Pokemon Go players are now free from getting AR mapping quests in their queue of special research tasks due to an update made by Niantic to get higher-quality AR scans. These tasks, although simple, used to be a huge annoyance for the players. They required the player to walk up to a Pokestop and use their phone to scan an area. From these scans, Niantic gathers information that allows them to keep the maps up to date and provide a higher-quality AR experience for players.
AR mapping was first introduced to Pokemon GO two years after the game’s release in 2018. This was a result of Ninantic’s frustration with using Google Maps. They shifted to OpenStreetMap but were still unsatisfied with the result. Then players noticed that AR mapping quests began appearing. This meant that if Niantic could not find a map they liked, they were outsourcing the work to the players.
Using players, Niantic could chart their world and create more reliable 3D maps. However, the players disliked these quests as they had to walk all the way to a specific Pokestop, which was not always nearby. Additionally, it led to other tasks just sitting in the queue unfinished because the players had to fulfill these side tasks. Many also complained that it prevented them from getting the most out of the experience.
Niantic heard the complaints and made an official post on Friday, letting players know that they were changing their policy. From now on, only those who generated high-quality scans will be given these side-quests. This means that if a trainer consistently sends low-quality AR scans, then they will stop getting them. These players will then have more time to focus on more easily completable quests.
Niantic also detailed what high-quality scans are. They stated that they should be in focus, and the Pokestop should be the center focal point. The cameraman should ideally circle it 360 degrees to get full area coverage. Niantic also told their players that those above level 20 and with a nice enough camera would qualify for these tasks.
When the AR mapping tasks were first introduced, there was a lot of backlash against them as players found it awkward to stand in public holding their phones up for extended periods. Therefore, this announcement was met with excitement.