Candidate Portal criteria
What makes a good Portal?
How can we help speed up the Portal Acceptance Process?
How can I increase the probability my Portal will be approved?
Well since you asked, we’ve developed these criteria to help you understand what we consider to be a great Portal and to give more insight into how we evaluate new candidates. Please keep in mind that the following criteria apply to new Portal candidates, but are not necessarily retroactively applied to existing Portals.
Most candidates are evaluated based on our acceptance criteria; high-quality candidates generally fall into two or more of the following, though under some circumstances, we may accept candidates that qualify only as one.
- A LOCATION WITH A COOL STORY, A PLACE IN HISTORY OR EDUCATIONAL VALUE
- Interesting story behind the location/object
- Historical significance (apart from just being old)
- Historical sites and markers
- A COOL PIECE OF ART OR UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE
- Statues, paintings, mosaics, light installations, etc.
- Venues that showcase fine art (e.g., performance art theaters and museums)
- Buildings designed by renowned architects/structures famous specifically for their architecture
- A HIDDEN GEM OR HYPER-LOCAL SPOT
- A popular local spot that you would take a friend visiting your community for the first time
- A popular spot where locals gather, but may be lesser-known outside the community
- Tourist spots that showcase local flavor and culture and that make your city/neighborhood unique
- More off-the-beaten-path tourist attractions (i.e., if you weren’t a local, you wouldn’t necessarily know to go here)
- A COMMUNITY GATHERING PLACE
- Somewhere where members of the city/town gather to socialize or impact the community
- A local hangout where people gather, talk and spend time together
- A POINT OF INTEREST THAT FACILITATES DISCOVERY / EXERCISE
- Promotes the idea of “Adventures on foot”
- Encourages outdoor exploration
Taking a clear, bright photo for your submission that shows the subject and its surroundings helps us more easily determine if the candidate meets our acceptance criteria and confirm it is physically located in the suggested location.
However, candidates do not necessarily have to be visually impressive to meet our acceptance criteria.
Similarly, while descriptions are not required, they are highly encouraged, and they often provide context and help us more clearly understand how your candidate meets the acceptance criteria.
SPECIAL NOD CANDIDATES
Why are many transit stations and post offices Portals if they don’t seem to meet the acceptance criteria?
In addition to using the above acceptance criteria, we’ve also added many candidates that are a special nod to industries and networks that connect people around the world, just as Ingress connects Agents around the world. These include:
- PUBLIC LIBRARIES
- A nod to education and discovery, cornerstones of Niantic & Ingress
- Includes little free libraries, provided they are not on private residential property; does not include mobile libraries
- STAND-ALONE POST OFFICES
- A nod to the postal industry as a powerful system that connects the entire world
- Does not include contract post offices
- TRANSIT STATIONS
- A nod to the transportation industry, which also connects and unites people around the world
- Includes larger transit hubs, but not necessarily every stop along a transit route
- PUBLIC PLACES OF WORSHIP
- A nod to the other worldly, which is integral to the story of Ingress
MOST LIKELY REJECTED
This is a non-exhaustive list of Portal candidates that, in general, are rejected, but for which we may make some very specific exceptions. Candidates listed here may be rejected even if they meet the acceptance criteria listed above.
We generally reject candidates on the grounds of:
- PRIMARY/SECONDARY SCHOOLS
- Exceptions for art that is accessible from the public sidewalk.
- FIRE STATIONS, POLICE STATIONS AND HOSPITALS
- Exceptions for candidates that meet the acceptance criteria and don’t interfere with operations of the facility.
- PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY (including farms)
PLEASE DON’T SUBMIT
Please refrain from submitting these candidates, as reviewing these submissions slows down the process for everyone.
- Candidates in locations with NO SAFE PEDESTRIAN ACCESS.
- Candidates of PEOPLE, BODY PARTS, LIVE ANIMALS, etc.; please, just don’t.
- Candidates that are NATURAL FEATURES (Includes pictures of landscapes as well as submissions where the subject is a lake, river, stream, mountain, volcano, waterfall, etc.; does not include man-made points of interest - plaques, signs, etc. - near natural features).
- Candidates that are NOT PERMANENT, including SEASONAL DISPLAYS that are only put up during certain times of the year.
- Candidates submitted with a PHOTO THAT YOU DID NOT TAKE YOURSELF (i.e., pulled from a third-party source); these will be rejected even if the candidate itself meets acceptance criteria or is on the list of things we generally accept.
TIPS & TRICKS
- How to increase the chances your new Portal candidate is accepted
- Include a description: we verify them and then will use the information to determine whether the candidate meets the acceptance criteria.
- Take a clear photo: the easier it is to see what you’re submitting (i.e., a photo taken during the day at a reasonable distance and that gives an idea for the scale and placement), the easier it can be evaluated. In addition, a low-quality photo (e.g., pitch black/blurry photos or photos taken from a car) may cause a candidate that otherwise meets the Portal criteria to be rejected.
- Provide a detailed title: helps us verify whether the candidate meets any acceptance criteria (this is much more difficult to do with titles like “Historic Building” or “Street Art”); if possible, use the subject’s official title.
- Before submitting, ensure the location pin is correct: if it’s submitted in the wrong spot and we’re not able to find the right spot, even if it appears to meet the acceptance criteria, it may not be accepted.
- Guidelines for Portal titles
- Titles may be submitted in any language
- Where there is no “official” title for the Portal (i.e., fountains and statues without names), we welcome creative titles to distinguish the candidate Portal from other similar Portals
- Please do not include real names, codenames, faction or group names in titles
- Please do not include HTML in Portal titles
- Note: We cannot accept title or description edits for historical markers. Please direct these edits to hmdb.org
- Guidelines for Portal descriptions
- The “Description” field on candidate Portal submissions may be used to populate the More info >> link from the Portal details page on your Scanner.
- While not required, if you choose to enter a description for your candidate Portal, please include detailed information that other players might find interesting about the Portal; for example, interesting facts about the art or building, historical significance, etc. You can also use the description to tell why the Portal is unique, historical or significant.
- Descriptions may be submitted in any language.
- Please do not include HTML in Portal descriptions.
- Please do not include URLs in Portal descriptions.
- Please keep our Terms of Service in mind when providing descriptions.
Portal submission FAQ
I received an email about my candidate Portal being rejected. Why?
At this time, we are unable to provide specific details for each submission that is rejected.
If you’d like to appeal your Portal submission rejection, please post to the Ingress Portal Appeals Community on Google+ with the lat/long and the title of the Portal you submitted.
I submitted a candidate Portal that is almost exactly the same as another Portal that was accepted, but my submission was rejected. Why?
Portal density sometimes influences rejection decisions. If a Portal is too close to an existing Portal, it cannot be safely hacked.
Additionally, we’re constantly working to improve Portal quality. A Portal that was accepted in the past may not necessarily mean it’s a great candidate.
Would you accept Portals inside places that charge admission or that are only open during certain times of day/certain days out of the year?
Yes. We will accept candidate Portals as long as they are safe and accessible, in some capacity, to the public.
Can I just pull text or images from Wikipedia (or similar) to use for my candidate Portal’s description/photo?
No. Please keep our Terms of Service in mind when providing descriptions and submitting photos.
I haven’t heard back about my submissions. Did they get lost? Can I get an update on where they are in the process?
As long as you received a confirmation email regarding your submission, don’t worry: we received your candidate Portal. Generally, it will take about three weeks for a candidate Portal to go through the submission process from start to finish; however, this is only an estimate, and we are doing our best to significantly reduce our processing time. When a decision is made regarding your candidate Portal, you’ll receive an update via email.
If you do not receive a confirmation email shortly after submitting your candidate Portal, then visit Settings > Accounts on your device, select the account you use for Ingress, and make sure that Ingress sync is on and functioning properly. Once Ingress sync is working again, your submissions will go through, and you should receive confirmation emails.
Can I reply to the auto-confirmation I received after sending in my candidate Portal for consideration or any of the other submission status emails I receive?
Please do not reply directly to emails received regarding your submissions or edits. Responses to these messages are not associated with your original submission and thus will not be received. If you are trying to send a correction, we recommend that you wait until the Portal is accepted; once live, you can correct the title, location or description via your Scanner if necessary. If you have other questions or concerns regarding your submission, please reach out to NIA Ops on Google+ or contact us from the Help Center.
Are you working on eliminating duplicate Portals?
We are working to address all invalid Portal reports, including duplicates, as quickly as possible. Please report any invalid Portals (including duplicates) via your Scanner.
Why was my photo rejected?
- A photo may be rejected if it:
- Is too dark or blurry
- Is a picture of an image
- Has a watermark
- Shows people's faces
- Depicts a group of people in front of Portal
- Contains a license plate that can clearly be seen
- If your intention was to take a photo of what's really at a Portal location (i.e., the current photo on the Portal doesn't show what's actually at that location), please submit a brand new Portal with that photo instead.
I found a Portal that simply doesn't exist in the location where it says it does. What should I do?
Please do not submit edits for a Portal that doesn’t exist (even if you're submitting a photo, title or description of what really does exist in that location); instead, if you want to submit a photo, title or description of what really exists in that location, please submit a brand new Portal instead of an edit. Edits that don't match the subject of the current Portal will be rejected.
I got a confirmation email that my location edit was reviewed, but now the Portal is gone. What happened?
Sometimes, moving the Portal to its proper location places it too close to another Portal. In an effort to maintain reasonable Portal density, the Portal may then be removed.