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Found this on reddit, what is the guidance?

So its underwater, I was going to comment saying pedestrian access, but then someone pointed to an old ama saying it's no different than one up a mountain



  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The commentary about underwater things is fairly old (2017):

    There, the older comment was expressly a "just Krug's personal opinion" one. And the newer was a "Portals that were accepted in the past may not meet today's criteria" one that didn't actually answer the question.

    The more recent AMA has a more clarified and general answer, August 2019:

    "One of the criteria for eligibility is the object in question needs to be accessible by foot". By that measure, ALL things underwater would be ineligible.

  • Gendgi-PGOGendgi-PGO Posts: 3,500 Ambassador

    I agree with @0X00FF00-ING on this - and especially appreciate they pulled up the "Portals that were accepted in the past may not meet today's criteria." I don't think Andrew was trying to specifically invalidate any of his prior AMA statements but rather offer a reminder that even previously assumed Nia-eligible candidates may not meet current criteria, and safe access definitely is important.

    I would be curious if Niantic has any more guidance on this, but unless there was an above ground walkway directly above the candidates, I would personally think they are against the spirit of "adventures on foot."

  • NianticCasey-INGNianticCasey-ING Posts: 538 admin
    edited August 2020

    Good question! I chatted with the team that handles the Wayspot removal requests from parks and business owners to get some additional insight about this.

    They confirmed that this should NOT be a Wayspot, since there's limited safe access to this Wayspot. For comparison, they recently removed a Wayspot from a beach where the location was only available during low tide.

    Thanks for raising!

    (note: edited "limited safe access to this Wayspot" for clarity)

    Post edited by NianticCasey-ING on
  • Perringaiden-INGPerringaiden-ING Posts: 124 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    @NianticCasey-ING As much as I respect the concept of pedestrian access, I have to ask whether it's consistent.

    Firstly, talking about the letter of the law, you can literally walk to this portal and touch it. Yes, you require breathing equipment and a weight belt to do it, but there is no other limitation on walking to this portal. The portal is on the sea bed, and legally accessible "on foot". You'll probably need a waterproof phone and maybe comms gear for a signal (hotspot wifi on a floating platform at the surface works fine) but otherwise, you can still walk to the portal and directly access it.

    Secondly the spirit of the law. From what I've always been led to understand, the pedestrian access restriction has two elements.

    1. Pedestrian access is required because of things like Ultrastrikes in Ingress and the meters sensitive positioning requirement. In this case, that's irrelevant, as you can literally stand on top of the portal. This isn't a fountain in the middle of a pond that you are not permitted to swim in. You could quite easily also post up above the water for this one, standing safely on a boat.
    2. Pedestrian access is a test for safety of access. Again in this case, the spirit of the law is met. It is safe to access this portal. In many cases, like the Xihuw Artificial Reef, the environment was specifically built to provide safe accessible underwater exploration. There are thousands of underwater tourist attractions around the world, and some even contain educational signs and audio tours.

    So if the exclusion of this portal is on the grounds of "pedestrian access" there must be some other factor that is being considered. It would be really interesting to know if it's simply "Water". Because that in itself should be an independent criteria.

    "All portals must be above water."

    It definitely can't be "above ground" because there are plenty of portals in caves and the like. But it seems like "scuba diving equipment" is the only limitation that this portal suffers from, compared to climbing a mountain with a sat phone.

    Personally, I'd love to see more of the diving attractions of the world be included. There's a whole ecosystem out there that people don't spend enough time exploring, and @ace-ING has always maintained that Niantic is about exploration and adventure.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Using the low tide example Casey just mentioned, I would presume "limited pedestrian access" means a location that has pedestrian access only during certain times of the day or under certain conditions. Another example would be objects that are exposed when an artificial lake is drained for repairs to the damn.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 769 ✭✭✭✭✭

    And just to belay the nitpicky rules-lawyerly types...

    This is NOT the same as a location which is not accessible to the public 24/7/365, ie. a business, gated community, theme park. In all those cases (and more, I'm not trying to make a comprehensive list) the POI is still there and accessible by anybody physically there.

    The Wayfarer team has drawn a line in the sand, where a POI is occasionally not accessible by foot, would not be allowed.

  • thundercracker1-INGthundercracker1-ING Posts: 90 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2020

    That has to be one of the most dangerous, poorly thought out statements I have seen @NianticCasey-ING put out there. Please could you clarify "limited pedestrian access" as we have always been told that if there is pedestrian access then you have the makings of a valid and potentially interesting POI.

  • RelishTray-PGORelishTray-PGO Posts: 22 ✭✭✭

    Maybe more focused on condition than time of day? Most parks (at least the ones near me) close after dark, for example. These are still currently allowed, despite time-restricted accessibility.

    The low tide example might be more directed towards the identifiability of the wayspot, if it becomes obscured during high tide. If that were the case, you could be in the vicinity of the wayspot, but not be able to see it (similar to your drained lake example).

  • Perringaiden-INGPerringaiden-ING Posts: 124 ✭✭✭

     if it becomes obscured during high tide

    Does "Obscured by the fact that there's no light" count, during 50% of each rotation of the earth?

    I've been to many portals where I would never have been able to see the portal without intentionally bringing 'specialized equipment' such as an electric torch.

  • oscarc1-INGoscarc1-ING Posts: 366 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That whole second paragraph contradicts itself.

    You mention "limited pedestrian access", but then you mention removing a wayspot because it's only accessible during lowtide. Wouldn't that constitute as having acceptable pedestrian access? It's no different to having wayspots behind gated communities or wayspots inside event stadiums that can only be accessed during events. Safe access is during lowtide (gates open), no access during high tide (gates closed).

    What about entire historical cities or fortresses like St Michael's Mount that can only be accessed during lowtide? Or all these other places on this site, where it even shows photos of pedestrians accessing the islands during lowtide? I have no idea what portal was removed, but it seems very improperly considered.

    Back on topic, I've always wondered about shipwrecks. I know of a few that are just off shore and are popular diving spots. Some are visible from above the water's surface too. No doubt the Ingress team would love to see a portal for HMS Dunraven ;P Are underwater wayspots really any different in terms of access to portals where a person has to rock-climb up a mountain to get to them? Difficult to access portals are a massive advantage in Ingress and amount to some of the most interesting sitreps.

  • Perringaiden-INGPerringaiden-ING Posts: 124 ✭✭✭

    I've always wondered about shipwrecks.

    We had some in Australia at one point. Then they disappeared without any provided reason, and on appeal Niantic said "We stand by our decision".

    Worst ruling in years, and we've never found out why, since they were really secure portals but also really interesting.

  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 2,596 ✭✭✭✭✭

    While I understand the possibly drowning, would that not mean pois at the top of mountains are a danger? Obviously its dependent on mountain, but one that requires highly skilled mountaineers and climbing equipment is going to be just as dangerous to get to as a thing underwater would be (can at least get a boat to them)

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