Glossary for Common Wayfarer Terms

3PP - Third Party Photo. This is one of the big things to avoid when nominating and to check for when reviewing. Photos submitted for wayspots must be taken by the nominator and cannot be pulled from other websites or google streetview.

Ambassador - Members of the community selected by Niantic to interface with Niantic and the community to raise issues, provide updates, and generally be helpful, knowledgeable, and reliable points of contact. Though Ambassadors (sometimes shortened to ambos) are not Niantic employees, they are moderators in this forum and will show up with a “Staff” designation. Ambassadors provide moderation support to the primary forum Admins who are Niantic employees.

Abuse - Wayfarer Abuse takes many forms: deliberately faking nominations, deliberately misplacing nominations, coordinated voting to accept nominations that do not meet Wayfarer criteria, falsifying reports to have valid POI removed for any reason (most commonly for game advantage), using automated software to vote on your behalf, etc.

Abuse ladder - A system of punishment set up to punish abusers proportionally to the offense they commit. Offences could include falsifying wayspots that do not exist, or intentionally including incorrect information such as locations that are not accurate.

Abuse report - A situation where an explorer is reporting to Niantic an abusive situation on Niantic map or within the Wayfarer community. A link to Abuse Reporting is provided along the top of all forum pages.

Agreement - Any time your review for a nomination matches the final community review result. This includes marking the nomination as a duplicate, accepting it, or rejecting it.

Appeal - Wayfarers get a limited number of appeals to ask Niantic to take a second look at a nomination that was rejected. You currently can use 2 appeals every 20 days.

Bonus Location - A location you can set through Settings on the Wayfarer website. Historically, Niantic allowed you to change this location once per year. More recently, Niantic has allowed us to change this location once every three months. Adding reviews from a Bonus Location allows you to help areas that may need more reviewers. Or you may choose a bonus that represents a place you want to visit someday - it can be a way to travel virtually through Wayfarer.

Coal - A description the community uses for nominations of really low quality. The use of Machine Learning has reduced the number of true coal nominations that most reviewers see. It’s always good to remember that there’s a person behind every submission, and it doesn’t feel welcoming to have your nomination described as coal.

Description - The description should tell what makes a wayspot interesting and unique. It should include important details, such as the names of artists who created works, interesting historical facts, stories and tips for people visiting the wayspot.

Duplicate - When a nomination already exists on the Niantic Lightship map. Some wayspots may not show in all Niantic games, but a nomination will be marked as a duplicate if the wayspot is already in the database. Some Niantic games show all the wayspots during the submission process, even for those that do not appear in that particular game in order to help the submitter avoid creating a duplicate.

Edit - Changes to a wayspot that are suggested by a Wayfarer. These can include location corrections, and adjustments to the title or description. These were added to the Contribution Management page in Spring 2024.

Educational Email - Messages sent to Wayfarers when Niantic deems that some of their nominating or reviewing behavior is out of line with the desired criteria. These emails do not progress a Wayfarer up the abuse ladder, even if they include terms like “report, internal review, abuse, infraction and ban.”

Eligibility Criteria - The guidelines a location has to follow for it to be eligible to becoming a wayspot. These criteria are subject to change over time. The current version is available on the Wayfarer website.

Emily - ML or Machine Learning. Niantic started using Machine Learning (ML) to process nominations. Some in the community personalized this Artificial Intelligence program by calling it Emily, a name that sounds like ML.

Explorer - One of the terms, often used by Niantic employees, to refer to those engaged in the Wayfarer system/process. Other terms include Wayfarer or Wayfinder.

Game reference - Terms that refer to specific Niantic games such as “PokéStop,” “Gym,” “Ingress,” “Portal,” and “Pokémon.” These should not be used in the title or description of a nomination. Since wayspots are used in multiple games, these references can be confusing to players and are grounds for rejecting a wayspot.

Gatekeeper - Someone who has their own rules about Wayfarer criteria, inclusion rules, persons involved in Wayfarer, etc, and is not open to change or discussion.

Geotagged Photo - A photo with GPS or address coordinates saved in the EXIF data. For some mobile devices, this is not turned on by default and must be changed in the settings for the camera app - see your device’s instructions. When transferring photos to online services, sometimes the EXIF data is stripped off the file. If your intent is to allow someone to read the EXIF data on your photo, confirm that your file transfer process leaves the data on the file.

Hometown Location - A location you must set through Settings on the Wayfarer website. You will receive nominations from this area, no matter where you have recently been playing. It can only be reset by special request once ever.

Inclusion Rules - Wayspots are added to the Lightship map. From there, various games choose which ones to add to their own maps based on inclusion rules that could be based on distance or other factors. Wayspots that don’t meet the required inclusion rules won’t show up in that particular game or product.

In Queue - Term users see when their contribution is waiting to be reviewed.

In Voting - Term that the users see when their contribution enters voting by the community.

In Voting (with Niantic Logo icon) - The status a Wayfarer sees when Niantic is reviewing their nomination.

Lightship - The map underlying all Niantic games. Each Niantic game determines which POI it will use from the ones available on the Lightship map. Some POI may never show up in any Niantic game.

Nomination - A potential wayspot that a wayfarer has submitted for review.

OPR - Operation Portal Recon. The system for submitting and reviewing wayspots through Ingress before it was rebranded as Wayfarer and broadened to include Pokemon GO.

Play Area - Your review queue will include nominations from the area where you have been playing a Niantic game recently. This means that while you are traveling, you will be able to review nominations from that location. Changes to your review queue based on your play area may lag for a couple of days.

POI - Point of Interest. An item that is interesting enough that the community wants to add it to the Lightship map to potentially become a game interaction point.

Portal - Interaction point within Ingress. When Ingress includes wayspots from the Lightship map, they show up as Portals.

Profile - Portion of the Wayfarer website where the user can access their information, details and metrics.

PRP - Stands for Private Residential Property but is more accurately called single family residential property because technically multifamily property is private as well. This is the acronym that most use to explain the type of home based property that is off-limits for POI.

Review - The act of assessing the merit of the nomination to determine if it will be Accepted or Rejected. Historically, reviews were exclusively processed in-house by Niantic. Reviews were eventually crowdsourced to include the submitting/playing public. Since 2024, reviews are processed by a mixture of Machine Learning (ML), Niantic employees, and Wayfarers.

Showcase - A section of the Wayfarer portal where spotlight wayspots are featured. Niantic’s algorithm selects up to three recently approved wayspots in your “play area” to feature based on some metrics for quality and approval percentage. The showcase changes on Mondays at approximately 11 am Pacific Time (the location of Niantic US Headquarters), though some weeks the featured wayspots do not change.

Sponsored Wayspot - Wayspot that has been paid for by a business or organization to be included in one or more Niantic games. These are often companies like Starbucks and McDonalds, whose locations would otherwise be rejected as Generic Business. Wayfarer reviewers should not take sponsorships into account when determining the eligibility of individual nominations.

Supporting Photo - Sometimes called the supplemental photo. A secondary photo that is included with a nomination and is used to help reviewers verify the accuracy of the nomination. Supporting photos should show the wayspot itself as well as some of the area around it that helps prove to reviewers the location of the wayspot.

Supporting Statement - Sometimes called the supplemental information. This is where to explain facts that help reviewers decide if the wayspot meets the criteria. Supporting statements can include web links, clarifications about what criteria the wayspot meets, information about access or other concerns.

Title - The name of the wayspot. Titles should be accurate and unique within the area. Titles should represent official titles and names of the wayspot, and can also include identifiers like a location, nearby landmark, or other features that make for a precise title. For example: Songbird Trail - Timbercreek Park

Upgrade - When you have reviewed enough nominations to receive 100 agreements, you will earn 1 Upgrade. Applying this upgrade to one of your own nominations will allow it to be seen by a larger review audience than it normally would be presented to. In most places, upgraded nominations will receive a result faster than if they had not been upgraded.

Upgrade Next - When the setting to Automatically Apply Upgrades is set to “On”, marking one as Upgrade Next tells the system which nomination you want to be upgraded. Without assigning that value, the system will use an algorithm to determine which one to automatically apply the upgrade to. (Most experienced Wayfinders turn this setting off and do not use Upgrade Next.)

Wayfinder/Wayfarer rating - Ranking from poor, fair, good to great which illustrates the overall alignment of your reviews with the rest of the community.

Wayspot - A point of interest that meets Niantic’s criteria of encouraging exploration, exercise or socialization. Wayspots are added to the Lightship map of the world and might get imported into some of Niantic’s games and become portals or Pokestops.

Wayspot photo - Image that is taken by a nominator and is included when submitting a new wayspot. This image will become the primary photo visible on that wayspot in the map and in any games that include it.

Definitions provided by multiple Wayfarer Ambassadors.


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