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Niantic Wayfarer: An Introduction

Earlier this evening, Niantic unleashed Wayfarer upon the world, rolling it out for Trainers across the globe.  

The process Niantic has set forth for being able to review Wayspots is really quite simple. 

  1. Go to the Wayfarer website
  2. Login in via Facebook or Google
  3. Familiarize yourself with the Niantic guidelines for what makes a good waypoint and what does not
  4. Take the 10 question, multiple-choice test
  5. If you pass, start reviewing submissions

Let’s take a closer look at the requirements to access Wayfarer and the Wayspot guidelines as defined by Niantic in the documentation on the official Wayfarer website. (Warning, this is going to be wordy)

ACCESSING NIANTIC WAYFARER

The following requirements to access Wayfarer can be found on the Niantic Helpshift website.

Features related to Niantic Wayfarer are accessible for certain experienced players of Niantic games. Whether you can submit a suggested Wayspot edit, submit a Wayspot nomination, or review nominations and edits is determined by the level of your account in Pokémon GO and/or Ingress Prime. Current access requirements for these features are listed below.
 
Please note that these access requirements are subject to change, so keep an eye on our official channels for updates.

Submitting Wayspot Edits

Players can submit suggested edits to existing Wayspots for review within Wayfarer:
  • Level 8 in Ingress Prime – Level 8 grants access to edit text and images; location editing is unlocked at level 12. Learn how to submit a portal edit here.

Submitting Wayspot Nominations

Players can nominate new Wayspots for review and manage their nominations on the Wayfarer website:
  • Level 10 in Ingress Prime – Tap the Nomination button in Ingress Prime’s Main Menu.
  • Level 40 in Pokémon GO* – Learn how to submit a Pokéstop nomination here.

Reviewing Wayspot Nominations and Edits

Players can visit the Wayfarer website to review Wayspot nominations and edits. In addition to level requirements, players must also pass a quiz to show that they understand Niantic’s Wayspot acceptance criteria:
  • Level 11 in Ingress Prime
  • Level 39 in Pokémon GO*
    recently updated in May 2020
     
*Only available in certain regions. You’ll receive a notification when you’re eligible and access is made available in your area. At present, players must also have their game account linked to a Facebook or Google account in order to access the Wayfarer website.

What makes a good waypoint?

High-quality nominations are those that help users 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 nominations that are a special nod to industries and networks that connect people around the world. These include:

  • Public parks
    • Public parks are great, high-quality places for Wayspots: 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, a cornerstone of Niantic
    • 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 spiritual
  • 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 nominations

If you come across any of the following, please reject it as an ineligible nomination by answering the “Should this be a Wayspot?” question with a 1-star rating:

  • Nominations whose real-world location appears to be on the grounds of primary, secondary, or high schools, or daycare or childcare centers
  • Nominations whose real-world location appears to be on private residential property (including farms)
  • Nominations whose real-world location appears to obstruct the driveway of emergency services or may interfere with the operations of fire stations, police stations, hospitals, military bases, industrial sites, power plants, and air traffic control towers
  • Nominations that do not appear to be permanent, including seasonal displays that are only put up during certain times of the year
  • Nominations where the photo is of 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 a 1 star if the nomination has the following issues:

  • Nomination where the photo or information appears to focus on a person/group of people, body parts, live animals, instead of an object
  • The photo appears to be from a third-party source (e.g., shows a watermark) or is low quality (e.g., pitch-black/blurry photos or photos taken from a car)

Please be sure to closely review nominations whose real-world location appears to be within 40 meters of private, single-family residential property, and nominations whose real-world location appears to be in a neighborhood park. To be clear, nominations should be rejected if their real-world location appears to be on private, single-family residential property or might encourage people to go onto private property (e.g., because the real-world location is at the end of a private driveway).

Ratings Scale

You will be asked various questions about a nomination and will answer by rating on a scale of one to five stars. In general, use the following guidelines when deciding how to vote:

  • If you strongly agree, choose 5 stars
  • If you are unsure or have no opinion, choose 3 stars
  • If the answer is definitely no, choose 1 star

When you answer Should this be a Wayspot?” with a 1-star rating, you will not be required to answer the other questions and can move to the next nomination.

Checking Location

The real-world location of the Wayspot is extremely important. We want users to be able to visually see and experience the nomination when they visit the real-world location. Please make sure to examine the real-world location of the nomination using a variety of sources, including maps and Street Views. You will be asked to rate the real-world location by answering the following questions:

  1. Is the location marker in the accurate spot?
  2. Can the nomination be safely accessed if the marker was in the right real-world location?

To rate the accuracy of the location

  • Rate 5 stars if you can find the nomination in the map and the marker is on or within a few feet of the real-world location of the object
  • Rate 3 stars if the nomination is likely to exist in the real-world location if obscured by trees, or if you are unsure of the real-world location
  • Rate 1 star if the nomination cannot be found on the map

Note: At times, you may not be able to view the nomination in maps or Street View if the real-world location of the nomination is inside a park or under a tree. For these cases, use your best judgment to decide whether the nomination could exist at the real-world location. You can use the submission photo and look for clues in the background to help you decide.

Niantic Wayfarer

To rate the accessibility of the real-world location

If the real-world location of the nomination cannot be confirmed to have safe pedestrian access (e.g. on a roundabout or on the side of the road with no sidewalk access), rate 1 star for the “Can it be safely accessed?” question.

Niantic Wayfarer

Example 1: There is a crosswalk leading up to the object and an area next to the object for players to stand. This nomination gets 5 stars for the question “Can it be safely accessed?”

Niantic Wayfarer

Example 2: There is no pedestrian access to the real-world location of the nomination. Mark this a 1 star for the question “Can it be safely accessed?”

Check for Duplicates

At times, you might come across a nomination that is a duplicate of a live Wayspot. In these cases, follow these steps to look for and mark as a duplicate.

Niantic Wayfarer

The Check Duplicates section will display a list of live Wayspots in the real-world area around the nomination. Scan through the photos and if you find a live Wayspot for the nomination you are reviewing, follow these steps:

  • Click the Wayspot photo
  • You will see a pop-up in the map with the Wayspot details. Confirm that it is a duplicate of the nomination you are analyzing
  • Click the “Mark as Duplicate” button

STILL WITH US?

Whew! That is a lot of information to take in. But, having taken the test and passed it, I can assure you it really isn’t that difficult. Read the guidelines, take the test, and you should be ok.

Pokémon GO Trainers have been waiting for this day to come for a LONG time. Niantic is finally letting us join our Ingress brethren in reviewing Wayspot submissions. I, for one, will be reviewing Wayspots daily. Being given a chance to help grow the game, is an honor, and I will take full advantage of it.

What do you all think of Wayfarer? Did Niantic get it right? Will you be using it? Are you able to access it yet? What do you think of the guidelines? Lets us know in the comments!

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Pac

Co-Admin/Writer/Builder of All Things/G.O.A.T. for Gaming2gether Media

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