Survey Markers

Recently I have seen a lot of these Survey markers get accepted in australia.

Judging by the last AMA I guess they are eligible?



  • oscarc1-INGoscarc1-ING Posts: 366 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This topic comes up weekly lol As mentioned above, they are not eligible. These types of survey markers are generic and mass-produced and are required to be within every 500m or 1000m for urban and rural respectively.

    Also it's not the whole of Australia, it's just Sydney.

  • itamernz-INGitamernz-ING Posts: 51 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2021

    That's a good link Kroutpick. I see so many for NSW and often the "Check for Duplicates" list is just survey markers that have already slipped through. It would be nice to be able to flag THEM for review.

    Ultimately my test is would you feel like a dork if someone asked you what you were doing?

    "See that tiny survey marker, it's part of a game I play" is much less cool than "see that huge mural, it's part of a game I play".

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,430 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @itamernz-ING Things that passed under earlier criteria don't get removed unless they meet an explicit rejection criterion such as blocking emergency services or being on K-12 or private residential property.

    Also, if you wear an orange safety vest you'll pretty much never get asked what you're doing. It's practically an invisibility cloak.

  • WoodWose-PGOWoodWose-PGO Posts: 125 ✭✭✭✭

    I really wish we could get some kind of official comment on these survey disks. Reviewing in Sydney, it's not unusual to get recurring chains of 3, 4, 5 or more of these. It's actually a bit tedious. Some Sydney suburbs are already full of dozens of them which have continued to make it through the system, and which perpetuates the proliferation of even more being nominated.

  • Tntnnbltn-INGTntnnbltn-ING Posts: 804 Ambassador

    I came here specifically to see if this was being discussed, as I am also continuing to see the mass submissions of Sydney/NSW survey markers in my reviewing.

    As discussed here and in the other thread mentioned, these survey markers are very common, have no individual notability and often have issues with pedestrian access and/or private residential property. Sometimes they are on the curb, which is only a few centimetres wide, with no sidewalk access, meaning you would have to stand either on someone's front lawn or on the road.

    Despite all of these reasons, they appear to continue getting accepted. I think it is now an issue that reviewers are seeing so many accepted on the duplicate list that they feel they are acceptable, when they do not meet any of the current criteria whatsoever. One person commented in the other linked thread that they initially were rejecting them, but started accepting them because they were taking a hit to their reviewer rating.

    Confounding the issue is that at least one reviewer is linking to this post from 2019 in their supporting ( and is using that to try to convince viewers that they are acceptable. This is a misrepresentation given that the new reviewing criteria was supposed to obsolete any previous AMA guidance anyway. Also, in the review I had, they were using this link to support their nomination even though it was outside a private residential property and by the text in that link would not be eligible anyway.

    Like @WoodWose-PGO, I think that without some clarification or action from Niantic we are going to end up with a situation where certain Sydney suburbs are filled with survey marker after survey marker after survey marker, decreasing the quality of the Wayspot network.

  • Tntnnbltn-INGTntnnbltn-ING Posts: 804 Ambassador

    Continuing on from my previous message, these images are to give an actual example to the sorts of nominations being made (and accepted). I thought this might be useful for non-Australian reviewers to get a better understanding of the situation.

    As the duplicate list shows, these sorts of submissions are being accepted. All of the ones I looked at here were similar to the above, where they were on the curb in front of someone's house. Also marked with a red X is the location of another submission I got for another state survey mark in the same suburb about 5 reviews after the previous.

  • oscarc1-INGoscarc1-ING Posts: 366 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tntnnbltn-ING To add to that, the original 4* guidance had the criterion: "Survey Marker if on a trail or helps you explore the location", so it wasn't simply because it is a survey marker that it would be acceptable, but one that had more significance. Those idiot submitters have twisted and cherry picked the old guidelines (that are no longer applicable anyway) to mislead reviewers into thinking they are acceptable, when in reality those types of survey marks are generic and mass produced (and required pretty much every 500m in urban areas under NSW surveying laws:

    Numerous Sydney reviewers have stated that they now accept them just for the agreements, and that is very disheartening, considering that they do not fit the criteria whatsoever. It's even worse when the three featured wayspots were these generic survey markers! It makes people think they are acceptable the more that get through.

    Also one would think that these would be centimetre perfect, given that they are used for super-accurate surveying and have their coordinates online. But no, most are way off. Such lazy submitters.

    Would be amazing if Niantic could wipe them all from the system and do a Men in Black style memory wipe on everybody that had to witness these atrocious things in the system lol

  • Tntnnbltn-INGTntnnbltn-ING Posts: 804 Ambassador

    @oscarc1-ING The fact that these appear as featured Wayspots for the Sydney area, like you said, is convincing people that these are appropriate Wayspots when that is not the case.

    Due to the way the Hilbert curve operates through Sydney's L6 s2 cell, accepted nominations towards the north west will be featured. (My post describing the Featured Wayspot selection algorithm is here:

    This is why players in the Sydney metro area and south to Wollongong see featured Wayspots from places like Lithgow.

    Lithgow is one of the areas where these survey markers are being submitted on mass and accepted. I counted 33 state survey marker portals in Lithgow, making up over 10% of the total number of portals in the town. In the image below, every purple pin is a state survey marker that has been accepted.

    Then, other people see these state survey markers from Lithgow as featured, and it gives them the impression that they should accept these sorts of submissions, if only to prevent getting a ratings hit from disagreeing with the masses.

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here are the current featured nominations in Sydney:

    Yes, because they are featured wayspots, most people in Sydney would rather just accept them than risk the hit on their Wayfaring status. "Oh look, if Lithgow is getting them in, maybe I should try them or vote accordingly".

    If this is such a big problem, then let Niantic change the way they select featured wayspots rather than relying on the Hilbert Curve. Also, the Wayfarer forum is an absolute minority. What you might notice is that the main driver and supporter for these survey markers is actually the Global Wayfarers Facebook group. They spearhead and encourage nominations and are extremely supportive of survey markers. And for as long as Niantic remains silent, nothing will happen.

    Also a quote from NianticBrian:

    "An ideal Portal Scan includes the Portal and some of the surrounding area, and if the Portal is physically small, like a bench plaque or survey marker, it's even more useful. For example, starting the Portal Scan after coming within range..."

    Frankly, the actual proper survey markers (that are literal trig points) that are difficult to get to are really of no interest to the majority of players because they're up hills and seemingly don't meet criteria, but the nice-looking plates on the ground are THE MOST safest nominations to get through instead.

    You're dealing with the couple dozen players who are doing what they can to optimise their area for more stops, "cabals" that people like to call, and considering the outrageous rejections I've mentioned in the past (like a playground for explicit content), these are a smaller evil. So like what Oscar has said, I'm probably one reviewer who just lets these slide nowadays with a neutral stance towards them. Used to be all skipped, until it proved to be much too overwhelming.

    If they really aren't eligible, they should be easy to remove, que?

  • Tntnnbltn-INGTntnnbltn-ING Posts: 804 Ambassador

    Given that Sydney urban markers need to be within 500 metres of each other (and as the duplicate map of Kariong showed, can even be as close as 100 metres), I wondered how dense the network of state survey markers would be compared to bus stops and post boxes.

    And then, instead of wondering, I found out, using Kariong as a sample data set.

    Post boxes: 3

    Bus stops (not stations — just individual stops): ~25

    Survey markers (via NSWSurveyMark app): ~100

    So even if you were to accept *every single* mail box and bus stop, it would still only be a quarter of the number of state survey marks in that suburb.

    And, once again, these survey markers are being actively submitted and accepted in this very suburb.

    The sheet quantity of submittable candidates in and of itself should warrant a review (by Niantic) of whether this is what they want for their POI database.

  • thegame1745-INGthegame1745-ING Posts: 131 ✭✭✭

    easy to remove... sadly not. the requirements for acceptance and removal are different. being a crappy submission sadly isn't a reason for removal. (it used to be, but they removed this report option)

  • Hikaru588-INGHikaru588-ING Posts: 531 ✭✭✭✭

    These survey marker discs in the Sydney cell will likely continue to be submitted and accepted until Niantic specifically rules against them.

    As they seem to be easily accepted I tend to see them nominated by PoGo players as a means of filling in empty cells to dratiscally increase the number of stops and gyms.

    I've seen some people whose nomination queue is almost completely full of these survey discs.

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Indeed. Because of this, I am constantly reminding myself of a floodway warning sign in Epping, and not just one... two... but THREE FIRE HYDRANT BOOSTERS all next to each other.

    Many an attempt to remove these, but... sexy footbridges on the other hand...

  • Tntnnbltn-INGTntnnbltn-ING Posts: 804 Ambassador

    Okay so here is an explicit example of someone using the fact that these survey markers appear as featured Wayspots in an attempt to influence reviewers in the supporting information, highlighting the issues raised by @oscarc1-ING and @HaramDingo-ING.

  • Amsterdanh-PGOAmsterdanh-PGO Posts: 3 ✭✭

    So my view on these is pretty nuetral. I happen to live in a suburb with very few POI's at least in my part, there are some that would qualify under rules but sit in the "badlands cells". I tend to pass them at a 3 star for should it be and description and a 1 star for cultural and uniqueness.

    With that said I live Ina wasteland of pokestops and gyms and therefore in that situation I see these as more valid as points for the game. I walk 10+ KMs a day which is fine and lets me tackle different spots but there's no way my children could manage the walk to the nearest stops.

  • Snowroo-PGOSnowroo-PGO Posts: 10 ✭✭

    @Amsterdanh-PGO see I wondered if a cap on how many could be accepted in an area. Though bus stops and spray painted road markings are also getting through. Niantic needs to overhaul the process so it’s fairer for all players.

  • zestypidgey-PGOzestypidgey-PGO Posts: 5 ✭✭

    seems like these are like stobbie pole murals in south australia, there are so many of them

  • itamernz-INGitamernz-ING Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    This is getting depressing. About 50% of my NSW reviews are survey markers and clearly lots are getting approved. These towns much have more going on than this? They can't really be this boring?

  • msr82-INGmsr82-ING Posts: 13 ✭✭

    There are a heap coming up to vote for in Hobart now also. I keep voting them down as they are so generic and thousands of markers in every town but if one gets through I can see a flood of them getting through. I want to help the community by voting but now I am tempted not to review anything for a while as I don't want it to affect my rating.

  • itamernz-INGitamernz-ING Posts: 51 ✭✭✭

    They don't want us giving canned answers but I'm running out of ways to explain why these shouldn't be approved.

    I've got my onyx badge so I'm really just reviewing to help make the game better and to earn upgrades. I've just had 2 solid nominations rejected (info board, heritage building, one local & I can resubmit, one that I will probably never revisit) but I'm seeing these survey markers go through. I think I'm out of patience...

  • msr82-INGmsr82-ING Posts: 13 ✭✭

    This is the reason they are given. Think I have rejected 10 today due to being mass produced and generic but this is getting real tedious when they pop up every 5 reviews

  • KetaSkooter-INGKetaSkooter-ING Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    Your community will just have to trudge through it since the damage has been done, submitters received their feed back that these will pass and they'll keep submitting until it changes to the opposite for a period of time. Just try to get your local group to all be on the same page that these do not mark good places to explore and the submitters will eventually get the message.

  • KetaSkooter-INGKetaSkooter-ING Posts: 177 ✭✭✭

    While comical, the mission tool doesn't handle results over 1k very well. The real number around Sydney is close to 1k not 13k

  • Roli112-PGORoli112-PGO Posts: 2,230 Ambassador

    My apologies if the number is wrong... I hadnt realized that, i tried playing around with it more and think its closer to 2,000 in that region. get around 900 south of one point, and 800 north of a point... Probably somewhere in between

  • KetaSkooter-INGKetaSkooter-ING Posts: 177 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2021

    It for sure gives a snap shot of the situation. I'm sure this is only a small percentage of all the possible "state survey" markers in your area. Its a mirror of the UK's "footpath" sign situation, Its estimated there's more "footpath" signs than sq kms in the UK, though that community has already decided to mass deny the footpath signs.

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