How to submit things that get accepted

Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,132 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in General Discussion

I've done more than 16,000 reviews over the years so I've seen a lot of really great stuff and a whole boatload of garbage. Here's what I've learned about how to make high-quality submissions so that they have a good chance of being approved.

First and foremost, make sure the thing you're submitting is currently eligible. You can't use existing things in the games as a guideline since the rules are constantly evolving. Read the most recent AMAs and any new documentation that Niantic has published.

Now, pretend that you're making a glossy brochure for the submission. You want it to have visual appeal since people respond to that at a subconscious level, so start with a high quality photo. Taking your images at the right time of day so that the submission is well lit. Hold your camera level, and you probably want it to be parallel to the front of the thing you're submitting. Choose the best angle so that the submission is prominent, and that it's very easy to recognize at a quick glance. Be careful of cluttered backgrounds. Don't be afraid to use an unusual angle if it will present your submission well... I've occasionally had great luck by getting down low and **** upward so that the sky is the background. This can work really well for sculptures.

For the rest of the submission you need to be a salesperson and an educator-- convince reviewers that it's a worthwhile submission, and make it easy for them to approve it. Start by making your title both descriptive and interesting. "Playground" is bad. "John Smith Memorial Park Playground" is good. If the playground has a special theme or something quirky about it play off of that. "Magical Dragon and Castle Playground" would be fun and interesting.

Use your description to start selling. "Popular coffee shop" is boring. Use the description to paint a picture for the reviewer: "This quirky coffee shop feels like the living room you wish you had. The tables are great for work or study, or sink into one of the sofas with a book from the shop's 2000-volume lending library." If you're submitting John Brown Memorial Plaque then do something like this as the description: "John Brown was the founder of Flufferton, and served as mayor from 1891 to 1907. He also founded and ran the Flufferton Orphanage and Bakery."

Your supporting text is very important! The more you can pre-digest the submission for reviewers the less work they have to do and the more likely it is that your submission will be expected. Don't expect reviewers to look things up, because most won't. "Memorial plaque for John Brown ill get you a quick rejection. Try this: "Every year on May 19 the citizens of Flufferton don pinstripes and bowler hats and stage a John Brown Parade to celebrate his legacy. The cake party afterward is legendary."

Another option for supporting text is to help your reviewers find the correct location. "This statue is under tree cover but can be seen from street view from the north side. It is ten meters west of the front door." Think about what sort of information would be most helpful to reviewers and present it here.

Make sure your supporting photo shows the submission with enough context around it so that reviewers can find it. It's pretty common for things like urban artwork to be too new for street view, for example. Step back and take a wider shot of the area. Make sure the thing you're submitting is clearly visible, but show enough of the area around it so that reviewers can use street/satellite view to confirm the location. If you're submitting something at the corner of State and Main then having the street sign in the image might help. Are the buildings near your submission visually unique? Include them to provide context.

These are Hosette's tips for getting stuff approved. Make your submission a glossy brochure, and hand the most useful and interesting information to reviewers on a silver platter so they don't have to work as hard. I'm always thrilled when I find submissions like this because they're so much easier to review, but they're also pretty rare.



  • Hikaru588-INGHikaru588-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭

    Your last two tips are things that I see sink quite a number of valid nominations when they are not followed.

    When putting in a nomination myself I always check to see how visible it is on satellite or streetview. That will inform me regarding how much detail I need to put into the supporting information, or even the need for a photosphere, to help the reviewer find the POI I am nominating.

  • JustTao1-PGOJustTao1-PGO Posts: 2 ✭✭

    Moje nominacje zostały akceptowane a nie pojawiły się na mapie... Wie ktoś dlaczego?

  • spiesr-INGspiesr-ING Posts: 313 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2020

    Didn't appear in what? Accepted Wayspots appear instantly in Ingress if able, but there is a delay of up to 34 hours (or longer if they skip that day) before they appear in Go.

    Also not all accepted Wayspots will appear in all games. This is usually due to proximity to existing Wayspots.

  • JustTao1-PGOJustTao1-PGO Posts: 2 ✭✭

    Zostały dodane w pokemon go...zostały za akceptowane 13.11 a brak ich na mapie pokemon Go

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 4,030 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is something I posted on Reddit recently:

    If you place a Wayspot in an inaccurate location, expect it to get moved. If your choice isn't particularly logical, such as in the middle of [an] athletic field, expect reviewers to move it to a more logical (and accessible) location.

    Reviewers ultimately do not care of a Wayspot will be used in a specific game, but they do tend to thwart obvious attempts to game the system with "strategic" placement of Wayspots.

  • Hikaru588-INGHikaru588-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭

    Although your nomination was made via pokemon go, you techncially aren't nominating a pokestop but a wayspot instead.

    If your nomination was within 20m of another wayspot then it won't appear in any game. After that whether or not it will in pokemon go depends on if the cell it is in is already occupied by another pokestop or gym.

  • WandHerring-PGOWandHerring-PGO Posts: 139 ✭✭✭✭

    These are good advice, however I don't quite agree with the examples you gave for the description.

    I think it's important to know what usually are the weak points of the type of places or objects you're submitting and directly address them. With the coffee shop for instance, they're often flagged as Generic Businesses so that's where you need to hit the nail. How comfortable are the sofa isn't really your priority and will probably makes it appear as if you're trying to bury the lede. For me, better info to put in the description are, for instance,

    • Since how long the place exists
    • If it's a multi-generational family business
    • If they serve traditional food or drink
    • If they hold social events
    • If they have a national/international reputation (a link to a news article in the complementary info would greatly help selling that point)
    • ...

    It's a question of signal/noise ratio. You can be fancy with easy sells (though careful because even the most obviously eligible POIs get rejected sometimes), but everything that might leave people on the fence you have to dedicate the full content to hammer down your nomination is eligible. The café is quirky and cozy? Doesn't matter, coziness isn't an eligibility criteria. It has a collection of books however? Great! It means it doubles as a public library! Is it decorated in a distinctive way? It's not "quirky", it's "an unique architecture with art pieces from <artist name>". Front load your description with elements that shows the reviewer you know what you're talking about and you've identified clearly why your nomination has value. Too flowery of a description, people will think you're filling empty space with whatever you can think of because you have nothing better to put there.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,132 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @WandHerring-PGO Both styles can be effective. One style is "tell me why it's special", and the other is "show me why it's special." In my example I opted for show-me style. If it really is the cool, funky coffee shop where everyone hangs out to study and relax then show-me can be be better than saying it's the "local hangout". Since you have a limited number of words for the description I tend to prefer more dense, colorful prose there sometimes. I certainly enjoy reading it more than deadpan facts.

    The coffee shop I described is one that I submitted in a small Arizona town a year ago. I stopped on a road trip and immediately thought, "Oh wow, this place is awesome!" When I realized it wasn't already a portal I decided to fix that.

  • DukeOfBellaire-PGODukeOfBellaire-PGO Posts: 74 ✭✭✭

    This is somewhat mixed results. If someone factually states that this " business is family owned since 1972", I'm not impressed because there are going to be 50 more generic businesses like this down the road. Too much detail about the business can sound like desperate advertising.

    However, expressing about the emotional experience being there and interesting tidbits at the location sound far more exciting and entertaining. When I see something like this, I tell myself, "Damn, I wanna go there and I'm gonna give 'em a 5*!"

    But no one should go overboard using exclamation marks in the title and description as it often comes with meaningless cliche and that will sink the nomination.

  • Damastaglen-PGODamastaglen-PGO Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    A good tip that I have told people I know is to assume the person reviewing doesn’t know the area where you are and things that literally everything around you is generic - it is up to you to prove him / her wrong.

    Also it is acceptable putting URLs in supporting text (not name or description) to demonstrate the point - the example I gave was a sign pointing towards Buckingham palace would be generic, but if if the queen herself dug the hole and was the one who put it there then that has a cool backstory, but giving the news article link is a must.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Hosette-ING if you can figure out a way for me to non-publicly PM you, I've got a series of things that are all quite eligible, but I always have a devil of a time convincing reviewers. The limitation here is the teeny tiny sizes of the text boxes, and that they're ... quite fairly unusual.

    I've got some quite good reasons for not wanting to widely advertise my location, as @AgentB0ssING-PGO and @NianticCasey-ING can attest.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,132 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @0X00FF00-ING Try hosette (the at sign thing) hosette (you know what character to put here) com.

  • 0X00FF00-ING0X00FF00-ING Posts: 747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Initial email sent; a plethora of historical information will soon follow. These particular things are ... a tough sell for reviewers, so after I email a few more screenshots and such, any advice will be appreciated.

  • WandHerring-PGOWandHerring-PGO Posts: 139 ✭✭✭✭

    Mileage may vary indeed. I live in a somewhat big city, where businesses to meet with friends are dime a dozen. "I had a good time here" isn't really a criteria on its own, pretty much every bars and coffee shops in the world have their regulars. so while I agree it's good to show you're actually excited about the places you're submitting, it's important to not confuse the description section with a tripadvisor review. I personally much prefer a somewhat dry description but with information that hits eligibility and acceptance criteria than a very emotional one which, in the end, doesn't give me any info to distinguish the place from any other bar or restaurant in the world.

    For instance, if I had to submit a bar I like: La Machine. I would probably describe it as such:

    "Steampunk bar with live music venue from local bands. The name "La Machine" references the custom-built flying machine on the ceiling!"

    It directly sets the place apart from the crowd (steampunk-themed place), it highlights its cultural relevance in the community (it gives a scene to small bands) and it provides a fun info about the place which also refers to allude to the artistic value of its decor.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,132 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I realized that I forgot something important-- spelling and punctuation matter. Sloppy or hard-to-read text can distract the reviewer, and it makes the whole thing feel sloppy. I know that entering text on a phone with a tiny screen and no keyboard is annoying, but it only takes a minute to proofread your submission and fix any errors when you get home.

  • freebirdnerd-PGOfreebirdnerd-PGO Posts: 20 ✭✭

    Thank you so much for this post! It is excellent, with a lot of great advice.

    And I could not agree with you more on this point! As a bit of a grammarian, poor spelling, incorrect punctuation and missing or misplaced capitals always lose a star from my ratings - they just look less polished and unofficial. I'm not sure how much it affects anything, but where I see this, I always add a brief note in the comments box, something along the lines of "Title requires capitalisation" or "Description contains a typo", and hope that it gets corrected before going live. I shudder the thought...😨

  • cyndiepooh-INGcyndiepooh-ING Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great post! May want to fix the (auto-correct?) typo of "expected" for "accepted" in the supporting text section. I would add "Do not copy/paste text" here, too. That is usually extremely obvious to reviewers, is easy to check, and gets a 1*.

    I love the brochure visualization. That first impression is so important. Especially to reviewers rushing through the process. If it is a gorgeous photo with clean text and appears likely to exist where pinned, that's an easy nomination to quickly accept.

  • TheZodiac007-PGOTheZodiac007-PGO Posts: 815 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Hosette-ING This is a great post & is very helpful to anyone new to this. I highly recommend reading this & possibly even taking notes to all who struggle with submitting &/or even live in an area that doesn’t have much but you feel like you just want to wait to submit because you don’t understand. The best advice I can give is if it meets criteria or you see something that you think meets criteria, submit it. The worst that will happen is it will get denied. It is all a learning experience. We have to make mistakes to succeed. No one is perfect. This is great advice. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Highly recommend taking this information in & running with it. Happy Holidays everyone. Cheers

  • TheZodiac007-PGOTheZodiac007-PGO Posts: 815 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am the same way but I just recommend eating like normal unless it is unreadable text. The good thing is players will more than likely edit it anyways so it’s not a big deal. It bothers me too but there’s really nothing we can do

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,132 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for the kind words.

    @cyndiepooh-ING I would love to fix that typo! Unfortunately the forum software only allows that for 24 hours after it's posted.

    @TheZodiac007-PGO I like the "eating" typo! I agree about reviewing it normally although perhaps removing a star or two from the text if it's more than one or two typos. However, the bigger picture is that typos and grammar can have a psychological impact on reviewers. If I'm submitting something I should always try to put its best foot forward because I don't want to give reviewers any reasons to downvote my submission.

  • PlutoIsSad-PGOPlutoIsSad-PGO Posts: 184 ✭✭✭

    Also photosphere are a good thing to add to Google Maps for places that aren't visible. Some won't bother checking anything even if the satellite view shows it is exactly where it states.

  • ElwynGreygoose-INGElwynGreygoose-ING Posts: 244 ✭✭✭✭

    For me yes it's the emotional experience thing. Make me feel like I want to be there. Make me envious of the great time everyone's having in that cafe, bar or whatever. Make it sound like the place I would want to visit first if I ever go to that area, just to soak up the atmosphere. I really don't care whether it opened in 1972 or 1973, to be honest. That sort of detail sends me to sleep.

  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 1,738 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's It's good and everything, but how do we get round th historic/culture rejection 🤣🤣

  • Hacksawskid-PGOHacksawskid-PGO Posts: 39 ✭✭

    80% are fake anymore. They take a picture, save it to their phone and mark their homes. They never seem to check the rules, but Niantic seems to except some stuff in bigger towns VS smaller towns such as bars, gravestone, radio stations, etc.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 2,132 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Hacksawskid-PGO I've certainly spotted fakes recently, but nowhere near 80%.

    As for things already in the games, please remember that some of those were submitted in the early days of Ingress when Niantic reviewed everything in-house and the rules were far more ambiguous than they are now. There have been many iterations of rules changes over the years, and a lot of what you see was accepted under earlier rules. Things that were accepted under earlier rules tend to stay except under a few conditions, e.g. not having safe pedestrian access, being on K-12 school property, obstructing emergency services.

  • Nadiwereb-PGONadiwereb-PGO Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Honestly, while I have seen an uptick in fakes and low quality submissions, the quality of reviews has also taken a nosedive. Lots of perfectly eligible stuff get rejected that would've fliwn though the old system easily with an upgrade.

    I've now had to resumbit a Community Garden five times. Two public playgrounds were rejected even though both are visible in Street View. A memorial plaque for an internationally famous architect on the wall of the building they lived in was rejected for PRP even though I made sure to include the many buttons on the intercom proving it's a multi-family building. Informational signs on nature trails, public works of arts, everything gets rejected.

    Frankly, I'm getting extremely frustrated about this. Especially as the appeal system doesn't seem to work at all; if it worked, it would be a great thing, but right now I'm on the verge of giving up on Wayfarer completely.

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