Pinball Map Open Thread


The Apple App Store has graciously accepted our latest update.

What’s New in Version 4.0.3

  • Ability to add location type and operator on location submissions (these are dropdown menus now, rather than text fields)
  • Fix events feature on Apple Watch (it was crashing)
  • Fix visibility issue on iPad map (there was a thing where it shouldn’t be)

Now we’re working on an Android app update. And there are some website updates a’coming, too.


Small, but significant website enhancement: faster searches.

If you opened a map and then searched ALL, the locations would take a while to load (depending on how many locations needed to be loaded). In Portland, for example, it would take like 15 seconds!!

When search results show multiple locations, it displays only a location overview (name, address, machines), and not the full location details (phone, website, editing functions, machines, pictures, etc). When you click that location overview, the location details are shown. The problem was that we were loading most of the location details during that initial search, even though we weren’t showing them yet.

So now: we simply don’t load the location details until you specifically request them (by clicking on the location overview, or by searching for a single location). The result is a significant improvement in speed. For example: a search for all of the city of Portland now takes like 2-3 seconds instead of 15.



Is it possible for a local pinball community to vote for a new city admin, or at least have one added that actually lives in the city in question?


I assume you’re in Charleston, SC? Sure, that can happen. Just wondering, though, in what capacity is the current admin lacking? If you’re expecting that the admin will personally visit each place that a machine is added to - that’s not their role.


the insight of actually living in the city. Just seems to be a convoluted process not having someone local involved. No, not expecting the admin to do that, that’s what I’ve already been doing for years.

Anyways, user TheKofG gets my vote.


About the dispute re which map is better: Aren’t they both updated by users? So if in one city, more users update Pinball Map, that will be more accurate, while if in another city, more users update the Pinside map, it will be more accurate. More than that, different users will have different preferences for locations e.g. within one city, so their map preference could influence which entries get updated.

I actually didn’t know about the Pinside map until I read these posts, and it looks to me like there’s info in each that’s not in the other. (There’s a location in Pinball Map that I visited last Wednesday, so I know it’s correct, but that location isn’t listed in the Pinside map. There’s also a location that was added two months ago on the Pinside map that’s not in the Pinball map. Since the entry is so recent, I assume that the machines are still there now.)

Aesthetically I prefer the Pinball Map, but I’m a newbie. I just want to find machines to explore near me. I’ll use whatever info I can find.


Absolutely use whatever info you can find. Over time, in think you’ll find the pinball map is more accurate. The thing about pinside is that it’s basically a collector community. Very few hard core location players there. Not much motivation to keep the map updated.

The pinball map is mostly updated by regular location players. They have a vested interest in keeping the map accurate. I’m sure some areas of the pinside map are maintained better than others, but I doubt any area on pinside is covered better than the pinball map.

Neither will ever be 100% accurate all the time, so if you’re planning a long drive to play a specific machine, call ahead first to make sure the game is there.


agreed. I have my collection on free play at a retail shop, and they are listed on both. I’ve never heard anyone say they’ve came from Pinside, always PinballMap. A lot of tourists too. I also think it has captured the younger audience. There have been multiple instances of teens coming in who play The Pinball Arcade, and wanted to play a real Whirlwind for the first time. That was awesome to see firsthand. I think there is definitely a connection there.


New News: We added a Wichita map! It’s currently listing 33 locations and 77 machines.

Android App News: we’re chugging along on the next Android app update. Our focus is on speeding it up. And it’s going well so far. The problem was that we were d/ling too much data initially (and parsing it). So this update is kinda similar to this recent website change.


We also added a Cheyenne map:

It’s just listing 3 locations and 38 machines, but there are some more locations to add.


We updated the Android app. Now it’s at 4.0.1.

Here’s a blog post about it.

The most major change in this update is a great reduction in loading time, aka the app is faster. Previously, whenever you loaded a region, the app would load all the data for that region. This resulted in a slow initial load time - but the app was very speedy after that. Now, the initial start-up is very fast, and then the data loads in the background. And it’s less data.

If you’re an Android user, please update and let us know what you think.


Our Android logs are showing a fair amount of app crashes. In order to better address this, if you’ve experienced the latest Android app crashing we’d appreciate hearing from you. Like, what happened when it crashed? Feel free to reply here or to Thanks!


New blog post! 2017 Annual Statistics.

Here are some fresh stats for 2017.

We added 1,681 new locations (but we also removed locations - sorry, we’ll add that stat later - forgot to do it). And there was a net increase of 3,025 machines listed (14,625 machines added, 11,600 machines removed).

The monthly data below are not entirely accurate, as the data were compiled from weekly stats emails, and we were missing three of those emails (two in June and one in October). But… close enough. Enjoy!

And growth in some select cities:


So, after the Android update, I press the icon to open the app and like 5-6 seconds pass where literally nothing happens. Pressing any other app icon will do nothing, and then after 5-6 seconds the pinball map app will pop up fully loaded and work fine. But if I close the app and reopen it, the same thing happens every time. At first I thought my phone was frozen or something. I haven’t had a “crash” per say.

Here’s my Android version information.


Thanks @jdh! We think this issue is related to the loading of the splash screen. We shall fix it. This behavior doesn’t really occur in the emulator, so we kind of overlooked it. Thanks for the feedback.


any update on making user TheKofG a local admin for Charleston?


Just released an Android app update. It fixes the “did I just open the app or what?” issue that @jdh reported, plus like three other bug fixes.

No news. Things seem to be going well in that region.


Updated the Android app AGAIN tonight.

This update:

  • Speeds up the loading time on the “Recently Added” page.
  • Adds “distance” info to the Lookup by Machine page. So if you click Lookup by Machine, then a machine name, the locations that have that machine will show you how far away they are.
  • Changes the date format on the Events page.


it took over a month for new locations we both added to go live. I think the only reason they did finally get added because we discussed the issue in the local Facebook group. They got added that day, and I could see that Tom viewed the post. I’m not trying to get Tom removed. It just seems to me having someone local in addition would make things even better. For example, communicating with users who make errors, which has happened quite a few times recently. No way he is going to know about that up in Brooklyn. Are you just simply opposed to this? If so, I’ll drop it.


We recognize your passion and your concern, and will let you know if there’s an update. Tom created the map over four years ago, collecting all the base data and basically managing it solo for much of that time - it’s cool that it’s now been picked up by more people. So, thanks for helping keep the map up to date!