Posts Tagged ‘layer’

Geoloqi Now Detects Nearby Pinball Machines

Geoloqi Pinball Layer Geolocation

Geoloqi has a new layer that is going to make your coin jars a lot more empty.

When we’re not working (which we love to do), we also love to play pinball. It turns out (we only recently found this out) that the city we live and work in is one of the top pinball cities in America). There’s a great website called the Pinball Map that (using crowdsourcing) keeps track of the pinball machines in cities all over the country. They also have a a great iPhone and Android app so you can update and find machines (Scott Wainstock and Ryan Gratzer worked on the apps and the Pinball Map site, and did a great job with them).

Geoloqi Pinball Geo Notification

We wanted to see if we could use Geoloqi to automatically let us know when we were near a bar with pinball machines. So we combined the Pinball Map data with Geoloqi, and the result is the Geoloqi Pinball Machine Detector!

How it works: When you walk by a venue that has a pinball machine, Geoloqi automatically detects it and sends you a message, which has the name of the venue, and the names of all the pinball machines. We tried it out recently, and it was great. We first found a bar with CSI and the new Batman pinball machine, both of which were only a week old (the Pinball Map data is remarkably up-to-date).

Next we walked by the Shanghai Tunnel, a bar in downtown Portland, which had five machines in the basement. The machines weren’t visible from the road, so I would have never known about them without the Pinball layer. I’ve found a lot of great new places to stop in and visit since I started using it. It’s surprising how many hidden gems you can find, even in the neighborhood you live in.

We also found a really odd Elton John pinball machine (Captain Fantastic) in the shoe store across from Powell’s (a big bookstore in downtown Portland). We’ve walked by it hundreds of times, and still had no idea it was there.

Pinball Map Site

The layer only took a few hours to build, and it was very easy to implement. It’s my favorite layer for Geoloqi right now (the Dinosaur Fossils layer is a close second). I was able to use our visual Layer Editor to track and view progress while the script was importing. It’s a lot of data, but our front-end designer/developer (Patrick Arlt) was able to use our Javascript SDK to make direct calls to the API from our editor, which improves performance a lot, so even with a lot of data, the layer editor works great. It makes a big difference to be able to see the data you’re working with!

Geoloqi Pinball Map Layer

Anything with geo-location can be made into a layer like this. We’ve been having a lot of fun implementing these, and we’re always looking for more ideas and datasets to import in the future. If you have any ideas in mind, you should send them to us (or better yet, make your own layer!).

Geoloqi Pinball Notification

Where does it work?

If you’re in any of the following cities, you can use this layer to get Pinball notifications!
Austin, San Francisco, Boston, British Columbia, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Spokane

Try it Out!

Download the Geoloqi app and subscribe to the Pinball layer! It’s free.. unlike the pinball machines.

Top photo credit: Creative Commons by Flickr User BeerNotBombs

Geoloqi launches MapAttack! a real-time location-based mobile gaming platform of awesomeness.

What is MapAttack?

MapAttack is a real-time location-based GPS game running on the @geoloqi platform. Coming to a city near you.

Behind MapAttack is Geoloqi’s powerful location-messaging platform and our new gaming platform that can scale up to handle hundreds of thousands of parallel users.

Why MapAttack?

So you can turn the real world into a game, of course! To get to run around while doing awesome things and have fun! The feeling while playing a real-life game is one of the best things on earth. It’s not common, but it’s becoming an increasingly awesome possibility with mobile technology. We hope millions of these games occur and that we can make more of them possible. We’re always inspired by Jane McGonigal and AreaCode and we’d like to increase our ability to bring more people into real-world gaming.

We did the first beta test of MapAttack at the Park Blocks in downtown Portland, Oregon today. As you can see, the map was filled with dots of various values, all of which were quickly eaten:

Thanks so much to Pat Arlt for the excellent design and CSS for this gamemap. The map intelligently shrinks and grows based on browser-window size. Check it out!

Some of the MapAttack players!

Last minute bug fixing…

Aaron Parecki and Kyle Drake furiously worked on a last-minute OAuth2 issue before everyone could join. This lightning-fast park bench programming is brought to you by tethered Android phones!

Photo credit @reidab
Thanks to @reidab for the photos!


The experience of playing MapAttack was a unique one. Similar to playing Pac Manhattan at WhereCamp Portland in 2008, the Park Blocks and Pearl District became something more than just a series of streets. When the game was running we were all motivated to explore and gather points by a very different drive than simply walking down the street. It was a completely wonderful and intense feeling.

How a real-life game feels can’t be fully described unless you have played a real-time alternate reality game. There’s something behind these types of experiences, and that’s why it’s been so exciting to build this type of game.


Here’s a short video of @caseorganic explaining the game. Thanks to Sam Churchill of for taking the video on our first day of testing!

What Next? MapAttack at WhereCamp and Colombia!

After we speak at Where2.0 next week, we’ll be bringing the game to Stanford University where we’ll be bringing MapAttack to WhereCamp. Our first international remote game will be in MedellĂ­n, Colombia later this summer.

There’s going to be a lot more!

You can follow MapAttack on Twitter for updates and if you’d like to ask us questions about how to use the platform to make your own games. We’ll have a game-editor and game system set up after we get back from Stanford! See you soon!

Thanks a ton!

Giant enormous thanks go to Aaron Parecki, Kyle Drake and Pat Arlt for making this game come to life. Want MapAttack in your city? Let us know below!