There they all are. (Image: Ahmed Almutawa)

In the magical world of Pokémon Go, Pokémon are all around you. But they’re hidden—to find them, you’re supposed to just walk around until one pops up. This is fun, but time consuming and sometimes frustrating. One developer, though, figured out how to create a map that shows exactly which Pokémon are in an area and their exact location.

This map first emerged from a subreddit for developers playing Pokémon Go, as the Verge reported. One of the contributors managed to start pulling out Pokémon Go data, and another, Ahmed Almutawa, started playing with that, which led him to create the first version of this map. His original intent, he wrote on Reddit, was to set “a coding exercise for myself.” But he was also interested in how Pokémon appear and their spawning patterns, which led him to make the map.

He posted the project on Reddit, and even though it required some coding knowledge to use, overnight it blew up and Almutawa’s time basically became consumed with trying to make the map work better and helping people use it. The code’s open-source, so already there are many variations on this idea and spin-offs, many also overwhelmed with demand.

Niantic, the company that made the game, doesn’t want people to be using the raw data in this way; the creator of this spin-off map project, for instance, already received a cease and desist order.

Whether or not using these maps is a fun or fair way to play the game, there is something delightful about seeing how fully the world is now populated with Pokémon. 

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