Meta Battle Subway PokeBase - Pokemon Q&A
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I'm pretty sure "the programmers don't have enough time" isn't the correct answer. Google Maps has information on what terrain (trees, water, buildings, etc.) are in each area. Programming Pokemon of different types to appear in different kinds of terrain would be better than just using Pidgeys and Rattatas as placeholders. Currently, there are only 17 types, so programming such a thing shouldn't be too hard.

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Living in the middle of nowhere sucks, I know :(
If you're anywhere near a college, go there. they have tons of pokestops and gyms

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You are correct, it's not a programming issue.

Pokémon GO is made by the company Niantic. Previously, Niantic created a very similar game to Pokémon GO called Ingress. The locations of Pokémon in GO are the exact same as the locations used in Ingress. Seriously, most of Pokémon GO is just reskinned Ingress. Ingress locations are population-based, and there are more Ingressmahobbits (I don't play Ingress so I don't know any of the real terms) portals, they're called portals in urban areas than out in the boondocks. Pokéstops and Gyms in GO are the same locations as the portals in Ingress. So, the logic is that because Ingress had less of a rural following, when GO adopted its locations it suffered the same way.

A source I found.


Also, as for having different Pokémon for different terrain: While not confirmed, The Silph Road analyzed the capture data of Pokémon GO and found that different species of Pokémon do in fact appear in different biomes. For example, arid areas have lots of Ground and Fire Pokémon and forested areas (like where I live) have more Grass and Bug Pokémon. Pidgey and Ratatta are not location based, they will show up anywhere.

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But in real life, pigeons are found in every continent except the ISS. Pidgey appearing on the ISS doesn't really make sense.
If the ISS is actually a location in Pokémon GO I will laugh so hard.
Okay, just kidding. But are they seriously so lazy that they won't fix the rural area problem despite all the complaints?
From what I've read Niantic doesn't do the whole feedback thing very well :(
The programming itself might be the reason that Pokemon spawn less in rural areas since more Pokemon in populated areas = more people playing game = more money.
Need a like button. this comment sums up how we as gamers are treated: cash cows. Never mind logic, just dump the cash bait in front of people i.e. in populated places
I'm pretty sure having people go out of town just to play a game won't make the game more popular.