A new development initiative is releasing an Pokemon Go Map as 100% open source.
The 3rd party development community around Niantic's hyper successful Pokemon Go game is not slowing down. A new project will enable everybody interested to run his own Pokemon Go map service. OpenPokeMap is an open-source, open-infrastructure map for Pokemon Go. The developer behind FastPokeMap is supporting the project as a "consultant." He says that OpenPokeMap is similar to FastPokeMap.
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FastPokeMap has grown into the most popular Pokemon tracker since PokeVision. The service had 10m unique visitors last week and keeps growing fast. Running the service requires massive server resources and optimized scanning algorithms. The open source PokeMap has not yet released the technical details yet. It is supposed to launch soon and comes right away with an Android app.
Update: OpenPokeMap will be released in beta on September 22.
You can follow the updates of OpenPokeMap on Twitter and get in on the ground floor when the developers release the source code. Niantic has legally shut down similar efforts in the past. How to avoid getting shut down by Niantic's lawyers is possibly one of the things the FastPokeMap developer has given advice. He is located in South Africa, if his Twitter location is legit. OpenPokeMap's Twitter location is in Pallet Town, where Ash Ketchum is born in the original Pokemon anime series. Being located in an imaginary city in the Pokemon story is a good start to hide from lawyers.
Update: The GitHub for OpenPokeMap is now available.
Running your own Pokemon map service is an enticing proposition for hard-core Pokemon Go trainers. They do not have to rely on any other service and can add custom code as they like. Having seen the Pokemon Go in-app tracker, I believe that services like FastPokeMap will remain popular. The in-app tracker Niantic is testing in San Francisco is offering only basic functionality. There is no way to filter for Pokemon or see far away Pokemon.
There is a security update looming that will stop current 3rd party code from accessing the Pokemon Go servers. Niantic has introduced the new security measures with the release of 0.37.0 and 1.7.0. Niantic has not yet enabled the new encryption as the company waits for the majority of trainers getting the upgrade installed. The switch could happen as soon as this week.
Despite the reduce hype, Pokemon Go is still going strong. While many of the 500 million who have downloaded the game have stopped playing it, there are still plenty left. FastPokeMap's growth and the launch of new 3rd party projects like OpenPokeMap are a strong sign of how active the remaining trainers are.
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Niantic CEO John Hanke has recently said that he believes Pokemon Go will be around for years to come. There will be soon real world social events that glue the trainer community together. At these events new generations of Pokemon come to live. The journey of Pokemon Go has just begun.