Become a Pokémon Master with Google Maps

We value employees who are risk-taking and detail-oriented, have deep technical knowledge, and can navigate through tall grass to capture wild creatures. It turns out that these skills have a lot in common with another profession—that of the Pokémon Master. With that in mind, we’ve worked with Pokémon and Nintendo to develop a new training tool to help people hone their Pokémon-capturing abilities using Google Maps.

Dozens of wild Pokémon have taken up residence on streets, amidst forests and atop mountains throughout Google Maps. To find and catch ‘em all, you’ll need to tap into your inner Pokémon Master.



If you think you’re up to the challenge, grab your Poké Ball and the newest version of Google Maps for iPhone or Android. Then tap the search bar, “press start,” and begin your quest.

Leave no stone unturned or city unzoomed as you seek out wild Charizards and Pikachus to add to your Pokédex. Be vigilant—you never know if a wild Steelix will appear in Tokyo, Japan or New York City, USA. And follow Google Maps on Google+, Facebook and Twitter for hints and tips.

Time is of the essence—in the words of Professor Oak, “The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the Pokémon.”

Posted by Tatsuo Nomura, Advanced Pokémon Trainer

(c) Google; Pokemon content (c) Pokemon/Nintendo/Creatures/GAME FREAK

Google has been experimenting with augmented reality for a few years now, but never in such an ambitious way as it's announcing today... sort of. For April Fools' Day this year, Google has created a video advertising an augmented reality Pokémon game loosely tied into Google Maps. In Google's vision, players would hold their smartphones out in front of them and see Nintendo's cartoon creatures appear on screen before them, often ready to do battle.

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Of course, augmented reality isn't quite that sophisticated yet — and anyway, waving your cellphone around while rock climbing and walking past traffic seems more than a little dangerous. But Google does give us an opportunity to start catching Pokémon on Google Maps: if you zoom into certain areas around the world on Google Maps' iOS and Android apps today, you'll actually see some of Nintendo's famous creatures appear. There's apparently 150 in all (though notably, not exclusively the original 150), and you can even start filling up a Pokédex while collecting them.

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