General Criteria & Guidelines
General Criteria for All Places
All places in the iOverlander database must:
- Be 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
- Presently exist and remain valid for overlanders in the near future
- Not violate laws or wishes of locals, or damage the environment
- Contain relevant, quality and respectful information
- Not be given any type of preferential treatment for iOverlander’s financial gain
Please write in English, if possible.
The prime language used in iOverlander is English. If at all possible, please write your comments in English. If you are not able to do so, don’t hesitate to write in your native language. The general description of the place (which appears at the beginning of an entry) will be translated to English by the iOverlander team. Your original check-in text will remain untouched. If not writing in English, please review the syntax of your entry: if punctuation is in the correct place a Google Translate translation will be higher quality.
You must stay the night or use the services
Please do not add any type of accommodation if you have not stayed the night, especially wild campgrounds. Many times unverified campgrounds are added, and the immediate next traveler is asked to leave by a guard or by locals. If you have not verified a place is safe to stay by staying yourself, do not add it. You may add established campgrounds if you have NOT stayed, provided that you have fully inspected the premises. The same rule applies for the services of all other places. For example, if you have not eaten at the restaurant, visited the tourist attraction or gone to the dentist, then please do not add that point.
If you have stayed in the past, please make sure to change the date visited to the approximate date in the past, so travelers are aware your information may be slightly out of date.
Do not “sign” your check-ins
The name and website of the submitter is automatically added to every check-in. It is therefore not necessary to "sign" your check-in. You can change your name, blog name, and the link to your blog by logging in on the website and going to "My Account" and then "Edit Blog Details".
Do not use emoticons or embed images
Please do not add any emoticons to place names, descriptions, or in your check-ins. In addition, please do not use HTML to embed any images into a place description. This causes major problems with our database.
Owners can add their own places, but follow the rules!
Owners or managers of a place are welcome to create an account and add their place, but ONLY if they make clear in their description and check-ins that they are posting as the owner. Owners should not pretend to be travelers. We recommend that owners use their place name as their blog name, so it is clear to travelers who is making the updates. Also, please make sure that your place meets our Category Criteria, or it will be removed by moderators without further notice. Please read our Owner FAQ for more information.
Do NOT post wifi passwords
Please do NOT add wifi passwords to your check-ins or new places. Wifi passwords are given as part of a service. (For example, because you agree to pay for camping, or a meal, you are given the password.) Therefore using wifi without becoming a customer of the establishment, is theft. Please respect the establishments providing the wifi and do not publish their passwords. The one exception is if the wifi is open to all without any associated purchase or registration (such as a public hotspot or library). If this is the case, please make note of it in your post!
Do NOT use offensive language
iOverlander has a zero tolerance policy for any racial or prejudiced comments and does not allow profanity. We understand bad experiences do happen, and we do want to hear your honest reviews. However, it is much more helpful to say "the camping area was covered in dog crap, trash was littered everywhere, the bathroom smelled horribly and the owner charged us $25 a person!" than it is to say "This place is F%*!@#$ awful, do not stay here!"
Any posts or check-ins with hate speech or profanity will be removed completely and replaced with a moderator note. These posts and check-ins are NOT recoverable, so please be respectful! If you find inappropriate content please hit the Report a Problem button on our site so we can remove it.
New places MUST be relevant to overlanding
Please see our category specific criteria for details. iOverlander strives for high quality, helpful information for overlanders, especially in remote areas of the world. We do not aim to have every restaurant and fuel station on the planet. Here are a few types of places we do NOT allow:
- Places that promote Illegal activities of any kind (camping in prohibited locations, paying bribes of any kind, using password protected wifi without paying for services, route to avoid paying mandatory entrance fees, etc)
- Fuel stations and supermarkets in places where they are very common
- Restaurants, tourist attractions, or shopping with a poor quality description. Please tell us why these places are relevant for overlanders!
- Road reports (unless causing a severe delay for travelers)
- Highway rest stops
Do NOT add illegal places!
It is part of iOverlanders mission to always respect the local culture, people and environment. If adding a place, or leaving a comment will cause unnecessary harm, please refrain. We understand that emergencies happen and occasionally you need to camp illegally, but please DO NOT add any illegal camps to iOverlander. In addition, please do not add:
- Camping spots that will damage the environment
- Camping where signs are posted or you have otherwise been informed it is illegal (regardless of whether or not you stay without being asked to leave).
- Any place where locals have asked you not to camp, dump waste, take water, or any of the other services that may be added to iOverlander.
- Any type of profanity, hate speech, threatening, racist or prejudiced comments. Please be family friendly.
Keep photos few and relevant
Please make sure your photos are relevant to the place you are checking in to. We recommend photos of the facilities, surrounding scenery, goods/services. As well as photos that show restrictions, especially height/weight or difficult entries, and photos of complicated price-lists, timetables, etc.
Keep in mind that most overlanders don’t have a fast or free internet connection. Pictures of vehicles or tents are fine, but only when they are used to illustrate the amount of space, or how great the surroundings are. Pictures of people are fine too, but only if they are relevant (for example, the owners of a place). Photos of a dog in the grass, your kids at a BBQ or you husband holding up a beer are considered irrelevant. They will be deleted.
Help us remove duplicate entries
If you find a duplicate entry on iOverlander, please flag it for a us using the "Report a problem" button. If it is not already noted, please make an additional check-in comment stating which place is at the correct location, and has the correct information.
Please make sure that the locations are NOT separate categories. Sometimes a place will have two points because one point is describing a campground and the second point is describing the hotel. This is an acceptable duplicate because they are describing a separate set of amenities, even though it may be the same establishment. Please see "Multiple categories at the same place," below.
Multiple categories at the same place should be separate points
If one location falls into multiple categories (for example, a hostel that also has camping) it should have multiple points on iOverlander. Please add the place in the category for which you used. If you do NOT use the service of the second category or if the second category is NOT relevant to overlanders, please do NOT add it as a separate point. It would be appropriate to mention it in your description.
- There is a hotel which also has a camping area out back. If you camped, add the place as a campground. If you stayed in a room, add the place as a hotel.
- There is a restaurant that allows informal camping in their parking lot. If you camp in the parking lot, but do NOT eat at the restaurant, there is no need to add the place as a restaurant. Please only add the place as an "informal campsite". If you eat at the restaurant, but do not camp there, please add the place as a restaurant.
In order to avoid overlapping points, you can manually modify the GPS coordinates to be slightly different. If you increase the 4th decimal number (00.0001 to 00.0002), it will shift the new point approximately 10m away. If you change the 5th decimal number it will move the second point approximately 1m away. (00.00001 to 00.00002)
General Criteria Examples
These criteria must be met by every place in the database, in addition to category specific criteria
Place must be of interest to the majority of at least one type of overlander..
Example 1: Veterinary clinics are of interest to Overlanders with Pets and will be accepted.
Example 2: 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 craft supplies, furniture, 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.
2. 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.
3. Place must not violate laws or wishes of locals or damage the environment
Example 1: Any camping on private land where permission is not explicitly granted, will be removed. Wild camps that clearly disturb locals or damage the environment will be removed.
Example 2: Illegal or unofficial sanitation dump stations will be removed
Example 3: Points marked for using wifi, water, or other goods or services without becoming a patron of the associated business will be removed.
4. Place must contain relevant, quality and respectful 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 fuel for 400kms. No Diesel available." 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.
Example 3: Any place with unnecessarily rude, profane or prejudice information will be deleted.