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Please use this space to share your thoughts about the Wayfarer Criteria Clarification goal mentioned in the Message from your Wayfarer Ambassadors post.
Feel free to pose questions, share ideas, feedback, etc.
There’s so many things that need some clarity in the UK.
Postboxes need a definitive yay or nay.
Trailmarkers and NCN signs, Niantic has weighed in on a few times, but from a US perspective I feel. As we have @BrightonDragon-PGO now on the Ambassador team, they may be able to provide a UK view on it.
Also, as we have this thread, is it worth “pausing” the Criteria Clarification sub-forum and suspending any clarifications there at the moment, given that they may change from this discussion and just got back to what’s on Wayfarer’s pages for a while, rather than having to link to little sections here and there when submitting?
I'll circle back to you on that 😉
Thanks. That area feels like a mess at this point so I think it’s better to quash it for now and then incorporate any clarifications that come from this in to the main Wayfarer help pages.
Oops, I actually meant to post my comment as a reply to your frequency of updates question.
I think Criteria Clarifications can continue as an active thread. Part of the discussion we want to have is how a nomination or candidate meets the current criteria. I don't think we'll ever have a published NCN guideline, but I do think that we can have earnest conversations about if this NCN marker encourages exploration and exercise. This may be a more difficult conversation to have with these markers than others.
Ah I see. I made a comment on each thread, so easy to get the wrong one. I think the issue is that Niantic say (either by an approved Appeal or a comment here) that “This marker is okay” and then some members of the community run with that and tell their community “All of these markers are okay” and that muddies the already vague waters.
I agree so much with this. It's a problem that I hope we can find a pathway to resolving.
Criteria could easily be baked into the nomination process. Starting with the intro text. Include a question: which of these three criteria does it meet? Scan the text, and category - index to a list of tips. It's AMAZING how many people think something is a valid Wayspot because it is in the "What is it?!
Criteria could also easily baked into the review process. Each question could have an info pop-up. If you hover over a star (1-2-3-4-5) it should give a definition of what that many stars mean. Each "What is it" should have guidance.
In short, Niantic needs UI and UE (User Interface and User Experience) people.
One big issue I see, is that no matter how Niantic tries to write an all-encompassing criteria, it's going to be hard to strike a balance between understandability, wordiness, robustness, and applicability. But even taking all that into account, it's still going to be words on a screen that will be interpreted differently (sometimes maliciously) by different people. And while different interpretations depending on culture, class, nationality, etc may be good for context, there will always be people who draw the wrong conclusions/interpretation about certain criteria, or certain candidates. So how does one avoid this?
One thing Wayfarer is missing is well-written examples. Similar to how many students don't understand mathmatical concepts until they go through a few example problems, many Wayfarers could benefit from understanding the criteria better if guided through a few example reviews. If someone from the wayfarer team were able to put a video together going through a few example candidates, and explaining how/why the criteria did or did not fit these candidates, it would help a ton.
Another issue is common confusing candidates. We've all been frustrated when local hotspot or trail marker or similar was rejected by reviewers who did not understand how it met criteria. While Wayfarer has strayed away from citing specific candidates as eligible or ineligible in recent years, I think incorperating these commonly confusing candidates somewhere (perhaps in example videos) would go a long way. There could even be comparisons between a good, eligible example and a poor, not eligible example, in order to mitigate the binary pass/fail all of this type of candidate mindset that some reviewers hold.
Much of this could be eliminated if the disapproval and removal criteria, which many game players find difficult to understand, were sorted out.
Currently, the number of non-deleted but clearly ineligible WAYSPOTs is growing rapidly and is degrading the quality of the field.
To put a finer point on it, the criteria for mass production and uniqueness should be clarified.
For example, the markers of a few centimeters that continue to proliferate in Australia, that is a completely bad example.
People have to look closely at the number to understand the difference between it and the marker next to it. And of course, they cannot identify it from 5 meters away, let alone 40 meters away.
And in Japan, where I live, the number of bulletin boards that exist every 100 meters, like the Australian markers, are proliferating, further degrading the quality of the field.
Some Japanese players are trying to bring the UK case, which happens to be spoken in this forum, to Japan in an expanded interpretation, trying to get all the boards that exist every 100 meters approved.
One thing that needs work badly is the jargon that is repeatedly used to mean something other than its plain English meaning. The classic example is "private residential property." Niantic uses the phrase "private residential property" repeatedly all over the Wayfarer website, but only occasionally do they deem it necessary to narrow that down to what they actually mean (private single-family residential property). Other such jargon includes "visually unique" and "cultural significance."
Can we get short monthly videos of experienced people reviewing (maybe ambassadors) and explaining thier choices as they go? The criteria and guides created for new reviewers are intentionally vague and lots of people learn much better by watching someone else do a new skill. There are a lot of little things newbies have to fumble through that would be cleared up by simply watching someone else review.
I want eligible/ineligible clarifications for everything, but that is not practical. I think what would help the most is a more thorough understanding of the reasons behind any clarifications given. For example, this one from the November 2020 AMA still gives reviewers fits:
With the criteria refresh, how has that change affected how reviewers should consider swimming pools?
The first problem with this is the phrase "similar residentially-focused" - does that mean similar to private homes and hotels? Or does it mean neighborhood pools, since those are for residents? And where does the line stop between neighborhood and public pools? I understand the private single family home pool not being eligible because of the location, and think restating that here confused the issue. But is it the lack of lifeguard that makes "residentially-focused" pools ineligible? That understanding behind the clarification would be helpful in trying to figure out whether we should reject or accept.
I understand that it's difficult to come up with global, all-encompassing criteria, but in situations where communities have a notable ideological divide on certain types of candidates, surely there's some room for Niantic to step in more than they currently do.
Using Australia's NSW state survey markers as an example - there's a thread about them posted almost every other week on this forum. A lot of reviewers are genuinely confused and the whole topic is causing somewhat of a rift in the local reviewer community, but it's proven almost impossible to get Niantic to weigh in on the topic since the new explore, exercise, socialise criteria rolled out.
In Korea, apartment information maps, front and rear doors of apartments, apartment nameplates are often approved as wayspots. Since most of the housing types are apartments, I think I'm very generous with nominations related to apartment complexes.
It seems that a formal description of the criteria is needed.
One of the big problems with criteria clarifications is that there is a large chunk of the Wayfarer community, possibly even the majority, who don't apply critical thinking to the guidelines and who look for clarifications to confirm eligibility in a "black and white" fashion. Not everything needs a direct clarification of "this is eligible" to be eligible. Instead of direct confirmations of eligibility, criteria clarifications should give better insight into the purpose of the guidelines and explain why something might be eligible or confirm that a certain thing shouldn't be a detractor for a nomination. For example:
"A trail marker on the ground should be rated similarly to a trail marker on a post assuming the marker is permanent and the trail provides a great place to exercise or explore".
"A picnic area should be rated as a great place to be social similar to pavilions, assuming the location is permanent. Keep factors in mind such as the liklihood for picnic tables to be moved (not just if they can be moved) or other permanent features that cannot be moved, such as concrete slabs, grills, fencing, signage, etc"
These clarifications don't outright say that something is eligible but guide reviewers to the logic of why they should or shouldn't be eligible.
At least Niantic's rejection of a named trail marker appeal as 'mass-produced, generic' puts an end to any/all trail marker debates, I guess?
outcomes of appeals are pretty meaningless at the moment.
There are numerous conflicting examples. If I get any of my few appeals resolved either in favour or not I won’t extrapolate too far from that.
There are some subjects that keep appearing here that really don’t need raking up again and again. I think we are getting there with “trail markers” - the phrase means different things in different parts of the world. I happy with the fundamental is it something that encourages exploration and exercise.
So I don’t actually think hard rules help a global game.
I’d hope that’s an error. Can you share it here or in Nomination Improvement?
While there are many thing in my country that need clarifications, I would first ask Niantic to have better—and clearer—communication to the players.
Especially, remove in-game terms as much as possible during submitting new Wayspots:
This question is asking "why you believe your PokéStop nomination is important and what Trainers will see there". I don't know if people in my country will understand this part of question but most of the time I found:
These need to be cleared by Niantic.
Yes it's really to illustrate the point that Niantic is error-prone and inconsistent in their decisions. Too many people here take their word as being the eternal truth.
Indeed, somebody told me they appealed two trail markers, one was accepted and one rejected.
Honestly, the whole thing's a bit of a joke. I don't think we should take it too seriously any more.
That might have been me? I had two trail markers for the same trail. One accepted at Appeal, another one rejected.
As I'm from the UK, I don't see what is wrong with the ncn markers? Even Americans can go onto the ncn website and see it was created to get people exploring and exercising (not to mention, all the complaints that people have against them were brought up in the forum thread BEFORE Giffard made the call, meaning he saw all the reasons against and said they were good)
It’s certainly up for debate on it. Some would say they’re mass produced and meet some rejection criteria and thus shouldn’t be accepted.
To the mass produced argument, I reply with mugas, at least in Scotland, the mugas are made to almost the exact same specifications, by the same company, even down to having a bench at the side. I even found the website for it. If they aren't rejected for mass production, why should the ncn marker be? At the very least, the ncn markers should be good for rural places, seeing as that's also a topic just now. I've said before, I live next to the canal, in the 5km long stretch from one bridge to the next, there's (including the bridges themselves as they have signposts too, though there's already pois at the sign posts) there are 5 ncn markers, I wouldn't say that's over used along that length, and that's through country side, so it's not like there would be anything else to submit on there
Ove said before, maybe they shouldn't do an all encompassing set of guidelines, or more like, if they have an all encompassing kne, they should also have split off sections for certain regions, for example, Britain has the red telephone boxes, post boxes, ncn etc. That have all had their own specific rules, because of culture, history etc.
Theres even places I Europe in general where the road is also the safe pedestrian access, in an American I assume that wouldn't come up as much, but in some places, there is no pavement, so it seems daft to reject things as unsafe there when pedestrians would have right of way in those places.
So any discussion when it comes to criteria I'd going to need to revolve round how the criteria needs thought of, should it just be the criteria that people in an office in the middle of a city in America came up with or shoukd it have input from countries/places that arent an American city lol
As a side note, generic/mass produced is way to over used by people. When reading the guidelines on the website, that seems more aimed at stopping bog standard garden ornaments, street signs, single bench, single picnic bench, things like that from getting through
Criteria is fluid, and way too nuanced. So in three main dot-points:
Wayfarer is a melting pot of ideas and cultures coming together. It also happens to be on the internet, so you will have arguments and disagreements, with many taking it to extremes. When NianticCasey gave examples of situations where nominations could be eligible, it became gospel; from clarifications about McDonald's playgrounds to the renowned "Starbucks in my hometown" example. Further clarifications such as the November 2020 AMA made residentially-focused pools ineligible all of a sudden. Criteria is malleable and is moulded the more you ask for clarifications. The advent of Wayfarer 3.1 and the New Criteria all of a sudden saw restaurants and cafes added to the mix of "great places to socialise", with limited degrees of success of course.
If you ask for way too much clarification, the criteria will become something that you used to know. God forbid a Wayfinder to travel to a whole different country or even interstate only to become flustered and refuse to play because the wayspots they're spinning/capturing do not correspond with their expectations of a perfect wayspot.
Just my two cents. Then again, appeals are now underway and we're seeing... very interesting results coming from that. Appeal outcomes are quickly becoming the next holy grail of gospel.
It's pretty clear that in both the Australian case and the UK trail marker case, there's a faction that is just going to try to relitigate it until the end of time in the hopes of getting a vague niantic comment that could be used to justify their positions if you squint at it in the right light. Niantic finally giving an absolute ruling would help bring the subforum back to actual criteria clarifications and not just endless complaining about criteria people don't like.
The majority of arguments in here about "but the criteria say my waypoint should be accepted" all revolve round a very few topics. While allowing the "flexibility" that Niantic want, it would be very good if you could get Niantic to give some definitive "Yes or No" answers about particular nomination types what are often country specific things - so UK postboxes / German trailmarkers / Australian state survey markers / UK "Public Footpath" markers etc etc. They need to come out and actually say "This design - yes, this design - no - generic, just too many of them". That would help a lot.
Visually unique - does this need a revamp. What are the opinions of the ambassadors and Niantic on things like trail markers where you see identical sets of markers every 40m or so in some places, should there be a limit of 1 marker of that type per x 100m m. At what point does visual uniqueness cxome into play, or are there some waypoint types it does not apply to. Discuss?
Possibly not "criteria", but certainly related. Can we have the same definition for criteria / scoreing system on all parts of the system. For example, we have "Rate 1 star if the nomination cannot be found" but also "Use for nominations that may not exist at the submitted location based on the comparison of the submitted photo and map views.". Lets be consistent, get some clarification for stuff like this, particularly "obscured" waypoints and get some clear answers and criteria.
Finally, can someone please go back through these forums, grab all the confirmations and examples of decisions from Niantic and put them together in one standard "these are the criteria with comments" document that is THE source document - if it's not in there then it does not count. Too often stuff is scattered about all over, including some outside of here. It needs to be in one spot and maintained daily.