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Generic park signboards

Hi folks,

The guidelines from January 2020 include the line that "Generic nomination for the park overall [are acceptable] as long as the photo includes a signboard of the park."

Does it matter if the signboard is generic and lacking the actual name of the park, or is something like this okay?

I think not, but I though I would take advantage of your knowledge just to be sure.

Best Answer


  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,760 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The signboard must prominently feature the park's name

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 768 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 754 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That one looks boring, sorry. It looks too generic too. Nothing artistic about it. If it had a map of the park or the name of an entrance then sure.

    I agree with this sentiment:

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,360 Ambassador

    @24601LM-ING (haha nice number)

    This sentiment is very US-centric. Not everywhere in the world builds signs advertising the park name. That doesn't make those parks any less of a tourist attraction. I can (and have in the past) provide examples of multi-acre parks bigger than subdivisions that don't happen to have a sign board. I'm told that NO park at all in Germany has a sign board. Nobody goes to the park to see the sign board. They go to the park to see the park. They take visitors to the park because it's a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors.

    Then nominate some of those tourist attractions that meet criteria. Gazebos and shelters, playgrounds, and athletic fields make great Wayspot contributions and (typically) meet criteria.

    It is patently absurd to have a policy that basically says "the only parks worthy of being wayspots are in the US (and a few other countries that do the sign thing)". Niantic keeps saying they want quality wayspots. Parks are quality wayspots. Their instructions specifically say "is the park is too small to have a sign board" - which clearly implies that they want the big parks. Does anybody really think that the policy was intended to exclude all parks in entire countries?

    No, I don't think the policy was ever intended to exclude any countries. The policy is and has always (to my knowledge) implied that it has to be something human-made and not just tidy landscaping or an excavated area.

    When dealing with countries that don't do the park name signboard thing, viable alternatives should be entertained. I'm not suggesting a photo of an expanse of grass. But the sign is functioning as a proxy for the park; nobody's actually going to the park just to look at the sign. So, if there is a reasonable alternative manmade proxy for the park, it ought to be eligible IF there isn't already a wayspot for the park as a whole. Whether that's an entry gate, a sign that doesn't include the park name, a pretty arch at the entrance or something else of equal visibility so that the wayspot has a clear anchor.

    Not always, but an entry gate or arch could qualify as unique architecture. I can't speak to reviewing in Germany, but I believe I have voted favourably on some examples them in the US when it is obvious there are limited other options, especially in rural areas.

    And, yes, this is all my opinion. But it is also your opinion that the sign needs to have the name of the park on it. The rules, as written, say "sign board". They do not say "park name". The rules are, in my opinion, in need of an update anyway to address the player base outside of the US. They could clarify the US rules while they're at it, if they wanted.

    You're correct, there. The rules don't say a park sign has to have the park name. The wording states a signboard are eligible but doesn't specifically state it must have the park name. I will add that I typically consider a sign like this thread OP to be ineligible for the reasons explained later: "needing the park name on it."

    Parks and items within Parks (signs, gazebos, chess boards, fountains, sculptures, etc.)

    • Acceptable: 
    • Individual features within a park, as long as they’re visually distinct.
    • Generic nomination for the park overall as long as the photo includes a signboard of the park.
    • Not acceptable:
    • Nominations for a park that do not include a signboard. Note that if the park is too small for a signboard, consider submitting other eligible nominations instead. 
    • Non-unique nominations within the park: trash cans, drinking water fountains, bike racks etc.

    I think this could be further elaborated in future guideline updates. I don't think I would mind being wrong on this, especially for parks that don't have official names/signs with names, but I would be worried people will go overboard and then submit every rule sign that may exist in a park, and there could be many. Is it accept just 1 per park? Accept 1 per area/amenity? Are subsequent ones reject or duplicate? If accept only 1 and 2 signs are in voting at once and 1 is accepted, how will it affect the rating of those who voted favourably on sign 2? Any time guidance is provided, it really needs to be clear as possible to avoid future reviewer disagreements.

  • 24601LM-ING24601LM-ING Posts: 54 ✭✭✭

    The "Generic nomination for the park overall" is the way to limit it to one rules signboard or similar per park. I think that explicitly stating that the sign does not need to have the park name on it but that there should only be one for the whole park (and that others are therefore duplicates) would be the best way to go. Say that it must be located at the main entrance (which is typically where the sign would be if there was one). It would also be a nice step toward being inclusive of less affluent areas. I still think gates or similar should count as a valid alternative to a signboard in its absence. I am not questioning the requirement for a man-made anchor. Nor am I trying to open the doors to a wayspot at every path into the park. I simply think the rules should be inclusive of a wider variety of local customs.

    For the record, I don't think Niantic is intentionally trying to be unfair to those in other countries. I think their staff genuinely doesn't realise how US-centric some of their policies are. The rules, as written, work fantastically well in big cities in California because they align perfectly with how things are done there. Apparently, where they live, all big parks have signs and little ones may not - hence the phrase "if a park is too small for a sign board" which clearly communicates that they assume all big parks have them. Similarly, we get decisions like the recent swimming pool one where they can't be submitted because every condo complex in California has a pool so that'd be too many wayspots. But you have towns in northern climates that have one pool for the whole entire town, and it really is a major gathering spot for the locals. But it's not allowed because there are too many in California. Which is off the topic of parks but illustrates my point.

  • Kliffington-INGKliffington-ING Posts: 3 ✭✭

    I was just coming here to discuss this because my community is getting frustrated. Nowhere in Niantic guidelines does it state the park has to be named, just that there is a park signboard. This sign clearly indicates this is a community park and not just a patch of landscaping and should be 100% eligible as representative for the park.

  • Minergav-PGOMinergav-PGO Posts: 21 ✭✭

    I have a local park that has no signage, only the street sign in front of the park. It has some benches and a big grass area. When I reach level 40 I would like to try to nominate this. What would give me the best chance of getting this approved?

  • Ochemist-INGOchemist-ING Posts: 344 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Similarly, we get decisions like the recent swimming pool one where they can't be submitted because every condo complex in California has a pool so that'd be too many wayspots. But you have towns in northern climates that have one pool for the whole entire town, and it really is a major gathering spot for the locals. But it's not allowed because there are too many in California.

    Do you have a reference for this, or is it your speculation? Genuinely curious.

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,360 Ambassador

    The guidelines say pools are not always eligible, but we are not told why. This is actually an about face from the original Wayfarer guidelines that were up when the site launched that said they were eligible, even in apartment complexes.

    Swimming Pools

    • Acceptable: Pools that have local historical or cultural significance beyond being a pool. For example, a pool that a local Olympic medal winner trained at would be eligible. 
    • Not acceptable: Pools at private residences, hotels, and community centers that are primarily for recreational purposes, even if they’re gathering places. 

    The only insight as to why they are ineligible is a June/July 2019 Ingress AMA stating "Swimming pools do not fall under the same category of exercise equipment in a park and would not be considered eligible unless it had historical or cultural significance."

    Considering there are eligible things that are much more prevalent than swimming pools, the claim that their ubiquity in California is what makes them ineligible doesn't make sense.

  • Ochemist-INGOchemist-ING Posts: 344 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yeah, I’m very, very aware of the bizarre history of the eligibility of swimming pools, but was wondering if the poster I replied to had any basis for his speculation about why they are currently a no-no. I fully agree that other things are even more ubiquitous!

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have no particular basis for this speculation, but the decision IS consistent with Niantic’s position on landscaping vs manmade features, plus the requirement to be able to stand there safely and interact with the POI.

    1. A pool is, from a certain point of view, “landscaping”. Somebody dug a hole. (Note that other manmade-ish things DO still qualify as “landscaping”, including sidewalks, roadways, gardening brickwork, etc)
    2. You cannot STAND there safely. It’s water. We are similarly not allowed to submit “fountain-like” features in a pond as we cannot stand there to interact with it.

    Similarly we could not submit a very pretty “Koi pond” without some other manmade feature, such as a pedestrian bridge spanning it.

    Are these Niantic’s reasons? We can’t say, they’ve never said their “why”, just that regardless of its “exercise value”, it still can’t qualify as exercise equipment.

    @NianticCasey-ING when players ask for clarifications on submission rules, ^this is the sort of information we/they are looking for. The simplified information as presented on the Wayfarer website all to often leaves us floundering.

  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 4,363 Ambassador

    I live in U.K. and most swimming pools are not “landscaping”.

    They are large sports facilities. Sometimes it is njust a pool but often it is a pool, a gym, health suite, cafe.

    The are much more man-made than an athletic track.

    larger pools will hold competitions with spectators, even smaller pools often have a viewing or spectator area.

    They promote activity and are certainly likely to be places visitors go.

    It shows the differences between different places.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,760 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Even in the US, most public pools will have a bathhouse (which also serves at the main entrance), concession area, and lounge area. Many also include diving boards and a slide. Also, when you nominate a public pool, you are not nominating just the tub of water, but the entire facility. That is why the pools that I nominated in the past, I placed the Wayspot on the bathhouse.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A “large sports facility” is not a pool. It is a complex that is a POI in its own right. A “pool” is a fancy hole in the ground.

    Niantic specifically called out small pools, the kind that get dug in your backyard, or out back of an apartment building. There’s NO spectator area, no attached change rooms or toilets, and to multi sport facility involved.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,760 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No, Niantic meant pretty much all pools, include those with attached bathhouses and other facilities. It's unfortuant because I believe public pools should be eligible. But Niantic has clearly said no on this matter.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I must be conflating the original AMA question (which was about apartment pools) and Niantic’s controversial answer (which was explicit).

  • grsmhiker-INGgrsmhiker-ING Posts: 159 ✭✭✭✭

    I know based on our discussion in other threads that we'll have to agree to disagree on the "landscaping = natural feature" debate, but your #1 really stretches that definition.

    I think you are right about point #2 as the most likely reason for Niantic's stance on pools, but sadly we'll probably never know for certain. I too wish that we'd get some official clarification there.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I personally don’t think that an inground pool is “landscaping”. I’m at worst trying to #NianSplain how it would be consistent with other decisions the wayfarer team has expressed.

  • FrealafGB-PGOFrealafGB-PGO Posts: 354 ✭✭✭✭

    The park board at the top of this thread does seem to have a council brand at the top, so it's not generic - it'll be specific to that town. I would accept it because its standing in for the park and regardless of the quality of the sign, to my mind, parks with a sign of some sort are eligible. So this would get at least 4* from me.

    I also completely stand by the argument that different countries, counties/states and even towns do things differently and it makes no sense to me for a town to miss out on having their parks added to the games just because the council don't put names on their sign boards! So we have to be aware of what is normal for an area (hence why it's frustrating to have to review from the whole country and the nearest other countries) because these things are sometimes best done by locals who would know if the park is a local attraction or not.

  • Minergav-PGOMinergav-PGO Posts: 21 ✭✭

    I have the name for the park, but they do not install signs in parks in my area.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,760 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why not? Signs are benefitial in allowing the public to know the name of the park.

  • Faversham71-INGFaversham71-ING Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know about where you live, but locally councils are struggling to pay for essential services - additional signage or replacing damaged signage is not something high on councils priority lists.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,760 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • grsmhiker-INGgrsmhiker-ING Posts: 159 ✭✭✭✭

    This. Where I live (US), we often have boy scouts or other organizations who are willing to build projects like this for local communities. There are likely similar organizations in other parts of the world too.

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