PSA: "hidden" wayspots in Ingress are not brought into game
Pokemon players have long been aware of one idiosyncrasy of the wayspot database -- that of "hidden" wayspots. Some wayspots were accepted into the database, but were not brought into the game due to "proximity" rules (ie. that they were too close to another wayspot already in-game, or that other wayspot occupies the same S2 cell). But if that "blocking" wayspot were moved or removed, then the hidden one is able to be brought into the game automatically.
However, this does not happen in Ingress. A wayspot can be accepted by Wayfarer reviewers but, being within 20m of another in-game portal, we instead only get a form letter stating (quote), "Your Portal submission has been reviewed and the community agrees that it meets the Candidate Portal criteria. However, we are unable to bring it online at this time since this candidate is too close to an existing Portal."
Unfortunately, @NianticCasey-ING, what happens when the "blocking" portal gets removed is ... nothing. The new valid wayspot remains in the database, but is not immediately brought into Ingress. This just happened today, when a "blocking" portal was removed from Ingress (the POI itself had been physically removed), and a previously-approved wayspot did NOT come in in its place, despite there no longer being any other portal within 20m.
Yet, these invisible wayspots are still in the database proper. This was proven in the initial POI-"seeding" phase of the newest Harry Potter game. There is a park in my city, where one of these "hidden" wayspots was brought into Wizards Unite, with instead the "blocking" portal left out of HPWU.
There will certainly be a (relatively) great many of these "hidden" wayspots that ought to have been pulled out of the ether and into Ingress. It would be very unfortunate if, in order to bring them into the game, it would require a fresh new resubmission. That has two fairly big downsides:
- Wayfarer is fickle with their approvals. Even with identical information, down to the same title, description, supporting text, and photos, a new wayspot submission is easily rejected.
- Even if accepted again, there would now be TWO copies of the wayspot in the database. Normally, changes made in one game (titles, pictures, etc) gets reflected in the others (eventually, at least on the part of the pictures, umm lol). But, as with the "hidden" wayspot I have above that is currently exclusive to Harry Potter, now it's possible for both wayspots to have wildly different titles and descriptions and so on.
I know that the backend Wayfarer team is currently working to improve the issues caused by moved/removed wayspots and their impact in "overloading" S2 cells for Pokemon Go. However, it should still be in all's best interests to also allow "hidden" wayspots to automatically appear in Ingress. Players would be more inclined to help maintain the database's integrity if they knew that a previously-approved wayspot could appear when a now-invalid POI is removed.