Pinball Map Open Thread

For the record, I’d love to be a beta tester, so let me know.

P.S. I think you’re a Portland dude, but I don’t know who you are. I’m moving back to Portland in like 2 weeks. Looking forward to playing with all you fools again.

P.P.S doublejurf is a much better username than jurfjurf.

I live in Los Angeles now, but used to live in Portland. Scott lives in Portland, though. Portland is certainly a great place to live if you’re looking for pinball. Pinball density is low in LA.

I posted a survey on the blog regarding the regional map model. Please take it!

Done! Thanks!

Not urgent by any means, but I did get a kick out of a Houston, TX location showing up on the map (website version of as located somewhere in Tibet. :smile:

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I just wanted to say thank you for helping me find so many pinball machines where I live! I use Pinball Map frequently to find machines, but I do some pinball hunting myself and search for locations not yet on there. At my peak, I’d find a new location about once per week (usually in Orange County). I’m finding them less frequently than I used to though.

I live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, in the San Fernando Valley, and prior to me knowing about Pinball Map, I’d just wander from place to place, sometimes asking managers and such of various premises if they had pinball machines. Of the 10 locations I found, 5 were not yet on Pinball Map at the time, so I figured then, and probably even now, there’s a vasst amount of places not yet on there. I did notice an increase in new locations popping up for Los Angeles after I started adding them in, so I take it that many people who used Pinball Map prior to me figured it was complete or near-complete until these locations started coming in. Then, I started seeing locations like Casa de Carlos and Round 1 added in, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Not really much to say that I feel could be changed that no one else already said, but I did notice one recent update had each timestamped report displace the previous one. I’d like to see a list of all reports at once for the machine, because sometimes, the reports are incomplete without the context of a previous one, such as something that begins with “And now…” or “Also…”

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Seattle’s Streamline Tavern is also apparently located in China… except in the province of Inner Mongolia. :wink:

I fixed the lat/lon for both of those locations. In both cases, they seemed to be missing a minus sign before the longitude… which is strange, and shouldn’t be happening. Thanks for pointing that out to me!

Is this on the iOS app? I just looked on the website and android app, and older comments display their timestamp. I don’t have an iOS device on me at the moment, though.

Thanks for adding locations to the LA map! LA is huge, so I have no doubt that the map is incomplete. But it seems to be filling in, thanks in great part to you!

This is interesting. I’m planning on adding some links to relevant player resources to, like pintips or rulesheets, and a “where to play” link would definitely be a cool thing to have, if it would actually show a world map of all the locations of a specific machine. Let me know how this turns out.

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yeah on iOS I noticed that too - someone added a comment like “What was listed before is totally right except about the right sling” or something and I was like, huh? since I couldn’t see what the previous comment was.

We’ll get that added soon. That feature slipped past us on iOS.

hey congrats on your placing at PatL this past weekend! Saw you kicked ass!

Thank you guys for providing this app. Really looking for more locations in my area, but sadly, there aren’t many places with pinball machines (or arcades/game rooms, rather) around.

Thanks, Gene! Overall I don’t think I played well, but I did okay and I managed to get some fortunate breaks. I’m pretty rusty, and I stink at new Sterns (so each time we played AC/DC or TWD I blew it). But it was fun! Nice location, nice machines, good tourney vibes. I miss competing.

Blog update: I wrote a blog post called “A Weekend in the Life of the Portland Pinball Map.” I used map updates to try and create a narrative of the weekend’s activities. Probably not a very effective narrative… but it was just a silly experiment.

Just had a thought while reading your blog post: Could you create an operator interface that allows an operator to assign locations to themselves, then get notified when someone posts an issue with a game? Maybe that’s too far from your core mission. Just a thought. Could be cool to have a real-time link to operators to let them know about issues though…


That isn’t too far from our core mission. We certainly want operators to use comments on the map to identify problems with their machines. We don’t expect comments on the site to be their only way to learn about issues, and we hope that it doesn’t become a hassle for them. But oftentimes, people don’t know to give bug reports to location employees (or the employees don’t pass them on to the ops). So we’re offering another way to report problems.

So, right now our admins can assign operators to locations. This can be somewhat useful for regular users (say, if someone really appreciates one operator’s good machines, they can look up all that op’s locations). But it’s mostly useful for operators (if they’re paying attention). This data is only added when it’s available. In Portland, a lot of the locations have an operator assigned to them. And that’s because I’ve reached out to a lot of them and asked them to send a list of their locations. Allowing operators to tag themselves is a possibility, but we wouldn’t want to solely rely on it. Perhaps we could add something to the front-end, so it’s nice and simple (similar to how, on the apps, anyone can edit a location and add a Location Type, or a Phone Number).

Anyway, in the past we’ve asked operators if they’d like to receive notifications for machine comments. Some said yes, and some didn’t reply. But we asked them years ago, and then didn’t do anything about it. We’ll revisit this idea. Thanks for bringing it up!


I loved this blog post, FYI. It made me want to be more of an active map user so that my activity would show up next time. :smile:


I was actually about to post something suggesting a similar feature.

There’s always been sort of a hurdle in contacting most operators. Part of that (a big part) is that most location players have no idea how. However, more and more players DO know how to use the map app, so if the option is there it could potentially bridge the divide.

On the other hand, one thing I know about some operators is they’re terrible with communication. I wonder if something like a “contact operator” button is the way to go or could ultimately be counterproductive. Many ops are old school and don’t do the “text back within five minutes” thing. It could even be a case of a good Op who goes right out and fixes it, but now the player is posting negative comments because they didn’t a quick enough reply.

If operators had the option of getting a digest of comments for their locations for the past 24 hours, week, whatever, that would be a means to inform them of the goings-on without creating false expectations on the part of players. It might also be easier to code.

Daily digest is a good idea. We’ve created an issue for this:

Hopefully this feature doesn’t help them to erase problematic comments without actually fixing them.