Changing the Portal Edit Process

I see a half dozen threads all asking the same thing. Improve the Portal Edit process. Most of the time it devolves into arguments about the potential abuse when there are 2 very different classes of edits that should be handled differently.

Title and Description text edits: There is no reason that title and description edits should be going through OPR with the same requirements as new portals. Minor spelling and grammar corrections. Addition of descriptions to portals with none. These things don't impact the game in any way so there is little potential for abuse and it is very easy to recognize when an edit is abusive and reject it. However, allowing these edits to be done can greatly enrich the portal network! There are dozens of murals, artworks, etc in my home town with incorrect names, no credits to the artists, no dates. The best part of the portal network POI database is the way it leads players to explore the world around them, yet we are effectively unable to add the details that would make the network much richer. I have not yet received a single approved description edit and have submitted dozens for almost a year now, most of them attempts to credit artist's work.

Potential Solutions:

  1. Reduce the number of agreements needed to get an edit approved. If 3 or 4 people see a spelling change and approve it, it's highly likely to be a good edit. Don't force dozens of reviewers to waste their time on it.
  2. Give reviewers upgrades and rewards on edits similar to on new portals.
  3. Allow reporting of bad edits. If people submit stupid edits like "AgentK's couch portal" then allow reviewers to report it as abuse and suspend or remove that player's ability to suggest edits.
  4. Allow reviewers to earn a status of "trusted editor" and let them simply correct minor text errors. Status would be lost if that player were found abusing it.
  5. Have Niantic Ops simply approve or deny edits. They're already approving additional photo submissions and most of title and description edits are pretty obvious so they could be done fairly quickly.

Location Edits: This is where there is the most fear of abuse as well as the less obvious decisions. The current process for location edits is a joke. As a reviewer it is can be extremely difficult to actually tell which is the best location. Sometimes the POI itself is large and multiple pins are on it. Sometimes the location is obscured and it's impossible to tell where it is at all. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for moving a pin to a fence-line or other spot where players can access it safely. Yet location edits currently float around in OPR forever bounced between ingress players who want to reject them all and reviewers who are confused by not knowing the reason for the edit. Location edits need to go through a rigorous approval to prevent abuse, but need to be able to be supported with an area photo and supporting statement so that legitimate moves are possible.


  • Though not level 12 at this point - so no first hand experience with OPR I have submitted several edits. I can see that the above suggestions would benefit us all. Having the edit submission process streamlined to include an explanation with location edits, rather than being forced to make a “description edit” to accompany the location edit and hope that the edits are viewed together is a silly waste of time.

    I have attempted to move a few to more accessible locations or to the actual location of the original portal photo. So far none of my edits over the last year have emerged from OPR. Please, Niantic, give ElfFromSpace’s ideas some serious consideration. I am working towards the day when I can do my part in OPR and would like to think you are working to make it a good experience for your players. Thank you.

  • msz21msz21 ✭✭✭

    I agree with your comments but Niantic should not do the legwork for approving edits. It will devolve to folks sending in the same type of trash candidates that would mock them again and or even popularize submitting fun "coal".

    1) I disagree with this simply because I currently don't want the current edits to get approved. Why? Well there are folks clearly moving portals strategically to get existing portals removed on purpose.

    2) Interesting proposal but edits are currently local player review base dependent for the most part already. For example I went to Dubai, Mumbai, Lebanon as a visitor and all I would see are edit requests in the system. So I don't think it will help.

    3) Agree, edits should be reportable and flagged. Consequences should happen too if it happens in more than 2 cases.

    4) I won't ever trust a "trusted editor", people have abused the system too many times. The only exception to this has been vanguards and I am pretty sure there have been a fair share of issues among them too.

    5) Niantic should not manually review simply because it will waste too much of their time and resources, I would rather they fix bugs and other issues.

    I think the most positive thing of the recent patch notes for Prime was that Niantic stating that an edit rework is in the works. I think an edit rework is the best solution and it should require a number of things before you can even submit one edit. 3 photos for a candidate. First, the existing location of said candidate of where it is currently in the game. Second should be of where it is actually. Third should be additional context image for the proposed edit location. The edits should also have an explanation of the new title/description similar to how prime candidates have an additional comments by the submitter. If the editor submits that much information then sure, lower the review requirement.

  • msz21: Do you have an issue with ALL of the edits currently floating around in the system, or only the location edits? That is the primary point of my post. All of your listed concerns apply ONLY to location edits yet these concerns are blocking benign title and description edits. We need a process for both types of edits, but they really should be treated with different levels of care. Although there are bad edits out there, they are so obvious and easy to spot, and there is little chance to push into any hidden agendas such as breaking links and removing other portals. Hence, let's get the current batch of title and description edits to go THROUGH and clear out! It would also be silly to require people to put in a massive amount of supporting information just to add a comma or a capital letter to a portal. At most they could allow for an supporting statement. Even when they need new photos, I've found it's better to add a new photo to the portal first and then try to edit the description.

    The location edits... for those we might well be better off if they were simply thrown out completely and we had to start over putting in new location edits with your criteria.

    5) With all the $ Niantic is making from pokemon go and harry potter... they can afford someone to go through the edits.

  • kholman1kholman1 ✭✭✭✭

    Niantic used to handle edits but decided to lump them into OPR which is a bad idea as they take months not to mention at this point I have seen invalid portals refused take down status by NIAOPS which isn't helping. They need to take community input but at the same time NIAOPS needs to be involved and follow the guidelines as well when they make a decision.

  • msz21msz21 ✭✭✭

    @ElfFromSpace Unfortunately, edit descriptions can have a serious consequence on a portal. I have seen plenty of description edits claiming it's to indicate this portal is on private property or even edits claiming to move the POI to the Southeast (or some general direction) in the description because there is no streetview or other references to know it's at the right location besides an "editor" claiming it is.

    Titles are probably less problematic since I have yet to have one problematic title in the review system so far. For the most part, it's to add more detail or context to the POI for the title so it's clearly a unique portal title.

  • HydraulinskiHydraulinski ✭✭✭✭✭

    Location edits should count as a submission, lowering the amount of left submits the agent had.

    Plus, a period of time to prevent both the portal tô receive more atempts, and the agent to repeat It.

  • OGMagusOGMagus ✭✭✭

    I hope - although I have seen no evidence - that when Prime gets edits, we get supporting photo and supporting text with every (location) edit - especially when Redacted go away. Speaking as a self-cofesssed pedant, I know there are lots of others out there who just wants things to be right and good. I think so many well-meaning edits are interpreted as evil - I mean all you get today is "which of these dots are correct".

    Let me have a supporting photo and text and you'll see - these edits are not bad.

  • @msz21 The reason for description edits such as "Move to south pin" and it's to get around the fact that you can't submit a statement or any other info along with a location edit. Those aren't real description edits and the agent submitting has no intention of the description ever being approved, and if one is approved by mistake it won't actually move the portal. The accompanying location edit would have to do that. Hence, those should not be taken into consideration when evaluating whether description edits have the potential to negatively impact gameplay. Fixing the system would remove the reason agents do that.

    Regarding players making a description edit saying something is on private property... This sounds like another attempt to use the edits because the process of reporting bad portals isn't working properly. Portal descriptions should not be used to state things like "Maps out of date" or "On Private Property" because if a portal needs to be removed due to no longer existing or being on private property, it should be removed, not updated to say as much. Hence, edits on those lines should be rejected.

    @Hydraulinski I don't understand how your suggestion would help anything. It would seem far better to have a method to report location edits that are abusive (and make clear guidelines for what would be considered abusive. Such as moving it from the back edge of a Gazebo to the front side for better accessibility? Compared to trying to move an enemy anchor to the middle of a cornfield.) If an agent is found to be submitting abusive location edits, then their ability to submit them should be suspended or removed. Having the location edits take up submission slots would only slow down the legit agents who have been working to correct and fill in POI in their area and would likely not even slow down the abusers who probably have plenty of available submissions anyway.

  • @OGMagus That is exactly my issue. I started playing ingress because I love the rich network of POI that I get to seek out and interact with when I travel! But.. I want them to be CORRECT. I want to change "Black shape" to "Hbend Sculpture. Description: Sculpture by John Smith placed in the riverwalk park in 2015" as the minimum expectation on portals that are artworks. As a fan and advocate of the arts, I know how important it is to give proper credits for artworks!

    We just want things to BE RIGHT. Please let us!

  • JosmanuJosmanu ✭✭✭

    There should be separate labels inside the OPR and you can pick what to review, nominations, edits, -other insert here-, etc

  • @Josmanu That's not a bad idea. Do you think that would help get the edits through? It really won't help the location edits. Those are a disaster currently. If I could get edit upgrades by reviewing edits I'd do more! And then it would be easier for them to reduce the current threshold on edit reviews.

  • Any ideas about preventing PoGO kids from missplacing correctly placed portals just to spawn it in PoGO?

    This is getting out of control in some places.

    Perhaps using the same cell system for all Niantic games would solve it. The amount of couch edits is lesser than pokestop edits.

  • XQlusioNXQlusioN ✭✭✭✭✭

    There should be a way to lock a portal once it's deemed good/perfect. So no more edits can take place if all is good.

    Not sure how they would know if a portal is perfect or how they would unlock it if it ever did require a change.

  • This exactly I have a player from the opposite that would constantly edit a portal name or description that is incorrect or malicious. There needs to be some vetting done via NIA!

  • We should able to report abuse for this. In my town pogo players move EVERYTHING so it can spawn in pogo. They dont care aboyt right position, they submit POI in the middle of the street.

  • This is a tougher issue, but also one less relevant to the main topic about needing a better process for basic edits. Let's not lose sight of the main issue... simple edits NEED a better process.

    As for location tweaks, I have personally been very frustrated when I submit a portal on a POI that is fairly large, like a Gazebo, and then had the placement get moved or come through wrong so that it doesn't port over. Having portals like this that don't port over causes problems for OPR as well because many times people will suggest them as new portals and some careless agents submit them as duplicates because they aren't paying enough attention. In fact, I am guilty of that myself when I submitted a sign for a community center, not noticing that someone submitted the building itself and pinned it on the far/back corner in a really awkward place behind another portal. This can be an issue for Ingress as well, to a lesser extent. There is a local park with an incorrectly placed portal that is effectively blocking me from submitting either the playground or gazebo because the portal for the park itself is in the center, rather than on the park sign. I wonder if one way to help ease the concerns with location edits would be for the edits to never go live while the portal has any links? Then, at least, it wouldn't ruin any active fields and at worst would force players to actually think and plan when they want to re-field.

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