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 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 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 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 candidate portals or portal edits to verify:
OPR will present the title, description, location and photo of a nominee. You are then asked give the nominee 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 nominee. The map will also show any portals that may already exist nearby. These displays allow you to determine whether the nominee 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 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.
OPR 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.
Every 100 portals you evaluate in OPR earns you a priority upgrade. Upon earning an upgrade, it will immediately be applied to one of your portal candidate submissions in OPR, giving it priority in the OPR queue. If you don’t have any pending candidate portals, the upgrade will be banked until you submit a portal.
- 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.