Hiking trails/trailmarkers - whats eligeble?

I heared a lot of different opinions about this topic. I am still unsure whats exactly eligeble and what should get rejected. Here are my examples:

1 A marker for an alternative route

2 A post with a name of a trail and an arrow

3 A simple sign saying "dog cemetery"

4 A Marker of a hiking trail

5 a simple post with two symbols on it

6 a street sign with an extra marker to a community

7 A typical crossing with a little card

8 Biking trails marked with numbers

9 A stone with an engraved arrow and a Trailname

10 A marker to two near villages



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

    Most of them are perfectly fine, but I am not sure about the dog cemetery thing? Is it a real thing or just someone that burried his dog there? Also you might have a hard time with the rock. I could see reviewers thinking you might attempt at a fake. Is there a source that you can provide to prove they are legitimate marker?

    For the cycling road sign, it's up for debate. People in my area think they are perfectly fine and they get easily accepted, but it seems like not everyone agree.

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    As I read the eligibility criteria, trails are possible candidates for good nominations. Trail markers aren't, but they can be used to pinpoint a trail on the map (often the only man-made objects on a trail).

    This would mean that every trail should only be marked by one single object, all others should be marked as duplicates. When evaluating these things I ask myself:

    1) Is it the first object to be nominated for this trail? If the answer is yes, then it's eligible and should be accepted for being a great place to exercise and to explore. If the answer here is no, it's a duplicate and should be rejected.

    2) Does the title refer to the trail and not the single marker? Again, trails are eligible, general markers arent.

    3) Are there visible landmarks along the trail that would make a better nomination? This isn't always clear, when in doubt, accept. For a trail towards some old castle the trail heads (start of the trail and the castle itself) would probably be better.

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    As I said, trails are in the eligibility criteria, markers aren't. Right now people are using this to add every single marker they can find on a trail, which I presume isn't what Niantic intended.

    @TWVer-ING I do agree that one single marker for a trail maybe is a bit rigid (specially on long trails) but if you read your own quotes well, it says:

    • "there would still be some sort of visual indicator for the Wayspot" (singular)
    • "you'd want to direct players to a safe location somewhere along that trail" (singular)

    As you stated correctly before 3.1 trails needed to have a name to be eligible, now they don't so more trails can be considered. That's what I think they mean by more inclusive.

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    The new criteria do allow more wayspots now: trails without a name were impossible to nominate, now they are eligible. Looks like we read this differently.

    Now as you correctly state: the marker must represent the trail. What should happen with every other nomination where multiple thing represent the same object? Right, you mark it as a duplicate.

    Other examples:

    • A playground where the slide already is a waystop --> the swing represents the same object and is a duplicate
    • A cathedral where the bell tower is a waystop --> the altar represents the same object and is a duplicate
    • A soccer field where 1 goal is a waystop --> ...

    I think you get the point. What I would do is look for other interesting objects along the trail and try to nominate those.

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    Long trails: I totally agree with you. (and I don't think they would show up on the duplicates map anyway).

    The problem is I find a lot of extreme cases in my area. One was for an activity route for elderly people (approximately 1km walk in a loop) having 16 trail markers nominated... so to me that's wasting reviewer's time, specially in an urban neighbourhood where there's many interesting places that would be so much more eligible.

    I would still like to see the trail name (or just walking trail) in the title of the wayspot. Some creativity there instead of "trail marker insert random number" would be nice. Titles should show what the marker represents. The marker is a representation so it should not be named in the title imho.

  • PkmnTrainerJ-INGPkmnTrainerJ-ING Posts: 5,066 Ambassador

    I’m honestly not too sure. I tend to go with if it’s a named trailmarker for a route I can find with a quick online search, it’s okay.

    If it’s a public footpath marker that’s not part of an actual trail, then no.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’m thinking niantic will definitely have to come back to this as its been a hot topic for a while. Personally I think people are reading way to into the grammar and nitpicking it to the point it doesn’t mean what they said right from the start. The new criteria is much more inclusive than before meaning more will fall under the new criteria as eligible.

    to me when they say “a safe location” they arent saying you have to pick one trail marker in the whole trail they are literally just saying “choose a safe location”

    and using the point where they say “wayspot” wouldnt necessarily mean you can only have one as in the bottom of the text they use plural when referring to “this would apply to trail markers...”

    The new criteria lists hiking trails and biking trails as eligible examples under a great place for exercise. Are there any additional requirements for these locations to be eligible (e.g. survey markers, trail signs or other man-made objects)? Do they need to be named trails or paths?

    • While this criteria is much more inclusive than before, there would still need to be some sort of visual indicator of the Wayspot. This is because you're dropping a pin on the map and since trails are long and linear, you'd want to direct players to a safe location somewhere along that trail that's easy to find and safe to access. This would apply to trail markers, survey markers, trail signs, etc. 

    With all that being said for what you listed I’d probably vote the following (keep in mind im assuming these have safe pedestrian access and if not i would reject)

    1. yes (as long as you can show the route splits into a “Y” as in take left or right)
    2. yes trail marker with a name would be easy to identify
    3. no would fall under same criteria as other cemeteries
    4. yes: it has a name look very permanent
    5. For this one i would want to see more information to show it belongs to a trail and not some random sign, so if it had proof it fell under the trail it may be passed but if others around it are the same and have passed i may reject based on it being unique to its surrounding area (overpopulated)
    6. No : the community sign isnt visually unique in its own way so I would say. Also it isnt marking a trail but more a directional sign to a town
    7. these look like bike routes and niantic have said they qualify in november ama but id want to see pedestrian access for it atleast. Niantic should come in to clarrify if biking routes do meet the criteria or not because to me they really dont
    8. much like 7 but without any names on the signs so would need proof it belongs to a trail
    9. this would be hard to get passed simply because its a rock, would need proof because they look like symbols. I can see it being rejected as natural feature, temporary display though
    10. this looks more like a community sign of sorts but looks unique in its own way. But i wouldnt call it a trail marker unless it is actually shown to be part of a trail

    @LukeAllStars-PGO I’m hoping just as much as everyone else that someone from niantic can come in and either lay down a bit more clear guidelines to this as they have been nitpicked beyond belief even when they want a more inclusive criteria. It seems many wayfairers would like it to be very specific to rule out any kind of judgement call. This is just how I interpret the november ama answer

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

    This is exactly what I was hoping for, Thank you!

    To no. 9: The WWW stands for WalddörferWanderWege. A gigantic net of paths to different villages and nice hiking trails. I see a lot of them near my playing area. Thats the one I submitted and which I just wanted to check out the opinion of the community on it.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had a feeling you wanted some input on those specific examples, and they give a wide variety of what could be submitted which is good for this discussion as a whole.

    with that information it would help make it more acceptable in my eyes. You would just have to get over the hurdle of it being a rock and people will most likely jump to quick conclusions unfortunately.

    I wish @NianticCasey-ING or any of the staff can maybe add clarification maybe in the next ama even to give them time to discuss and formulate there answers to be as clear and precise for everyone involved. As it seems there is so much confusion on this topic

    hope this helps you though :)

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

    Thats true. Trailmarkers are very anoying to get approved. Like a 30:70 chance maybe. Especially annoying in no priority areas.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ive been able to get a few trail markers that were named to be approved prior to they even being named in an ama so I never realised how hard it is in some places to get these passed as they seem perfect for any niantic platform to promote exercise and walking which is what the games were originally meant to be. to me the ama is pretty clear but we shall see!

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    This should tell you the community generally feels negative about trail markers as wayspots... but I do agree that - as is said before - any trail needs a physical representation to be marked.

    I'm just worried that a broad interpretetation of the criteria just achieves the opposite of what was intended: when PoGo players find a group of wayspots together, they tend to stay at the location much longer making them move even less. So if you want people to move, there needs to be enough distance between the nominations. Maybe a guideline about this would be useful.

    Also we have to take in account that PoGo isn't the only game that relies on these nominations. Too many portals close together in Ingress make the game more difficult to play as I understand (though I'm not an expert in this...). A lot of rants about this to be found in the general discussion.

    (By the way guys: thanks for the coutreous debate. Even if we disagree. ;-) )

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The community doesn't get to make the guidelines though, Niantic does. Trail markers are not grey area.

    If you are worried about too many wayspots will get people to move less, trail markers are not going to achieve that. A town center/market square is way better sooted for that. With the spacing algorithms, there will never be more than 4 pokestops within range. When they are all spun, you have to either wait 5 minutes, or walk to some other place. Sitting in one place is okay when you can grab a coffee while doing it, but it is boring just sitting in 1 place in the woods. It takes even longer for Pokémon to respawn (1 hour), so unless you use premium items (Lures), you'll run out of things to do fast when not moving around.

    I sometimes get the idea, that some local people don't like trail markers, because many of them cannot be reached by car. Most local Ingress players here drive around 50 km's away from here to make large fields. I never understood why you can make links over 10 km in a game that is supposed to encourage walking. Many portals can make the game more difficult to play, because links between those portals make it harder to create those large fields, as there are more links that you have to sever first.

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    I would need a good argumentation in the support text, but without the text I'd say the markers on their own arent eligible because they are generic, mass-produced object (Exception: 6, 9 and 10 I'd let pass).

    If the title and description refers to the walking trail and all other acceptance criteria are met (and there's no reason to reject), I would accept the nomination of 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10. If a small walking trail already has multiple other markers nominated, I'd mark them as duplicates though.

  • Xmacke7x-INGXmacke7x-ING Posts: 220 ✭✭✭✭

    I do not geht why only one trail marker for a trail should be accepted. The trail markers I know show the direction at a junction. The next trail marker ia at the next junction. Why should not both be eliglbe?

    The one important thing is that the marker clearly represents a trail. This means that there needs to be a name, a code, a logo or something similar at the marker

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1: Looks like an alternative route to a place. I don't see what criteria that would meet.

    2: Trail marker: eligible

    3: Dog cemetery: not eligible

    4: Trail marker: eligible

    5: Not sure, more context is needed

    6: Looks like a directional sign. I don't see what criteria that would meet.

    7: Trail marker: eligible

    8: Trail marker: eligible

    9: Not sure, more context is needed

    10: Not sure, more context is needed

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    Well, nobody doubts the eligibility of those trail markers. Since they're clearly representing a trail, it makes them all eligable under the criterium "great place to exercise". The question however is: do any rejection criteria apply? People may argue that:

    • A second trail marker is a duplicate because they both refer to the same object (a trail) or because they look exactly the same as the next marker.
    • Trail markers are generic objects, specially if there is no ditinction to be made between the different markers along the track.
    • The rejection criterium "not interesting" also comes to mind when evaluating those markers, but I don't think it should be used for exercise related objects (they don't have the purpose of being interesting).
    • The title or description of the post should refer to the trail, the marker itself isn't the object causing you to exercise. (You don't go to a walking trail just to see the marker, the trail should be a central part of the argumentation).

    Since a lot of those arguments are very subjective it's logical there's a big difference between raters and some markers will pass while others won't.

    Now whether or not they're eligible, acceptable or rejectable, I still think they're boring and an eazy but lazy solution for marking a spot. We should look for alternatives instead: beautiful marked view points, interesting resting places with benches, a picnicplace, etc. are all much more eligible than a trail marker imho. Those should be the objects nominated first so they don't clog up the map and block interesting wayspots from appearing.

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Again: "As long as the marker represents a trail it should be accepted." There is no "if there is another one nearby, mark as a duplicate". There is no "if there is another one nearby, reject for being mass-produced/generic". There is no room for interpretation here. They aren't even talking about being eligible, they are talking about "should be accepted". "As long as the marker represents a trail it should be accepted."

    I agree with you that a nominator should look for more interesting objects first. If a trail marker is next to a church or castle, I would nominate the church or castle first. But that is a choice the nominator must make. There is no rejection criteria "a more interesting object is nearby that should be nominated first".

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    And again, when a rejection criterium is applicable, you reject the nomination. The process should be:

    As I said before, some rejection criteria can be argued (mass-produces, not interesting, duplicate, description of the trail missing,...) so I'm not surprised many markers get rejected.

  • NeohBel-PGONeohBel-PGO Posts: 52 ✭✭

    As my flowchart says: A marker is eligible AND acceptable. I'm not argueing that. What I'm saying is that the rejection criteria undo every other criterium above, no matter if the object is accepted in the previous phase.

    Take the example of a basketballfield on school grounds:

    1. It is eligible (great place to exercise)
    2. It is acceptable (physically there, the hoop is a fixed object that in its context is quite unique,...)
    3. Although the above two steps were ok, you'd still give it 1* because of the rejection criterium "on school grounds".

    Analogy with a trail marker as an object:

    1. It is eligible (a hiking trail great place to exercise)
    2. It is acceptable (physically there, the marker is a fixed object,...)
    3. It is still rejected because  "The object is mass-produced, generic, or not visually unique or interesting." All three statements of this exclusion criterium are true: it is mass produced because there are hundreds of these markers around, they are generic (the same markers are found all around the country) and therefore they are usually not visually unique and not visually interesting (Good point @Kellerrys-ING )

    If the object is the trail:

    1. It is eligible (a hiking trail great place to exercise)
    2. It is acceptable (physically there, the marker is a fixed object,...)
    3. It is not rejected if it's the first marker to be placed on the object. It is a duplicate if another marker already exists in the direct vicinity.

    Maybe Niantic should specify what that direct vicinity is so we come to an agreement. 😁

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Okay, so we were talking semantics here, and the only point we disagree on is indeed what the minimal required distance is between them. I can live with that.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Duplicate should be used if the object is infact already been a poi. If there is an object within its direct vicinity visually unique would be the factor as in “can you determine within the surroundings of the poi that you are at the correct one. 9/10 most people can look and find the poi they are searching for and thats what that criteria is really meant for.

    I would argue that most trail markers are not produced in the hundreds as you claim. If they have a specific name on it ;unless that trail like in germany there are few trails that are very long; there maybe i’d say 10-15 in existence. Which would not be massed produced in that context. even then I believe when niantic comes out to say “this item is eligible for these reasons” they are saying do not reject under mass produced. They will probably have to address that issue as it seems many reviewers jump to that to reject perfectly fine trail markers.

    i also believe “reviewer fatigue” may come into factor as well. If a reviewer reviews for a couple hours and they get many trail markers and signs it will give the larger appearance these are massed produced even if they are actually visually different and are in different parts of a city/county or town.

    simple fact is a trail marker represents the trail so it should fall under your second scenario. When has a trail marker never represented the trail itself? If we to nominate the trail you would see a lot of pictures of a dirt path or a paved sidewalk which are both not really accepted as poi’s. The trail marker is the physical representation of the trail itself and if it is in a spot with safe pedestrian access it should be accepted.

  • Jtronmoore-PGOJtronmoore-PGO Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To put in perspective these are the ones I was able to actually get passed

    this one I’ve gotten multiple to pass, they are named all on a path and each trail marker which is basically what they are are very far apart so duplicates will not matter. I have 3 exactly the same passed in different areas

    the green sign being the head of the trail really goes over the ground rules

    the one with the red cap is more of a representation of the people who helped in town to maintain/develop the trail showing more community involvement

    The thing with these signs is that if you space them accordingly the green sign and the actually trail sign are about 50m apart but obviously different. The trail signs the two are about 4km apart than there was another half way through town. So in my mind if they are side by side yes they may not be visually unique but rate accordingly. I wouldnt rate down on these nominations because of a massed produced reason as usually if something is named eligible by niantic it can basically bypass that rejection criteria. I know people used to use that same reason to reject other things as well, playgrounds, gazebos and park signs come to mind.

    the interesting aspect for a rejection criteria is super subjective and really open to interpretation as one person may find interest in knowing where the trail sign is because they are out for a hike, but if you see a trail marker with no name lets say or one with a name and its very bland. You may say its not interesting because the image really isnt but to the people using such trails they are very high interest points. Basically so you do not get lost

    Also if something is missing a description that isnt a cause to reject it. You actually don’t really need a description (i believe it even says that when you nominate through pokemon go) but obviously it can help.

  • PORT2014-INGPORT2014-ING Posts: 88 ✭✭✭

    Commendable that you stuck with the "Millenium" spelling in the title of (1) and (3). I'd have been tempted to knocked a mark off your nomination purely because the authority had mis-spelled. (Title would have got 5* though!). In (1) I'd have had to zoom right in to see if it looked like a fake sign temporarily put over a mass produced warning.

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