Memorial Benches?

I saw someone mention in passing on another thread that memorial Benches are not considered good wayspots anymore under the criteria. I was wondering if that's a "moving forward" kind of rule, or if old memorial bench wayspots should be reported invalid, especially if there's "better" stuff nearby? There are two memorial benches at my place of work that are blocking genuinely interesting wayspots from appearing in some games (PGO being my point of reference, obviously). I have not reported them, and will not if people say it's not kosher, but it would be nice to prioritize some more engaging things than a bench, considering that I work at a zoo and there's plenty of more interesting points to highlight.



  • WheelTrekker-INGWheelTrekker-ING Posts: 3,365 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 9

    You can't report things because they aren't cool. It must meet one of the removal criteria that you get when you try to report them in the game.

  • The26thDoctor-PGOThe26thDoctor-PGO Posts: 4,644 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Niantic can be very reticent to remove a poi from the map.

    You might find if you try to remove something that would normally not make it past reviewers that you will be met by a brick wall and ultimately end up banging your head against it.

  • ZombieZebra3-PGOZombieZebra3-PGO Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    If the spot doesn’t fall underneath one of the removal criteria then it’s likely there for good.

    And if these spots already exist in whatever game you’re concerned with, then you’re out of luck replacing them with something else. It’s first come first serve for wayspots.

    But nothing is stopping you from making more spots. Perhaps a future Niantic game will use them instead.

  • Cowyn2016-PGOCowyn2016-PGO Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is a BIG difference between saying Benches don't make good wayspots and saying they are banned or ineligible or should be removed.

    There are a number of ways a new memorial bench can still make it a good way spot.

    1) Artistic: If the bench is more than a just say a plaque on a generic looking bench.... it might be "Explore" Worthy for its Artistic Design.

    2) Physical Anchor for something else. Like a View, Natural Feature, or a Park with No sign naming the park. All of those other things are eligible under Explore or even Gather but the rules of POI is that they must have a physical wayspot. A memorial bench can serve that job..

    3) Along a Trail: This one you have to read between the lines a bit. But if you look back at the Niantic Posts that made Trail Markers Eligible the post says Trail Markers are eligible because even though they are unremarkable/generic because the trail markers encourage Explore/Exercise down the trail. The post also says "Etc" for things that do that. Not every trail uses a stick with a triangle every 1 mile, some use benches.... Much like #2, the bench itself isn't reaching the criteria, but the trail does and its part of it.

    Unfortantly thing though is many wayfarers don't mix-match niantic posts. They see the post that Benches don't make good wayspots anymore and take it as gospel. So if you do submit one, you will have difficulty getting it approved. But some still do, and they is some diversity based on local communities and understanding. So new benches do still get approved, just not often, and there is usually a good arguement for why in the Description and/or Supporting.

  • The26thDoctor-PGOThe26thDoctor-PGO Posts: 4,644 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Some I've had approved. I don't think having a hard and fast rule of they are immediately ineligible or inherently devalue other things works

  • ZooKois-PGOZooKois-PGO Posts: 22 ✭✭

    Okay! Sounds like there's a really solid consensus that I should leave these alone, so I will. Thanks all!

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    They should be for note worthy members of the community or perhaps of unique artistic appearance. A bench dedicated to little old Betty which was bought and paid for by her family isn’t of any significance to the community as harsh as it sounds. Any old bench along a trail shouldn’t be accepted just because it’s “along a trail” either.

  • ZombieZebra3-PGOZombieZebra3-PGO Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    It should be noted that that is just your personal criteria. As far as I’m aware, Niantic has no direct references to memorial benches in their current guidelines.

    It is up to the reviewers to accept or not.

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    That’s what I’m saying. Ones that are generally accepted are those dedicated to note worthy members of the community. Not just benches paid for by families of the deceased. It’s up to reviewers on every nomination including churches and playgrounds. However people keep submitting random benches and they get through and accepted when they are just mass produced benches with no significance. It’s not just my personal view.

  • ZombieZebra3-PGOZombieZebra3-PGO Posts: 172 ✭✭✭


    It’s up to each reviewer to accept or not. There really isn’t anything that can be done about that.

  • Cowyn2016-PGOCowyn2016-PGO Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    While your personal opinion is that an ordinary bench doesn't fit the 3 Criteria.... most people agree.

    However, I do disagree about benches along trails, because trails fit both the explore and exercise criteria and Niantic has said that the reason trail markers are acceptible is that they and other similiar things encourage people to continue exploring down the trail, or exercising down the trail.

    But your not the only person who thinks that way, but thats where it becomes a personal vote/judgement call.

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    What?? A generic mass produced bench that is just a bench does not encourage exercise or exploration. The trail itself yes so that's why we submit Trail markers. But just because a bench is along said Trail doesn't distinguish it from any other bench. It has no significance what so ever. They probably get accepted by people who don't care about the criteria.

    I'll submit a generic mass produced Bench tomorrow and watch it get rejected. I'll do the same tag line "it's a Bench on a popular Trail" so because it's on a trail is makes it eligible. Nah.

    I've seen many Memorial benches in USA. Many in one park simply for people who paid for the plaque on the bench. Ben's bench. Fred's Bench. What's interesting about that?

    I've also seen a few in UK. These with minimal effort and clearly submitted in the OPR days when barley any criteria existed. Again just mass produced plaques paid for by family members as a dedication to a loved one. But have no significance locally what so ever. Just a Bench.

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    All these are memorial benches are along the English Coast Path in the UK. Probably about 15 in total. Does that fact they are on a trail make them eligible??

    “In Loving Memory of Betty 1946-2021”

    “Betty’s bench on the trail path. It’s next to Frank’s bench, Mike’s bench and Paul’s bench. And the other 20. “

  • ZombieZebra3-PGOZombieZebra3-PGO Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    One small clarification I would like to offer here.

    I would speculate that it is only those persons who take the time to post on these forums that would agree with your first guess. About memorial benches not meeting the three criteria.

    My guess is that most reviewers don’t bother with the forums and only do reviews to earn upgrades for their own nominations. As such they would be getting through reviews not really caring what the nominations really are.

    Memorial benches likely fall under the category of “Eh, this is fine. Whatever. Next!”

  • Cowyn2016-PGOCowyn2016-PGO Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The problem is how does a Mass Produced Stick with say a Red Triangle encourage exercise or exploration either?

    Whether you Like it or not... Niantic clearly said Mass Produced Trail Markers encourage exercise and exploration by motivating people to move farther down the trail. That isn't a judgement call for you a reviewer that is a direct Niantic Clarification. And if you are rejecting trail markers, your rating will likely suffer.

    The part that is a judgement call, is Niantic said "Etc" in there. Do Memorial Benches fall under etc? Do they fit the same purpose getting someone to travel down the trail, that a trail marker does? That's where judgement comes in. I say yes, You say No.

    Mind you not everyone will agree with me, but you're arguing like you have some great undeniable truth... you don't...

    As for your picture, that's a whole different debate.. how many of the same thing and how close together can they be.' I've seen storyboards closer to gether where each is a seperate POI. Fitness Centers too. Yet other times they get lumped into 1 POI. Wayfarer isn't exactly the most consistent set of rules.

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    Where did I say I was rejecting trail markers?? I said yes to them. What I'm saying is a generic Memorial Bench to some random person does not encourage exercise simply because it's on a trail. A scenic viewpoint in which the bench has been used to anchor the waypoint to would probably be ok. They are difficult ones though.

    But Niantics clearly states mass produced objects that have no significance or don't stand out in it's surroundings wouldn't be eligible. I'm not arguing with anyone it's called a debate.

    But it's not a judgement call or personal view it's what Niantics states in the criteria.

    "Does not seem a great place of exploration, place for exercise, or place to be social. The object is mass produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting".

    A memorial bench with a plaque for some random person is mass produced and is not interesting. Or a blank standard bench is mass produced. Just because it happens to be along a trail path doesn't make it eligible for exercise. You are already following the trail anyway.

    Now again I often accept memorial benches dedicated to community members who have contributed something to their area or nation, such as those who are famous, members of parliament or councils who have won awards etc or are well known for community work etc and are celebrated by the local community by way of a simple plaque on a bench. It gives it cultural significance and can be a place for exploring.

  • Cowyn2016-PGOCowyn2016-PGO Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PeteC303-ING Your missing the point through the trees. Your quote illistrates the issue... You said "Does not seem a great place of exploration, place for exercise, or place to be social. The object is mass produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting". That applies to a Trail Marker as much as does to a memorial bench.

    Yet, Niantic has a clarification ruling that trail markers, despite that quote ARE good waypoints because they encourage moving down the trail which IS exploration/exercise. So that quote you put isn't absolute... why not... because Niantic directly said so.

    What makes the conversation complicated is in the Clarifications on Trail Markers, Niantic didn't say "Only Trail-markers" they said "Etc" for other things that would promote someone moving down the trail as a form of exploring father down the trail and the exercise of walking down the trail to get there.

    Does a memorial bench along a trail, accomplish the same thing, as a Trail Marker? Even granting they are both generic and not visually interesting???

    The question isn't benches don't fit the criteria, the question is does a bench fit the carve out that the Niantic Clarification made concerning Trail Markers.

    For me, yes. For you no.

    As a side note, there are a large number of people who hate the carve out for Trail Markers and think those are generic & not visually interesting so shouldnt be POIs.

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    I’m not missing any point. I never said anything about a trail marker not being eligible. Why are you going on about trail markers?? While there are many of them they are an object used to mark and plot the trail so people can follow them and explore and exercise. However a blank run of the mill bench does not do that. Just because it’s on a trail path doesn’t make it any different to a bench in the town centre. Same goes for a bench with a metal plaque on it aka a memorial bench. It’s just a bench dedicated to little old Betty and generic not interesting object. That’s what I’m talking about. Submit trail markers all day long. I’ll accept them unless they are a duplicate. Now if the plaque is dedicated to a note worthy member of the community and there is evidence I’ll probably accept that too. But not just some random person.

    Now look at the bench below. It’s not on a trail path and just a mass produced green bench how on earth it was accepted is beyond me. It’s just a bench 🤷🏻‍♂️ not even memorial bench.

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    Here are some of the memorial benches I’ve done. None of them “along a trail”. All of them to note worthy members of the community and have some interesting about them. One of them is 109 years old. All of them one of a kind unique.

    This is what I’m talking about when we submit memorial benches not just “In memory of Betty and Frank missed by their family”. It’s just not interesting or encouraging anyone to explore even if it’s on a trail. If there is a trail, submit the trail markers.

  • ZombieZebra3-PGOZombieZebra3-PGO Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
  • Cowyn2016-PGOCowyn2016-PGO Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why I am going on about Trail Markers is EVERYTHING you attribute to a generic bench could be crossed out and replaced with a trail marker sign.

    Think of a trail marker that's a sign here's a POI I know of.

    Do you think people are going to go explore because they want to see that? Do you think that is visually interesting? Do they need that to guide them? Where is it guiding them btw.

    But if someone sees on their app that POI ahead, maybe they walk that little extra down the trail to interact and spin it and get a bit more exercise because they are already on a trail and walk a bit farther.

    The problem is again, that Niantic made those acceptible, with the word "Etc" for things, and because wayfarer is a global community with different standards, not all trails use markers. Theres a 50 mile long trail in my state that doesn't. But it does have little rest stops with memorial benches every mile or two.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 1,057 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not convinced that would pass many reviewers as a trail marker - it's more of distance post.

    Trail markers represent part of the trail - you're effectively nominating the section of trail with the trail marker acting as placeholder for that section.

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    That looks like a mile marker not a trail marker so that’s a bad example to use. Oh so I get it you are hating on trail markers because you think they are mass produced and generic like memorial benches. Correct they are but it’s technically not the trail marker itself people are nominating it’s the actual trail and a specific part of it, and that’s what encourages exercise so the criteria is met, the trail marker is used to anchor the waypoint to an area. As for memorial benches again it’s not the bench itself that is being put forward for a waypoint as such it’s the plaque or it’s significance to the community as the person it’s dedicated to has some sort of significance to the community, hence why I said if it’s just little old Betty and her dates that was paid for by her family then where is the significance? Where is it’s uniqueness other than “it’s along a trail”. It wouldn’t stand out amongst the other generic benches in the area and in the UK at least it would probably be rejected however many are accepted because people just don’t care enough to bother with the criteria. A lot of people just see a plaque and think that’ll do.

  • KetaSkooter-INGKetaSkooter-ING Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    Pete the person you're replying to is stating that if a generic trail marker - colored diamond, arrow, park symbol, distance marker - is most often acceptable why should a generic bench along a trail not be also acceptable. Its fine to disagree but you're not attempting to see if from their viewpoint of this lame object along a trail is acceptable because it makes players travel to it along the trail, why not this other lame object that would make players travel to it along the trail. The argument is that since small symbols along a trail are eligible because they are on a trail and encourage exercise and exploration then a bench along a trail should be eligible because it is on a trail and encourages exercise and exploration. You did not refute this point and instead are just insisting that plaques have to be of significant peoples.

  • EvilMasterOfAll-INGEvilMasterOfAll-ING Posts: 109 ✭✭

    Quite the heated debate. I have two things to note..

    1. I have seen so many nominations of trail markers along areas that have a new marker every .25km!? Yet they would meet the criteria, but I think it seems a bit of an excess. However, it would encourage people to walk, exercise, and socialize.
    2. I have been out in my community with my kids looking at portals to see if we can find them and the hardest is memorial benches. Since it seems when an old bench is traded for a newer one the plaque changes, or in some cases, the plaque is removed altogether. However, the wayspot is supposed to be significant to the community. So just because it's Paul's Bench it would likely not be you who knows if it is significant or not. Not all people nominating know how the reviewer system works. My son nominates and knows the basics, such as taking decent photos, but not about elaborating. Paul could be a prominent community figure or important to the local area.

    Trail marker vs. Bench they really are the same. It's actually easier to socialize around a bench than a trail marker. Take your kids or dog for a walk, meet with a friend. Explore a local park or community, take a rest and then continue on.

  • Cowyn2016-PGOCowyn2016-PGO Posts: 583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's pretty much nailed it.

    I am not even trying to Convince Pete, it is OK that Pete votes Memorial Benches down if they aren't famous people.

    I am replying so that other random readers of this thread will realize that there is an alternative viewpoint, and people like me do vote to accept benches along trails and submit them and get them approved.

    If anyone is a fan of American Baseball, they might know (or can google the debate, its real) there is a debate among the hall of fame of baseball between "Small Hall" and "Big Hall" voters. Small Hall voters only vote the most exceptional clear cut HOFers, while Big Hall Voters have a wider/lower standard.

    That debate plays out in wayfarer too. There are small hall voters and big hall voters and sometimes whether a POI makes it in or not depends on random pool of voters and how many small hall and big hall voters you get reviewing it.

    Or the cultural of the country/area might be different. Some places accept mailboxes.... Duck ... Some cemetaries actually welcome the public with walking trails, tours, pet waste stations, and picnic areas... others would be culturally incentive. Even no-brainers like Churches... there are churches where pastors find a POI disrespectful and call the police on players where the polite thing to do is to show them how to contact Niantic to have the POI removed and geoblocked. Some places might use benches instead of trail markers. There is wiggle room and local variety in most things.

  • thenamelesskath-PGOthenamelesskath-PGO Posts: 306 ✭✭✭

    Oh wow, I had to giggle 🤭

    Maybe I can help clear up this back and forward with a single word? - "Placemarker".

    The issue in this debate has nothing at all to do with any plaque, it's what constitutes a placemarker. It's kind of funny that your comment here, @PeteC303-ING, pretty much summed up how a "generic bench" can be a valid placemarker for the trail, but you somehow completely failed to make the connection because you're so fixated on the plaque as the actual POI, rather than as simply a unique descriptive placemarker for the section of trail 😅

    Many trails in many places simply don't have signage or trail markers, as @Cowyn2016-PGO already stated, and in those cases other placemarkers are perfectly acceptable (albeit near impossible to get accepted in many places).

    Here's the main quote Cowyn repeatedly referred to:

    And here's another mention of "generic" benches being potentially acceptable, depending on context:

    And for good measure, here's an example of how something largely unrelated to a trail can be used as a visual placemarker:

    I'll also point out that the wording for the "generic" term that is subject to constant contextomy is actually dependent on the headline it's under (Does not meet eligibility criteria) as well as the preceding statement (Does not seem to be a great place of exploration, place for exercise, or place to be social.) The "generic" statement only serves to provide more context to that particular rejection criteria (meeting no eligibility), and taking the headline and primary statement away is blatantly misusing it out of context. Unfortunately, people have repeated it out of context so often over the years, that it's become a common misconception that generic and mass produced are standalone rejection criteria (which simply doesn't track).

    It's clearly meant for things that meet no criteria (even as placemarkers), to try to avoid issues like when some Wayfarers were submitting tens of generic individual bollards (at some point they began calling them "totems" to sneak them through), and the ongoing saga of the Australian survey markers. So for Wayfarer purposes, if something meets eligibility criteria, it should no longer be considered "generic" (and there's plenty of obviously acceptable examples of such mass-produced/generic things to prove this).

    Distance markers on a trail are perfectly acceptable trail markers.

    And on a final note, we can't always know exactly who somebody was or what they meant to a community, and it's often fairer to give the benefit of the doubt if the submission is decent and there's not a million plaques in the area. I can think of several examples of people who weren't historic figures, have little to no web presence, but were absolutely important to the local community for a variety of reasons, big and small. And we are meant to be considering what's significant to the community it's in, so, you know... 🤷‍♀️

    I mean, your example of little old "Betty" is kinda funny because it makes me think of a woman from one of our satellite communities named Betty Krake. She was important enough to that community to name a street in a new development for her, after she passed. She was just a little old lady who did some stuff for the betterment and ongoing benefit of her community, but if you search her name you'll probably find very little online (unless you really dig back through specific FB pages), except real estate listings in the street named after her. As I recall, she ran a free community paper and was actively involved in a lot of things in the community, like progress associations, the community centre, etc. I don't remember the specifics (although I do recall reading a great human interest piece about her in a local paper when she was still alive) and that's what would make a plaque for her interesting for locals with crappy memories (like me), who do remember and appreciate the acknowledgement, or who were too young to remember. Her contributions, despite not being globally monumental, were significant and meant something to her community, and some people would find that interesting on a local history and human level 😉

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    Because it’s NOT a TRAIL MARKER. It’s just a bench. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Now if said bench had a plaque making it a memorial bench (which this thread is actually about not trial markers) to someone noteworthy and there was evidence of such in the nomination then it would probably have some historical or cultural significance enough for it to pass as somewhere to explore. But a bench without a plaque is just a bench and the fact it’s along a trial is irrelevant. It’s not worth looking at. You can sit on it that’s about it. Trail markers have specifically been mentioned as eligible because they encourage exploring and exercise. A normal bench of no significance doesn’t do that on a trial path or not. That’s why they aren’t eligible. I don’t get why anyone would want to nominate them? What because they are a man made objects? It’s just boring.

  • PeteC303-INGPeteC303-ING Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    So if it doesn’t have signs or markers what makes a an official waymarked trail? Nothing so it’s probably not a trail then is it. You could write it up as one in your description but what makes it a trail that people would actually look up and follow ?

    I mentioned the plaque because without a plaque dedicated to someone it’s not a memorial bench it is? It’s just a bench to sit on 🤷🏻‍♂️ because this thread was about MEMORIAL BENCHES not trail markers. But you’re getting hung up on the word “generic” and saying why can’t I nominate a generic bench along a trail? When we accept mass produced trail markers.

    That’s because trail markers encourage people to follow the trail and exercise and explore. Why would we need to nominate a bench when there are trail markers/signs that would easily pass nearby? If there are no trail markers or something to indicate a trial path to follow then it’s not a trail is it?

    Or maybe I should nominate a rubbish bin along the trail path because well it’s a man made tangible object along the trail 🤷🏻‍♂️

    And as for Betty, I just chose a random name for a memorial bench. Now I’m talking about a bench bought and paid for by Betty’s family and placed in a random location that has no significance to anyone other than her family. They are not interesting. The ones I often reject are simply a bench with a plaque and the person who submitted it have gone to little or no effort in explaining why this particular memorial bench is interesting or a great place to explore/exercise/socialise. Now if you submitted the memorial bench to the woman you mentioned and provided the evidence about her which you stated then I would probably accept it as something significant to the local community and a place to explore. But not an every day bench which looks like any other bench I could find, it’s not interesting even if it is along a trail, just because things are on trials doesn’t make them eligible, what’s the “etc” then? Benches, rocks, bins, trees a fence? They can be found “along a trial” that make them interesting objects to explore? Nope.

    The mile marker you chose as example without additional information looks like a mile marker along a road for car drivers to use, others you have chosen with reference the “mile marker” are distance makers on what looks like a running or jogging track and marks 500m or whatever and are often in parks or similar making them a place to socialise and exercise that’s the part of the criteria met.

    But since you keep going on about trails and benches along trials and not actual memorial benches then you are just taking this thread off topic.

  • ZombieZebra3-PGOZombieZebra3-PGO Posts: 172 ✭✭✭

    I like benches. They are great to sit on.

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