OPR Candidate Action Guide - A Wayfarer History Lesson

Originally posted on the Niantic Wayfarer Vanilla Forums in September 2021 and has had minor updates

To be clear first of all, this is very old guidance and the current Wayfarer Criteria ( Niantic Wayfarer) should be followed. NOT this. This is just for showing how things used to be. Again, don’t follow this for your reviews.

However as it was brought up, I thought it would be fun to share what the previous guidance was, and for anyone who wasn’t around reviewing in the days of OPR to see and perhaps understand why some things were accepted that wouldn’t be now.

Any guidance on the list that you find surprising? So here’s the guidance;

What makes a good Portal?

High-quality Portal candidates are those that help Agents discover and enjoy their community, such as:

A location with a cool story, a place in history or educational value.

• Interesting story behind the location/object

• Signboards with educational information

• Historical significance (apart from just being old)

A cool piece of art or unique architecture

• Statues, paintings, mosaics, light installations, etc.

• Venues that showcase fine art (e.g., performance art theaters and museums)

• Buildings designed by renowned architects/structures famous specifically for their architecture

A hidden gem or hyper-local spot

• A popular local spot that you would take a friend visiting your community for the first time

• A popular spot where locals gather, but may be lesser-known outside the community

• Tourist spots that showcase local flavor and culture and that make your city neighborhood unique

• More off-the-beaten-path tourist attractions (i.e., if you weren’t a local, you wouldn’t necessarily know to go here)

• Adventurous tourist attractions - think lookout towers, observatories, signs or markers atop mountain peaks, etc.

In addition to using the above acceptance criteria, we often add candidates that are a special nod to industries and networks that connect people around the world, just as Ingress connects Agents around the world.

These include:

Public parks

Public parks are great, high-quality places for Portals: they are common all around the world and encourage players to walk, exercise and enjoy public spaces

• Public libraries

A nod to education and discovery, cornerstones of Niantic & Ingress; Includes little free libraries, provided they are not on private residential property: does not include mobile libraries

• Public places of worship

A nod to the otherworldly, which is integral to the story of Ingress

• Transit stations

A nod to the transportation industry, which also connects and unites people around the world. Accept transportation hubs (like Grand Central Station), but not every single small transit stop (like a subway station or a bus stop)

Low quality Candidates

If you come across any of the following, please reject it as a low quality Portal by rating ★ star for the “Should this be a Portal?” question:

• Candidates on the grounds of primary/secondary schools

•Candidates on private residential property (including farms)

• Candidates that obstruct the driveway of emergency services and may interfere with the operations of fire stations, police stations, hospitals, military bases, industrial sites, power plants, and air traffic control towers

• Candidates that are not permanent, including seasonal displays that are only put up during certain times of the year

• Candidates that are natural features (Includes pictures of landscapes as well as submissions where the subject is a lake, river, stream, mountain, volcano, waterfall, etc.; photos that include man-made points of interest - plaques, signs, etc. - near natural features are acceptable)

Please give the Portal a ★ star if the candidate has the following issues:

• Candidate is not an object but the photo of a person/group of people, body parts, live animals

• The photo is pulled from a third party source (shows a watermark) or is low quality (e.g. pitch black/blurry photos or photos taken from a car)

OPERATION PORTAL RECON

MEMORANDUM: CANDIDATE ACTION GUIDE

UNCLASSIFIED

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

This document discusses various candidate types for agents participating in Operation Portal Recon.

NOTE: When the general policy is Accept, then please rate using 2 to 5 stars using the guidelines outlined in the training/help. See the help section Ratings Scale on the OPR site for more detail.

NOTE: When the general policy is Reject then please rate 1 star unless there is an exception in the policy detail.

BEGIN

Candidate: Antique/Rustic Farm Equipment

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT if on private residential property or a farm. ACCEPT if on display in a public park or museum and is visually unique or historic.

Candidate: Apartment/Development Sign

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless they are historic or have some significance.

Candidate: Cairn (Stacked Stone Monument)

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★

ACCEPT if significant in size and unique and meets other criteria in terms of being publicly accessible and safe to access. Falls under the criteria of adventurous tourist attractions.

Candidate: Cemetery

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless the cemetery is historical or has special significance in the community (see guidelines for gravestones/markers).

Candidate: City/Street Sign

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT regular street signs/city signs that have no historical significance

Candidate: Exercise Equipment

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★

ACCEPT if the candidate is in a park or community gathering place; falls under the criteria of public spaces that encourage walk and exercise. If there are multiple pieces of exercise equipment, ACCEPT one submission for the whole group and not for each individual piece of equipment.

Candidate: Fire Department

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless the candidate is a memorial/museum that does not obstruct the path of the emergency vehicles. ACCEPT candidates in low density areas if it does not obstruct the path of the emergency vehicles.

Candidate: Fire Lookout Tower

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★

ACCEPT if open to the public. Falls under the criteria of adventurous tourist attractions. REJECT lookout towers being used as private residences.

Candidate: Fountain

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★★

ACCEPT if it has pedestrian access, i.e. agents can walk up to it. REJECT spouts in the middle of the lake with no access.

Candidate: Gazebo

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★★

ACCEPT if the candidate is in a park or community gathering place; falls under the criteria of public spaces that encourage walk and exercise.

Candidate: Golf Course

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT hole markers and other locations ON THE COURSE. ACCEPT if in areas where agents can sit and socialize (like cafes or club areas).

Candidate: Gravestone

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless the gravestone belongs to a famous/historic person or notable member of the local community and is more than 50 years old and community norms for use of the cemetery are open to historic visits and other uses.

Candidate: Highway Rest Area

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless the rest stop has any significance like being a popular tourist spot or a historic location. ACCEPT in low density areas if it has character or amenities.

Candidate: Historic Home

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless the home is not a private residence and is open to the public.

Candidate: Hospital

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT if the candidate is on or inside the hospital building or is in any location where it could obstruct emergency services and access to the building. ACCEPT candidates in hospital gardens if they are not in the path of emergency vehicles.

Candidate: Hotel/Inn

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless the hotel/inn is historical, has an interesting story or is a unique local business.

Candidate: Mass Produced Corporate Art

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless the candidate has some significance such as being the first or having an interesting story behind it.

Candidate: Memorial Bench

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless for a notable member of the community or in a low density area.

Candidate: Memorial/Dedication Plaque

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless for a notable member of the community.

Candidate: Mountain Top Marker

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★★

ACCEPT permanently attached logbooks, structures, or signs.

Candidate: Playground

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★★

ACCEPT if the candidate is in a park or community gathering place; falls under the criteria of public spaces that encourage walk and exercise.

Candidate: Post Office

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★

ACCEPT. Connects and unites people around the world.

Candidate: Ruin

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★★

ACCEPT. Falls under the criteria of tourist spots that showcase local flavor and culture and that make your city/neighborhood unique provided that the site is open and accessible to the public or can be accessed from an open sidewalk or viewing area.

Candidate: RV/Mobile Park

Policy: Reject

Suggested Vote: ★

REJECT unless it is historical, a community gathering spot, has an interesting story or is a unique local business.

Candidate: Survey Marker

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★

ACCEPT if on a trail or helps you explore the location. Falls under the criteria of off-the-beaten-path tourist attractions.

Candidate: Trail Marker

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★★

ACCEPT. Falls under the criteria of adventurous tourist attractions and encourages walk and exercise.

Candidate: Water Tower

Policy: Accept

Suggested Vote: ★★★★

ACCEPT if accessible without entering a restricted area, is uniquely decorated, or are otherwise a notable monument.

As a reminder, do not review according the above. It is simply a look back at how Ingress Agents were originally told to vote, should you see things that are live on the map from years back and wondered how they got there.

Happy to see any discussions from it though!

3 Likes

I remember actually reviewing according to this guideline! Some of the wordings are interesting. The memorials and memorial benches continue to be an ongoing debate in the community. I found it interesting when the oldest criteria mentioned the relative density of the area, and that qualifier has never been present since then. I still think there’s some justification in thinking about density because a memorial bench will feel more significant to a smaller town with less in it, than a whole string of them in a big city park with a ton of other amenities.

The other one on here that has been in flux a lot lately is Mass Produced Corporate Art. I am a fan of nominating hand-painted murals inside restaurants, and even sometimes printed murals that are tailored to an area, such as walls in restaurants with the town name and a whole collage of local attractions and sites. I’ve been seeing more and more that seem more questionable to me that are images of tacos on the wall in Taco Bell, or similar bits of flair added to big chains.

It’s interesting to see things progress over time.

2 Likes

I found the mention of density interesting as well. Even with the mention of the importance of context in the 3.1 release notes, it’s just a really hard nuance to explain and justify in any way that most reviewers won’t just dismiss it, which is disadvantageous for more rural areas that don’t waste their limited funding on stating the obvious with piddly signs :sweat_smile:
Trying to use single solitary beaches as valid placemarkers for whole trail legs (there’s only one bench along each leg, which are in separate parks - also unsigned) has been a frustratingly fruitless exercise with such limited explanation of either of these nuances in the criteria pages :woman_shrugging:

I always rejected the generic logos or unoriginal corporate branding/art as other - “corporate decor”. I use the generic business reason for that now :woman_shrugging:

Funny how trail markers get the highest possible score here and you’re told to accept them when Niantic is now actively trying to get all of them removed.

1 Like

Funny how trail markers get the highest possible score here and you’re told to accept them when Niantic is now actively trying to get all of them removed.

I’ve yet to see this happen and I’ve seen appeals for trailheads that don’t have traditional “markers” overturned on appeals recently (which were previously hit and miss on appeal), so it does make me wonder about the areas or circumstances this is affecting :thinking:

I just had need of some of the information that was posted on this topic in the old forum and just now learned that only the first part was brought over. Bumping this in hopes that someone still has those old clarifications with pictures on good and bad examples to add to this.

Found this on the internet from that list to show the ones I am talking about but couldn’t find the one I was searching for.
image

For what it’s worth, I had a trail marker approved by Emily recently :man_shrugging:t3:

1 Like

I do think the old criteria mentioning density being important is something we should carry forward to today.

The size of the village or town or city makes a big difference to what is locally significant, notable, or “a good place to”.

Lower density areas should have some more leeway given I think.

Ah my bad. I may have it somewhere. Will look post-challenge unless it’s needed before the end.

No rush! We need reviews!

This is good stuff, thanks for posting!