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To explain a bit more. In the UK, you cannot just walk through any field. Many are used by businesses or for growing crops. However if you’re taking a walk, you may see a sign which says;
pointing in a direction. This means that you can legally walk across this land. Of course, it’s the UK, so you may pass by sheep, cows, bulls and the like.
If you stray off this path, you will likely be in private land, which often means the farmer/land owner can and will sh00t you. (I passed by a sign earlier saying that dogs & trespassers will be shot if going into a field nearby, and know the said farmer isn’t joking)
However in most areas, the signage is produced by the local council who may or may not do work on the path. In this case it would say (not “Kest” as you thought @NianticTintino-ING )
”Kent County Council Public Footpath”
This is not a named trail, and within the whole area of Kent there could be 100s of these signs which are unconnected to any trail/way to go. One could be down by the river. One could be up near the local quarry. They say the same but aren’t part of the same footpath to take.
Nobody in the UK wakes up and thinks “today I’m going to explore the nearby public footpath”. They may set off for The Monsal Trail (it’s flat mostly with some hills) or the South West Coast Path (near the sea and long. Take walking shoes) and be able to look these up online to see where they go. As there’s tons of public footpath markers, it’s more difficult to see where the “Manchester City Council Public Footpath” sign will take you as there’s thousands of them that don’t link up at all.
As noted by @pokestophope-ING & @Jimbob2toes-PGO if these are eligible, it would mean every single pavement is. As these are pretty much natural pavements through fields and along rivers. It’s not encouraging anyone to explore. It is saying that, yes you have a legal right to walk along this natural pavement to get to your next destination.
This is the wrong decision if Niantic still care about the quality of their Wayspots. If they just care about quantity you’ll have hundreds of thousands in the UK within days for sure with this ruling.
To use Kent again as example, here’s a map.
Kent is 3,736 km2 so it’s going to have literally thousands of signs like this that are all identical.
At the moment it seems like you’ve done it to get more Wayspots whilst ditching quality to me. Happy to discuss via DM as noted.
Here's a map of all of Kent's footpaths that @NianticTintino-ING has approved. All with Kent County Council signs every 10m apart https://webapps.kent.gov.uk/countrysideaccesscams/standardmap.aspx
It wasn’t “Kent” it was “Kest” 😆
Sorry I realised I tagged the wrong Jim person in my post but I’m not editing as that’ll vanish.
Not surprised you didn't touch pools. Wasn't even a category I could submit. Had to choose "other." I get many, many pool nominations here in the southern United States and I still am unclear as to what you want rejected with this statement from the Nov 2020 AMA: "swimming pools at private residences or hotels (or other similar residentially-focused locations) are ineligible." If you are expecting us to do the work, you should give us the clear guidelines. You didn't address anything that was news to me, but I guess it helps to know I have been reviewing those things correctly and am glad you are trying to establish criteria.
Everyone’s always so adamant about following the rules “Niantic says this, Niantic says that” We’ll, here, Niantic has said something that you don’t like. Let’s see how you respond.
Of course. Glad to see you got the updated rota.
Monday has changed to Pools and every third Wednesday is PRP vs multi residence
Not at all, I'm more than happy to point out that Niantic don't even know their own rules so I'm not sure how they expect others to follow them.
Haha well according to some people you’re just my alt
Don’t be naive, people make their own rules and will keep doing so. This has to be the 10th time they say very explicitly that all trail markers are valid, yet they’re difficult to pass. They said more than a year ago that malls are great places to be social, yet they’re difficult to pass. This is also the second time they’ve said parks with no physical markers are valid, yet they’re difficult to pass. I guess change takes time but all of this is just common sense lmao.
and lol at niantic doesn’t know their own rules. They make the rules, it’s your job to take the information and adapt
There have been many bizarre decisions on individual posts and many people have posted bizarre incorrect decisions on 'official' Niantic appeals.
I didn't say they don't set the rules, following and understanding them is a different matter.
Oh, you are right about that. Sorry I misunderstood
@NianticTintino-ING I submitted a Little Free Library as my submission. I used the Little Free Library category, but I mentioned private residence as the reason for the submission. Does that count? One of the big point for the residence property was Little Free Libraries.
The criteria are translated in Japanese to mean park and open space, not park and commercial complex. If "plaza" is meant for a commercial complex, this is a mistranslation that has been overlooked all along. If it's a mistranslation, can you fix it? @NianticTintino-ING
Those descriptions are very thoughtful and fun - thank you!
The retail store list sign at the street -- is a surprise. No one gathers at the sign. It's just advertising. But ok!
I would have thought art on an apartment wall would be too close to the family that lives on the other side of the wall. But now I know it's ok.
For the unlabeled parks, I think we (reviewers) can tell. A blank piece of grass (even with a utility tower) is not a park. Add a picnic table and permanent grill, and maybe it's a park - explain it to me/reviewers.
PS It's also pretty funny when Niantic gets caught by their own crazy censor. 😂
This is great @NianticTintino-ING. As long as word spreads like wildfire so people reviewing know what meets criteria. Some of this information is brand new information for all of us & it is great GREAT news!! Great questions everyone. Much needed clarification
I'm okay with my category not being mentioned, but the submissions summary is fantastic and is part of the overarching intention I wanted. People should be putting in the effort in their nominations to mirror the effort of (most) reviewers. These clarifications are SUPERIOR than every other AMA combined because of the actual real-life situations and user-submitted examples and should be the baseline of such clarifications when they come up on this forum. Kudos, actually.
If the reward for getting something in this is one upgrade, I'm okay since I've stockpiled like 83 of them.
Thanks for this heaps. I wasn't expecting this clarification to be detailed given previous disappointments of the AMAs and the residual ad hoc clarifications that happen around these forums, but I'd like to see this reflected much better outside of the forums.
Definitely Niantic might need to review a bit in NSW and purge the generic ones down there.
As far as I can see from the answers, many of them were written that needed a story behind them. Advanced players would nominate it
However, I felt that it might be difficult to demand that much from those who are just starting out.
I believe that the October 2020 revision of the regulations was to alleviate the need for historical backgrounds such as this one.
Is this time going backwards and tightening is the purpose?
this is not a piece of art. this is a hiking trail marker. The shell/sun symbol is part of the way of St.James ...
Together with the cross I guess this one is from Santiage de Compostela close to the pilgrim cathedral?
I have to say I am both surprised and impressed with the length of the information given and I think most of it is pretty constructive, so thank you for that. I do have several criticisms of the clarifications that were given... sorry that they are long lol:
My biggest concern, and this applies to almost every clarification given, is that the submission text for these nominations was not showcased. In almost every example you provided, you stressed the importance of quality and detailed submission text, but you did not show that for any of the nominations. Submission text is often what makes or breaks a nomination, especially when dealing with the things that toe the line of what is or isn't eligible. Part of the problem that people have with determining eligibility is often that people do not know or understand what good submission text is. It is all too common to see text that says "No Pokestops nearby", "Lots of parking", or "always busy", and people think that these things are helpful elements of a nomination. While you explained some of what the submitters had to say, and where they should have said more, I think it would have been better to show the whole nomination to help give examples and showcase why you made these decisions and what could have been improved.
Regarding permanence of the painting (and the picnic tables), something that I have always advocated for reviewers to consider is not whether an object can be moved, but rather to judge the likelihood that the object will be moved. You alluded to this in your evaluation of the picnic tables (and I VERY much agree), but in your evaluation of the painting you flip-flopped on this citing there was no evidence of permanence, and I disagree. Art displays like this painting usually aren't temporary, with the big exceptions being museums and in places that sell art. This painting doesn't appear to be in a location that may be susceptible to rotating art displays (supporting photos and google maps data tend to show you this) and it isn't accompanied by any plaque or sign that might tell you about the art (or tell you the price if it is being sold), indicating to me that this painting is likely simple decoration, as opposed to a showcased piece of professional artwork. With that conclusion, its more than likely that the painting is permanent, or at least intended to be permanent. In my opinion, the leading mentality behind rejecting it should be its cultural significance or whether it is mass produced. Overall I think that the Temporary/Seasonal rejection reason is massively overused.
The company logo thing is going to open up a truckload of cans of worms for people who don't know or care about the distinction between actual artwork and anything that they can remotely call "artistic" to get a Pokestop. Pretty much any company logo is going to have some level or artisticness to it - I'm sure Niantic has at least a few employees dedicated to this type of stuff, if not entire departments. Being artistic doesn't necessarily make something a work of art - My fancy dining room table is artistic, but that doesn't make it a work of art. We are going to see a lot more of this ****.
Regarding trail markers, I agree that your examples should be acceptable, however your examples of what might make an eligible trail marker is largely unrealistic in practice. The first trail in the area? Highlights specific wildlife? A trail themed after the planets? While those would all make an excellent nomination if you can back that up, this doesn't help paint a picture of how an "average" trail marker should be rated. Take note of the fact that people seem to have submitted some very exceptional trail markers and those users were STILL unconvinced of their eligibility to the point they submitted them to this challenge. If anything, these examples you gave will continue to cause some wayfarers to gatekeep trail markers that aren't exceptionally unique. There are still many people who think that trail markers must be part of a named trail or have the name of the trail on the marker to be acceptable based on years-old invalidated guidelines, and these same users will likely take these types of eligibility qualifiers far too literally. Something I wish you would have made a specific note of is trail markers embedded into the ground, which is very common on paved trails. For some reason reviewers seems to really dislike these as compared to trail markers mounted on their own posts, even if the markers are identical.
The clarification of generic survey markers was much needed, however I don't see a world where reviewers actually follow those guidelines. Moreso, I still don't see the value in even submitting survey markers that are actually located in interesting places like mountaintops or historic sites. It seems that similar to your "submit the museum, not the painting" guidance, people should be submitting the actual site itself, not the survey marker. Would you want to send/receive a gift in Pokemon Go from "Summit of Mount Everest", or from "Survey Marker X72J5"? In your parks clarification you essentially greenlit a natural feature with park submissions, so why would a mountaintop be different in this regard? The interesting place is what people are there to see, not a tiny metal disc. Encouraging the submission of survey markers, even in interesting places, only incentivizes low quality wayspots. The exceedingly rare occurrence of the fabled "interesting" survey marker is opening the floodgates for an exponential number of low quality coal.
The specific Little Free Library example that was given was extremely poor. No one with reasonable common sense thinks that the location of that LFL is dangerous. If it was dangerous, why would someone have installed it there? Yes it is against the road, but for all we know that is a low speed residential road that dog walkers and joggers frequently and safely use as well. The road doesn't even have painted lines with is a common indicator of low speed and multi-purpose roads. It clearly doesn't have a sidewalk, so where do you think pedestrians are going? By relying on pedestrian access for that answer, you also undermined the actual clarification that was meant to revolve around the library being on Private Residential Property. I can understand why loitering around the dice example might encourage unwanted visitors but a LFL is literally installed for community use. People who install these do so with a reasonable expectation and generally a desire that people will visit them. This will not help clarifications for the majority of LFL submissions that are on PRP, because most are accessed from sidewalks or grass.
Lastly, shopping plazas... I can certainly understand why a shopping plaza could be eligible, even if it is filled with "generic businesses" like Target, but not all shopping plazas are the same, and I don't feel like your clarification considered that at all. A shopping plaza with multiple clothing/retail stores, sit-down restaurants, a nail salon, and an ice cream shop could reasonably make a great place to explore or be social, but a str1p mall that consists of a tax collector, real estate brokerage, dentists office and a florist probably isn't. Your specification here states that if multiple establishments "draw crowds" then it should be acceptable, but to me that doesn't really add up. Pretty much any business can draw crowds. If 90% of the plaza is boring, but there happens to be a Starbucks on one end and a McDonalds on the other, do the "crowds" whom are primarily using the drive through and not even leaving their cars cause the combination of McDonalds + Starbucks to suddenly be a great place to explore or be social? Because at that point it feels like you've thrown out the entire premise of what makes a good wayspot. Additionally, most of these signs are located in the middle of parking lots, generally along the road near plaza entrances where there are lots of moving cars. If we are assuming that these locations are "drawing crowds", I can only assume they are attracting lots of cars. If the LFL on the edge of a quiet suburban street is not a safe location, how can you argue in favor of something in the middle of a busy parking lot?
While I am relatively pleased with the outcome, in regards to this challenge as a whole it feels like a weird AMA with extra steps. Rather than making a “challenge” out of clarifications, why can’t Niantic pick a topic once a week on the forum and really dive into it? There is an entire section of the forum full of questions that have been asked for YEARS, and if Niantic actually responded to them I'm sure it would be even more lively. Weekly clarifications would be much more organic to the topics that are relevant as issues and trends arise and would allow us to not go months or years at a time with questions going unanswered.
It's Kent County Council. And Hampshire County Council. Please see attached image to see how big those are
They could have looked them up.
Tip 1 - Don't search for the counties of Kest or Humpshire.
Will the full text be announced on official accounts such as Twitter? Even if you can't reply, I think that many people will be able to see it and be released from the closed world.
Thank you for all the clarifications - these posts are all admittedly more in-depth than I expected, and while I feel like many of these topics have already been clarified ad-nauseam, I look forward to seeing those clarifications added to the wayfarer help pages and enforced when reviewers ignore them.
I’m unfortunately confused about some of the statements here, and I want to know whether I’m reading too much into what you’re saying or not.
[…] we decided the location is not intended to be accessed safely by pedestrians. There are no sidewalks and the grassy area looks like private property. Furthermore, any visitors to that grassy area may obstruct the entrance and it may encourage trespassing or present danger from the nearby traffic which makes us consider this ineligible.
This looks to me like a suburban area bordering on rural. It’s hard to tell from a single picture, but for the sake of discussion, can we say that as a reviewer I have looked at the local area, determined that it is largely residential with comparatively low speed limits, not very densely populated, and made a judgement call that it is unlikely to experience heavy traffic?
Are you saying that having made these judgement calls, I should consider this area unsafe for walking because there are no sidewalks? I walk through similar looking suburbs very frequently, and I personally feel like I’m able to do so safely. I might step onto the grass if I see or hear a car coming, but I generally don’t - they aren’t typically moving very fast (if they were, several of my neighbors might be yelling at them to slow down) and they tend to be watching for people like me who are walking alongside the road due to the lack of sidewalks. I frequently pass other people also out for walks, sometimes with dogs or children in tow. I usually see at least one person, often a kid, riding a bike or a scooter. It seems to me like these activities can be safely undertaken in areas like this, despite the lack of sidewalks.
I certainly understand the concern that depending on local laws, this particular nomination may encourage trespassing, but your statement sounds like it speaks much more broadly about the safety of suburban and rural roads and not just to the potential private residential property concerns with this particular nomination.
If the local laws clarified that this was on public property and not on private property, the concern over visitors obstructing the entryway or being in danger of traffic also seems unfounded to me. I am lucky to have a Gym nearby - I’ve been in it for nearly 9 days now. While I enjoy having the ability to play games without driving into town, I’ve never seen people crowd around this POI. It is very rare that more than one person is playing at this location at a given time, even when there are raids. When multiple people do show up, it never approaches the number I can encounter when raiding in more populated areas, and no one stands in the middle of the road staring at their phones, they step off to the side if they aren’t actively walking by.
Are you saying that the small number of people who might be at this POI at a given time are unsafe? Or that there are concerns about this being private property? I understand the private property concerns, but it seems like you’re saying this area is unsafe, and I don’t personally think it is.
[…] many Free Little Libraries are on a sidewalk outside of apartment buildings and are on municipal or communal property, this one is placed at the end of private property onto a street which makes it a potentially dangerous location. Similarly to the dice submission above, any visitors to this “sidewalk” or “car off-loading” area may encourage trespassing or create a dangerous traffic situation making it ineligible.
If you’ve read everything above (congrats! I know that was a bit long-winded - ready for more?) you can probably guess my concern here too!
Looking at this picture, I definitely don’t think this is a rural area - it’s solidly suburban. The street is significantly wider, with room for cars to park on either side. As is common with many suburban areas, there are no sidewalks. Nonetheless, it looks safely walkable to me, and like the type of area where I might even see a basketball hoop against the curb - occasionally with people participating in high-risk activities like playing basketball. In these types of suburban areas, I encounter even more walkers and bikers. It’s rare that they will even step off the road for cars - they’re relatively infrequent, moving comparatively slowly, and have more than enough room to safely navigate past pedestrians, parked cars, and the occasional pick-up game (they do tend to stop for those occasional cars since they can take up far more of the road).
Again, you talk not about the potential PRP concerns with this location, but about the safety concerns. I have trouble seeing them.
I can understand the concern that this particular LFL may be on PRP, but if we were to assume that in a different nomination, a reviewer could determine that the location is not PRP, it sounds like you are saying that such a library would be unsafe for pedestrians to access. It seems to me like you are saying this location is unsafe, but it looks exactly like many of the places I walk frequently, and in my opinion, quite safely.
Is your feedback for these examples about single-family residences? Or about a lack of sidewalks causing these locations not to have pedestrian access? The first concern makes sense to me. The second makes me think you have never seen a suburb or rural area.
Emmmm, am I missing something with the trail markers? The photos mostly shoe public footpath markers, but the explanation talks about markers of planets?
Just a wee slight correction, in Scotland you are allowed to walk over fields, we have right to roam, so ondont actually think those public footpath signs exist. But I do get its easier to say UK rather than Wales, England and ni lol
I 100% would have accepted that, it isn't borderline to me, even without the context it'd clearly a point of interest
These criteria updates have been very enlightening and especially useful with actual pictures of submissions to reference rather than imagined ideal scenarios. I do still have some questions though.
The idea that even parks without a sign don't actually need to have some focal object is interesting but it opens the door to what actually is a park. Particularly in that case of an apartment park, where do we draw the line between common use lawn and a "park"? Is is reasonable to have the playground, the tables, and the area as a whole, a waypoint in this little apartment complex? Also for the picnic tables, is one enough? If the park has 10 tables all in different areas then are they all equally places to socialize or is this more for collections of a few tables which allow larger groups to meet.
I really like the clarity on those "generic" trail markers as well as the expansion to what a trail marker can be. For all those saying a public footpath is equal to a USA sidewalk I would add the point that this footpath has an actual sign to use as a placemark and that makes all the difference. A regular sidewalk has no signs and so nothing to tie a waypoint to just the same as a random stretch of trail deep in the woods even though both encourage pedestrian exercise.
Still not sure how comfortable I am with this new definition of "plaza" as a culturally important collection of businesses but I will think more on it. I think this one is really going to come down on the submitter doing a good job convincing people this plaza is special.
The bit at the end of the first trail marker clarification is rather naive. "For the last trail marker, we narrowed in on the difficulty it might be to prove the actual location of this since it may or may not always be on street view. This highlights the importance of local Explorers who know the area, may have visited this area, or walked past it." The way the current local review areas are set up the chance that I have of reviewing anything I have actually seen within an hour's drive of my regular play area is nearly 0. To actually have the chance of people who had been to this location getting to review it Niantic would have to reduce the review area so small that they would be almost guaranteeing local review group abuse. It would be much better to address the fact that in cases like that trailmarker it is the duty of the submitter to convince someone who has never been there that it could exist at this location. Whether that is by using a supporting photo that shows the marker and some object visible from space, including a link to a map that shows that trail, or creating a photosphere using the streetview app so reviewers will see the marker in the review screen map.
Thank you for this criteria challenge! I had doubts about how useful it would be considering the same questions that have been clarified for years would probably still be at the top but having real visual examples helped a lot. The detailed explanation on the thinking for the different scenarios was wonderful.
I believe the biggest problem is that in England there are literally millions of footpaths signs, 90% are just right of way... they are not a trail, no story, just telling people yes that is a right of way.
In little old England there are at least 140,000 miles of footpaths or enough to walk 328 lengths of the country. Allowing all will just flood the map with literally millions of way points and 95% will not be unique, no story and stop decent and interesting things come into games.
The example Tintin showed, the reason behind the area name (Kent County Council) on just proves the council has put up a footpath sign up and you have right of way to walk in that direction, doesn't make it any more interesting.