Operation Portal Recon is a web application from Niantic Labs that provides crowdsourced verification of portals. It is accessible to level 12 agents who complete a quiz to demonstrate their knowledge of the candidate portal criteria. Through OPR, 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.
For an overview of OPR, see this official Niantic training video:
Before you can use OPR, you must pass a 10-question quiz. This quiz will present you with information about a portal, 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 OPR.
Once you pass the quiz, it’s recommended that you go to the Settings page. It shows the three locations associated with your account: home, bonus and current. Your home location cannot be changed once set, while your bonus location can only be changed once a year. Current location is determined via geolocation and cannot be set.
Upon clicking the “Begin Portal Analysis” link, you will be presented with the title, description, location and photo of a candidate portal. You are then asked give the portal a 1- to 5-star rating on four criteria:
- Is the title accurate?
- Is it historically or culturally significant?
- Is it visually unique?
- Should this be a portal?
Further down the page are a Google Maps and Google Street View display of the portal. The map will also show any portals that may already exist nearby. These displays allow you to determine whether the portal actually exists as described and that there aren’t duplicate portals. You are also given two more star rating questions:
- Is the location accurate?
- Can it be safely accessed?
You are also asked to categorize the portal. 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.