Wayfarer Criteria Challenge

Hello Explorers,

I’m excited to share the very first Wayfarer Challenge of 2022! As I mentioned yesterday in the “New Wayfarer Challenges!” post, we’ll be hosting several challenges over the coming weeks that’ll be a bit different than we’re used to… and that includes the rewards too. For our first challenge, we’re focusing on something we’ve been hearing from you all and our Ambassadors for some time now: improving the Wayfarer Criteria.

Wayfarer Criteria Challenge:

For this Challenge, we want to focus on the Wayfarer Criteria by further clarifying the criteria that the community finds most challenging… the most on the fence about if you will. This challenge will collect all of our participants’ challenge submissions and the top three most submitted will be chosen to be elaborated on by myself and members of the Wayfarer Team.

To participate and put your top criteria selection into the pool, all you’ll need to do is log into Wayfarer, review contributions, and when you come across a contribution that you find to be the most confusing to you, take a screenshot of it and submit it to the Criteria Challenge Form (1 submission per person + must be another Explorers contribution, not your own). Once you take the screenshot you can continue with the review as you normally would. Make sure that your screenshot includes only the Main Photo, Title & Description, and Supporting Information

Sample Screenshot:


The Wayfarer Criteria Challenge will be a week long - beginning today August 17, 2022 and running through the end of August 24, 2022 (PST). At that point, we will close the challenge and form submissions.


  • New Wayfarer Forum Badge
    • All participants will get a newly created Wayfarer Forum Badge on their profile
  • 1 Upgrade
    • All participants who submitted within the same criteria as the winning top 3 criteria (from the challenge form criteria drop down menu) and review at least 100 nominations will receive an Upgrade

We’ll post the results in the community on August 30, 2022 and add it to the existing Criteria page as well. And that’s it! Feel free to submit any questions below and keep an eye out for the next Wayfarer Challenge coming soon after this one.

Check out the discussion
(originally posted August 2022)


Hello Explorers,

We have an update that we hope will give more clarity and time for more to participate in the Wayfarer Criteria Challenge. First update, is to share more about our purpose for this challenge. For this challenge, our intention is to start tackling the Wayfarer Criteria. As some of you may understand, addressing our criteria is a huge undertaking to say the least. This challenge is one of our approaches to making sure we do it right; but we needed a place to start. This challenge will provide us with 2 major things:

  • Which criteria are the most in need of being addressed. We know there are more than just 3 that need addressing, but this gives us a good starting point
  • Clear examples provided by the community for us to consider and respond to. This will allow us to respond with context and we will be able to see what you see. So, please take full advantage of the question section at the end of the challenge submission form.

I’m excited for the larger impact this challenge will bring & hope that it will provide the much needed space to address it. The conversation won’t end after this challenge. The Wayfarer Team and I hope to address all criteria once we get this first attempt right and will be bringing in our Ambassadors along the process.

The last update, we are extending the challenge timeline to allow for more submissions until 11:59pm PST on August 31, 2022. The new date for posting our responses will be September 2, 2022.

Thank you again for your participation and safe exploring!
(originally posted August 2022)

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Thank you to all who participated in our new challenge and those that shared their feedback. We are happy to announce that we have had over 1000 participants. You still have a little but of time left before we close the submission form and start working away at posting the challenge responses this Friday, September 2, 2022.

Again, thank you to all who participated and we are excited to announce our next Wayfarer Challenge soon.
(originally posted August 2022)

1 Like

Hello Explorers,

The time has come to announce our Wayfarer Criteria Challenge results! Again, thank you all who participated in our new form of Wayfarer Challenge. I’m excited to continue bringing new challenge types but don’t worry, the past challenge types aren’t gone. Now, a quick challenge summary and the Top 3 winning criteria!

  • Total Participants: 1,045
  • Criteria Least Submitted: Post Offices (.2%), Sports Arenas (.4%), and Pavillions (.5%) of all submissions
  • Top 3 Criteria Submitted: Unique Art or Architecture, Hiking Trails and Markers, Private Residence or Farmland

Submissions Summary: While there are very unique and interesting nominations that would make great Wayspots, there were others that seemed to tip-toe very closely to the rejection borderline. We hope that the clarifications and poins made below will help you with your nominations next time you come across a great Wayspot candidate. Several things were very apparent across majority of the submissions, check out these points below:

  1. Our Eligibility and Acceptance Criteria do not mean that the nomination will or should be accepted. There are many great nominations that meet one or two criteria but then end up being clear rejections based on location, intended use, presentation, and overall falling within the rejection criteria.
  2. 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.
  3. Do what you can to prove its uniqueness, permanency, and access. Dig a little deeper into its story to share with us. Keep this in mind with something that may be generic to some people but is actually important in the local community. Think about the supporting information you’re adding (photo, description, pin location, etc).

These points were a higher level summary of the submissions and points that kept being questions. Now we’ll dive deeper into some of the submissions. While I wish there was a better way to show this, I wanted to make sure we gave you more information than not enough. Hope this helps! (1/6)
(originally posted August 2022)

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Top 3 Criteria Deep Dive:

Unique Art or Architecture:

The average of the questions were based around how we define art, sculptures, and architecture. While some are rather easy and traditional forms of art that we all can agree on, others push the boundaries of art and architecture which sometimes works and other times…. not so much. We should consider if the candidate is truly interesting, unique to the area, and what makes it stand out. Impressive architecture in one setting may be mundane or commonplace in another. Below is a collection of some of the photos which highlight not only this criteria but also help us address others.

  • With this submission, it’s very easy to see that this in fact is art. It’s a beautiful painting, seemingly culturally relevant to the area (Hawaii). Although it’s inside the hotel lobby, “publicly” accessible, and not in a single family home, what could cause pause is the permanency of this painting. There is no way to tell from the nomination if it’s permanent or not. This makes me think about our take on temporary museum exhibits or art installations. Rather than nominating the exhibit/exhibit pieces, nominate the Museum as a whole rather than the individual exhibits inside which may rotate (unless they are prominent museum attractions that are intended to be permanent). This hotel may be super interesting, the oldest hotel in town, etc. which you could elaborate on in the description and supporting information to make your care. Without evidence on the contrary, this mounted wall art can appear to be a mass produced print and not significant to the location. To the broader subject of mounted art, a nominator should convey detail or evidence that the art may have been commissioned for the building specifically and is likely to remain. Details from an article supporting it or other key information would work as evidence to help reviewers not reject it as temporary or generic.


  • This one is very borderline for me. I can see the push for how this is artistic compared to the rest of the floor bricks around it being just plain and your generic pieces of brick. This is one of those that pushes the boundaries of art, technically glyphs are art… an artistic form of writing. What would convince me to rate higher would be the story behind this piece of brick being installed here and being the only one from what was apparent on street view. As mentioned above, I’d suggest taking some time to learn about it before submitting and share the details with reviewers. What about THIS floor brick makes it unique? What’s the story it tells? I’m definitely interested in learning more about it.

  • Love these! Murals like these are so beautiful and unique and I love learning what they tell not only within itself but about the surrounding community. For murals like these, similar to art installations, nominate the one that makes most sense rather than nomination each piece of the mural. If it were me nominating this, I would place the pin in the middle of the mural or at the most accessible location/focal point and add the other two into the supporting information section. If the sections of the mural tell a distinct enough story or are physically separate (intentionally), it may make sense to add them individually, but not in this example.


  • This one was interesting because to me it comes off as artistic; the design of it at least. While this is just the logo of a company, the company itself may be more interesting and tell a greater story than the logo artwork itself. While some company logos have been accepted, you should consider if this logo is truly something you would point out to friends or visitors or would you rather show them a unique shop with a great history?


  • We’ve seen this one before haha so our take on this one was that it’s definitely eligible. What was missing for us was the story behind it. What is the bottle cap collection for, what does it result in or support. Lastly, while it’s easy to assume this is temporary, after zooming into the photo it was clear that it’s intended to remain for quite some time since it’s bolted in which really helped address the permanency of it. While this may be super unique here, it may be rather common in other areas so it’s eligible, but we’ll leave the accept/rejection decision to the surrounding community who know it best! Note that in this case, it is the artistic/decorative value of the recycling station, not inherent eligibility of them as a whole.


  • This relief submission was a great example of the need for supporting information. Tell us the story behind it to help the reviewers see its value. I would also recommend nominating the entire building that may have more historic value or unique architectural history rather than narrowing in on the relief itself making it harder to support. It looked like it was the only blue building in the area which would have been a great addition to the description. Why is it the only blue building in the area? Is there a known or significant architect behind the building or relief?

(originally posted September 2022)

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Hiking Trails and Markers:

Hiking trails and markers make great Wayspots. This includes urban footpaths and routes intended for pedestrian use. However, this doesn’t mean they should all be accepted. We’re happy to add some clarification to these as they are clearly a great place to be social and they spark exploration. Below you’ll find some details that we hope will help as you review similar types of nominations.

  • These types of trail markers are definitely eligible Wayspots. They look official because of the country plates or have the trail names on them, love that! We would also love to see what is interesting about this trail. Was it the first trail in the area, does it highlight specific wildlife local to this region? All of this would help make it much easier to rate higher. The second point that comes to mind is how many of these trail markers are there? Are they distinguishable and far enough apart that it doesn’t make the others any less unique? For the second photo, while it may look like a street sign (which are not eligible Wayspots), it’s important to make sure it’s a footpath or trail maker during review. This one in particular is themed after planets, the one shown here is the Neptune path. Fun right! For the last trail marker, we narrowed in on the difficulty it might be to prove the actual location of this since it may or may not always be on street view. This highlights the importance of local Explorers who know the area, may have visited this area, or walked past it.



Screenshot 2022-08.jpeg

  • These distance markers can also make great Wayspots. The challenge with these is at what distance will you find the other marker? Are they spaced out in a way that provides value to the trail? They’ll encourage exercise for sure. Similarly, what makes each one unique? Is each mile/kilometer named after a famous person (locally or regionally)? Do they look officially painted vs someone just using chalk or their own paint?


  • Survey markers… of course they came up hehe So these were also heavily discussed by the team. While we understand that these are super generic in some parts, in others, they are very unique. From our experience, we’ve seen these to be placed at the peaks of mountain trails, historically significant areas, etc. While in other areas, they are overproduced and not interesting at all, similar to the one shown below. Now, if there is an interesting or historical story to the survey marker, by all means nominate it and make sure to add that to the title, description, and/or the supporting information. This one in particular didn’t have that and seemed to be the size of a coin along the ledge of the street without pedestrian access.

Survey Marker.jpeg

(originally posted September 2022)


Private Residence and Farmland:

Our take has been that candidates on private family residential property are ineligible. This includes outward facing boundary walls that are part of the residence or otherwise on the privately owned residential land. However shared spaces of apartments, gated communities, or other shared spaces might be eligible assuming it otherwise meets criteria and is intended to be accessed by a community, even if not everyone. Easements, “right-of-ways,” and sidewalk are too broad to make a global statement on, but the guidance is the same as above - if it is part of a private residence, it is ineligible. IF evidence supports shared municipal use land, it is not ineligible.

  • In this case, the object being nominated is on the outside wall of what looked to be an apartment or otherwise shared dwelling building and is a prominent artistic display. During the review, it looked like it was an official and permanent artistic display set up by the property manager and not an individual’s private collection. So yes, this is eligible and if reviewing, I would look at the title, description, and supporting information to get more of its story which would then determine the rating.


  • In this case, while the dice look fun and may catch my eye while driving by, we decided the location is not intended to be accessed safely by pedestrians. There are no sidewalks and the grassy area looks like private property. Furthermore, any visitors to that grassy area may obstruct the entrance and it may encourage trespassing or present danger from the nearby traffic which makes us consider this ineligible.

Wayfarer 1 private res.jpg

  • Free Little Libraries are eligible nominations. This submission and others like it questioned whether they are acceptable or not, but it’s a more nuanced than that. Again, they are eligible but this one here is tricky. While many Free Little Libraries are on a sidewalk outside of apartment buildings and are on municipal or communal property, this one is placed at the end of private property onto a street which makes it a potentially dangerous location. Similarly to the dice submission above, any visitors to this “sidewalk” or “car off-loading” area may encourage trespassing or create a dangerous traffic situation making it ineligible.


  • This submission asked a great question. The main question here was how to determine the difference between a single family home and a multi-family home. While this isn’t always easy to tell, especially across different regions, there are signs you can look out for. Looking at the building for multiple entrances, different street numbers, shared post boxes, or other features may help distinguish whether it is or isn’t a shared residence. This is on a wall of a shared residence building, making the nomination of the animal art below the windows an eligible location.


  • This submission was of the park in a shared use area of an apartment or condominium complex. Since these are not single family dwellings, these types of nominations are eligible and make great Wayspots. Remember that eligibility doesn’t equate to acceptance. The stories it tells matter too.

(originally posted September 2022)


Bonus Criteria:

Parks and Plazas:

Parks and plazas are great places that host local culture and can be a place to socialize, exercise, and explore. Check below for some additional context regarding parks and plazas.

  • Large shopping centers or stripmalls can be cultural hubs. Even outlet stores can be likened to a tourist destination - people flock hours away for weekend trips to these locations giving regions local recognition. Some strıp malls contain outdoor plazas or local businesses that might just not be visually unique or interesting enough on their own. However, as a collection they are an interesting place to visit or socialize with others. A single fast-food restaurant for instance, may rarely be eligible but if there’s a stripmall that features one or more establishments that draws crowds, the plaza sign should be an adequate nomination.


  • Parks are definitely eligible Wayspot nominations, even ones without official name stones or signs indicating it as a park but are clearly still parks. Similar to the one below, it’s fine to place the pin in the middle of the park and then take a main photo that captures as much of the park as possible. Keep in mind that signage or other obvious focal points are prefered but not necessary. A good nomination will provide evidence that the location is intended to be used as a park or open use recreational area. If signage is created after the nomination gets accepted, then edits can be made (location/photo).


  • Of course picnic tables had to be a part of this discussion too! These are great places for socialization and may encourage exploration as one looks for a place to rest and eat. While these may not be bolted or cemented into the ground, it’s easy to see that the grass underneath them is weathered down by heavy use, indicating these have been in this location for some time. If they’re located close together then it can constitute one nomination but if they’re at opposite sides of the park with significant distance between them, then that might constitute for another Wayspot nomination.

picnic area.jpeg
(5 of 6)
(originally posted September 2022)


Explorer, we hope this was informative and a fresh/official take on some of the criteria y’all nominated. As promised, we’ll be adding this to the Wayfarer Website, the Community Forums, and the Wayfarer Help Center for increased visibility and criteria clarity. Thank you all again for your participation and feel free to provide feedback on this approach. What part did you like? What part would you like to see changed and how? We look forward to addressing other criteria in the near future as we continue to learn the best approach. Rewards will start being distributed during the next two weeks and should be completed by September 16, 2022!

Safe Exploring!
(6 of 6)
(originally posted September 2022)