Niantic Reviewers Should Focus on Getting Trail markers, Dance Studios and Dojos Accepted.

AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 754 ✭✭✭✭✭

A staggering number of people on this forum brazenly admit to disliking certain nominations that meet the criteria laid out by Niantic. Trail markers, dance studios and dojos spring to mind. Niantic is currently doing internal reviews, so can't they use that enlighten the people who compare dojos to hiking shops and who think those nominating a dance studio only want "moar Pokéstops"?

I still have trail markers regularly rejected despite Niantic staff members saying that should be accepted as they meet the exercise and exploration criteria. Really annoying when I've made the effort to walk to that middle of nowhere place to take photographs. Yeah I'm mad.



  • Xmacke7x-INGXmacke7x-ING Posts: 220 ✭✭✭✭

    I agree I only got 1 of 55 trail markers of cycling trails accepted. And the local dance school got rejected because of being a k-12 school. There seem to be lots of reviewers who just ignore criteria.

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 754 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The key word there is "most". Not all of them are. There are many locally unique establishments that get tarnished with the "generic business" brush.

  • HankWolfman-PGOHankWolfman-PGO Posts: 4,655 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't forget restaurants as well.

  • DerWelfe2205-PGODerWelfe2205-PGO Posts: 374 ✭✭✭✭

    Depends on the region. In the US, Canada, GB and a few other countries it's pretty easy to get a decent trail marker accepted. In the netherlands and belgium you can get almost everything accepted (even those crappy blue signs) and in germany you get nothing accepted unless it's reviewed by Niantic. Which to me shows that the problem lies with the players.

    I only submit them in the hopes to get a Niantic reviewer who knows the rules but that also means that countless hours of reviewer time is wasted.

  • AScarletSabre-PGOAScarletSabre-PGO Posts: 754 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't nominate any blue signs. Just named trails which are listed on the council website. Yet some people still refuse to read.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,357 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I assume and nominate trail markers, which are rarely rejected.

    However, when I am reviewing, I have seen many distance markers and sidewalk signs placed along river banks and every few hundred meters on city sidewalks submitted as trail and cycling markers.

    So, although we have had concerns about this since Niantic submitted the markers as specific candidates, I think the reality is that some nominees are arbitrarily expanding the definition of "trail".

    And I have the impression that dance studios and dojos are less likely to be approved for those that are corporate-run.

    Therefore, I think there is a need to sort out a little more the distinction between local businesses and places that contribute to the promotion of culture and exercise.

    In my personal opinion, I am negative about dance studios and chain dojos that are run by entertainment agencies.

    However, I think it is necessary to examine dance studios that teach traditional dances of each country and region, and dojos that are run by independent management entities and teach a single form of exercise or martial arts.

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

    When in the past? Can you link such.....

    Before they redid the criteria to make it 1) Explore 2) Exercise 3) Social Gather.

    Any comments before those 3 things became the criteria are really poor. Exercise is now a core criteria acceptance, and dance and martial arts are a great form of exercise.

    But there's already a thread about them in Criteria Clarifications waiting for Niantic to post on.

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,357 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here are my thoughts on trails.

    I think that the meaning of trail should be redefined.

    A trail is a "path for walking" in a forest, wilderness, or satoyama, and traveling along such a path at the speed of walking should be the original meaning of a trail.

    Most of these trails are 10km, 20km, or more in distance. Trail markers are located at the junctions of such trails.

    Walking on a paved sidewalk in an urban space is not a trail, and distance markers every 100 m are not trail markers.

    But walking, on the other hand, is also an activity.

    So, a map showing a course set up in a park or other urban space is a good candidate.

    But, the mere distance markers that exist within the single track or circular course are just accessories to the course.

    It's just like the ABCDs on a baseball field or soccer field.

    It is appropriate to consider them as a group, not as individual candidates.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with @tp235-ING. I'm always puzzled when I see people posting about trail marker submissions that are on urban sidewalks. I can certainly imagine a trail entrance in such a location, but they don't seem like trail markers to me.

    Having said that, I think "distance markers that exist within the single track or circular course" can also be worthwhile if they're relatively isolated. In the US, many hiking trails have markers every mile (1.6km) or sometimes half mile (0.8km). I think there's a case to be made for those as they're useful for navigation and they're spaced fairly far apart by their very definition.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,426 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TWVer-ING I didn't say anything about eligibility. I just basically said that I didn't think trail marker was the right term for an urban exploration sign.

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 774 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sure it is. The term trail has multiple definitions. Your definition is just one of them. That doesn't invalidate the other definitions.

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

    Key thing being in the past. The refresh makes it plain they want more things aimed towards exercise and socialising. They also make it plain that generic businesses are chains (and even they can be eligible according to casey) and shops ghat don't meet eligibility criteria. So dodos, dance studios etc should 100% be acceptable for meeting 2 acceptance criteria, so long as they arent a chain and arent for kids

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,357 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If that is the case, we should not apply to use the name of such a ”trail”.

    Also, it is arbitrary and expansive to link a board that only shows distances and arrows, or a map that simply shows residential areas, to exploration and exercise.

    Someone once said that common bridges are useful for exchange and exercise because they connect communities to communities.

    Those were eventually rejected.

  • AeriTheBOFH-PGOAeriTheBOFH-PGO Posts: 261 ✭✭✭

    I've actually had a pretty good run with trail markers these days (which make up the bulk of my submissions). I've also learnt some pretty valuable lessons in regards to trail markers, as posted here:

    My only issue is that some of the trail markers here don't have the name of the trail spelt out on it and only contains the [unique] trail icon in lieu of the name. Those markers are 50/50 but ah well, can't always win.

    The other thing that goes hand in hand with trail markers, are mountain top/summit markers. I have more issues getting old trig stations through than trail markers these days because a lot of reviewers don't really have an appreciation for the great outdoors. They seem to think a trig from the 1800s is too much of a natural feature (even though it appears in the state survey database) and that a slightly overgrown **** track is unsafe pedestrian access. Not great to have a perfectly eligible POI knocked back after hiking for an hour, but anyway, that's ok, I'll keep trying and work on educating the reviewers in my supporting statements.

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

    What about heritage trails? They have markers, ergo, they are trail markers, they go through urban and suburban areas

  • MelodyS88Chi-PGOMelodyS88Chi-PGO Posts: 627 ✭✭✭✭✭

    At least 10% of what I review each day is trail markers (several dozen per day). Unless the location pin is dropped at a clearly inaccurate location such as on a house rather in the park or wooded area the trail is located at or a duplicate, I vote to approve them all though often I give 3* for location accuracy since they are under tree cover or otherwise not visible.

    I have voted to approve those as long as the sign is not located on PRP.

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A lot of comments here show, that a basic problem isnt understood.

    Hiking trail markers are very region dependent, and so the rules evolved to be very open.

    There was the old OPR-guideline-entry, that said, that hiking trail markers should be accepted, if they are not simple dircetion markers in the sense, that a trail name shall be on them. This old statement had lots of problems for different regions, for example the Netherlands with their strange knooppunt system and the UK with their trail markers, that are only posts without signs ....

    Even Germany had lots of problems, although our markers are very close to the old guideline:,11.546283&z=17&pll=50.934989,11.546283 here an example, how they look at eastern Germany. The green signs have distances to intermediate targets written on them, and named trails are hidden behind a color code. So in this case white-red-white is a trail called "Mittlere Saalehorizontale" (a 100km trail around the town Jena). White-yellow-white is a related trail "Untere Saalehorizontale" (shorter and less differences in altitude). Looking at the old criteria this could have been a problem, since a trail name is never written down .....

    The sign under the green signs is an individual educational trail with proper name on the sign. So in the end this thing consists of 5 trail markers that would be eligible, even if they would be all standalone.

    What happened when wayfarer was introduced? Niantic understood the problems, that were at many places and verbalized the criteria more inclusive. Consequence: What was eligible should be still eligible, but even more. So if Americans stay at the old definition it's okay, since it was made by Americans and it may fit well for them as a rule of thumb.

    But what did we see in this forum and the new inhouse reviews? Niantic accepts even markers of simple bike lanes next to streets. They accept stickers on a telephone pole as trail markers.

    What do German reviewers still do? Reject stuff like my trail marker from above as inappropriate location, no safe pedestrian access, no criteria .... this problem is growing since the introduction of wayfarer. During OPR times it was possible to have trail markers approved with an okay success rate with the help of explanatory supporting statements. Since wayfarer it's pure randomness ....

    And this is the problem we have: Even trail markers, that undoubtfully fulfill the new AND even the old guidelines get rejected again and again. ... ... .... and Nia does nothing against this. Don't know how many threads we had for this topic ..... that simply sucks.

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Similar problem for the dojo, dance studio, music schools .....

    All this is stuff, that is neither general eligible nor general ineligible. Why do all people tend to deal in absolutes about things like that?

    Think this way:

    A dance studio, whose headquarter is only office stuff and the courses are somewhere else is a bad candidate imho. Another dance studio, that has an own giant hallroom with regular events in there, fulfills the criteria better and is acceptible.

    Similar for music schools. A single random office room, where a single person makes their money with, isnt a good candidate. But music academies and/or conservatories are great candidates. Nethertheless they often get rejected as K12 .....

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,357 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Heritage markers are good candidates.

    They are based on cultural heritage sites and contain explanations or are distributed in booklets.

    In Tokyo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has developed heritage markers called "Walking Paths of History and Culture" and many of them are wayspots. Even if you don't judge them as markers, they are useful for showing historical sites.

    Unfortunately, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has recently started to remove markers erected under this project due to the end of the relevant cultural projects and the aging of the markers.

    If the markers themselves were removed, the Wayspot would not be viable.

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

    I was more meaning his thing about trails don't go through urban areas, I was pointing out a type of trail that does so trail markers would exist in urban areas

    Though the issue with them is that they are 9 times out of 10 almost a street sign looking g thing

  • tp235-INGtp235-ING Posts: 1,357 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the word "marker" itself, as well as the vague definitions of the words "trail" and "survey" are being used to further confuse the issue.

    I still believe that when it was Ingress only, decisions were made according to some common sense, but recently I believe that has been broken.

    Trail markers, which are nothing more than distance markers, and survey markers, which are tacks driven into the pavement, which are currently a big problem, especially in Australia, are sort of the same problem.

    It is not a normal world where players cannot tell what is different from what they have just seen, or when they look closely, they find that the distance has changed by 200 meters from what they have just seen, or that there is a large number of objects with only one difference in the end of the five or six digits of the identification number.

  • Raachermannl-INGRaachermannl-ING Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's again a pity in Germany .....

    These are modern biking trail markers. Sometimes they are (like this one) at independant biking trails, sometimes they are next to streets and even within cities.

    Here the part with the named trail can be a good criterion to distinguish them from normal street signs: the plaques for the named trails, that i put in red boxes ...

    If reviewers can't deal with it, I can at least understand it, since this is a bit more complicated and beyond normal rule knowledge ...... but it shows, that Nia needs to educate their reviewers, but thats not happening....

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

    I severely doubt ingress players used common sense, I literally saw a toilet as a portal and that was from ingress players, 7 years its been in the game.

  • grendelwulf-INGgrendelwulf-ING Posts: 301 ✭✭✭✭

    If the red boxed tags is what is being nominated that is a horrid photo and a correct rejection.

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

    There's already a thread in Niantic Clarifications:

    For Dance Studios/Gyms/Dojos.

    Generally speaking these should ALL be eligible under the NEW criteria of "Exercise" same as bowling alleys, skating rinks... businesses that sail through nomination. Same as Baseball fields, and Basketball courts.

    IF... it's part of a "Generic Chain" like in America Powerhouse Gyms. That might be argument for rejection but even then we have a Niantic Comment about a Starbucks being eligible despite being a generic chain in a small town where it's the only coffee house.

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

    As for Trail Markers....

    The idea is that a trail marker encourages exploration farther down the trail. That people see the POI and continue down the trail. That's how Niantic explained it.

    Even that explanation, makes me wonder. Memorial Benches and Plaques. Once upon a time like 2016 these were accepted easily. Now the standard is someone important, famous, historical. Meaning they are rarely accepted. Here's a famous in my US state trail map:

    They don't use trail markers along this trail in Michigan. There are numerous "Rest Stops" circular areas where there is a memorial bench. Some of these pre-criteria change are POIS. But I still wonder if they all shouldn't be and that Benches/Plaques along these kind of trails shouldn't be equally acceptible under the same logic that they encourage continuing down the hiking trail much like signs that would sayu Freedom Trail Mile Marker 1.... Freedom Trail Mile Marker 10

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