Why Hasn't My Place/Food Submission Been Published?



I seem to be having a problem adding photos to the articles, when I click it from my folder or drag it to the designated square it doesn’t show up. Hovering around the area displays the picture’s file name, but I don’t want to assume they are uploading fine. Issue on both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Also for several days the atlas map in my profile doesn’t load, at least on Google Chrome (loads in Firefox).


Agh, that’s no good. Sorry for the issues @CDVV86. I’ll DM you for details so we can fix.


Think I figured out what was the problem, my ad blocker was preventing the images from loading. Just disabled it and everything is loading fine, including the images. Gonna wait and see when I try to submit again.


Yup, that’s the same issue we discovered, too. It’s a combination of the latest Chrome version and ad blockers. We’re investigating!


We just deployed a fix for this. Let us know if you’re still having issues!


It does seem that way. At the same time I question whether such a policy even exists or ever did. Please help me understand this:

A filthy hotel is Atlas Obscura material…
…but a war themed hostel is not.

This one was turned down because it’s an event…
…while there are a lot of events on Atlas Obscura, some even added after my contribution.


Hey again hrnick! I apologize again for any confusion that might arise from what places are published and what places are not. While I can’t speak to exactly why the specific places you listed were not published (if you have questions about specific place submissions, please send them to the editors at places@atlasobscura.com), a place submission might be passed over for a whole host of reasons, despite its seeming similarity to other entries in the database. Among other things, it can have to do with the permanence or age of the place or food in question, its cultural relevance or interest, quality of pictures, or whether it is seen as a good fit for the Atlas Obscura database in general. Our publication standards do evolve somewhat over time, but in the end, it’s up to the judgement of our editors to decide what gets published to the wider database. Because of this, approval of a place submission will always be somewhat subjective, but they take all of these factors and more into account when looking at a place entry.

That being said, it’s our responsibility to communicate this process to you in as clear a way as possible, and I’m sorry that there has been some frustration here. We’re actively working on improving our communication with our readers such as yourself. Opening the forums to your feedback has provided us with invaluable insight into areas that need improvement, and we’re still trying to make adjustments to our process in order to fill the gaps we’re now seeing. Not all of these adjustments have been smooth or immediate. But based on the comments and questions we’ve received thus far, we’re working on implementing changes to our system and processes that should make communication about place submissions faster and more clear.

Thank you for continuing to share your questions and frustrations, and I appreciate your patience while we try to improve the database for you, and all of our readers.


Hey Eric!

Thanks for your reply and I’m sorry if I didn’t manage to keep my frustration under control. Maybe I still expect Atlas Obscura to be like it was 3-4 years ago. :slight_smile:

I know you’re doing a lot and it’s appreciated. But regarding the World Wife Carrying Championship I was in contact with your editors and the only explanation I got was that it was denied because it’s an event which does not at all make sense to me. If you don’t find it obscure enough it’s a whole other deal and then we can just agree to disagree because it is a wonderfully weird and obscure event in the middle of nowhere in Finland.

I’ve contributed a lot over the years and I’ve always tried to be restrictive with what I add because I want the places to be Atlas Obscura worthy sort of. I had my first place denied not long ago and I don’t feel that I’ve changed my standards. This leads me to believe that something has changed in the policy on your end. It would be really interesting if you can and want to tell us if anything has happened there.



I completely understand your frustration, and thanks again for reaching out. Again, I can’t speak to the decision regarding that specific place page, but I completely understand why that response was confusing. I’m happy to ask after it, and see if we can provide more clarification via DM.

In terms of any kind of sweeping, behind-the-scenes policy change about what we publish, nothing like that has occurred. The best general guide to what we look for in a place or food submission is still posted at the top of this thread. However, we have had different editors assume responsibility over the database over the years, and each one has brought their own style and skills to the curation process, which can lead to changes in what is considered a great addition to the database. In addition, we are always trying to tweak and improve the database experience as a whole in any number of ways, which can effect our decision making about submissions.

You make a good point in that we aren’t the same Atlas Obscura we were 3-4 years ago. As we make changes that will hopefully make us more fascinating, useful, and fun for our readers, at our core we have tried to maintain that same commitment to wonder and curiosity that makes us special, even as the particulars of our processes shift. I’m familiar with your terrific submissions from my time as the database editor. I really appreciate all of your hard work, and for sticking with us down the years, even when it’s frustrating. I hope this helps, and as always, keep the feedback coming!


I still think that a short comment at the top of the thread with ((too short)) ((more images)) ((not fitting)) ((will be published at some point)) etc would be good.

A lot of my places have been published now and I’m supper happy, but the others that I added recently have an unknown status. I don’t need them to be worked on immediately but it would be nice to know if I can leave them alone or not. I’m guessing that Hnrik and others would be happy with that too.


Hello again coolcrab! By thread, do you mean the top of your submission? Also, I think you’ll be happy to know that improvements in communicating the status of submissions (i.e. “being worked on,” “needs more,” “passed,” etc.) is at the top of our list of such projects, and is currently being developed. This should prove especially helpful for frequent users such as yourself, and has very much been influenced by the feedback we’ve received here on the forums! Thanks again!


Hey, I did yes. And that’s amazing news! :slight_smile:
Any ETA on this?


Not that I can reliably give right now, but it’s in the works!


Sooo… I’ve tried emailing the places@atlasobscura.com about an entry about a month ago, sent a follow-up email last week, and am now confused as to what the best way to reach out is. I understand y’all are busy, but I am not sure what steps I need to take if the recommendation is not working.


Hey @shatomica! I’m really sorry to hear that you haven’t received a response yet, and thank you for letting us know. Contacting places@atlasobscura.com is indeed the correct way to send questions about your place submissions, and I apologize that you haven’t heard back. I’m going to look into the issue, and should be able to get back to you today. Again, I apologize for for the delayed response. We’re working on improving our user communication processes, but clearly we still have a ways to go. I really appreciate your patience, and we should be in touch soon.


Thanks, Eric!


I’m kind of having the same problem. I send a list of items and ask if they think each of these are OK for publishing (eventually). Usually this results in a few of them getting edited (which is great! Don’t get me wrong) but no answer about the rest. :stuck_out_tongue:
There is about 10 places that I would like feedback on, some of them relatively new, others months if not years. (Although the really old ones often need work from me!)

The yes,no,maybe system that you described before will probably solve all of this. Is that close? Otherwise it would be great to get some personal feedback. Here is a piece of the email that I sent.

There is 4 for Rotterdam, which would help the city I think. 2 for Amsterdam and one Leiden and one Stockholm.
I’m OK with it taking weeks or months to publish them all. But please give me a ‘yes’, ‘no’, 'needs more work’ for each individual place so that I know which ones I can leave alone.


Hey again, Crab. I apologize again for the continued communication issues. As ever, I can’t speak to the specific places you’re waiting on, but I can assure you that they are being worked on. The database team has to cater to our entire user base, juggling the needs of individual users, as well as the needs of the ever growing community of incoming readers. For frequent users such as yourself, who add numerous places at a speedy clip, the current approval process can seem somewhat laggy, and again, I’m sorry that this has became so frustrating.

As I’ve mentioned before, as a direct result of the feedback from you and others, we are developing a new system that should make the approval process more clear and efficient. This should also make individual feedback and communication through places@atlasobscura.com more effective for frequent users. The new system is on its way, but much like our database team, our development team also has a number of needs to juggle (including the implementation of this very forum!). In the meantime, the best option to find out about the status of place submissions is still to send a message to the places email above (which I know you have, and I’ll follow up with the database team).

Again, I hear your frustrations, and I appreciate your patience while we work to improve the experience. Thanks again for your dedication and feel free to let us know if you have any other questions.


I had a couple of my articles published a few years back, so I got all enthusiastic and wrote up some more - all which have been pending since.
It’s also annoying that you have to use your own photos or public use photos (although I understand the laws requiring it), there are a lot of places in Western Australia I’d love to do a write up about, but I don’t have any good photos - maybe if they could be published so others could see the article and post THEIR photos if they have them?


Hi Gemfyre! I’m sorry to hear that you had such an annoying experience with the submission process. Thanks too much of our forum feedback, we’re working on improving the process so that the same thing doesn’t continue to occur. I hope that as we improve you’ll be inspired to add more places in the future. If you’d like to find out more about any of your specific Place submissions, you can drop a line to the database team at places@atlasobscura.com.

In terms of the photos, we do rely on original images in order to fill out our places, but you make an interesting point about asking others for images. We’ve often talked internally about establishing photo bounty projects, and the forums may provide a perfect space for that in the future. If you have any specific places you’re looking for images for, you could certainly put out a call for images in the General channel of the forums. Thanks for the great feedback and suggestions!