I am requesting that Niantic review three recently-approved portals in my area. The portals in question do not appear to meet the as-published Portal Submission Guidelines. Their approval has created confusion about portal guidelines and generated tension between local players. Therefore, a clear explanation of why these submissions were accepted as valid would be greatly appreciated. In this particular case, we respectfully request a more detailed response than, "The decision stands."
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am an Enlightened faction player, and the three portals were submitted by the Resistance faction.Basis for Request:
The three portals in question are:
Carolina Beach Mural
Description: Circa 1940 artwork donated by New Hanover County Public Library.
Construction of Canal Drive Carolina Beach NC
Description: Artwork donated by New Hanover Public Library
US Custom House with 1900s Steamship
Description: Circa 1916 artwork donated by New Hanover Public Library
The linked photos provides screenshots of the portals in question.
All three portals are reprints of vintage photographs hanging inside a Golden Corral chain restaurant. The linked photos include a screen shot of the location, as well an interior photograph showing one of the portal photos hanging on the interior walls.Discussion:
The three portals involve interior rather than exterior features.
The published Niantic Portal Guidelines (https://support.google.com/ingress/answer/3066197?hl=en&ref_topic=3261457
Examples of high-quality submissions that may be accepted:
• Art (i.e., statues, outdoor murals, unique building features, fountains, artistic graffiti, etc.)
• Unique architecture and special outdoor buildings
• Unique local businesses (i.e., a one-of-a-kind, local shop)
• Historic buildings and landmarks
• Transit stations
• Public libraries
• Public places of worship
• Water towers
• Entrance signs for campgrounds, national forests, metropolitan parks, state parks and recreational parks
The intent of the Niantic Portal Submission Guidelines appears to be establishing portals which are located outdoors. All of the examples listed under the artwork category of the guidelines (i.e., statues, outdoor murals, unique building features, fountains, artistic graffiti, etc.) specify EXTERIOR locations. No reference is made to INTERIOR artwork, architectural features, etc. The three portals in question definitely do not meet that aspect of the Portal Guidelines quoted above, because they are pictures displayed INSIDE a business.
We have an art museum in Wilmington, with numerous pieces of artwork on display inside. If Niantic rules that the photographs inside this restaurant constitute acceptable artwork, then by extension, it would appear each piece of artwork inside that museum (or any other museum, gallery or historic home) should be a valid portal submission.
Further extending this argument, there are similar examples of reproduced historical photographs hanging inside various restaurants, businesses, and government buildings in our area. If the photos at Golden Corral constitute artwork under the guidelines, then by extension, it would appear each reproduction/historical-type photograph in any location would be a valid portal submission.The three portals are not unique artwork:
All three portals are reprints of vintage photographs. These are NOT the original antique prints. There are additional examples of similar reproduction photographs hanging inside the same restaurant and in other locations throughout the Wilmington area. Whether the three photographs were donated by the New Hanover County Public Library, as stated in their descriptions, is not being questioned. The fact that the three photo reproductions are NOT the original "artwork" is the principal point.
Reproduction photographs are not artwork, unless modified or enhanced by a person in a creatively significant way. As such, the three photographs are not unique artwork, and the Portal Submission Guideline has not been met.The three portals are not completely accessible to the public:
I visited the Golden Corral restaurant to verify the photographs used for the three portal submissions. At that time, I was able to take a photograph of one of the portal photos hanging on the wall (see the linked photo) before a member of the restaurant management (who is an Ingress agent for the other faction) approached me. I was told that, "Management does not allow the public to take photos inside the restaurant." Under those circumstances, the photos do not seem to meet another criterion of Niantic's Portal Submission Guidelines, which state:In general, candidate Portals must be safe and accessible to the public.
If the restaurant management does not permit non-employees to take photos inside the restaurant, then members of the public will not be permitted to take and submit alternate photos
of the three existing portals. As such, this means the portal feature is not completely accessible to the public.
Furthermore, there are additional historical photo reproductions inside the restaurant, similar to the three used for the portals in question. If the public is not permitted to take photos of those other photographs at the location, then additional portal submissions
there are denied to non-employees. Once again, this seems to indicate that the photos hanging inside this restaurant are not fully accessible to the public for the purposes of gameplay. Therefore, they do not meet the published Portal Submission Guidelines:Additional Background:
Previously, this location (a Golden Corral chain restaurant) had three similar portals – each portal was a reproduction historical photograph hanging inside the restaurant (different photographs from those that are now being questioned). Those three portals were:
Inside Mr Simon Sanders Grocery, Ne Corner of 2nd and Market 1905http://www.ingress.com/intel?ll=34.144245,-77.891902&z=19
Bathing Beauty Contest, Luminahttp://www.ingress.com/intel?ll=34.144145,-77.891556&z=19
Blocks 100 and 200 N Front St 1940'shttp://www.ingress.com/intel?ll=34.144034,-77.892049&z=19
Screen captures from damage reports are included in the linked photos and show those portals. Their previous locations at this same Golden Corral restaurant can be confirmed by the Niantic-provided map links shown above.
A fourth photograph inside the restaurant, also a portal, was "inadvertently" placed on the grounds of a nearby nursing home. After a location correction was submitted for that particular portal, it was removed by Niantic along with two others on the Golden Corral property. The final portal was removed recently, apparently as the result of an invalid portal report submitted by another agent or agents.
Multiple individuals from the opposite faction, especially those who work at this restaurant, were displeased by Niantic's decision to remove the previous four portals. Accusations of "gaming the system" were directed at us because of our attempts to have other portals moved to their actual geographic locations (https://plus.google.com/103760836761951224269/posts/SxnCNj3jDMG
). These players have now submitted and received approval of these three photographs as new portals.
If Niantic has revised the portal submission requirements so that these portals do indeed meet all criteria, the published Guidelines need to be amended so that all players are aware of what constitutes a legitimate portal.
For the record, I have no objection to work-place portals as long as they meet Niantic's Portal Submission Guidelines and are properly located.
Again, in full disclosure, I am an Enlightened faction player and the three portals in question here were submitted by the Resistance faction.
Thank you for your consideration.+NIA Ops +Niantic Project +Brandon Badger +Anne Beuttenmüller +Joe Philley +Ingress #portalappeals #gamingthesystem #GTS