Location Based Services

LBS: Mobile Cartography

4110.4 - Location Spoofing in Location Based Game: A Case Study of Pokémon Go

Tuesday, July 4
9:30 AM - 9:50 AM
Location: Coolidge

The worldwide Pokémon Go fever has brought location spoofing into the public’s spotlight. Location spoofing indicates an intentional act to masquerade locational information to elsewhere other than the actual location where a network communication takes place. In the realm of Cartography and GIScience, compared with well-studied spatial quality issues like uncertainty, outlier or noise, our knowledge on location spoofing is still quite limited, not to mention its implications to maps, humans and society at large. By reviewing five frequently-conducted location spoofing techniques on Pokémon Go, this paper critically examines location spoofing as an emerging spatial data quality issue triggered by operator’s motivation. To unveil the hidden motivation for location spoofing, this paper discusses the uneven spatial distribution of game rewards through mapping a large volunteered data set of worldwide Pokémons, and gazes at the major actors in the location based game, including location spoofers, game designer, hackers and bots. Though the research scope of this paper lies in location based game, location spoofing widely exists in Internet applications, and not fundamentally different from other deceptive phenomena in the real world. We encourage cartographers and GIScientists to confront this spoofing phenomena head-on in order to promote more effective and trustworthy uses of geospatial big data.

Bo Zhao

Assistant Professor
Oregon State University

Assistant Professor in Cartography and Geovisualization


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Jukka M. Krisp

Applied Geoinformatics, Institute of Geography, University of Augsburg

Prof. Dr. Jukka M. Krisp, Professor of Applied Geoinformatics at the University of Augsburg. His research interests include Geovisualization and Location Based Services (LBSs).


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4110.4 - Location Spoofing in Location Based Game: A Case Study of Pokémon Go

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