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Should Pet Waste Stations be Pokestops? They are useful, but not very attractive.
No, mass produced. 1* -> doesn't meet criteria.
Even proved by Niantic earlier.
I agree with @LukeAllStars-PGO here, these are not locations that encourage exercise, exploration or social interaction and are more often than not mass produced.
They're poop. Literally. 1*
I would flush that kind of nomination in the toilet
Of course, with enough alt accounts, you can even make pet waste stations into wayspots.
I've posted about one months ago, in a post that was certainly seen by Niantic, as of right now that wayspot still exists.
A metal waste station made in the shape of dog poop, maybe (just maybe) i could see the fun in accepting such a portal.
If it was something playful and perhaps even remotely interesting like a dog-faced dog poop station, perhaps.
Other than that, thanks environmentally!
We got a speed camera as an interactive metal sculpture with light effects as a POI. xD
Would be nice to see these responses more often. Since the criteria update in 3.1 and the reorganizing of the forums, I don't think there's been more than a half dozen replies to questions involving criteria clarifications from Niantic staff and the last AMA was back in November just after the update. That's nearly 6 months with almost no additional guidance on how to interpret parts of the eligibility criteria.
Giffard once answered the exact same thing a while ago bit the discussion got deleted. I think they are mostly only answering on things that should not be POIs to not influence some submissions. At least, thats my feeling.
Pretty sure the last time @NianticCasey-ING commented in "Criteria Clarifications" was in January; @NianticGiffard did in February about a watermark photo.
To be frank, it's my opinion that "clarifications" such as these are actively harming reviewers more than helping. Most clarifications they've given have been pretty straight forward, but reviewers take every post as "The Word of Niantic" and they aren't properly distributed to the whole reviewing community. You'd think they would actively monitor Criteria (and the defunct Guideline) Clarifications pages and actively include common questions to the "published" pages - but this Wayforum has been active for over a year, now, with no effort to provide updates. We have a 6 page discussion thread about private residential property and people arguing over definitions given years ago that we still don't really have a straight answer on.
And let's not forget the "fire hydrant clarification" made.
That's why a few time I have commented on a Niantic mod post of this type along the lines of "These things need to be recorded and collated and added to the next AMA / Wayfarer version text so we can find them". NianticCasey did once comment is was "a good idea" but thats about as far as it's progressed. Is there any way we can tag a comment so that they are easy to find and collate / extract rather than trying to find one particular post among thousands?
We tried urging Niantic to consider that and even tracked some requests.
Niantic never acknowledged the thread. Casey posted on different threads promising more criteria updates, made the (unverifiable) "Niantic cares about continuing education about reviewers" (lol so that Casey quote got purged, makes sense), and eventually just deleted all previous clarifications in favor of a "refresh," but still gives us gems like the "plaza clarification" that leads to nominations like these:
I dont know, I literally walk an extra two blocks just to get to the dog waste bin because there's no other city trash bin nearby. And I've made a few fellow doggo friends locally while doing so.
Yes they are super generic, and I mentioned this in my other comment but what I think we need to do is let you feedback to the submitter before deciding. If you are really a local expert, you should know whether that dog waste bin or that walmart is indeed a community hub. I've lived in communities where the walmart was the local community center (well the McD's in it). Other cultures may have similar cases, where some generic store or shop is actually the community hotspot. We don't want to deny these.
That being said, I know we don't yet let you, the local experts, dialogue with the submitter to say "hey, make sure you really explain why this is important", or "can you submit a better photo", or have more parameters to level-set the submission on numerous parameters (e.g. yes it's generic but it's super important to the community = accept OR it's generic and not important = reject)...
We'll be working on redoing the entire review experience so that we can each have a better dialog with each other before these decisions even get made. Ultimately, the new experience should be about accepting things because YOU KNOW their true meaning and value to your community, whether it's a rock or a one-of-a-kind sculpture. We should accept/reject things based on their category or looks alone.
So in the meantime, yes we/the community end up accepting some seemingly boring, generic, and not so thoughtful submissions (and we will tackle this downstream as well for things already submitted). But the upstream solution is the above. Don't fret too much, we are really thinking about this!
cc @NianticTintino @NianticGiffard @NianticAaron
If you are really a local expert, you should know whether that dog waste bin or that walmart is indeed a community hub. I've lived in communities where the walmart was the local community center (well the McD's in it). Other cultures may have similar cases, where some generic store or shop is actually the community hotspot. We don't want to deny these.
This may be something you want to emphasize when rewriting criteria or reworking the reviewing experience, as rejecting most chain/franchise stores that doesn't have something notable other than "being a community hub" is pretty ingrained into most reviewer's minds. Heck, even local hotspots non-chain/franchise businesses that are community hubs are infamously difficult to get approved.
Who is the local expert in this case, the submitter? The reviewer? For upgraded nominations, I may be across the country from the nomination, and I certainly don't know if it comes from a community that holds town hall meetings at the local Burger King and it's therefore a social hub for the town, and where a manufactured-by-the-thousands container for animal waste is a great, if fragrant, place to meet people. I've met people in many locations that are not even remotely eligible for a waypoint. Just because you CAN be social somewhere doesn't make it a great place to be social. We need consistent guidelines, well-defined criteria, and better metrics around how to measure "community hotspot"-ness. If we're going solely off the submitter's supporting statements only, well, we're gonna see a lotta lies.
Edited for tag: @NianticDanbocat this was a response to your comments above.
There’s a Banksy quote which applies here “you don’t go to a restaurant because you want to take a ****”
A dog bin will never ever be a “community hub” but there may be bins at actual community hubs
I get wanting to create a conversation about ‘improve this image’ or ‘clarify this text’ with a nomination before accepting, but doing it on the subject of pet waste stations? Part garbage can, part toilet…
You keep saying that local people should know if something is important to the community, but the problem is that most submissions that I (and others) review aren't local, and our nominations aren't reviewed by locals. This means submitters become responsible for explaining everything, which some do and some don't. And even when the submitter makes a strong case about the importance of a particular establishment to the community, reviewers from other parts of the country often still reject the nomination before reading the supporting statement or assume that the submitter is lying.
I agree with SPD85-PGO, getting local people/reviewers is almost impossible in some locations. And I don't even mean locals, like from nearby towns, I mean it's sometimes hard to get reviewers from the same country you're nominating in.
I live near border with 2 different countires. Without upgrade, my nominations might be reviewed by reviewers of 3 different countires, all of them have different language and a bit different culture.
I also get to review nominations from more than 3 different countries (from 3 main countries all the time, and sometimes definetly upgraded nominations from 3-4 another different countries, so I sometimes review nominations from 6-7 different countires in the same day, all of them have different languages and culture).
It's highly possible that I might not understand some of nominations I got to review (I don't mean language, I mean local culture), and could reject something that might be hyper local eligible thing from some small place in another country because I never heard about it. It can also be the same case with some of mine local nominations, they might not be known for reviewers from other countries, and rejected because of that. I always try to do some research about things I might be confused about, but not all of them can be easy to find (the super local things), and some reviewers (I think rather many) don't try to look for aby information about these nominations, they just reject them.
So saying that your local people will know if something is important to local community and will accept it is definetly not true in many locations (like many places in Europe or west Asia, where you can find a few smaller countries that have different languages and are together in the same voting cell). In bigger countries it might not be a big issue, but in smaller ones it's a problem even for not upgraded nominations.
I am a little concerned about this discussion. I agree that local experts really should be able to tell if a chain restaurant, grocery store, coffee shop, etc. is a community gathering place of import for their community or just another boring location like 100s of others. That being said, the kind of reasoning presented in this previous comment could be used to justify a dog poop bag station as a valid wayspot could be used for just about anything, like this for example:
I am certain this community has dozens, if not 100s, of lightpoles like this one. It is a location along a path and, especially when it is dark, this could be a gathering spot. But does it really promote exploration, exercise or social gathering? In my opinion, no it does not. But guidance from a Niantic saying a dog trash bin is acceptable may be enough to open the floodgates to lightpoles, utility boxes, stop signs and any other similar objects.
Also, I hope we never get to the point where we accept rocks as wayspots.
Also wanted to circle back to this comment again:
If you are really a local expert, you should know whether that dog waste bin or that walmart is indeed a community hub.
If you want local experts to judge these kinds of nominations, you'll actually have to let locals see their more hyper-local submissions. The "local area" that reviews are drawn from is hundreds of miles around you. My 'local area' is 5 different states. For a dog waste station, you're talking about people who go to that local park specifically.
Back in OPR, it was a lot easier to see hyper-local stuff. It also lead to a lot more abuse about rejecting/approving in specific territories. So the change was made to show local stuff less and far away/national stuff more. This lead to a lot less abuse (and a lot more approvals for me anyways). Now, I see something from my city and the six/seven around me in like 1 out of every 50-100 reviews, when I KNOW there are dozens of nominations in my area being approved/rejected that I never see after daily reviewing. Nominations that spent months in the queue.
Restaurants and event centers usually have websites, reviews, etc to show their importantce to people unfamiliar with them. Things like gazebos, shelters, and dog poop stations don't have that luxury. If you want locals to be able to gauge tricky cases like this, you need to show reviewers the hyper-local stuff in their review area, and find a good way to deal with the possible abuse that comes with it. Otherwise, you'll have to set some hard examples/clarification about what is generally a good or bad hyper-local spot (like we had in previous years with gazebos, athletic courts, playgrounds, etc.) so the reviewers who get mostly far-away nominations to review instead of their local stuff can review accurately and properly.
"This nomination would be good for the community as there are not many stops around here". I see stuff like this far to often in the supprting info box, which suggestes to me that a great many people submitting nominations have no understanding of the criteria at all. THe same could be said for Dog Wast Bin submissions. 1* every time. - "No eligible - not interesting".
It seems @NianticDanbocat doesn't agree with this post
Maybe not at the outset. I am hopeful that experienced reviewers will convince him otherwise, and prompt him to dream up some mechanism/score to assess community significance and other subjective eligibility criteria. It's an interesting dialogue, to be sure.
Are we all sitting comfortably, how about a little story.
A parent and their child are playing PoGo, they like to visit new places on holiday, a week ago they were in England.
Parent "Ok are we ready, we're going to go visit some new stops, catch some mons and have fun exploring this area"
P "Whats up with you"
C "Well last week we went and got lots of mons which was brilliant, but you walked me between all these post boxes, public footpath signs, and bike signs so yeah"
P "It's British culture, if they weren't important they wouldnt be in the game"
C " Really ? Are the brits that sad that red boxes and circle discs are the best of their culture, it was boring, postbox, 5 mins down the street, post box, another bit down the street a circle disc, then a blue disc with a bike and a number, then another red box and it all went round and round , i got my mons but that was it, the actual places you took me were boring boring boring"
P" Well that was then, new country new place lets go for a walk, I tell you what we'll even start in the park bound to be something there"
The Parent and child wander to the nearby park, load up their games.
P "See its better, now lets go lure up that stop thats showing over there"
C "yeah ok"
As they walk closer to the stop the parent starts to get a sinking feeling at the bottom of their stomach, they can almost feel their childs eyes on them
C "Are we seriously going here ?"
P " Err.. well"
C "Really ! You Take me to a park and the thing of interest you take me to is this ! "
P "Well, you see its err important and err brings people together"
C " YOURE TAKING ME TO A DOG WASTE BIN !"
The parent is not convinced but tries to rally "But but but it must be important to the community otherwise it wouldn't be in the game ... "
They trail off as the words they just said out loud sink into their own ears. They have just tried to justify visting a dog waste station to their child.
C " Last week red boxes, circle plastic discs, this week DOG WASTE, wow thanks for this im sool glad I visited these places, im off home to play my console, I'm not standing around dog waste for 30 minutes !"
And so ends our little story.
This, absolutely 100% this
when I started playing Niantic games one of the really amazing things is that it was built on real world locations and interesting ones. I get that some areas have literally nothing of interest so the criteria got watered down a bit however it’s now taking a dive that pretty much any **** is eligible.
While this was a funny story and fairly true, I can't imagine a kid would care if it was a post box or a castle they were seeing, they would just want the pokestop and pokemon lol. Could be worse though, originally there were adult clubs in as pokestops, imagine taking a child to that 🤣🤣🤣
That's one strangely eloquent child.
It is funny…..but
They did explore the area, boy can it be hard to get some kids out.
The parent missed a great opportunity to actually engage with the significance - there is a good nerd value in postboxes
Where were all the pubs in between …… we have 1 postbox and 9 pubs
If the parent had stuck it out following the trail markers they would have found a walk along the River Mersey and the child would have got bored looking at trees.
In all seriousness I’m not going to start submitting/approving dog poop bins unless there is something highly unusual, educational about it.