Niantic Wayfarer (formerly known as Operation Portal Recon) is a web application from Niantic Labs that provides crowdsourced verification of portal nominations and edits. It is accessible to level 10 agents who complete a quiz to demonstrate their knowledge of the candidate portal criteria. Through Wayfarer, agents can indicate whether a candidate portal is suitable to be included in the portal network. This allows Niantic Labs to leverage the knowledge of local agents.
The term wayspot is used in Wayfarer as a synonym for portal, and Wayfarer users are referred to as wayfinders. This is because Wayfarer is used for multiple Niantic apps, not just Ingress.
Before you can use Wayfarer, you must pass a 10-question quiz. This quiz will present you with information about a nomination, and ask you whether or not it should be accepted and why. You are not told whether you got any one question right or wrong; you are only told at the end whether or not you passed. If you fail, you must wait a month before you can take it again. If you fail the second time, you will not be able to access Wayfarer.
The navigation menu has the following items:
- Showcase: Displays some recently approved nearby wayspots. These can help you get a better sense of the types of nominations that will be approved.
- Criteria: Contains the guidelines that should followed for submitting and evaluating wayspots.
- Review: Begin reviewing nominations. More about this below.
- Nominations: Allows you to view and manage your nominations.
- Profile: Displays your progress toward your next upgrade, your wayfinder rating, and stats about your account. Your wayfinder rating is based on how frequently your evaluations of wayspots agrees with other reviewers; it goes up when you frequently agree with them, and down when you don’t. It may also go down if Niantic detects that you’re abusing Wayfarer.
- Help: Provides links to documents with more information about Wayfarer.
- Settings: Provides the following options:
- Language: Choose the language used to render the Wayfarer interface.
- Dark Mode: Turning this on changes the interface to use dark colors instead of light ones.
- Codename Display for Wayspot Submissions: When you submit a wayspot, it is attributed to you using your in-game codename. Turn off this setting if you’d rather not receive attribution.
- Automatic Scrolling: This causes the interface to automatically scroll to the next section of a nomination as you fill it out. Turn off this setting to disable auto-scrolling.
- Hometown Location and Bonus Location: Wayfarer uses these two locations influence the nominations you are shown. They can be a place you grew up or went to school, or any place with which you are familiar. Once set, your bonus location cannot be changed for one year, and your hometown location cannot be changed at all. It’s recommended that hometown location be set to a place that you grew up, since that doesn’t change. Bonus location is best set the place other than your hometown with which you are most familiar.
- Community: Link to the Wayfarer community forum.
Upon clicking “Review,” Wayfarer will present a candidate wayspot, or a proposed edit to an existing wayspot.
Wayfarer will show the following sections:
Should this be a Wayspot?
The candidate photo and street address are displayed, and you are asked to rate the candidate’s appropriateness as a wayspot from 1 to 5.
Title and Description
You are asked to rate the appropriateness of the title and optional description.
An additional photo of the surrounding area and a description provided by the submitter about why it should be a wayspot are shown. No input is required of you for this section.
Check for Duplicates
A map of the area is shown, with any existing wayspots marked. Below that, photos of the wayspots are displayed. You may click the marker or photo of one of the wayspots to see its name and photo. If that wayspot is a duplicate of the candidate, you can click the “Mark as Duplicate” button for the existing wayspot. This will end the evaluation of this candidate.
Historic or Cultural Significance
You are asked to rate the candidate on its significance to history or culture.
You are asked to rate the candidate based on how visually distinctive the wayspot is. Is this the sort of thing you could see anywhere, or is it one-of-a-kind?
You are asked to rate the candidate according to how safe it is for a pedestrian to access. You are encouraged to use the “Supporting Information” photo, the map, and the street view (if available) to determine this.
You are shown a street view of the candidate if available, or an overhead satellite view otherwise, with a marker showing the candidate location. You are asked to rate the accuracy of the marked location. If you are able to provide a more accurate location, a button will allow you to do so.
What is it?
You are asked to categorize the candidate. There may be several categories proposed, or you can select a category yourself. There are five major categories (Building, Object, Other, Site, Structure) with many sub-categories under each.
You may optionally provide comments about your ratings. This will be used by Niantic staff in the event that they need to manually review the wayspot.
Wayfarer will present at least two titles, descriptions or locations for an existing wayspot and ask you to select the best one: the one that meets the acceptance criteria, most accurately represents the wayspot, and which adds the most value to it. Occasionally one of the proposed descriptions will be blank. If the alternative(s) are of low quality, pick the blank one.
On this screen, you can see a list of all the wayspots you have nominated. Each one will display its current status, which will be one of the following:
- In Queue: The candidate is waiting to be processed.
- Upgrade Next: The candidate is waiting to be processed. It is not currently upgraded, but is selected to receive your next upgrade.
- Upgraded: The candidate is waiting to be processed, but has been upgraded and will have a higher priority in the queue.
- In Voting: Reviewers are currently processing this candidate.
- Accepted: Reviewers accepted this candidate.
- Not Accepted: Reviewers rejected this candidate.
- Duplicate: This candidate was determined to be a duplicate of an existing wayspot.
- Withdrawn: You cancelled this candidate.
Select a candidate to see the full details of that nominee. If it’s not already in voting, you can also edit the title or description or withdraw the candidate by clicking “Edit.”
Every 100 agreements you earn in Wayfarer earns you a priority upgrade. When you earn it, it will be automatically applied to one of your pending nominations. This will give that nomination a higher priority in the queue. You can select one of your nominations to receive your next upgrade by selecting it from the list and clicking “Upgrade Next.” If you have no candidate selected to be upgraded next when you receive the upgrade, it will be applied to one of your candidates randomly. If you have no pending candidates when you receive an upgrade, it will be banked until you create one. You can have up to 10 banked upgrades.
- 17 November 2016: Niantic Labs announces the private beta of Operation Portal Recon. It is initially available only to specifically-invited agents in certain regions of the world. Portal submissions remain disabled.
- 12 April 2017: The OPR private beta begins in Japan, available to level 15 and 16 agents.
- 10 May 2017: OPR leaves private beta, becoming available to all level 16 agents. Portal submissions remain disabled.
- 12 June 2017: OPR access is extended to level 15 agents. The Recon medal is also announced.
- 27 June 2017: OPR access is extended to level 14 agents.
- 5 July 2017: OPR access is extended to level 13 agents.
- 11 July 2017: OPR access is extended to level 12 agents.
- 25 September 2017: Portal submissions are re-enabled for agents at level 11 or higher.
- 28 March 2018: Edits to a portal’s name, description, and location begin to be processed through OPR, starting with a limited beta in New Zealand. OPR agreements for edits do not count toward the recon medal, though Niantic indicates that may change in the future.
- 6 June 2018: Portal edits are opened up to all agents with access to OPR.
- 15 January 2019: Niantic announces the upgrades feature.
- 10 October 2019: OPR is revamped and renamed Niantic Wayfarer. The nomination management feature is added.
- 8 May 2020: Niantic Wayfarer access is extended to level 11 agents.
- 8 June 2020: Niantic Wayfarer access is extended to level 10 agents.