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. 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.
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.
- Contributions: Allows you to view and manage your submissions.
- 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 agree 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.
- Automatically Apply Upgrades: Controls whether or not earned upgrades are automatically applied to your contributions.
- Wayfarer Challenge: Controls whether global reviews are shown when there is an active Wayfarer challenge.
- Community: Link to the Wayfarer community forum.
Upon clicking “Review,” Wayfarer will present a candidate wayspot, or a proposed edit to an existing wayspot. The screen is laid out in two columns:
This column presents information about the wayspot:
- Title and Description: The submitted title for the wayspot, and an optional description of it
- Photo: The submitted wayspot photo
- Supporting Information: An additional photo showing the surrounding area, and information about why this wayspot should be accepted. This information is only for those evaluating the wayspot and is not included in the wayspot on acceptance.
In this column, you answer questions about the candidate:
You are shown a map with a red pin where the candidate is located, and circles at the locations of nearby existing wayspots. You can pan and zoom, switch between the map and satellite layers, and use the street view feature to explore. Below the map are photos of the wayspots on the map. Click on a circle on the map or a photo below the map to see a popup showing the title and photo of that wayspot. If that wayspot is a duplicate of the candidate, click the “Mark as Duplicate” button. If the candidate is not a duplicate of any of the shown wayspots, click “No Duplicates” below. You can also click “Suggest a New Location” at the bottom-left of the panel if the candidate is in the wrong location.
You are then asked to rate the candidate in the following traits:
- Appropriate: Is the location appropriate to be visited by pedestrians?
- Safe: Is the location safe and publicly accessible by pedestrians?
- Accurate and High Quality: Is the submitted photo, title, location, and description (if exists) accurate and informative?
- Permanent and Distinct: Is the location a permanent, physical, tangible, and identifiable place or object that placemarks an area?
- Socialize: Is this a good place for people to meet and socialize?
- Exercise: Is this a good place for light physical activity?
- Explore: Do you think this location is significant to the local community?
For each trait, you can give a thumbs up or a thumbs down, or select “I don’t know.”
You may be shown some categories to which the wayspot may belong, and you must answer yes or no to each. You may also select additional categories from the list below.
A the top and bottom are the following buttons:
- Report: Reports the candidate as abusive or violating Wayfarer rules.
- Skip: Don’t evaluate this candidate; move to another.
- Submit: Finish this review and start another. You can also click the arrow next to the button and select “Submit and finish reviewing” to return to the Showcase tab.
When evaluating an edit to a wayspot, Wayfarer will display the current information about the wayspot (title, photo, location, and description), excluding the information to be reviewed. For each field being reviewed, you will be presented with one or more alternatives. For the title and description, you can toggle a setting to see the differences between the original and new versions highlighted. For each field, select the one that is best, or “none of the above” if the are all inappropriate. Upon completing all fields, the same buttons are shown as in the “Review” screen to complete the edit.
On this screen, you can see a list of all the wayspot candidates you have submitted. Each one will display its current status, which will be one of the following:
- Not Accepted: Reviewers rejected this candidate.
- In Queue: The candidate is waiting to be processed.
- Accepted: Reviewers accepted this candidate.
- Duplicate: This candidate was determined to be a duplicate of an existing wayspot.
- In Voting: Reviewers are currently processing this candidate.
- Withdrawn: You cancelled this submission.
- In Voting (Niantic): The candidate has been escalated to Niantic for review.
- Appealed: The previous ruling on this candidate has been appealed and is awaiting review.
- On Hold: Niantic has placed the candidate on hold; no action will be taken until Niantic releases the hold.
- Upgraded: The candidate is waiting to be processed, but has been upgraded and will have a higher priority in the queue.
- Upgrade Next: The candidate is waiting to be processed. It is not currently upgraded, but is selected to receive your next upgrade.
You can search, filter, and sort your contributions using the controls above the list. Select a candidate to see its full details. If voting is still pending for the candidate, 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 the “Automatically Apply Upgrades” option is selected in the settings. 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.
- 30 October 2023: Niantic Wayfarer is revamped to simplify reviews, and the requirement to pass a quiz is removed. An introduction to Wayfarer is shown the first time an agent accesses it after this change.