To succeed in “Pokémon GO,” you have to walk around and find Pokémon in the real world.
The catch is that you don’t know which Pokémon are going to appear where at any given time. The “Pokémon GO” app gives you clues with a Nearby tab and subtle animations in the game’s map view, but that’s it. You have no way of knowing where exactly the Pokémon you’re looking for is and how long it will be there.
It’s like having a treasure map to every Pokémon in the game, and yes, it works. Here’s how to use it:
The creators of PokéVision have managed to access the data from 'Pokémon GO's' servers and display where Pokémon are currently spawning in real time on Google Maps.
From the website's FAQ:
'It uses the Niantic API to grab the location of all Pokemon near your (or your selected location) and display them on the map in real-time; this means if it is displayed on the map, you can go out and catch them! Note: Rarer pokemons have a shorter appearance time so they might despawn; make sure to be quick and keep an eye on their timers!'
You can read a more technical explanation of how it all works on Ars Technica.
As anyone who has played 'Pokémon GO' knows, this is a big deal because the game intentionally hides this information from you.
With PokéVision, you enter an address or your current location to see which Pokémon are currently catchable around you. This is what the south end of Central Park in New York looks like:
The only catch is that PokéVision can't see which Pokémon are spawning from lures and incense (both items manually attract Pokémon to a specific location for 30 minutes).
So the only Pokémon you can see through PokéVision are ones that are randomly generated by the game's algorithms. That's why Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan looks like this:
When in reality, it's a gold mine of endless lures and one of the most popular places to catch Pokémon in New York City.
We were highly sceptical of PokéVision, so we decided to try it ourselves. (Spoiler: it worked like magic.)
When I entered the address of Tech Insider's Manhattan office, I noticed a Vulpix spawning only a couple of short blocks away.
With just under 8 minutes to capture it, I rushed out of the office to the corner where it was shown on the map. Sure enough, it was actually there:
I loaded the PokéVision website on my phone to find some other Pokémon near me. There was a Poliwag and Meowth a few blocks below me I wanted to catch.
My colleague Alex Perry also found two Pokémon near our office using Pokévision. And both times it worked like a charm.
The cool thing about PokéVision is that it works anywhere 'Pokémon GO' works around the world. It's a brilliant way to see where the Pokémon you want to catch are spawning either in your city or somewhere you're travelling to.
The PokéVision website went down briefly while we were testing it on Thursday, but its creators say they're working on making the tool more reliable.
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