Finding points of interest is an important function of exploration.
If you haven't inspected or discovered the point of interest before and it is unknown to you, you will only get a large question mark ? inside of the point of interest after trying to identify or discover it. You will have to inspect or discover the unknown point of interest up close and in person to learn what it is. From that point forward, when you use intelligence or senses and the related functions to find points of interest, you will automatically know what it is. You don't have to keep going up in person to inspect or discover the same point of interest.
The shape of a point of interest is based upon how it is found. Intelligence uses squares for points of interest. Senses uses circles for points of interest. Locations use a unique extended diamond shape no matter how it is found.