Could we please adjust scales for "rural" areas?

When I started Ingress, I wondered what the game considered "rural" and how this was determined. After nominating things in May that still haven't finished despite being very far from the nearest portals, I started looking into how "rural" is determined.

There's obvious speculation over sizes, but if using s2 cells is how this is being done, my best guess is that Niantic is using size 8 s2 cells to measure emptiness of cells that are rural, and that seems to be pretty close to others' speculations.

My question is for Niantic, if you would please consider rescaling the "rural" criteria to at least a size 9 or smaller. Because of how s2 cells are lining up, my sparsely populated rural suburb is being tied in with portals to a larger city that is very portal dense. My area is getting delayed reviews from this, while the next town east finishes being reviewed in a week.

Both these towns with different "rural" statuses are about 10 miles from the larger city, but the "rural" town is east of the line that would tie it in with the larger city. Really sucks waiting a year for a rural area to get portals because I'm south of a city that's very dense. Here's the size 8 cell over my area.


  • Maybe I'm not getting it, but what does this have to do with Wayfarer? or really ingress in general?

  • kholman1kholman1 ✭✭✭✭

    it determines the priority of submissions. Quite frankly it needs to be smaller. I think L10 would be better. L8 S2 cells only punish larger areas it caused a lot of clogging when they did a fix in 2018 to get submissions unclogged instead it just makes urban cells take longer and rural areas are getting answers if they are near an urban voting center. So all it did was flip the table and put priority for rural areas but added traffic jams in urban cities that can cause months long backlogs. We had almost a year built up in certain DFW areas before upgrades went live. I mean I have upgrades now entering week #4 while smaller towns are getting answers back in 2-4 days. There needs to be a tweaking again but it probably won't work as the previous ones seem to not always fix the issue.

  • This is how the S2 cell map looks in my area. Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, is in the same L8 cell as smaller towns such as Paisley and Clydebank which means submissions take a lot longer to review in those areas. Meanwhile, I live closer to the centre there, near Lanark. In my area there are five principal settlements (with rough populations in brackets) - Lanark (8,000), Carluke (13,000), Biggar (2,300), Lesmahagow (3,600) and Douglas (1,500). There's very little in between. The cell containing Lanark has bits of three much larger towns in it - Wishaw, Motherwell and Hamilton - which adds to the number of portals quite a bit. Between Douglas and Lanark, roughly 20 km, there's next to nothing. Two tiny little villages and a hamlet (or two hamlets and a village depending how small you define a hamlet). I'd definitely say I live in a rural area.

    When I submit a portal in the Lanark cell, it takes roughly two to three weeks to get a decision. That's fine for me. If I submit something in the Biggar cell, which is the one East of Lanark, it takes about 4-5 days. My problem comes when I submit something in Hamilton. Hamilton sits on the corner of the four cells containing Glasgow, East Kilbride, Falkirk and Lanark. Depending on where in the town you submit, it seems like a Wayfarer lottery. Some submissions which I'm sure are in the Lanark cell came back very quickly, but I'm still waiting on some from the West of the town that were submitted months ago.

    I do agree that rural areas should be prioritised, but that the implementation isn't great. The S2 cells in my area just happens to line up well for me to properly represent that it's rural. Hamilton, meanwhile, is a big town but nowhere near the size of Glasgow but still gets pulled into the city's huge cell.

  • kholman1kholman1 ✭✭✭✭

    The areas inside the black box is where the majority of submissions I am seeing are coming from in the urban areas the ovals are being voted on and are seeing decent times to return. There is a decent amount of voters in the black box area that is helping get upgrades done in a week but the issue we have is it seems something happened and upgrades from around november 16th-25th or so are just lodged in voting no answer but newer upgrades are processing in as few as 3 days. I feel like I should just yank the old ones and try again at this rate.

  • Dudes, there is farm land all around me for miles, the closest big city to me is dying and for these reasons I can't get a decent infrastructure in my small town. Can something be done here, small towns shouldn't suffer because bigger ones exist.

  • Not to mention that when your suburb crosses over a threshold (rumoured to be 700 portals) you become a big city now, so welcome to the wait.

    But, hey, Andrew has resigned so this forum is going to die and no one from that cursed company will look in this thread.

  • KliffingtonKliffington ✭✭✭✭✭

    My city has well over 1000 and I often get my subs back in less than a week without an upgrade. It varies but so far nothing has really gone over a few weeks since October.

    Everything is dependent on the nearby reviewer community.

  • Definitely not "everything" is dependent on local reviewers. I've had six nominations go through for a town because it is east of the S2 cell that I am in within a week while nothing I have nominated where I live has gone through without an upgrade since May. There's no way that the cell in the middle of nowhere has more local reviewers or these submissions would have already been nominated.

  • kholman1kholman1 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2019

    if its 700 that would mean L6 scoring area or L8 cell but that still doesn't account for the fact so many areas eclipsed that eons ago. It really matters if you have a voting population if you have a large voting population it helps but the rural stuck for years probably has to do with the fact they require locals to vote as well as remote reviewers which has caused issues for rural players. Why are my local rurals up to 2 hours out getting a lot of replies? I think it has to do with the fact that Dallas and Houston are picking up their submissions and it shows our rural scoring cells have about 2-5 day turn around. I am watching entire towns fill in. My area had the second great wayspot proliferation since submissions were open in 2013-2015 and reopened in 2017 over the last year. A few agents had submitted a lot of portals. I got at least 100 of my own in my city alone at various parks, etc. I can understand us not getting fast tracked. I just feel bad for the new growth just south of me that is our true rural areas still in the same L8 that take weeks to vote on.

  • KliffingtonKliffington ✭✭✭✭✭

    It does because your cell has a backlog and your reviewers are not getting through them.

    The rural cell does not have a backlog and is getting through the local submissions quickly.

    I don't see how that doesn't have to do with reviewers.

  • Backlog may be an issue but I guarantee you the cell moving quickly has no more people reviewing than the cell going slow.

  • kholman1kholman1 ✭✭✭✭

    Its because urban cells are passing them. If you have an area with a large amount of active reviewers your going to speed the process up so major metropolitan areas are going to hold the weight up of the surrounding areas that have few reviewers in the surrounding scoring cells. It is just by design rural has priority and urban has to vote through rural submissions as well and then they get theirs as they clear the rural cells.

  • This exactly. Before PoGo had Wayfarer I'd checked around locally for medals and we literally had maybe 5 local people who'd even done any reviewing and only 2 of us doing a lot of it.

  • My experience is the same as @cmonineedaname , really few did/do serious reviewing. And my feed is all over the country+neighboring country/same cell.

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