Please help me figure out why my rating is tanking

Hi everybody! I started reviewing wayspots back in 2020, I have over 6.5k reviews and my rating never dropped from great. However I stepped back from the game for about a year, and now that I’m back I managed to tank it to rank 2 in just 3 days. I narrowed it down to three possible causes, but I might still get it wrong so asking for help seems the right move. My thoughts:

physical exercise: I’m basically giving a thumbs up in this category to everything, because if you define exercise as jogging or walking your dog you can kinda do it anywhere, except indoor spaces and busy roads. Is this a misunderstanding on my part?

location edits: when I started reviewing it was common practice to move a poi from its correct location to a more convenient one, within reason. This was soon discouraged by Niantic though, and now I tend to deny these requests when they’re blatantly incorrect. Am I wrong to do this?

unusual proposals: I am very lenient towards unusual poi’s if they’re coming from a small community. I’m from a small town myself and I know that hangout spots like bars or restaurants that you wouldn’t look at twice in a big city can be very relevant to small communities. Should I be more strict with the regulations?

Sorry about the wall of text. Any help at all is appreciated!


This issue is already being looked into.


is there any “head” post which we can follow

EDIT: Found it :slight_smile:

I’d recommend you be more stringent on the Exercise voting. The eligibility looks for a Great place to exercise. A basketball court or tennis court make sense here. A Little Free Library is not a great place to exercise.

Also remember you can select IDK option and not just thumbs up or thumbs down.

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In regards to locations, the pin must be at a safe and accessible location for pedestrians, as well as being as accurate as possible. Swimming pools are great examples, as you wouldn’t want the location to be in the middle of the pool; Niantic recommends that the pin be placed on the pool deck, where people are able to walk, or the entrance. I find myself having to move the pins for many outdoor pools because of this.

I’m from a small town myself, and live in a larger city now. When it comes to bars, whether in a small or large area, they need to be open to all, not just a certain age group. I know that some rural bars also serve food and have dining rooms open to all ages, so those may be acceptable. If it’s just a bar that adults frequent, then those are harder to get approved.

Believe it or not, criteria changes, and there have been changes within the last year. Last month, the first batch of criteria clarifications were released, and some things that were once eligible are now ineligible, and things that were ineligible are now eligible. Therefore, I would highly recommend reviewing the updated criteria. Here’s some links that’ll help:

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LoL, it is if you walk to it! I guess if people are reviewing in a context where they don’t walk around a neighborhood, you have a point, but seeing a little free library as something you would only visit in a car is a very USA thing.

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There would be no point in asking the question if Niantic saw it the same way you do. I’m not about to recommend people do jumping jacks at a museum. Each of the 3 criteria is distinct and should be voted on that way. Going back to a LFL - it meets Exploration criteria but I wouldn’t consider it a Great place to Socialize or Exercise. Also a wayspot only needs to meet one of the 3 criteria, so I suppose it really doesn’t matter if you mark them all with thumbs up. Well it might for cooldowns.


Exactly, how you arrive at the location, whether by car, foot, bike, skateboard, or whatever doesn’t matter. If that were the case, literally any place would fall under exercise criteria, as you can walk to basically anywhere. It’s what the thing/place being nominated is used for that determines which criteria it meets, and LFLs aren’t exercise equipment. I agree they can fall under other criteria so are valid nominations (as long as they don’t meet rejection criteria) but exercise isn’t right.


Regular libraries are listed under both great places to explore and socialize in the eligibility criteria, so I see LFLs in a similar way. I would give a thumbs up for both social and exercise for a pool, but I typically only give a thumbs up for explore with LFLs, unless they also have a small sitting area or at a place you can be social at, like a park or local business.

How one gets to a Wayspot does not determine if it’s a good place for exercise, like previously mentioned. I’m not going a local coffee shop for exercise, I’m going there to be social with my community and explore what makes them unique to my community.


Well, I see your point, but the fact is I mark almost everything that looks like it could be walked to as good for exercise. Leaving the house on foot is exercise, and an LFL is usually visited by people in a neighborhood, unlike, say, a restaurant or other point of interest in a downtown area. I do only have a good rating, tho, but it used to be great and my reviewing hasn’t changed a bit, so I have no notion as to whether this particular quirk I have is the reason my rating went down, but I do acknowledge your argument as a possible reason. I also have no idea why my rating went up to great when it did, so there’s that too, tho!

I think agreements could be based on overall acceptance rather than the exact reason for acceptance

So for example with a little free library, if you thumbs up both exercise and explore, and the majority only thumbs up explore, you’ve all voted to accept the nomination just in slightly different ways, so that might be an agreement anyway, giving you a rating boost

That being said I think the exercise critieria is supposed to be about the actual waypoint, not about how to get there, unless it’s up a mountain or part of a trail, in which case I’d upvote exercise too. I upvote exercise for things like trails, swimming pools, parks, tennis courts, playgrounds, and sports clubs.

I would almost always walk to a local cafe, not drive, but if I was voting on it, I’d vote for socialise not exercise, if that makes sense


Fair enough, it’s a big world. I’m 64 years old and, with a degree of misery which exceeded even my own expectations, bought my first automobile last year. You’re probably right that the exercise criterion is supposed to be about the waypoint, but this is a planet-wide thing we’re doing with Wayfarer, there are many of us who are in the situation that I admit seems ridiculous to most of my American neighbors where just getting from A to B constitutes exercise, not exclusively when that motion is reflected in some recreational activity.

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Great help! Thanks