Hi folks,

Firstly, let me thank you for all of the interest in continuing the AMA. I hear you that there is a hunger for more information beyond these questions and I am working on securing more support for maintaining the forum and addressing your questions and concerns here.

To start, I wanted to give a brief update on the timing for some of the launches previously announced in the Wayfarer Roadmap. Before the end of October, we’re planning on rolling out the following:
  • Updating the look and feel to better indicate when all available reviews have been completed
  • The rating redesign to add explanation text to the display, a fourth category to split up “red” and a shift away from the stoplight colors
  • Adding image reviews for live Wayspots to your review queues.
Detailed release notes will accompany the release of these features so stay tuned.

And now, on to the AMA! We are talking about feature requests and bugs:

Spell check for titles and descriptions or alternatives suggested for common mistakes.
This is a really good suggestion to enhance the Wayfarer experience and also cut down on Wayspot edit requests due to typos, we’re looking into adding this.

Expanding remote nominations to Pokémon GO and allowing access to previously taken photos (i.e. photo galleries) to avoid image timeouts.
We agree that these are great features which should be available to Pokémon GO as well as Ingress submitters, as we’d like to provide as consistent an experience as possible for all Wayfinders. In fact, we are currently focussed on providing an image gallery when viewing the Wayspot details in Pokemon GO, and letting you vote on which ones you like the best. Note that any feature will need to be prioritized into the roadmap of all the other great improvements coming up both for Wayfarer and Pokémon GO.

Change the reward for reviews to be increased nominations instead of Upgrades.
This is a tricky suggestion to enforce. We don’t want to force folks to review in order to be a part of Wayfarer because then we’ll have people completing reviews solely for nominations. We're not yet convinced this would provide the best right incentive for high-quality reviews, but we hear that you feel the nomination cap is too low and will look to address this via other means. We'd love to continue the discussion on how to make Wayfarer more rewarding.

Offering feedback for disagreements between reviewers and the final decision as well as information about where reviewers decided differently from the Niantic reviewed submissions.
We definitely hear you on the need to provide more feedback to reviewers so you can improve and learn how to better review. Honestly, there is a lot of technical work that is required in making this happen, so we are deliberating how to best do this and how we can break it into phases so that the necessary information gets to the people who need it sooner rather than later. Please share any specific ideas you may have!

Finally, we have the things that were interesting to the community.

Would the Wayfarer team consider doing a live or recorded video of them reviewing nominations to help better educate the community?
This is a great idea, and something that we’re already working with our marketing partners to develop and roll out!

Can PokéStop and Portal Nomination be shifted to ‘Wayspot nomination’ when interacting with Wayfarer in Ingress and Pokémon GO?
This is a delightful suggestion, this shift would better cement expectations for what a Wayfinder does--suggest interesting and unique points of interest in their local area for inclusion in the Niantic Wayfarer program--rather than reinforcing additions to an individual game. Definitely something we’ll look into.

When is it appropriate to report an invalid Wayspot? How can these reports be made if you’re not a business or property owner (or otherwise authorized individual)? What should be avoided when considering whether or not to report invalid Wayspots?
Wayspots that fall under the following categories can be reported via the Ingress Scanner or the Pokémon GO app:
  • No Pedestrian Access
  • Obstructs or interferes with Emergency Services
  • Private Residential Property
  • School (up to K12; including Day care/Child care services)
  • Permanently removed from the location
  • Duplicate of another Portal
For all other cases, we’ll review the location if the (verified) property owner contacts us via the form provided in the Pokémon GO or Ingress Help centers. If you’ve reported a location via the Pokémon GO app or the Ingress Scanner and the request has been rejected, you can appeal the decision in the Wayfarer forum if you have additional proof to share

Reflecting on the Wayfarer event in South Korea in early 2020, do you consider this event as a success, and what other future events can we look forward to in efforts to encourage reviewing?
Unfortunately, we had a much more in-depth campaign to encourage reviews in this area that we ultimately ended up cutting short due to the global pandemic. With that in mind, we did see this as a success in terms of learning how to design similar campaigns in the future. We are planning on repeating this in other regions that could use a reviewer boost, but are too early in the planning process to share specifics at this time.

We’ll have one final AMA for 2020 in November. Based on your feedback to this post, I’ll be re-evaluating how we select the questions for inclusion as there was a clear call to include more information.

As always, I want to close by thanking you for being active contributors to the Niantic Wayfarer program and the Wayfarer community forum. We truly appreciate your activity and commitment to the program.

- Casey

Update:

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.