With the recent Pokémon Go patch to 0.31.0, finding nearby Pokés is harder than ever. Instead of fixing the three footstep issue, they have removed the footprints all together. The radar that once had minor functionality is now marginally less useful than the Stevie Wonder Bomb Defusal Squad.
Anyway. Niantic is not communicating at all whatsoever; that does not come to a surprise for any Ingress players. This failure to relay information to their customers is highly frustrating, and leaves all of us guessing which direction the game is going. Fortunately, there is a remedy for the lack of nearby Pokémon information. Enter: PoGoMap. Ahmed Almutawa, or their GitHub name, AHAAAAAAA, has created this website and GitHub repo for the Python-fueled map. There is a download section on the website which will deliver you to a tidy package that can be easily deployed to a server. If you’re more programmaticaly inclined, you can snag the Git repo from here and deploy it to your own server. There are a few steps that are needed to get it up and running; however, I got it successfully working on a DigitalOcean droplet in about 10 minutes.
This API needs an account from either the Pokémon Trainer Club or Google in order to work. I highly recommend that you create a throw away account, not tied to your regular information in any way. If you do not, you definitely risk a ban on an important account. From what I have learned, the map appears to make queries at certain distances to retrieve the nearby Pokés, so you don’t get a list of all Pokémon, just the range that you select to scan. So far, 5 second intervals seemed to have worked for me, but other users have reported that they could not locate anything when making requests faster than 10 second intervals. The real power comes into play when multiple accounts are used to scan; this allows many locations to be scanned simultaneously. You can even set alerts for specific Pokémon that you need to catch, which assists in completing the good ol’ Pokédex.
Chances are that in the future, Niantic will permanently ban some IP’s and possibly some ranges of IP’s to prevent this from functioning well as a hosted application. Word is that some ranges have already been blocked, namely services such as DigitalOcean; however, I have not run into an issue with my set up yet. Some additional code changes have happened recently, not sure if it was made intentionally to block these types of applications, or simply otherwise. Either way, Niantic has as much public relations as a hidden CIA operation.
EDIT: Niantic actually responded about this yesterday. Think twice about running these maps, they actually made a pretty good argument about this.
If you need help setting it up, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail.