Pinball Map Open Thread


We added a Tri-Cities Tennessee map!

It’s still getting populated. But it will cover the east Tennessee, around the cities of Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol.



I have to wonder if part of the higher numbers for Pinball Map with time is because more people are putting in locations onto the site. I am certain there are still many, many locations with pinball machines that haven’t been added to Pinball Map but have had the machines there for years because there hadn’t yet been anyone who visited who knew about Pinball Map. (And there’s nothing wrong with that, because putting the location onto Pinball Map, no matter how long the machine has been there, is good for the players, good for the locations, and good for the operators.)

One example I can think of is El Caporal #2 on the Los Angeles map. It is a very low-profile taquería (taco restaurant) intended to really only serve the locals. Its menu is entirely in Spanish, and its World Cup Soccer is placed behind a couple of arcade video game cabinets. The reason I fund out about it is because 1) I am a local to the area, and 2) I was eating at the Jack in the Box across the street and noticed someone in a very pinball-like posture inside the restaurant. It’s also the only known location on Pinball Map within several miles, though I can’t really tell if it’s because no one else in the area is reporting machines except me or if it really is a pinball dead zone.

But it’s because of discoveries like these is why I continue to search high and low within southern California. I haven’t had much success lately–each time I find out, I’m beaten to the punch by someone else. But that’s absolutely fine with me, because it means other people are helping out.

Now, an entirely not-serious question here: I have found a clothing store that uses a pinball table literally as a table. It’s not in an operational condition and is essentially used as stylish furniture. Is that worth adding to Pinball Map?


I think the steady growth can be attributed to any of these:

  • We add a new region to the site, and then the existing locations in that region are added.
  • A new or existing location gets a pinball machine.
  • An existing location is discovered to have pinball.
  • A pinball enthusiast or operator discovers Pinball Map and then submits the locations they know about. (Yesterday, an operator in Wisconsin discovered the site and then promptly submitted 14 locations.)

We can often tell which of these a submission will fall under. But we don’t track that info in any way. But yeah, the growth that we show is not directly (or strictly) showing how pinball is expanding.

No, we don’t want to list an unplayable machine/art piece! We can add that to once we launch.


We added a Brisbane / Gold Coast map! UP THE PINBALL MAPPERS!!


We updated the home page so that the regions are now sorted by state. Hope this makes it easier for you to find the map you want.


News bitz:

We’re rewriting the Pinball Map app from the ground floor up. The impetus is practical: we are currently maintaining two totally separate native apps (android and ios), and so it’s twice the work to update them. Developing the app in the cross-platform platform, React Native, will make updates much easier.

So, we’re excited about this! This’ll be a big update, and we have some cool things in store for it.


Howdy gangsters,

This is something we’ve discussed for many years, and we get requests for it… well, basically every day! We put together a single map that contains all 97 Pinball Map regions. It also supports locations that aren’t within those regions (there aren’t many of those yet - but we did have a queue of like 40 spots that didn’t fit within an existing region, so we started with those).

So now you can search everywhere without having to switch to different regions. It’s in BETA, but check it out and let us know what you think:

We’ll be robustifying it as more people use it and provide feedback.

We’re excited about this! And now we’re shifting full focus to the next version of the app, which will use this One Map technology. In the next app update, we will not force you to switch between regions. People complain about that being confusing and annoying. And we get you.


It’s like Cerebro so you can be the professor x of pinball machines.


Love this new piece of the pinball map puzzle.
One option that I will be looking forward to down the road is taking some outliers out of the Syracuse region. A bunch I have only added over the years because they do not have their own map. But I didnt want them to get lost. One example is my first visit to some beat up pins 1 hour 45 minute drive from Syracuse, but on my way to my Memorial Day weekend destination


Definitely. In my email to the admins, I said:

Now could be a good time for you to tighten up your regions. If you are harboring locations that are pretty far away from the main part of your region, and if that bugs you, we can shift them to regionless. For example, Dayton OH spots are smack between Columbus and Cincinnati. Both regions have locations in Dayton. So we can move those to regionless. We won’t actually do that until the new app that can support regionless locations is out. But we can start a list!


this is a very valuable change.


I’ll get on this for Cincinnati ASAP.

EDIT: looks like Dayton is already listed. Let me know if I need to do anything further.


Does this mean that us dirty forriners can start adding our locations as well? :slight_smile:


This will sound lame, but at the moment we don’t support foreign phone numbers. In order to control all the different ways that people input numbers, we forced (xxx) xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxx-xxxx. Trivial to change that now… but we need to do it first.

So, give us a minute…


phone numbers are not required though?


Correct - they’re not. It just kind of stinks to add, for example, 52 locations near Brisbane Australia and none of them have phone numbers.


Truth is we made a pact with eight years ago to stay outta Europe. And we’ve stuck to that. But now we’re interested in Pinball Mapexiting from that and just seeing where things go.


Couple of questions with the new format. Can area specific search terms be added? For instance, currently if you search on bay area, south bay area or north bay area, you only get games in the east bay. Searching on east bay area does get east bay games.

Also, when it says ‘near’, how near are we talking? On the old map, if I searched on IMDN, it would show all the IMDN’s in the bay area. Now I can only find one if I search on a city that has one (SF, Concord and Rohnert Park). I’d like to be able to search the whole bay area for a single title. May be basically the same question as above.

I do like the idea. Hope we can fine tune the bay area a little.


These are good questions.

Right now, the Near parameter that you provide means “5 miles from that point”. We are going to change this to a variable, so you can adjust that radius. We also want to make it so if you conduct a search and then move the map with the “redo search results when map is moved” toggle on, then the search parameters are retained when the map is moved.

We haven’t dug too deep yet into using zones for “Near” (or using other “neighborhood” datasets for those parameters)