The week when Pokémon Go became available worldwide was very crazy. It exploded as the most hyped game of the summer, and it seemed that everyone was playing it.
Quite quickly, people developed tools to query the API for locations, allowing to find if certain pokémon were at any given spot. This hunting with live maps was incredibly powerful way to find rare pokémons.
I came up with an idea to use this API to create heatmaps instead of live maps. For 4 cities — New York, London, Tokyo and my own city Vilnius — I queried the API non-stop for as big a radius as I could, registering millions of pokémon “appearances”: moments when a certain pokémon spawned at a coordinate.
I then used this data to build heatmaps: over a hundred images, for for each pokémon, for each city. You could see, for instance, that:
Pinser appeared almost exclusively in Central Park in New York:
Paras really liked the western part of Hyde park, London:
In Tokyo, Pikachu was spawning in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden:
Finally, in Vilnius, Lickitung could only be found on the Gediminas castle hill.
These maps, that I later shared on reddits and Facebook groups, were a major hit. However soon after I compiled this data, Niantic, developers of Pokémon Go, locked down the API so it was impossible to run the script anymore.
Below are some of the more interesting pokémon heatmaps.
- Stamen Toner map