The Niantic Wayfarer team solicited questions from the community. The first set of answers, as well as a TLDR on upcoming features and changes can be found below.
- Adding a backend system to measure submitter quality and possibly even add benefits to Wayfarers who consistently submit high-quality nominations, and punishments to those who don’t. The idea of a submitter test had been considered in the past but there is the tricky problem of what to do with folks who are already level-eligible and have been submitting nominations.
- Adjusting the negative impact of a disagreement with a Niantic selected nomination against your rating to make it more feasible to improve your rating.
- Changing the required comment on the criteria option to reduce the amount of random reason rejections.
- Redesigning the Wayspot Showcase to better highlight good examples of Wayspots and continue clarification around the criteria.
- Redesigning the criteria pages to make it easier to evaluate candidates, making information more useful in evaluating Wayspots and less targeted at specific types of locations.
- Better feedback when your review of a nomination disagrees with a Niantic selected nomination to help improve your rating and overall understanding of the criteria.
Who is the Wayfarer team? Are you the "NIA Ops" that Andrew Krug used to refer to, rebranded What do your day-to-day jobs look like? Is your full-time job related to the POI database? Are you a committee of developers and other employees that respond to questions? A standing committee or a more informal group that meets every couple days for beer and pizza?
Although we love beer and pizza, the Wayfarer team is a full-time group that includes product managers, engineers and members from Niantic Support. While the support team is the voice of Niantic, the responses come from relevant team members depending on who or what the question is for. For example, the product team looks into feature requests, the support team looks into abuse related issues.
Do you plan to implement some sort of feedback to help educate reviewers on the reasons the rating dropped? Since reviewers have no idea where they are disagreeing with Niantic's assessments, will you provide feedback on what categories reviewers are in most disagreeing with Niantic?
Thanks for your feedback, we hear you on the frustration you feel around reviewer ratings. We have some changes in store that will help you to better understand your rating as well as the areas which contributed to changes in your rating. We are currently reviewing the manner in which the Niantic selected nominations are processed in the backend to leverage this system to better provide information to Wayfarers not only on where they diverged from our reviews but also to better educate you on what to do next time. Additionally, we’ve rebalanced the ding against your rating for disagreeing with the Niantic review in order to make it less impactful on your overall rating and are continuing to make adjustments to this formula so it doesn’t feel impossible to improve your rating.
Has the wayfarer team ever considered a "submitter's test" or other ways to help educate new submitters?
We are always working on initiatives to monitor submitter quality and take proactive action on low quality nominations. The quality of the Wayspots are one of our top concerns at all times. We are currently working on a backend system to improve how submitter quality is assessed and possibly even add benefits to Wayfarers who consistently submit high quality nominations, and punishments to those who don’t. For now, the best option to address low quality nominations is to use the one-star option to reject and report low quality nominations. For reporting bad edits, use the form available in the Help Center to report these cases. Reported nominations are reviewed by the Wayfarer team and the submitters may receive a warning or a suspension based on the severity of the offense.
There have been some ongoing issues with reviewers not selecting the most appropriate rejection reasons behind their decisions, believing that a rejection is a rejection and the specific reason doesn't matter. Is there anything that Niantic can do to address this so nominators get specific feedback on their rejected nominations?
We do take action on bad reviewers as well as submitters. Depending on the severity of the issue, they can get a warning, suspension, or get their Wayfarer account terminated. If you do have a nomination get rejected for a generic reason, consider resubmitting along with more context in the description or the supporting statement. Additionally, to address this issue, we are changing the required comment on the criteria option in hopes that that will reduce the amount of random reason selection. This will be included in the next Wayfarer update, currently scheduled for next week.
Can the Wayfarer Dev team create an "Edits/Requests Nominations" section within Wayfarer, so we can look at the Title/Description/Location move requests, Photo submissions, or Portal removals that we have submitted and be able to see the statuses of them, similar to how we see the statuses (such as "in queue" or "in voting") of our POI submissions in the "Nominations" section?
Thanks for the feedback. At this time we do not have a timeline to add in the list of edits and photos. This is something we've considered in the past as well, but in the meantime, you can search for the acknowledgement email to keep track of your edits and photos.
How can dead zone / dry voting / black spots be addressed? These are areas with very few reviewers where review times are very long and the system feels unbalanced when compared to higher density areas that also are more likely to have higher populations of Wayspots.
We are always monitoring where there are an excess and a lack of reviewers and will fast track nominations in those areas so that the Wayspots in question don’t sit waiting forever for a review. We are also currently discussing ways to address all nominations that have sat pending review for an extended period of time, not just ones from areas with limited reviewers. Options we’ve considered have been bumping them into areas with more reviewers to increase the likelihood that they are processed and creating an internal alert to ensure that nominations that sit for extended period of time get reviewed by the Niantic team. We proactively look into areas where there is a disparity between the nominations available for review compared to the number of available Reviewers and are manually fast tracking nominations that are stuck in the review process due to this reason.
With regard to “featured Wayspots,” could a new system be investigated that shows nomination tips, actual Niantic curated nominations, or other relevant information to turn this into an educational opportunity for reviewers?
Yes! Thanks for your feedback, based on the input from the community, the Wayspot Showcase is being redesigned with these goals in mind and you should see an updated version in the next few months.
Would it be possible to change the frequency with which we can change our bonus location? There are some small remote island communities that don't have a lot of submissions, but if we could change our bonus more often it would make us more likely to go there and give them the reviews they need for more wayspots.
Nominations are displayed to reviewers based on three location information inputs: recently played location from the app you use to log into Wayfarer, home location, and bonus location. Updating your bonus location is limited because we don't want people jumping to places they're less familiar with and reviewing Wayspots as with limited local insight, potentially taking incorrect action compared to a local reviewer.
Is it possible to consider having “Supporting Information” for Edits as well?
Thanks for your feedback. We are discussing this internally and will share more information about this as we move forward.
What is the plan for updating the in-app map system to be a more accurate reflection of the current state of the map?
Updating the maps isn’t necessarily something that lives with the Wayfarer team, which focuses more on the locations, but here’s what our product team had to say: updating these maps happens semi-regularly as we know that they are constantly being updated with new information, streets, rivers, etc. However, we need to proceed with caution because it can also cause issues in specific locations. This is why it doesn’t happen weekly, monthly, etc. At this time, there’s not currently an update to the map planned.
How do you plan on acknowledging player contributions from Pokémon GO to Wayfarer?
There are a number of discussions happening about how to recognize your contributions across Niantic apps, starting with Pokémon GO but considering that there may be other contributors in the future as well. One thing that is on the horizon is that we’ll be adding the Codename or Trainer Nickname of the Wayfinder who nominated the Wayspot in the Wayspot Showcase, so you can get some recognition for submitting excellent nominations while we work on the in-app recognition.
For direct links to the discussions, see below:
With the relaunch of the Wayfarer criteria, it’s possible that previous guidance regarding Wayspot eligibility or ineligibility is out of date. As such, we’ve removed these from this article, but have left the other information.
Please disregard previous, category-specific eligibility guidance and refer to the updated criteria for the most accurate information.