The 3rd party Pokemon Go app eco system has grown incredible resulting into weird excesses.
The most popular Pokemon Go map service FastPokeMap has introduced security measures to stop other apps from scraping their Pokemon data. FastPokeMap developer, known as whitelist_ip on reddit, says that the load dropped by 600% after the blocking of scrapers has been put in place.
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If your Pokemon Go tracker app is not working today, then the app you were using was lifting data off FastPokeMap. As reported before, FastPokeMap is not here to make money. The donations and ad revenue are for paying the bills for mapping services, bandwidth and cloud services. The web based Pokemon tracker has about 6 million unique users per day. The expenses to run such a popular service are into the thousands per day.
$0.99 Pokemon tracking apps that scrape the FastPokeMap servers do not have those expenses and can easily make a profit.
Obviously FastPokeMap is also a scraper. The Pokemon mapping service is scraping Pokemon locations from Niantic's servers via the reverse engineered Pokemon Go API. So far Niantic has not been able or tried to shut FPM down.
The creator of FPM as previously said to add again new security measures to protect their cache against scrapers. He is also working on apps for FastPokeMap that will bring notifications to smartphone users. There is no end in sight for FastPokeMap.
The open source Pokemon Go tracker project OpenPokeMap has just shut down their backend services as they detected a ban wave. Niantic has not given up on blocking 3rd party Pokemon Go apps. The opposite. There is a security update looming that Niantic has rolled out with the release of 0.37.0. Niantic is expected to any day now flip the switch and enable the new encryption that will block all 3rd party apps.
How long the 3rd party apps will be locked out is not clear yet. Developers are already working on cracking the new security measure.
Niantic is taking its time to unleash the new security measure. The reason for this could be that Niantic is waiting until the in-app Pokemon tracker is rolled out to all trainers. The company is testing the tracker since weeks in San Francisco. Server load issues was the cause of the removal of the nearby feature soon after launch of Pokemon Go. This problem has taken apparently a long time to resolve.
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