Shopping centers/strip malls eligibility in 2024

As of late my local area has been nominating numerous shopping centers/strip malls. It’s simply pictures of the place name’s sign which is generic looking. I’ve read on the forums that these places should be accepted as they encourage socializing and exploring.

I’ve been accepting them, but now for the first time my rating has moved to Fair. I looked up shopping centers eligibility again and now I see people claim they should only be accepted if the sign is interesting.

Would like some guidance on how to proceed. I’m skipping all shopping centers now as I dunno what to do with them.


For something like that I’d probably say yes to all the safe/accessible/distinct questions, and no to being a good place to explore, exercise and socialise. If the submission told me about how it’s a good place to socialise then I’d vote that it was, but this one does not.

I actually dont know how to reject things that aren’t dangerous or inappropriate and have clear photos but just aren’t convincing me that they’re meeting any critieria. I knew how before the change to how we vote. Hence my method of saying yes to the first few questions and no to the last 3, hopefully signifying that I don’t think it meets the criteria.


Good method. For generic ones with no effort put in them I’ll reject accordingly from now on.


If the sign represents the plaza, the context of the plaza should be considered more than the visual quality of the sign.

I see a collection of generic businesses from your example, nothing that would normally draw crowds (like restaurants).


There is the clarification on that. If they just show me a sign, I reject, usually as “generic business”. But if they convince me this is a destination “people flock” to, then I accept.

Near the beginning of that clarification is [quote=“NianticTintino, post:4, topic:103”]
For many of the submissions, we kept asking ourselves “What story does this place tell? What makes it interesting?” There were many submissions with potentially great Wayspots but the description, titles, and supporting information could have used some work. If this is something interesting to you, tell us why. This can help take what may be a generic and commonplace nomination to the next level and make it a more interesting and eligible candidate.

lol okay i did that quote wrong, but that is the part that a lot of people skip. If they don’t tell me why I should accept the sign, I don’t.


It has nothing to do with how interesting the sign is. The criteria clarification from Niantic mentioned that these kinds of places could be destinations for people, places where they go to spend a weekend day shopping and hanging out with friends.

A shopping center that has a dry cleaner, a shoe repair place, a dentist office, etc… that’s just a place to run errands. You don’t think of that like a destination.

You’ll have to use your best judgment when reviewing to see if the totality of the businesses listed feels like a destination to you. And if you nominate a place, you need to prove how it serves as that to your community.


I’m probably easily pleased, but then I live in the suburbs of a town, so a lot of our waypoints are fine but not stunning, but basically if the submission makes me think “that’s cool” then I’m likely to accept it. That might be the picture, or what they wrote. So yes, tell me why it’s a good place to go with friends and I’ll probably belive you. But you have to tell me!


Thanks everyone, thought that all shopping centers were acceptable but it seems to be a bit more complicated than that. Will keep in mind all your advice when reviewing.

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I tend to agree, individual businesses might meet criteria but something like this doesnt fit any for me. Especially as the supporting info provides nothing to indicate otherwise.

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My problem with the shopping center and strip malls, the signage is used as the place to mark the location. That’s not where the people will socialize at and it’s usually where the signage has no safe ped access. It’s a bit of a paradox because the building is what you’re trying to present.


You’re not wrong. I reject any signs that don’t have pedestrian access. And a lot of them don’t.


The Greene’s plaza is an example of one that I would reject, as 3 of the 4 businesses on the sign are chain/generic businesses that one would run errands at. And even though I don’t know where this signage is, most are at the entrances to the parking lots, and typically not next to a safe place for pedestrians.

I prefer that if there are unique businesses in a shopping center that meet criteria that those be nominated. Sounds like there is a place of worship at the Greene’s plaza, and that would meet criteria. Local cafes and restaurants there may meet criteria, or shops like book stores, comic book stores, gaming stores, and the such. One of my 1st nominations this year was a comic book store in a shopping center, and it was approved; none of the other businesses there meet criteria, like the tax prep service or tobacco store.

For this, it would essentially be a plaza or something in the middle of the mall.
Also, if there is a rest area under the sign, fine.
But most of the time, under the sign is merely paved and there is no way to protect it from rain, wind, and sun.
And that is basically not a safe place to gather. (Because parking lots don’t qualify as POIs, right?)
If there is a plaza or something in the mall, that would be fine, and it would be a good wayspot if the location was defined and nominated there.
In fact, there are such wayspot.
But most roadside shopping malls have none of that.
They are just buildings of various chain stores standing next to parking lots.
The Wayfarer team says this without understanding such facts, so reviewers can only press YES in the current YES or NO review system.
Because if they decide NO, the review rate could be lowered.
In that case, the reviewer can only stop reviewing or press YES.

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Note that Niantic rarely says that something should be accepted. Their clarifications are usually less certain, and more conditional, saying things like they “can” or “may” be acceptable.

Yes, shopping plazas may be acceptable.

My personal preference for doing my own nominations and when giving advice to others is to avoid nominating the signs and the actual shopping center unless it’s something really interesting or significant. Instead, nominate the interesting places and things at/within these shopping centers.


Based on the nomination example shown here. I see a generic sign for a generic shopping center filled with generic chain stores. I don’t see a place to gather, be active or explore.

“…and worship center”? if there’s a church here, then nominate that instead.


The first one’s description is so troll, all declined except maybe the third? No effort whatsoever

Some mall i found some more detail statue, but there’s some inside mall statue. Should be new wayspot foe statue permanent object at this one huh?:thinking:

That is correct.
Niantic is not saying, “all accepted”.
Niantic is saying, “They may be accepted if they meet the criteria.”
However, many of the remaining wayfinders now take that as “all accepted”.
Similar to this are chain stores.
They don’t say “all accepted,” but reviewers have taken the liberty of changing it to “all accepted.”
Thus, approved are shopping mall signs in parking lots, information boards with the same content every 100 meters, major convenience stores, and chain restaurants.
This is the current situation.
The Wayfarer team should understand this current situation and speak well.

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