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Pokemon Go: Google Maps hack makes it easier than ever to find Pokemon

Published Jul 20th, 2016 10:31AM EDT

The Pokemon Go craze is in full swing, with more than 30 million players hunting Pokemon around the world. However, it might be tough to find new Pokemon to add to your roster, and not everybody has time to walk around town hoping to encounter missing characters. Thankfully, there’s an app for that – install Poke Radar right now if you need help catching Pokemon. But if that’s not enough, then you should be aware of another cool trick that uses Google Maps to point you to Pokemon near you.

Yes, you can call it cheating. But it gets the job done, especially if the “Nearby” feature breaks down, which is the way to find Pokemon inside the game.

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Someone figured out how to extract location data from the game, including the location of gyms, the items at various PokeStops and where Pokemon will appear, The Verge reports. Developer Ahmed Almutawa plotted the data on the map and posted the project on GitHub and Reddit. Naturally, fans have started using the trick almost immediately, and they’re contributing to it as well.

“The very first time [the map] was working properly it was like 10:00 PM,” Almutawa said. “I opened the map, and there was a Dratini that was three blocks down the road. I was like, ‘Nah, there’s no way it’s down the road from here.’ But I go out, and I walk there and there’s a Dratini here. I caught the Dratini my first try, so I was very proud of myself for that one.”

Unfortunately, there’s no easy-to-use app on your phone to take advantage of this amazing Google Maps trickery for Pokemon Go. There are step-by-step instructions on how to make it work though, but they aren’t necessarily user-friendly.

pokemon-go-find-pokemon-google-maps-trickImage source: The Verge

Once completed, the process will display a Google Maps view of all the Pokemon, PokeStops and gyms (see image above). The best thing about it is that you can filter by specific items, although some coding is required.

If you want to give the map a try to look for rare Pokemon, now’s the time to do it. There’s always the chance that Niantic will block this kind of hack in a future update.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.