Criteria for New Places

Category Specific Criteria

Mission
iOverlander’s mission is to support overland exploration of the world, while respecting local cultures, people and environments.
Definition
iOverlander is a tool, by and for overlanders, which enables its users to submit, amend and find information and opinions, primarily about places that are essential for the act of overlanding, and secondarily non-essential places that are of interest to a significant group of overlanders.  

General Criteria

To accomplish our mission, we set forth the following general guidelines:

  1. We do not give preferential treatment to any places for our own financial gain
  2. We aim to ensure that all places in the iOverlander database:
    1. Are of interest to the majority of at least one type of overlander.
      Types of overlanders include:

      • Car travelers
      • Big rig travelers
      • Motorcycle travelers
      • Bicycle travelers
      • Travelers with pets
      • Travelers with children
    2. Presently exist and remain valid for overlanders in the near future
    3. Do not violate laws or wishes of locals or damage the environment
    4. Contain relevant and quality information

General Criteria Examples

These criteria must be met by every place in the database. Please note that just because a place meets these criteria does not guarantee it will be included. Please see the category specific criteria below, which must also be met.

  1. Place must be of interest to the majority of at least one type of overlander.

Example 1: Public transport is generally not of interest to overlanders and will be removed.
Example 2: Veterinary clinics are of interest to Overlanders with Pets and will be accepted.
Example 3: Places that sell goods and services that aren’t normally used by one type of overlander such as: beauty salons, massage parlors, lawyers, stores that sell appliances, craft supplies, furniture, electronics, household items, etc, will be removed. Although they may be of interest to a few overlanders, they are not of interest to the MAJORITY of any one type of overlander.

  1. Place must presently exist and remain valid for overlanders in the near future (available for 4 weeks or more)

Example 1: Temporary road blocks will be removed.

  1. Place must not violate laws or wishes of locals or damage the environment

Example 1: Wild camps in countries or national parks that prohibit it, will be removed.
Example 2: Any camping on private land where permission is not explicitly granted, will be removed.
Example 3: Wild camps that clearly disturb locals or damage the environment will be removed.

  1. Place must contain relevant and quality information

For places that are essential to overlanding (campgrounds, gas stations in remote areas, border info, vehicle shipping areas) the description may not require a lot of details to be considered quality.
Example 1: A gas station with a review that says "Only petrol for 400kms" will be accepted, even though the description is very short. This is clearly an essential place and very relevant information.
Example 2: A tourist attraction that simply says "Nice view" will be deleted. This is not quality information and not a place that is essential to overlanding.

Category Specific Criteria

This is additional criteria that must be met based on the category which is selected. Because our database is to assist overlanders, some non-essential places have more rigorous criteria.

Established Campground: Campgrounds that advertise camping, irrespective of amenities provided.

  • Established campgrounds are all campgrounds that advertise camping, irrespective of amenities provided. This includes everything from an RV park with every imanginable amenity to a designated area in a national park without any facilities. Usually established campgrounds have facilities specifically designed for campers, but not always. The minimum you can expect is that it is allowed and safe to camp.

Informal Campsite: An unadvertised camp spot associated with another business or institution (restaurant, gas station, etc)

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Informal campgrounds are areas that are not advertised as campground, but that allow camping, and have facilities that make them suitable for an overnight stay. Facilities may include guarding, toilets, showers, wifi, electricity. Examples are parking lots of hotels, fuel stations.
  • This category is for camping spots attached to another business or facility (at a gas station, restaurant, parking lot, walmart, monastry). If the place is remote or not attached to any other facilities the category will be reassigned as a wild camp.
  • As per general criteria, camping must be permitted. If it is private property, locals do not allow it, camping damages the enviroment, or ‘no camping’ signs are posted, the place will be removed.
  • If the site is available because of a special relation with the camping area owner. For example, if the traveler met an owner in town and was invited to stay, as a one time invitation, it will be removed.

Wild Camping: A camping spot not linked to a business or institution irrespective of amenities or formal permissions.

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Wild camps are camping spots not linked to another business or institution. They rarely have amenities, and don’t cost money. They do not require permission of a nearby facility; it is implied by the location.
  • As per general criteria, camping must be permitted. If it is private property, locals do not allow it, camping damages the enviroment, or ‘no camping’ signs are posted, the place will be removed.
  • Camping in abandoned buildings must state that permission has been given, or it will be removed. It is the responsibility of the user to state this permission.

Differentiating between WILD, INFORMAL and ESTABLISHED:

  • Camping spots attached to another business or facility (at a gas station, restaurant, walmart) will be reassigned to the Informal Camping category.
  • Generally, wild camp spots do not require permission of a nearby facility, it is implied by the location. Whereas permission would be required at informal camps. For example, street parking, public parking lots and public beaches are wild camps. (Permission by locals or police is a good idea, but generally not necessary at wild camps)
  • Usually wild camps do not have any amenities, although this is not a reason in itself to move to the informal camping category. For example, a wild camp may have access to public bathrooms, or an open wifi network.
  • Wild camps are by definition free.

Hotel: Private accommodations

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Must typically be available without reservation. (No AirBNB style accommodation, or long-term apartment rentals)

Hostel: Accommodations for groups of people

No additional criteria for acceptance.

Fuel Station: A place to purchase gasoline/petrol and/or diesel fuel

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Fuel stations in towns where many other stations are available will be removed.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE ABOVE:

  • Fuel stations of higher quality in countries where quality is an issue (Tajikistan or Russia) will be accepted, if the poster states reasoning in the post
  • Fuel stations in countries where purchase by a foreigner is difficult will be accepted.
  • Fuel stations that are submitted with a problem. (If a fuel station filled someone’s tank with fuel from a rusty, water covered barrel. Or if a user was ripped off, or had to wait for hours)
  • Fuel stations marked for camping will be reassigned to informal camping

Propane: A place to fill propane tanks.

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • For refilling fixed tanks or bottles only.
  • Local shops for swapping bottles will be removed.

Mechanic and Parts: A mechanic or a parts store

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Companies that focus SOLELY on selling (travel) cars rather than repairing or supplying parts will be removed.
  • A quality description is required for acceptance

Water: A place to obtain potable water.

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Must be potable (drinkable) water.
    • Entries without information on how you know the water is drinkable will be removed
    • If source of information is that the locals drink the water without purifying, the place will be accepted
  • Natural sources will be removed (rivers, lakes, etc)
  • Must not be part of a campground

Sanitation Dump Station: A place where you can empty your black water tank

No additional criteria for acceptance.

Restaurant: Exceptionally good or bad restaurants (Food, value, price, location).

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Description of the restaurant must be detailed and of quality. It must contain information about the restaurants offering not just "food was good." (As per general criteria)
  • Restaurant itself must be of exceptionally good or bad quality (by quality we mean either the food, the prices, or the location).
    1. If there is another restaurant within 4km, this criterion is to be STRICTLY enforced.
    2. Exception: Restaurants of mediocre quality could be allowed if they are in a very remote area. The user must explain the area is remote.
  • Temporary restaurants (like food stalls) will be removed (if there one day, gone the next). As per general criteria.

Tourist Attraction: An exceptionally good or unexpectedly bad tourist attraction

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Must provide detailed helpful reviews. Places with short or vague descriptions will be removed
  • The attraction must be significant: a nice panorama along the road will be removed (and a pretty flower in the pavement :))
  • Tourist attraction should also be used for relevant attraction access or information points: an entry gate or start of a path will be marked Tourist Attraction rather than Other

Shopping: Locations for purchasing goods related to overlanding, specifically gear shops, quality supermarkets and food stores, and local handmade goods.

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Shopping will be allowed if it would as of interest to the MAJORITY of ONE type of overlander. This means:
    • High quality groceries stores and food stores will be allowed
    • A low quality grocery store with an unhelpful (or vague) description, will be removed, unless it is noted that it is in a very remote area.
    • Souvenir stands will be removed as most overlanders would not find them useful
    • Local handmade artisan goods or markets will be allowed as most overlanders would find them of interest.
    • Other shopping stores will be accepted if:
      • They are of interest to the majority of overlanders AND
      • They contain a quality review/description explaining why the place is of exceptional quality. (not strictly enforced when the store is a rarity in the area (like liquor in the UAE)).
  • Car parts and pet supplies should go under Mechanics and Parts and Pet Services categories respectively, NOT under shopping.

Medical: Recommended doctors, dentists or other medical professionals

No additional criteria for acceptance.

Pet Services: Veterinarians, supplies, or other services for overlander pets.

No additional criteria for acceptance.

Laundromat: Self-service or full-service laundry facilities

No additional criteria for acceptance.

Border Customs and Immigration: Customs checkpoints, immigration offices, etc.

No additional criteria for acceptance.

Checkpoint: A permanent police/military or agricultural checkpoint.

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Temporary road blocks or checkpoints will be deleted. They change too often to be of use to travelerss.
  • As per general criteria – a proposed checkpoint with a very short, unhelpful description will be removed. Exception: A short review may be accepted if checkpoints in the respective area are rare
  • Any part of a post that helps overlanders AVOID paying bribes will be kept.
    • Any information about the process of the checkpoint will be kept (questions asked, items asked for, documents checked, fees demanded or bribes demanded.)
    • Any information about paying or avoiding LEGITIMATE fees will be kept.
    • Any information about how to avoid bribes (non-legitimate fees) will be kept.
  • Any PART of a post that encourages paying a bribe will be removed, such as:
    • Any information about paying a bribe to avoid a process (long line, lots of paperwork, etc) will be deleted. Including those with explanations, i.e. "It was getting late, so we paid to get to camp before dark"
    • Any admission of paying a bribe will be removed.
    • If the bribe is reduced but still paid, we remove any information about the payment, and keep any information related to how the bribe can be reduced. If this is not possible in context, the entire statement will be removed.

Consulate / Embassy: An embassy or consulate

No additional criteria for acceptance.

Vehicle Insurance: A place where you can purchase or renew insurance for your vehicle.

No additional criteria for acceptance.

Vehicle Shipping: Any office, port or place related to long-distance vehicle shipping, or ferry crossings with waits of 2 hours or more, or difficult processes.

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • This is meant for long-distance vehicle shipping OR ferry crossing that have long waits or a difficult process.
    • An easy 50m ferry crossing will be deleted.
    • International point of departures for vehicle shipping will be included.
    • A short ferry crossing with a wait of more than 2 hours, or difficult process to purchase tickets will be included.  

Vehicle Storage: Locations that offer parking for overland vehicles for weeks or months at a time.

No additional criteria for acceptance.

Warning: Warnings about serious danger to personal health, safety or property, or road problems that cause delays or reroutes of two hours or more.

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • This category is for serious danger to personal health, safety or property
  • Warning about muggings, thefts, major road problems causing long delays (two hours or more), will be accepted
  • Minor inconveniences and or "bumpy road" reports will be deleted.
  • Warnings for big-rig travelers (low bridges or weight restrictions) will be included if the alternate route results in an over 2-hour delay AND if the user gives the specifics of the restriction (height of the low bridge, and max weight).
  • Any warnings related to checkpoints will go in the checkpoints category, even if it is a warning about a bribe, etc.

Other: Another place of interest to overlanders.

Additional criteria for acceptance:

  • Places that don’t fit the other categories and still fit the general criteria

Accepted examples:

  • Wifi hotspots that are not associated with another place (NOT part of a café or hotel)

Rejected examples:

  • Marketing agencies (spam)
  • Car rental locations
  • Cannabis dispensaries
  • Car washes (unless a rarity and a necessity, such as leaving the Bolivian salt pans)
  • Highway rest stops

We need your help

Every new place entered into the database is reviewed by a moderator to make sure it meets the iOverlander criteria. However, there are many older places that have never been moderated, and occasionally an invalid place can be missed. If you find places that do not meet our criteria, or are otherwise inappropriate, please hit the “Report a Problem” button and leave a note for us. Every reported problem is reviewed and resolved by the moderator team.

If you have extra time and are interested in becoming a moderator, please email ioverlander.com@gmail.com. We ask for a commitment of reviewing 100 new places per week, which generally takes 1-2 hours and does require internet access.

Thank you!