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 12 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.
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 six 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.
- Review: Begin reviewing nominations. More about this below.
- Help: Provides links to documents with more information about Wayfarer.
- Settings: Allows you to choose your language, toggle auto-scroll, and set your hometown and bonus locations. These locations are used (along with your current location) to find nominations to show you. Your hometown location cannot be changed once set, so choose carefully. The area you grew up is often a good choice. Your bonus location can only be changed once a year. It’s a good idea to set it to a location you frequent but which isn’t where you typically access Wayfarer.
- 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.
- Nominations: Allows you to view and manage your portal nominations.
Upon clicking “Review,” will present a candidate portal, or a proposed edit to an existing portal.
Wayfarer will ask for a rating of 1 to 5 stars on several aspects of the wayspot:
- Should this be a wayspot?
- Title and description
- Historic or cultural significance
- Visually unique
- Safe access
- Location accuracy
You will also be asked to check if it is a duplicate of any nearby portals. To aid you, you will be shown a photo of the nominee, a map showing nearby portals, and if available, a photo and/or Google Street View of the surrounding area.
You are also asked to categorize the nominee. There are five major categories (Building, Object, Other, Site, Structure) with many sub-categories under each. It is unknown how Niantic Labs is using this categorical information.
Wayfarer will present at least two titles, descriptions or locations for an existing portal and ask you to select the best one: the one that meets the acceptance criteria, most accurately represents the portal, 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 portals 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, and it has been integrated into the portal network.
- Not Accepted: Reviewers rejected this candidate.
- Duplicate: This candidate was determined to be a duplicate of an existing portal.
- 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 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 Seer 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.