How Well Does 'Pokemon Go' Work as a Google Maps Replacement? 

It gives you a new way to explore the city. 


Pokémon Go encourages players to get off their couch and explore the physical world around them in order to capture digital Pokémon in augmented reality, but how good is it at navigating users through that world?

You probably shouldn’t uninstall Google Maps just yet, but it might be worth it to ignore the superior navigation skills of Google’s services in exchange for a new enhanced way to explore your city.

Anyone who has successfully fended off the failing servers of the game, knows there are Pokespots strategically placed around every city that serve as landmarks. A lot of them are things you may not have ever considered before in your daily commute.

Sure some of them are obvious like the White House and Pentagon but others are more subtle, like an old church or a historical landmark with a small plaque that you’d otherwise just step on.


The game obviously doesn’t suggest routes to get from point A to point B, but before apps and maps, a lot of navigation was based on landmarks. Since switching between Google Maps and the game is hard and battery consuming, Pokémon Go forces players to develop those old school landmark navigation skills.

While walking through New York City today, I was able to just walk towards the water since I knew that’s the direction I needed to go. It didn’t matter which street I had to turn down that would be the fastest, I could just leisurely stroll in the general direction I knew I was heading and take in all of the buildings and landmarks I never considered in the past.

Typically people think millennials are too attached to their phones, but in this case, Pokémon Go may be helping people to actually better see the real world.

It may not be the most efficient way to get around, but it’s certainly a more interesting way. Just don’t apply the concept to driving navigation.