How do you vote on these?

When they are named with an incorrect title UK people.

I see them often named as a trail marker when they are not.


Is that an url in the title?

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I treat them as trail markers. They dont have specific signs, but are often known routes locally. They promote exercise, so I don’t mind them

It depends how the submission is written of course.

My problem is that they are a good place to exericse so I dont really see how I can reject them assuming everything else looks normal


Not that I can see.

You don’t see them as deliberately misleading by naming something a trail that isn’t actually a trail?

Technically all they do is say you can walk here. Some can be good for exercise some not so much.

I don’t mind if they add an interesting description etc and just say it’s a public footpath.


Define trail I guess. And define footpath. They overlap in meaning, at least to me. So for me its okay.


Trail would be an official trail Highland Way, Offas ’ Embankment designed to prevent flooding’ Path, John Muir Way, NCN #1

Public footpath is a legal term that is needed in England and Wales that can often be just a walk down an alley to Tesco’s (not added yet).

I’m definitely not against public footpaths being added there are some walks that are as worthy as any official trail. I’m not sure blurring the line between trails and footpath signs is healthy for reviewing and submitting in general.


It’s a trail marker on a trail, so I’d approve it, since it encourages both exercise and exploration.


It’s not a trail marker :slight_smile:


There’s no Kingsthorne Trail. There’s a Kingsthorne and a public path that goes to it, the sign is purely legal, telling people you are allowed to walk here. This one is actually okay if they’d said public footpath that would have been great it looks like a nice walk.


Personally I’m not a fan. I don’t consider these trail markers, they are simply PROW arrows that just indicate that you are allowed to walk here. In my mind not any different to mass produced road signs, not at all unique or interesting, especially when they can’t even spell trail! :laughing:

A lot of people are unfortunately misrepresenting these as named trails or attributing them to routes that aren’t accurate, this could easily move into abuse territory.

One benefit of these being increasingly accepted is that there are more POI in rural and remote areas, making certain routes more playable if not any more interesting to explore. I’m sure that’s why some people seem to favour them.

Of course with Niantic refusing to be transparent and communicative with these things, who knows what they want, so much contradiction. Will they issue more threats to people that submit or accept these, are they considered eligible? We really need something proper and official in the criteria to ensure everyone is on the same page. I have no idea any more. Personally I won’t be submitting any.

Interested to know others take on these and how they justify what to accept or not, where’s the line drawn for them?


Yeah this is the kind of thing I would accept if the “check for duplicates” map is looking sparse, but it isnt a strong submission. For me though, yes, it is a good place for light exercise.

There are often pretty strong submissions of this kind of thing where they detail a particular local walking route and those I think are good even if the signs aren’t.

Not all places install proper signs for the trail - sometimes you see a picture of this “footpath” sign in the submission but the google map names the trail the same as the submission does.

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I’ve accepted plenty of public footpath signs and rejected plenty.

They have replaced GR postboxes and dead people benches as the most common submission I have to review. What I see more of is all of them being submitted as trails and accepted as trails from the interesting ones that are routes through the countryside, along old walking paths to the ones that take you behind Sainsbury’s or down an alley sandwiched between suburban streets.

It looks like from my reviews and what I see on the map is the UK as a whole has decided to just accept these as trails without any real thought into what they actually are as a whole or the individual merit of each submission.


I can see people perhaps using these as anchors for particular parts of a legitimate trail, but they don’t actually represent that trail as such. Similar to a bench viewpoint, the bench isn’t the submission, the view is. In my area, the legitimate trails tend to have their own bespoke markers but I’m sure that’s not the case everywhere.

I think that’s where the difficulty of judgement and personal preference comes in. I’d expect at least some evidence that the route is an actual trail, a LDWA link or local website outlining the route for example. I don’t much like these as POI but with a bit of effort and proper supporting info, I could be convinced in some cases perhaps.

As more of these appear in the games, it encourages others to submit their local ones without any effort or thought, many of them aren’t really great submissions and leave submitters and reviewers frustrated. I noticed a definite change when Giffard made his post about trail markers some time ago, that’s when attitudes started to change toward these sorts of markers. Now Aaron is saying that they shouldn’t be accepted and people are getting warnings, it’s so confusing.

I suppose this is a greater issue with the process as a whole, there really is insufficient guidance on how to write a good submission, especially when the messaging in game is all over the place and confuses so many people. The idea of nuance is so poorly communicated that it’s not surprising when people are confused, as you say, we see the same with memorial plaques, postboxes, etc. Someone sees something in game and submits similar things that they come across without ever understanding what it is that makes particular ones more eligible or interesting.

I really do feel that we need something definite from an official source that understands the local nuances on many things of this type, but done properly rather than a throw-away comment from someone that contradicts previous guidance without any further explanation. If the criteria says that these are good places to exercise or explore, then fine, they should be accepted, it’s their database. But they need to be clear that is what they want.


I think since the post after the criteria challenge highlighting them as being worthwhile when there was a complete lack of understanding from the Niantic team about what they are increased the amount I see in review.

I’m not against adding more to the map and lots of these are easily eligible and acceptable.

For every well written submission with details and info I see ten that are accepted like this

Britville trail

It’s a walking trail

Niantic have said these are eligible as official trail markers. Encourages exploration and exercise making this acceptable etc etc


I get why you’re making this distinction, but how many roads are named for the place they take you? in my area at least, pretty much all of the historic ones do because it’s a sensible way to refer to a road informally and in the modern era that name has stuck.

this is the road to Townville, it’s Townville Road. this is the road to Cityburg, it’s Cityburg Road.

we can quibble about trail vs path, but referring to something informally by it’s destination is very sensible.

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I think you miss the point, the signs are legal requirements as much as directions. If those didn’t exist the signs wouldn’t. They don’t exist in Scotland because the laws are different there is no legal requirement to have them.

They are named this way as trails to deliberately mislead rather than as a sensible option because public footpaths are correctly still 50/50.

A public footpath route needs a bit of time and effort to prove that it’s worthwhile. Most that I see bypass that by just naming them trails to x.

If it becomes the norm to accept these as their value as trails they will be as ubiquitous as GR postboxes and dead people benches


I think you lot are fortunate to have those rights to travel on foot protected by law.

In the U.S., there are many places where people are simply expected to travel by car, while driving is considered to be a revocable privilege.

The idea of people needing and deserving an easy, safe and legal way to get to and from home, town center, church, Tesco’s and the pub is foreign to us.

I would happily accept footpath markers as Wayspots if they were a thing here.


Which of the three criteria would you apply to a public footpath that is a shortcut down an alley to the local garage?

Whether public footpaths are eligible and/or acceptable is not even that important to the point of how they are being submitted and how they are being accepted.


Richmond Park trail marker

A trail to guide people along the paths

Support picture might need a bit of work?

Safe for pedestrian access. Trails frequently used by public and walking groups. Not intrusive on residential land. Complying with British public right of way


But how could a stranger know which footpath is good and which not?

I found this video (by 10 min they started to look at a map):

There’re so much of them :flushed: