On Having A Lack of Points of Interest

The way Pokestops work in Pokemon Go is that they exist on real-world locations. These locations are called Waypoints or Points of Interest. Most of these have been nominated by local communities, because, well, they’re points of interest. Many of these Pokestops tend to be things in reality that are pretty cool. Things you’d point to and say “look at that!”

Of course, with the option for the general public to submit Pokestop nominations, you’re going to get people submitting, well, crap. Which means that people reviewing the nominations have to, well, review that crap. It’s a pretty regular thing where you’ll get a picture of someone’s house, or a stuffed animal or whatever. These are all pointless submissions, people trying to get Pokestops at their own homes.

I mean, why bother?

If everyone has a Pokestop (or a portal in Ingress, or an inn if you play that Harry Potter game) on their front lawn, then… what’s the point? In games that are about exploring and visiting new places, having a waypoint at your house completely defeats the purpose of, well any of it.

It’s like me bitching that Dark Souls is too hard and then being given a stupidly easy mode, it’s just not… right. While I’m normally an inclusive person, sometimes you just have to accept that not everyone can play every game.

Rather than rant about that though, how about actually submitting something that might actually get added?

I get it. Not having a nearby Pokestop sucks. I went for years without a nearby Pokestop and had to drive to town. It’s only been recently that I’ve had a Pokestop nearby. But that’s because I grinded up to level 40 in Pokemon Go and spent a week looking around for things to nominate. And then I waited weeks, only to have them declined. But I learned from my mistakes and resubmitted these points of interest, giving better descriptions and photos.

You can improve your in-game experience without being a fool about it. You just need to put a little effort into it all.

There are a surprising number of things that can be submitted and get in-game.

Seriously. Every playground, every park (as long as it has a sign), every church, mosque and temple, these can all be points of interest. Trail markers are also apparently a thing that gets added regularly. They have to have an actual name of a trail on them and some useful information, but they count. Any sort of dedication or memorial plaque works, as does pretty much anything vaguely artistic, as long as looks interesting. Even some badass graffiti will get added if it’s cool enough. Museums are basically guaranteed. And while schools can’t be added, universities and colleges can be nominated, and they tend to have other interesting things nearby as well.

Some things are harder to get accepted though, especially if you can’t see them from above. You’ll often need a good supporting photo to help prove where a potential waypoint is. You can also submit famous local businesses, but these are particularly tricky since you need to prove that they’re not generic businesses or chain stores.

Basically, if non-locals visit the place and it’s not too generic, then give it a try.

You need to explain these things to the reviewers.

If you sell it right, then even more things can get in. As long as your submission isn’t on a farm or on private property, is easily accessible by foot, doesn’t block emergency services, isn’t a mass-produced object and isn’t near or at a school, then it might be able to make it in. You have to EXPLAIN why your nomination is a good one.

For example, I had two nominations. One was of a super generic concrete thing. Literally a box. Turned out, it was a water pump. They didn’t explain what it was, they just said “it is eligible” and that was it. Except it wasn’t and the submitter had given me no reason why it was eligible. But later on, I got another, somewhat similar nomination. It was an old well but someone had attached a weather station to it. And they had explained that “this old well is ancient and has provided water for over 500 years”. They went into detail about the nomination, and that made me give it a better review.

Sure, that might not actually be true, I have no real way of knowing. But the fact that the submitter took the effort to provide some information and took a decent photo makes it easier for everyone to review it.

“But there is NOTHING near me!”

You know what? Fair point. Sometimes people do live in the middle of fucking nowhere. I should know, I used to. But here’s the thing, why not… try and create your own point of interest?

Okay, that sounds a bit stupid. But if you are in the middle of nowhere, then put something in the middle of nowhere. It doesn’t have to be something super amazing either. Pokemon Go is a community game, so work with the community and get a park or green space added, or popularize a hiking trail or something. Heck, you can just make your own point of interest yourself. One submission I saw while reviewing stuff was, weirdly, a statue of a cow in a field. It’s not the most interesting thing ever, but it’s something that makes you go “huh, that’s curious”.

And since it wasn’t obviously at someone’s house, I reviewed it favourably.

Remember that reviewers are human and can only review what you give them.

People have to sit down and review the submissions that you send. Heck, some reviewers might be thousands of miles away. And people volunteer to do this, there’s no real benefit from doing so. So if your nomination gets rejected, it sucks, but you can always try again, with some better text. But you shouldn’t try and abuse the system or the people reviewing this stuff. They’re trying their best.

Otherwise, at the end of the day, new Waypoints will fall into Niantic’s hands. And they will be even less favorable than fellow player-based reviewers are. And a hell of a lot slower as well.


Phovos writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *