Pokemon GO has taken the word by storm since its release on Wednesday in Australia, even Nintendo might have to consider to become a software only company. The game requires players to go outside to find Pokemon, conquer gyms and much more, but all of this would not have been possible without the hard work in Pokemon GO’s mapping. Now the developer has revealed how they chose Pokemon Go Pokestops and gym locations in the real world.
Speaking with Mashable the CEO and founder of Niantic, John Hanke, discussed the importance of accurate mapping in Pokemon Go. Before forming Niantic, Hanke worked on Google maps, and he also was the founder of Keyhole, the company that Google bought to start Google Earth.
A lot of us worked on Google Maps and Google Earth for many, many years, so we want the mapping to be good.
When asked about how Pokemon Go Pokestops and Gym locations were selected, Hanke said that the Pokemon GO players have to thank to other gamers on that matter. In 2011 Niantic released Ingress, an augmented reality multiplayer game, its players helped create the data pool to chose Pokestop locations.
Hanke told that they started to select locations in the early days of ingress, and mostly used public locations.
We basically defined the kinds of places that we wanted to be part of the game,” Hanke said. “Things that were public artwork, that were historical sites, that were buildings with some unique architectural history or characteristic, or a unique local businesses.
According to Hanke, Niantic received 15 million submissions from Ingress players when they asked them to submit places they thought were worthy of being portals.
There have been about 15 million submissions, and we’ve approved in the order of 5 million of these locations worldwide.
The data set obtained from Ingress was so robust, that Niantic used that as a starting point for Pokemon Go. Some of the most popular portals in Ingress are gyms in Pokemon Go, and the second best locations became the Pokestops.
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game developed by Niantic Inc for Android and iOS.