When Pokemon Go was released earlier this month, players began to notice that Niantic Labs, the developer of the game, had placed PokeStops in some....unusual locations. Ranging from cemeteries to the National Holocaust Museum, some players felt that it was inappropriate to place PokeStops at memorials or other solemn sites. In response, Niantic directed organizations to fill out a form on their site to petition for the removal of PokeStops at their location.
Pokemon Go players noticed yesterday that Niantic has quietly removed PokeStops at several controversial locations, including the 9/11 Memorial Fountain in New York City. While Niantic didn't formally acknowledge that they were removing PokeStops from the game, a PR spokesman told Fortune Magazine that it a player noticed a PokeStop is no longer in the game, it must have been removed. Other players have reported that local PokeStops at cemeteries and some businesses were also removed.
It's possible that the PokeStop removals were made in conjunction with a map update that went into effect yesterday. Pokemon Go's new map seems to have removed many parking lots, paths and smaller roads (especially in rural areas) from the game, giving the map a "greener" look but also making it a bit more difficult for some players to navigate while playing. As Pokemon Go uses Google Map's API as the source for its maps, it is unclear whether the map changes were made by Niantic Labs or Google.
(via Fortune Magazine)