In a post on The Silph Road sub-Reddit, a resident of Salamina, the largest island in Greece’s Saronic Gulf and 10 miles off the coast of Athens, pleaded for assistance in getting developer Niantic Labs to listen to the plight of the Pokémon Go players who he represents.
Pokémon Go utilizes mapping data provided by Open Street Maps, an open-source service that anybody can edit. Unfortunately, this means that there may be some inaccuracies, and for the players of Salamina, OSM is the root of all their problems.
The Redditor, who goes by the name Giannhsblazer, said that the whole Saronic Gulf was tagged as “natural=bay,” including the islands of Salamina, Aegina, Agistri, and Poros. This told Niantic’s servers to stop spawning Pokémon in the area, as it is supposedly submerged in water.
OSM has since replaced the tags for the inhabited islands, but Niantic has not updated Pokémon Go to look at the fixed version.
Pokémon Go, tauntingly, still works in Salamina and the three other islands. According to Giannhsblazer, the hundreds of PokéStops on the island are still there, but the only way to try to get Pokémon to spawn in their area is to pay for lures and incense. In the meantime, the only thing that players have been able to do in the game is to fight Raid bosses, as the core experience of catching Pokémon has been taken away from them.
“Our reports to Niantic have gone either unanswered or replied to with general responses such as ‘Go play somewhere else’, ‘Visit a place with more PokéStops’, or even the ridiculous answer of ‘Check if your mobile data/GPS is active’,” a Salamina player told Eurogamer.
“This is really our final shot before completely giving up on the game.”
Niantic has not responded to the issue, and it is unclear if they will pull in the latest OSM version to revive the Pokémon Go community of Salamina. One suggestion to try to fix the problem, in case it will take a while for the OSM update, is to place a lure on all the PokéStops of the island while waiting for a permanent solution.