We need a change to the system...

There is this one rule which makes faking super easy. The rule i am talking about is the "If the location cant get found, rate it 3*"

Here is an example:

Lets pretend you have to vote this one:

(any random picture from google/source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playground)

The location is in a newly build neighbourhood like this:

You cant see anything about it. So you have to rate 3*.

The POI can be completely fake, but you HAVE TO rate like this. This makes faking super easy, in special in forests. Or another example: Leutkirch (Bavaria/Germany)

In the forest in the north:

on the roads:

They all could not be found on google maps, but based on the rule, they made it trough. Guess how many of them are real... correct! None!. Abuse is soo easy. I bet if I ever try to fake a POI like this (what I would never do), I need one try and instantly got my submission accepted, because of this rule...

And guess who suffers under reporting such POI- submissons? The good, experienced wayfinders.

My suggestion would be the following rule:

"If you cant proove the location, 1* it"

This would make faking more harder and also make submitters increasing their quality with more thinking about verifiing the location (which is super easy, weblinks, streetview, objects to orientate) and in total increase the accepted/rejected rate.

Im happy with every kind of feedback on this idea.


  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,420 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think I agree with you.

    However, I would probably leave the door open if supporting information was sufficient to justify the location. For example, if someone provided a supporting photo that showed the street signs at an intersection with the submission in context I would accept that. Perhaps also something like a new park where the supporting photo showed the buildings around the park and those buildings could be verified in street view. I can also imagine cases where a municipal website showed photos and a map of the park, or something similar.

  • patsufredo-PGOpatsufredo-PGO Posts: 4,086 ✭✭✭✭✭

    From the Help section:

    Rating Location Accuracy

    • Rate 5 stars if you can find the Wayspot nomination on the map and the marker is on or within a few feet of the object’s real-world location
    • Rate 3 stars if the Wayspot nomination is likely to exist in the real-world location if obscured by trees, or if you are unsure of the real-world location
    • Rate 1 star if the Wayspot nomination cannot be found on the map

    Note: At times, you may not be able to view the Wayspot nomination in maps or street views if the real-world location of the nomination is inside a park or under a tree. For these cases, use your best judgement to decide whether the nomination could exist at the real-world location. You can use the submission photo and look for clues in the background to help you decide.

    And there's a problem. No street view really give those fakers advantage here, especially in the forests. And reviewers won't know if those fake nominations are likely to exist in the real-world location.

  • SiIverLyra-PGOSiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I feel this. There's a new neighborhood is a city in my country that's full with with playground wayspots (and occasionally basketball courts too). Always the same uninformative one line of supporting information for all of them, so it's probably the same person - or group of people - submitting them. It's a new neighborhood, so it doesn't appear on satellite view, and most of it isn't on Street View.

    But, a little section of it IS on SV, so some of these nominations CAN be checked for accuracy during the review - and those have 100% been placed in inaccurate locations so far. (These are brand new buildings so no way they were demolished for a new playground or athletic field).

    So these handful of nominations can be rejected - but there are dozens of already-approved wayspots in that neighborhood that are probably fake, with no way of checking their location without physically going there.

    But it's really just one of several abuser-friendly breaches in Wayfarer at the moment.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭
    • Rate 1 star if the Wayspot nomination cannot be found on the map

    With the first "building site" photo, if that is all there is to go on regarding the location of the POI, then you have to mark it as "1* cannot be found on the map"

    I agree it can be difficult in these situations, but unless there is a Photosphere then you have to go with 1*. The same applies to POIs submitted in wooded areas where all you can see is a solid cover of trees.

  • LukeAllStars-INGLukeAllStars-ING Posts: 4,625 Ambassador

    The playground was just an example. Youre right, that should get 1* based on its surroundings.

    In the case of the second example, I heared about locals creating fake photospheres and reporting real ones to ake sure their POIs are getting accepted. And most likely, if there is one information sign accepted, reviewers rate the others positive aswell because of them thinking "if there is one of them, there needs to be more of its kind". Really stressful.

  • rodensteiner-INGrodensteiner-ING Posts: 1,686 ✭✭✭✭✭

    maybe the wording needs to be a little different.

    there is a difference between rating a Waldlehrpfad/Forest Naturetrail that cannot be seen from above (because of the trees) (and because they are tiny) - and a playground that is newly build, and no map data available.

    Also pls dont start with the Google Street View thing as noone does this in Germany. Most of the photospheres were added solely because of creating a wayspot, and not because people wanted to do this as a hobby.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Therein lies the problem of prospective waypoints under tree cover.

    The criteria say "Rate 3 stars if the Wayspot nomination is likely to exist in the real-world location if obscured by trees, or if you are unsure of the real-world location", and on the Review page "location" question it says "Rate 3 stars if likely to exist but is obscured". Thats fine if there are some clues to the potential location such as paths marked through the woods and the submission and supporting photos have enough detail to say "it's under those trees so the pin is very probably there".

    However, if you are presented with a potential POI under a complete cover of trees with no other clues, there is no way to infer that the POI is "probably" at the pin location. It may well be "likely to exist", but where in the 10 Ha of woodlands the POI is placed is anybodies guess. In this instance you have to go with "Rate 1 star if the nomination cannot be found".

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No, if you have a reason(!) to think it's not there, it's 1*. Different type of forest or ground in the satellite view and support photo for example.

    If it's likely to exist but obscured by trees, 3*.

    We have a lot, and I mean lot of forest nominations here. These kind of made up extra criterias make ithe process even more difficult than it should be. Not all areas have a problem with fake submissions.

  • FrealafGB-PGOFrealafGB-PGO Posts: 354 ✭✭✭✭

    I have not once seen a fake submission in my area. It is not a major problem for everyone, so this is overkill.

    I have experienced a lot of incorrect rejections for location though! So making things harder to get approved is not helping all areas, only those with cheats submitting!

  • SiIverLyra-PGOSiIverLyra-PGO Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Respectfully, just because you haven't personally experienced something, doesn't mean it's not a major issue for several other people.

  • Mokorus-PGOMokorus-PGO Posts: 22 ✭✭

    You are right, but if majority thinks otherwise you won't get the agreement. So, lets keep the things the same.

  • FrealafGB-PGOFrealafGB-PGO Posts: 354 ✭✭✭✭

    What I mean is that by changing the guidance on cases where you can't tell if it's there but it seems reasonable to think it is there from vote 3* to vote to reject means that in areas with fakes, you'll get less fakes, but for everyone else who doesn't get fakes it'll make it hard/impossible to get anything that isn't on a street with up to date street view approved (which already happens to a degree anyway).

    I was not saying no areas have fakes, but I think that this is an overreaction to preventing cheats where a better solution would be to ban the cheats rather than penalising everyone else by ensuring that any waypoint that can't have street view or has trees would get rejected for location.

  • Euthanasio2-PGOEuthanasio2-PGO Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    It was really hard to get my real trail markers and real footbridges accepted even with my photospheres...even if the name of the trail was litterally on google map Seriously most people don't know how to do a photosphere and we should not punish people who approve real trail markers or footbridges because of the people you mmentioned.in your example it was kinda obvious it was a fake location because there's not a single tree that covers the playground for example. I feel like a better solution would be limiting the distance that you can put the pin while doing a nomination. Or course you should have some game as it sometimes appear at random places, but still...

  • PYLrulz-PGOPYLrulz-PGO Posts: 31 ✭✭✭

    Exactly. In some of these nominations, you have to go by the word of the submitter. Going off not trusting any submitter would make it hell for those that legitimately want to bring in wayspots to a certain area, but for whatever reason (area was under construction/not built yet when the satellite passed over for a photo, heavily forested, etc.), you're not going to get an accurate idea looking at the map/street view. Then again, that's where the reviewer (in some instances) should be doing their due diligence, click on the title of the nomination, and see what google gives you (which I've had to do for a few nominations).

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,420 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PYLrulz-PGO I wish I could thoroughly agree with you, but unfortunately we've reached the point where "assume good intentions from the submitter" has been so thoroughly abused that it no longer feels feasible.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ok - here is the situation I was talking about with submissions completely hidden by woodland - this example popped up on my review screen today. You have the whole submission, plus blow ups of all the photos.

    Going by the information the submitter has provided, there is absolutely no way you could look at the submission and the location of the pin and be confident that it is "likely to exist but is obscured" at the location shown. It does exist, that is certain, but from a location point of view you have to mark the submission as "the nomination cannot be found". That pin could be placed anywhere in that block of woodland otherwise and still be confirmed as a POI.

  • orpheus80-INGorpheus80-ING Posts: 17 ✭✭

    they've already quoted you the 1* guidelines but seeing as you keep dismissing it as 'making up guidelines' and 'spreading disinformation' its obvious theres no point discussing it with you

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How the nomination above doesn't fit the 3* criteria?

    • Rate 3 stars if the Wayspot nomination is likely to exist in the real-world location if obscured by trees, or if you are unsure of the real-world location

    There is no "except when in a thick forest, then it's a 1*" clause anywhere in the actual criteria. If there were, nothing could be accepted in these kind of forests.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    3 stars are for when the reviewer is reasonably sure that the location is correct based on context observed from the main and supporting photos, but they cannot see the actual object. 1 star is for when the reviewer cannot find the object, is not sure that the location is correct due to lack of context (no clear landmarks), or otherwise believes the object is not at the location. Given the existing issues with fake nominations in Germany and other parts of the world, it is only natural that reviewers in those regions don't trust that the location is correct unless they can see it.

  • sogNinjaman-INGsogNinjaman-ING Posts: 3,313 ✭✭✭✭✭

    " If there were, nothing could be accepted in these kind of forests."

    My point exactly. The wayspot is likely to exist - yes

    There is no way you can be confident of the location in this case, and there are no clues whatsover on the map or photos to give the reviewer even a hint that the POI is located where the pin is placed. Therefore, you have to go with "Waypoint cannot be found". There are far too many acceped POIs like this, some of which appear very convieneiently located.

  • Temporary! The weeds will overtake the marker by the time it gets approved.

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Submitter might be lying is not a valid reason to deny these kind of nominations. (Different situation if there are proven fakes in the same area.)

    Named trail exists and can be checked easily.


    General area checks. The forest type checks.

    Is it likely that the trail and marker exists in that location, yes.

    Is there a requirement in the criteria to be confident it's in that location, no.

  • TheFarix-PGOTheFarix-PGO Posts: 5,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Trust is not granted, it is earned. And there have been far too many people that have exploited the system with fake nominations to trust anything the nominator says. Thus, it is up to the nominator to prove their claims that the object is located at the place they claim, not the other way around.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,420 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I might argue that there is a difference between a not-visible submission in the middle of a woods and one in an inhabited area. The difference is that there is a much stronger incentive to create fake wayspots in an inhabited area since it can be easily used by local players. A fake trail marker probably isn't of much benefit to anyone since they have to hike to get to it. I'm sure there are a few out there, but the majority of fakes seem to be in urban/suburban areas.

    For trail markers there are often trail maps available, at least in some parts of the world. I've encountered quite a few where Google Maps even has the trails marked. If someone submits the Lakeview/Clearsprings Fall trail marker and it aligns pretty well with where those two trails meet then that's a very strong case for it even if you can't see the marker under because it's under trees. I've spent a fair bit of review time looking up trail maps to confirm a marker's location.

  • PYLrulz-PGOPYLrulz-PGO Posts: 31 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    I agree some abuse those "good intentions", but the thing is, until the rules and what not change on that, it's still the thing to do, that we have to assume good intentions from the submitter on certain submissions.

    But you do make a good point on your other post. For a trail maker or something deep in the woods or something that requires a bit of a hike, yeah, there are probably good odds the thing is legit (still have to make sure everything looks to be legit, like a trail actually exists there, or something at least could be there). For something in a neighborhood, it's best to make sure you look over everything (and clicking on the title of the submission to see what Google comes up with if it may help), since a questionable submission may very well be someone trying to get a couch stop/gym/portal/etc.

  • Kellerrys-INGKellerrys-ING Posts: 696 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There needs to be a valid reason for distrust. Fakes elsewhere is not a reason.

    I don't see a single suspicious thing in the example @sogNinjaman-ING posted in this thread. What reason there is to doubt it's not in that location?

  • 52cucumbers-ING52cucumbers-ING Posts: 225 ✭✭✭✭

    If you have a localised issue with fake wayspots like this then report them through the appropriate channels, don't take it out on submitters when you're reviewing. Also, don't advocate for everyone else in the world to start rejecting everything that doesn't have google street view coverage just because you're in a community that keeps making dishonest submissions.

    I've visited literally hundreds of obscure trail markers and other POIs like WWII resistance plaques and historical gravesites that are in the middle of nowhere with no terrain markers in sight and no way for reviewers to have been able to confirm them when they were nominated and they were all in the right place. All of them. This might be a problem in your region but it's not an universal issue.

    Again, let me emphasise, There's no reason for everyone to start 1* everything that looks like your example just because you have an issue with fake POIs placed in the middle of forests where you live.

  • FrealafGB-PGOFrealafGB-PGO Posts: 354 ✭✭✭✭

    Exactly! Cheats will find a way to cheat, you can't stop them every time unless you also block most legitimate submissions "just in case they are possibly fake".

    I would love to see some data from Niantic on the number / % of fake waypoints vs current waypoints. I bet the number of actual fakes is tiny compared to the bulk of submissions and I would think that threads like this are most likely caused by a localised issue with cheating, rather than a global issue that needs a global solution.

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