If contributors are punished for submitting high resolution quality photos then that's a problem.

  • Niantic agreed with you, and with me. My second version of this sign was accepted directly by Niantic. See details in my response to another comment. I thought you'd like to know that Niantic accepts such signs.

  • I disagreed with you on the basis that this isn't simply a "city limit sign" but that it marks a historic accomplishment for a community as a commemorative "plaque." I agreed with another comment that this also encouraged exploration.

    I wasn't certain, and so I pushed the second version of this sign through directly to Niantic via the "trigger word which should not be named."

    Niantic accepted the waypoint. You may wish to reevaluate your opinions on such signs as they are out of alignment with Niantic themselves. I will post evident in another post as I cannot add images to this one for some reason.

  • The acceptance doesn't show this was Niantic, but if you read the supporting text you'll see why this went to Niantic for approval.

  • X0bai-PGOX0bai-PGO Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Niantic appeals are no more reliable than community review. There have been scores of posts in these forums proving Niantic got the appeal wrong, time and again, both on acceptances and on rejections. Cheers to you for getting it in, and it doesn’t seem to meet removal criteria so it will probably stay for a long time, but don’t take that acceptance as criteria gospel.

  • Cowyn2016-PGOCowyn2016-PGO Posts: 433 ✭✭✭✭

    @Dadcatchesemall-PGO while I appreciate the update as @X0bai-PGO said Niantic Reviews aren't published to be a gospal that reviewers must follow.

    @MargariteDVille-ING tends to be more narrow on what is considered "Explore Worthy". I tend to be more broadly minded and look at "Explore Worthy" in a number of ways (local adult, local child, point out to an outtowner, and whether Id be tempted as an outtowner passing through) . Neither of us is "absolutely" correct.

    When you got it rejected, you got a lot more reviewers in the "Narrow" category. If Niantic self reviewed you got some in the "Broaded". There are niantic reviews that are more narrow as well, as we have seen rejections of stuff the community has later accepted and vice-versa

  • If that is the case, then are we not all just reviewing largely based on opinion? I believe that a commemorative sign meets criteria because it encourages exploration in the sense of 1) encouraging people to learn about this particular program and why it matters, and 2) will encourage people playing Wayfarer games to travel a bit farther than they otherwise might in order to see / access this waypoint. I guess I'd ask how this sign is less worthy than a generic trail marker, or a memorial bench (even one with a view) or a commemorative "this building built by so and so at such and such a time)? All of these I see getting accepted (except maybe for the benches - that seems to be a coin flip). Is it really this subjective and arbitrary? I'm not arguing, but rather trying to see if there is any discernable criteria that makes a sign such as my submission that much worse than another (like a small trail marker without any other data other than the trail name). How is one superior? At least my sign might give someone a reason to LEARN something new not just move around a bit more. And it does both - it actually encourages exploring in the same way any other trail marker would. If someone looks up the organization, they can learn a lot about what makes Belmar special and what sustainable neighborhoods provide the folks who live there. Isn't that at least as valuable as a sign at the base of a tree giving it's scientific name? Those are also eligible and easily approved as a "nature sign." I guess I just don't see any difference between my examples and my submission.

    FYI, the sign doesn't even appear as a waypoint in Pokémon Go because it shares a cell with another waypoint. I don't care because I review and submit waypoints more as entertainment than to take advantage of the waypoints. Belmar isn't exactly hurting for Waypoints in the first place. I only submitted these because I say they were not in Wayfarer and thought they were worthy. I still do.

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,244 Ambassador

    If that is the case, then are we not all just reviewing largely based on opinion? 

    Yes. We have "criteria" where a nomination must support socializing, exercise, or exploration but how submitters explain such criteria and how reviewers interpret them is based solely on opinion. There are a few things some of us consider "categorically eligible," but nothing is truly intended to be. It's been a mantra with growing use that "what might be mundane and uninteresting in one area may actually hold significance in a different region." Sometimes this is quite frustrating to reconcile with - both for submitters and for reviewers. But I believe it makes for a more interesting map than one that strictly is a map of every Little Free Library, church, and post office.

    I'm fairly agnostic about your sign, but one thing I'll note is that the text certainly would sway me. If somebody nominates "Commemorative city sign, sign, it's a sign" then that tells me they aren't even interested in it. Give me a nomination where I truly believe that the submitter believes it to meet criteria and find it to be an interesting place with an interesting story and I'm much more likely to in turn to accept it.

    I do disagree with the first comment. Frankly, I find city limit signs to to hold value for urban exploration, however I don't strictly recognize yours as the type I usually approve. The subsequent replies about Niantic being unreliable are earnest (let me know if you want to see the Niantic approved Wal-Mart video department appeal) but I don't say that to discredit your contribution. I don't find yours strictly ineligible by any means. I'm not sure I would say it was denied by sloppy reviewers (although the reasons are sloppy). I do believe that most reviewing is done in earnest, although I also believe less rejecting should take place.

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,244 Ambassador

    This post discusses what I meant as a reply to reviewing based on opinion.

    As Explorers, we need to consider the cultural context and local meaning of the Wayspot first. This moves us away from discriminating against nominations categorically, and asking us to think more holistically about what we consider as interesting and important to our local communities...

    ...Or for seemingly common objects like benches or phone booths, which if out of context/rare within it’s landscape, are actually pretty cool objects to explore.

    And just a final note that personal judgement in the review process is never going to be eliminated, because it’s not the intent of the criteria to tell you what’s interesting and important to your community. So be comfortable with a bit of grey area!

    As I said, I do recognize that this can be frustrating and sometimes uncomfortable, but keep in mind that it has helped a lot of areas that might not have the infrastructure that was previously demanded of by reviewers.

  • I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your response and detailed explanation. I wish Niantic made these things more clear when first starting as a reviewer. I've had to dig through this forum to learn so much that could be explained by Niantic themselves as soon as a person earns Wayfarer access. It blows my mind there isn't a criteria library or a "commonly asked questions about criteria" section that would cut down on a lot of angst for reviews and submitters alike.

    I've had better luck than some, with 11/14 acceptances at this point, and 3 more I'm confident in. But it's a steep learning curve, and opaque(ish) from the start. Thank you for giving such detailed and informative answers.

    I'm here in good faith, and want to add value through submissions and reviews. I've done 2,300+ now, and that's *really* helped me identify how different things can be from one location to the next.

    I also really wish that when selecting rejection criteria, that the comments that we provide as reviewers could go to those submitting reviews. I get that that would probably open things up to trolling, but Niantic could eliminate that by allowing us to post links to sections of this forum explaining the reason that a individual disc golf hole isn't eligible. Surely they could allow us to post links to their own forum even if they don't want us sending comments?

    Another thing that would really help would be if someone is submitting a waypoint that is extremely close to another waypoint that it would notify the submitter that there is a high chance of a duplicate. It's extremely confusing if someone only plays Pokémon Go because they don't know that there is already a waypoint in existence because they can't see them.

    Over tire system feels like it generates conflict and frustration in ways that could be a minimum alleviated and in some cases eliminated entirely.

  • rufoushumming-PGOrufoushumming-PGO Posts: 225 ✭✭✭

    The system works for the majority. Why change it?

    It is work prioritisation thing. Value of work v the effort required to do it.

    There are many things that to each of us would make so many things easier. From onboarding individuals, creating consistency in nominations to reviewing, to maintaining skills etc etc

    But it is a business. It might be worth a load. does not mean it makes a load. (the data has value - not the product). It has razor margins in a highly commoditised space. Where unless the user has signed up external to Google and Apple then any transaction has a 20%+ hit. And a business that - what maybe 10% to 20% people maybe spend money. That is not much to go round even if it were 50%. As they are not likely spending too much each time.

    So for those of us who don't spend. We should consider where we want the money they do make is spent.

    That said. A organisation will review the forums to understand experiences, gather feedback and help prioritise new work. And I for one will keep contributing making comments etc as I hope you will.

    As you said the community is pretty good at providing feedback and good quality advice.

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