Steve Smith answers regular contributors question on how Pokémon Go uses GPS, but more accurately explaining why it doesn't just use generic GPS, but sensors that are so much better.
Episode #6-46 released on July 31, 2016
I was asked how Pokémon Go works with GPS, apparently because my show invoked a terrible Pokémon curse just for mentioning it. While, I am currently only level 12, many people know this is because I prefer FPS over GPS. Thing is, according to what I have found, GPS only plays a part in the entire process of finding Pokémon in Pokémon Go.
Let's start off with a definite probability. This game resembles a geocaching game. Geocaching is a type of game where using GPS we find places on the planet, kind of like a treasure hunt. Many people will leave messages, or gifts behind at geocache locations, or have amazing views.
Pokémon Go, also, uses the accelerometer, clock, compass, and camera, unless you are like me, and turned off AR mode. Turning off AR mode only disables the camera, the accelerometer and compass remain active. And as a bonus note, since you are using a cellphone, you aren't using conventional GPS either, you are using AGPS, which standards for Assisted Global Positioning System. This means, that your phone uses the GPS satellites, and Cellphone Towers to track your position. All this information allows for this game to spontaneously place Pokémon where they want, and accurately determine where you are physically, which direction your phone camera is facing, and show you the Pokémon in the real world, or game world if you disabled AR mode.
As for the majority of the Pokémon, some of them come out based on the time of day, environmental characteristics such as rivers, your level, and potentially special events and some Pokémon will come out based on the team you chose.
I hope this answers your question, as very little else is known about the engine that spawns the Pokémon randomly around the world, other than the potential to have places quarantined from having Pokémon, or making some places special like arenas and Poké stops.
I, also, heard we may eventually be able to trade our Pokémon, but I am sure that will be higher levels, or in a future update. This though, is unconfirmed.
Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions