[OSM-talk] Beware Pokemon users

Grant Slater openstreetmap at firefishy.com
Sun Dec 25 17:44:47 UTC 2016

Someone should mentioned to the Pokémon players that if they correctly
fix up TIGER data & other imports the spawn rate is significantly
higher, not to mention the amazing effects of adding genuine
buildings, shops, addresses and other amenities. Based on my
unauthoritative unqualified zero sample based research!

/ Grant

On 25 December 2016 at 17:17, Toby Murray <toby.murray at gmail.com> wrote:
> There was a video uploaded to YouTube a couple of days ago that claims to
> show some possible evidence that Pokemon Go uses data from OSM to determine
> good spawn locations for Pokemon. There are also several threads on reddit
> under /r/TheSilphRoad that have similar claims. It is amusing to see their
> speculation and methods of testing their "evidence" which include adding a
> footway to OSM and then going out and playing Pokemon Go a couple hours
> later so see if it affected anything.
> Anyway, the theory being proposed is that highway=footway features in OSM
> lead to increased Pokemon spawn activity. Also, nests are supposedly located
> inside of recreation type landuse areas (golf course, park, play ground,
> etc) This has led to some players attempting to influence the game mechanics
> by, for example, adding a bunch of footways around their house. While that
> is a relatively benign change, some others have taken to retagging paths,
> cycleways and even residential roads to highway=footway.
> I have been watching any changesets that come in with the word "pokemon" in
> the changeset comments and have reverted a bunch of them. However I am
> worried about users who may not be using changeset comments so I thought I
> would at least let the wider community know that this is happening and if
> you see any odd reclassification of features to highway=footway, this is
> probably why. I have also seen some legit and useful edits so it isn't all
> bad.
> Some places where these discussions are happening:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiJ000T8GbE
> https://www.reddit.com/r/TheSilphRoad/comments/5jfnrm/how_to_find_the_new_rural_spawn_points/
> https://www.reddit.com/r/TheSilphRoad/comments/50ni6g/osm_data_spawn_points_relation_confirmed/
> https://www.reddit.com/r/TheSilphRoad/comments/54sy36/osm_query_to_identify_possible_nests/
> https://www.reddit.com/r/TheSilphRoad/comments/5jw4ep/new_spawn_points_in_my_area_align_with_osm/
> I would call their evidence circumstantial at best.
> Toby
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