Natural Features

Forgive me if this has been hashed out in another post but I couldn't seem to find a post after the November Criteria update. I originally drafted this regarding viewpoint, Scenic viewpoint, observation point, viewing point, vista point, scenic overlook, etc. but after everything was said and done, I think my question applies to all natural features.

In the last few days, I noticed a Reddit post looking for feedback on a submission. I think several good points were made but I think the topic got a little too heated over there to have a meaningful discussion, so I stayed out of it. Link to the post:  

People that were in support of the rejection (FYI, I'm currently one of them) responded with things like "Natural features aren't an eligible waypoint" and "Benches without a plaque commemorating a notable figure are a no go". (I agree with the latter, generic mass-produced object, but disagree with the former, November Criteria update.)

People that believed that it should have been accepted countered with the fact that Natural features were removed from Rejection Criteria with the November Criteria update and that a man-made object, in this case, a bench, could be used to “anchor” the overlook. I’m paraphrasing from multiple users here but a counter-argument was made that the bench is the object that you go to observe the scene of the overlook and is, therefore, a part of the POI. 'They' went on to state that this meets all three of the eligibility criteria stating "A great scenic viewpoint would bring people to the location. Bench for social gatherings and pedestrian access to enjoy the location. Exploration of enjoying a nice scenic viewpoint in a quiet and peaceful place. Exercise to get to the location." (the usage of Exercise is a little bit of a stretch).

Interestingly enough no one over there bothered to invoke the November AMA

Where the topic of natural feature eligibility was brought up, "When considering these, think about whether there’s a specific location you can direct people to: a sign, an informational board, etc.". I feel like the usage of etcetera is not ambiguous here, but I could be wrong.

Finally, one Reddit user brought up that the criteria across the complete Wayfarer product seem to be talking out of both sides of its mouth. That the criteria pages were left ambiguous to give submitters the latitude to submit things like this while the reviewer panel’s one-star reason for natural features only permits signboards, note this is even slightly more restrictive than the AMA and is intentionally non-ambiguous.

Oof that ended up more long-winded than I intended but here is my Criteria Clarification question:

Are there cases where the usages of a non-sign generic man-made object are acceptable to direct people to a natural feature to “anchor” a POI?

Non-Criteria questions (I don’t expect an answer but I’m still putting them down):

Is the one-star text in the reviewer panel currently misaligned with the criteria after the November Criteria update?

Are there any plans to roll the AMA text into the criteria page? Even with access to multiple sources the folks in that Reddit thread seemed to be all over the place.


  • pkmnsearch2-PGOpkmnsearch2-PGO Posts: 249 ✭✭✭

    Are there cases where the usages of a non-sign generic man-made object are acceptable to direct people to a natural feature to “anchor” a POI?

    my mind is doing like a reverse engineering lol

    If we have guidelines for PLACEMARKERS OF LARGE AREAS (which states to put the pin at the entrance, a sign or other placemarker) then i assume that if the POI occupies a much smaller area and that small area intrinsically shows that the POI is the POI (like your scienic viewpoint, a picnic area, playground, water fountain....)

    then the POI itself is the "anchor".

    what differeantes that place/scenic viewpoint from other random place that can also be used as a viewpoint are the benches (that appear to permanent since it shows in SV)

  • KetaSkooter-INGKetaSkooter-ING Posts: 160 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2021

    The main example of this is trail markers and survey markers at least as how Niantic originally explained them as adventure destinations. Trail markers and survey markers are uninteresting usually tiny objects that you'd usually ignore. Their location makes them good waypoints, Reveiwers generally have wrapped their head around this as is evident by how hard it is for people to get trail markers on roads approved. Footbridges were also mentioned last year to be valid through some AMA from my understanding. Piers could also be considered in this group.

    The object that is the waypoint location is uninteresting and normally ineligible but what you can see or experience makes it valid.

    There was a Reddit thread yesterday where the OP made an argument that a trash can along a trail is a valid waypoint because the location is a good location.

    Very much ended the same way as your example with two sides of the debate being unhelpful.

    My Area has several examples of benches or memorial plaques approved at viewpoints. I might find some later and post some pictures.

    Post edited by KetaSkooter-ING on
  • KetaSkooter-INGKetaSkooter-ING Posts: 160 ✭✭✭

    Some examples of normally ineligible objects

  • PappaRubix-PGOPappaRubix-PGO Posts: 5 ✭✭

    One must keep separate what is the waypoint and what is the placemarker. When nominating a soccerfield, the placemarker can be one of the corners. It's a tangible place to direct players to.

    HHowever, you can't nominate all four corners as wayspots. The wayspot is the soccer field, and it can have only one placemarker.

    Even forrests are eligible, but a forrest can have only one placemarker.

    I think it's wise to specify what you are submitting in the supporting information on why you think it should be a wayspot. Still you risk that lazy reviewers don't read what you wrote and just see a bench and rejects it.

  • Diskrepansi-INGDiskrepansi-ING Posts: 65 ✭✭✭

    I cannot find information around Natural Features anymore in the Criteria pages. Wayfinder 3.1 guidelines seemed to allow for natural features without signboard so long as a designated wayspot can be obviously determined; example: a lake has an entire perimeter, so needs to have a marker/sign as a POI, but a waterfall is typically just at the "one location" so was eligible as a wayspot without marker/sign required, so long as you could walk up to it.

    However, as indicated, I cannot locate such guidance anymore - either to reject or allow.

  • horrr0r-PGOhorrr0r-PGO Posts: 4 ✭✭

    I had a submission for a boat launch slip of a marina get rejected due to being a “natural feature” lol…

Sign In or Register to comment.