Another trail marker discussion

So I have read this argument a lot recently: "Trail markers are eligible but they are not visually unique so I reject them"

This basically means that people who argue this way reject all trail markers because pretty much all trail markers are to some extent mass produced and since obviously there is more than one trail marker per trail you can always argue that they are not "visually unique".

I'm thinking of the example Niantic once gave:

Mass produced? 100%

Not visually unique? Acoording to some reviewers very likely yes.

I think this is a misinterpretation of the criteria. If we were supposed to reject all Trail Markers then why are they listed as eligible in the first place?



  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 3,329 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They are not trail markers. But the criteria was recently been updated, so perhaps you should ask this question in the Criteria AMA.

  • Euthanasio2-PGOEuthanasio2-PGO Posts: 267 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2020

    According to the new criteria page. It seems like it is elligible, but I would like further clarification from official Niantic's employees.

  • LukeAllStars-INGLukeAllStars-ING Posts: 4,172 ✭✭✭✭✭

    for me personally, that would be too generic and more based on the pure numbers and not the trail name. I am not a real fan of those signs and would, even if they meet criteria, never put an upgrade on them.

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,010 ✭✭✭✭✭

    these are trail markers

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭

    They are bicycle path markers placed by the local government. They promote exploration and exercise. I don't see why they wouldn't be eligible.

  • DerWelfe2205-PGODerWelfe2205-PGO Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    I mean yeah up until recently that would have been true but the new criteria does not mention that the sign needs to have a name on it so I suppose this is the "grey area" Niantic has been talking about. In that case this would need to be judged in it's regional context.

  • WandHerring-PGOWandHerring-PGO Posts: 132 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2020

    In case any Niantic employee replies to this post, I would like some clarification on another use case if possible:

    Some trails and parks use distinctive signage that is uniquely identify them. Does this fulfil the "Must be a permanent physical, tangible, and identifiable place or object, or object that placemarks an area" criteria?

    To give an example:

    The Green Walk is the longest hiking and biking trail in Brussels. It's 60km long, goes across multiple parks and forests and more generally puts the walker on the path of many cultural and historical hidden gems. It is delimited by highly recognizable markers that can't be confused with any other trail in the city even though it doesn't have the trail name on it.

    By old guideline, the absence of a name makes these markers ineligible. However they do both meet the "great place for exercise" and "great place for exploration" eligibility criteria, and they're objects that unequivocally placemark an area.

    Thanks in advance!

  • garfieldfreakje-PGOgarfieldfreakje-PGO Posts: 171 ✭✭✭

    This is the same with walking knots i usually reject those because they don't have a name

    But for the picture here i took today i consider the middle one to be good because it has a name of an official path

    But i also really would like to have an answer because i am questioning it too

  • 1dwRxo80jg-PGO1dwRxo80jg-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    I'd like to ask how many meters is okay. It's 100 meters per 100 meters, or it'll be met every 500 meters.

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭

    Since there is currently no guidance that suggests otherwise, I would say 20 meters, as that is the minimum distance objects have to be from one another the get accepted into the Wayfarer database.

  • WandHerring-PGOWandHerring-PGO Posts: 132 ✭✭✭✭

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the 20m rule isn't an acceptance criteria into the Wayfarer database, but a display criteria in the games. If two POIs are accepted within 20m of each other, both will be in the database but only the first one will make into the games. It's an important distinction because while they have no value for the players, they have for Niantic and they could use them later for other purposes.

    That being said, if you submit markers every 20m, there's a case to be made they fall under the "mass-produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting" rejection criteria. I doubt Niantic will give an actual distance to avoid people trying to game the system, so it will probably left up to the community appreciation how many are really useful to delimit the trail and when they turn into clutter.

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭

    When 2 wayspots are accepted within 20 meters, only the first one gets into the database. Even when the first one gets (re)moved, the second one never appears in any games. This suggests it is not in the Wayfarer database.

    You can't just take excerpts out of criteria. You have to look at the full criteria. And the full criteria is:

    Does not meet eligibility criteria

    Does not seem to be a great place of exploration, place for exercise, or place to be social. The object is mass-produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting.

    Since this does meet eligibility criteria, it does not fall under this rejection criteria.

  • WandHerring-PGOWandHerring-PGO Posts: 132 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2020

    When 2 wayspots are accepted within 20 meters, only the first one gets into the database. Even when the first one gets (re)moved, the second one never appears in any games. This suggests it is not in the Wayfarer database.

    It really depends on how the whole thing is coded. Generally companies won't throw potentially usable data, so it's more probable that every new entry in the database gets reviewed by a scheduled job that decides in which games they should appear based on the display conditions. The fact removing a POI doesn't make another one appear would just mean Niantic doesn't think the cost of processing power necessary to determine if hidden POIs should now be displayed is worth the minor usability boost of their app.

    Since this does meet eligibility criteria, it does not fall under this rejection criteria.

    I interpret the paragraph differently. For me, the two sentences are instances of submissions not meeting eligibility criteria, they should be read as: "If a nomination does not seem to be a great place of exploration, place for exercise, or place to be social; or if an object is mass-produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting, they does not meet eligibility criteria." The first part is about places, the second about specific objects.

    So while the trail is a great place for exercise and exploration, the specific markers -which are objects- can still be considered as generic and uninteresting if there are too many of them. You can only have so many placemarks for a specific area before there's some sort of diminishing return.

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭

    You also don't see these wayspots while reviewing. And when you submit the same object again while it is at least 20 meters away from all other wayspots, it does get accepted and shown in games. If they would keep those wayspots, they should show them while looking for duplicates, and they would get duplicates in their database if they allowed accepting the same object twice. All signs point to them throwing away that data. I am not going to argue whether that's the best thing for them to do, but it is likely the thing they do.

    The title of the rejection criteria is "Does not meet eligibility criteria". There is also no "or". The examples they give are street signs and parking bollards. In the past they also mentioned lamp posts I think. These are all objects that do not meet any eligibility criteria. This specific rejection criteria is that it doesn't meet an eligibility criteria. These do, so this rejection criteria is not met.

  • WandHerring-PGOWandHerring-PGO Posts: 132 ✭✭✭✭

    That indeed makes it more likely they're throwing the data away, even if it's really dumb. In any case we're speculating about something not really relevant.

    I think we have to agree to disagree here until an official statement. For me, it makes no sense for the second sentence to be there if it's not describing objects that doesn't meet eligibility criteria, and I believe there's a point where placemarks can become too generic and too ubiquitous they begin to lose their individual cultural interest and thus falls under the "mass-produced" rejection criteria. You can only have so many signs pointing you toward a point of interest before some of them become superfluous. If I understand your point, you argue that no, as long as something meets eligibility criteria, it can have as many placemarks as it wants and they're all eligible. I don't think that's the case, but I admit I might be wrong, and only a Niantic employee can give a definitive answer.

  • 1dwRxo80jg-PGO1dwRxo80jg-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    I think walking and cycling markers, for example, means one thing to prevent the path or wandering. Is the only thing installed on that course, unlike the general road sign?

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm not sure what your asking. I think your asking what the difference is between a trail marker and a directional marker (road sign).

    A directional marker points you to a certain place. The way towards that place is the most efficient way to get to that place. Directional markers to a place have many different starting points. It's goal is to guide you to a certain place. The endpoint is the objective.

    A trail marker makes you follow a certain path. It has a starting point and an end point. The starting and end point might be same point. It's goal is to guide you along a trail. The journey is the objective.

  • 1dwRxo80jg-PGO1dwRxo80jg-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    Trailmerker is the approval of adventure, cycling marker is the basis of the movement. There is no need to compare at the same criteria.

  • Thor3381-INGThor3381-ING Posts: 204 ✭✭✭

    The plaques with only numbers on them are not legit IMHO. You can use them to navigate or create a route yourself from point A to B, but there is no fixed trail / route.

    There are websites where you can plan your own route, Which will say go to point 50, then follow direction of 61, then 73 etc.

    But someone else will follow another path

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭

    It is a network of nodes that are connected by trails (that are the same for everyone). Doesn't matter that you can select which number you go to next. You still follow the trail connecting point x with point y. You are exploring and exercising. It meets 2 criteria and only one is required. They are perfectly within the guidelines.

  • DerWelfe2205-PGODerWelfe2205-PGO Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    That's one possible interpretation but one could also argue that regardless of what route is chosen it still falls under the "great place for exercise" category.

  • Cathmuts-PGOCathmuts-PGO Posts: 12 ✭✭

    I say mass-product, you see them every where there not specail at all. If i think about the city that i live in how many of them are out there then indeed every 100m. also its sometimes not just one biking route, sometimes routs cross eathother (it's like mix and match your own route by folowing different numbers you pre select ore what you are in the mood for) this means that there are allot of signs like this. Also when i review a see signs (like the first pic) allot, i think like of the 20 i review 4 ore 5 are biking signs like this... some how i frustrates me... love to see nice and unicq stuff not those boring bike signs all the time...

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭

    They don't need to be special. They promote exercise and exploration, 2 of the 3 things Niantic wants to promote. They are perfect examples of high quality wayspots.

  • 1dwRxo80jg-PGO1dwRxo80jg-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    There are several walking courses in my city, and the courses look different from the signboard. Also, the recommendation route is also on the city's website. Is it a mass product even if a different sign is prepared every course?

  • Thor3381-INGThor3381-ING Posts: 204 ✭✭✭

    But these numbered signs don't lead anywhere. If you don't plan on advance you'll still get lost.

    In the logic that they promote exploration, any sign that directs you to any town can be seen as exploration.

    I haven't seen Tipperary, so any sign leading me there is valid as it's for exploration?

    These signs are no more or no less than generic road signs, which make part of the rejection criteria

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 305 ✭✭✭✭

    That's what separates them from road signs. They aren't about the destination, they are about the journey.

    They were installed by the local government for people to explore the area by going through beautiful paths and passing by local points of interest, by exercising either by cycling or by walking. They don't follow the most efficient way to a destination, they zigzag through an area through routes that were chosen for their peace, safety and view. It is about the purpose of the signs.

    If I were to follow a route starting at node 1, go to node 2, then to node 3, and then back to node 1. How is that any different than following the Squirrel trail, then the Fox trail, and then the Badger trail, and arrive at my starting point again? Just because the trails don't have fancy names, that doesn't mean the experience is any different.

  • 1dwRxo80jg-PGO1dwRxo80jg-PGO Posts: 40 ✭✭

    Isn't this a common road sign?

    The purpose of cycling/Woking sign and traffic signs are different.

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