According to a Pokémon Trainer from Wyoming, West Virginia, he found an interesting way to get new Pokéstops and Gyms. As he reports, uploading several portal images to important Ingress portal resulted in them being converted to Pokéstops. The Trainer reported getting three (3) new Pokéstops for his area.

As reported, if you live in a rural area or a small town, make sure your local Ingress portals have images.

How did he do it?

Niantic has been silently converting a number of important Ingress portals to Pokéstops or Gyms over the previous few weeks, but only portals that have “portal images”.


Apparently, Niantic is converting “seed portals” (post offices, fire departments, libraries etc.) that had no images. This is what he did to get the new Pokéstops:

  • Submit portal pictures using Ingress
    • Take and submit portal images for culture or administration oriented portals
    • Provide good description for the images
  • Wait for the Ingress team to approve or decline images
  • Over the following two weeks, some of those portals became Pokéstops in Pokémon GO
Typical Ingress Portal in game

Make sure your pictures are high quality and that they represent the portal / Pokéstop correctly. Niantic is known for their strict image policy, so trying to upload something that’s not representing the location correctly is not going to work.

If you want to try this:

  1. Download Ingress, sign up. Play around with it a bit.
  2. Go on and sign in with your Ingress account there. This will display a map of all Ingress portals.
  3. Just click on portals – if they have an image, the image will show up along with the status of the portal.
  4. Submit images for portals that have no images

Niantic has not confirmed this but several players on reddit announced that they followed this guide and will report back with results. We are also planning to try it out later this week, so stay tuned for updates.


Original reddit post:

“I live in Wyoming County in southern West Virginia with a population of approximately 23,000. When Pokemon Go launched, we only had 3 PokéStops and a single gym for the entire county. This, of course, created a lot of frustration for the county’s players. While looking at Niantics other game, Ingress, I noticed a pattern. The Ingress portals that had images were the only ones that where converted into PokeStops.

There were several original “seed portals”—mainly post offices, fire departments, and libraries—that did not have images. So as an experiment in August, I went around to several of these locations, took photos, and suited the photos through Ingress. A couple of weeks ago, three of the images where expected and a couple more where rejected. A week later, I was able to confirm that the three images that were expected where converted to PokeStops.

So, if you live in a rural area or small town or city, check around for Ingress portals without an image, then submit an image through Ingress. If the image is accepted, there is a very good chance that you will get a new portal soon after.”