(Topic ID: 936)

The World Pinball Map

By robin

9 years ago

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  • 29 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by toyotaboy
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    #1 9 years ago

    Today, after building the Fun Facts / Trivia feature, I have decided to take up the next feature on the request list: "Where to play?"

    This new feature allows you to post and search for locations where you can play pinball. Each location will be represented by an icon on the pinball map. Each location can have the following properties:

    • Name of the location
    • Address of the location
    • Collection (what is there to play) of the location
    • Opening hours of the location
    • Phone number of the location
    • Website of the location

    As a result, the pinball map is now down for maintenance. I'm also implementing a new clustering for the pinsider icons on the map. We have so many icons that some computers (particularly older ones) were starting to have problems displaying them all.

    Do YOU have any suggestions for this new "Where to play" feature? Let me know!! Maybe it should have a cooler name than "where to play" too?

    #2 9 years ago

    Maybe a star-based rating system for the venue, and/or a spot to put a brief synopsis of the place?

    #3 9 years ago

    Definitely need a text box to put the maintenance status of the games and maybe other store info, such as they serve food, or this is a Biker bar so don't come in dressed like a putz. Most of the games I found in Hawaii had so many broken parts they were unplayable.

    #4 9 years ago

    some cool name "lure of the silver ball' or "Quest for pinball"
    but do it in French so it sounds hip & new wave like

    #5 9 years ago

    Mobile app integration. I guess you could use your browser on your phone but iPhone app would be cool and build that database quickly

    #6 9 years ago

    Considering how difficult it is to find pinball machines in the wild (not in people's homes), this feature will help.

    People in my area start up random bulletin board threads, but most threads are so old & unhelpful, pinballs that get listed aren't at the location anymore.

    Which brings me to a feature for this new map:
    Probably a good idea to flag on there somewhere, the last entered date the location info was updated. Some places do regular lineup changes after a few months (or simply get rid of their pinballs to make way for more video games).

    #7 9 years ago

    Definitely need to have area for dating the last time a place has been sited. How will you handle updating sites that have gone downhill? There has to be a way to keep sites updated without having to plow through dozens of threads. Is it a visual map? That might work .........

    #8 9 years ago

    They have a overhead map of locations at www.pinballcrawl.com you can check out to use a possible example.

    Maybe that's a name for the feature? "Pinball Crawl". That's what most people refer to it here in the states. Hunting down pinballs in the wild aka a "Pinball Crawl". "Where to Play" is perfectly fine though.

    What I found semi-useful on their map, is if you click on the location, they list how much a play is.

    Good info to have, since some establishments run on dollar play, some on 75 cent play, or 50 cent play (god forbid someone have a place with 25 cent play).

    There are some places that have a cover charge too, and it may be important to note on the map (Lucky Juju's for example, charges $15/Adult or $7.50/Kids under 12). For a mouse-over window upon click, its probably easiest to just say "Cover Charge: YES/NO", with the possibility of too much text real-estate being eaten up.

    1 week later
    #10 9 years ago

    Everybody, thanks for your input! I started work on refurbishing the map last week, then something else came in between and it wasn't until today that I found some time to finish up "stage one".

    But at last, the map is back online. Unfortunately, the "where to play" is not finished yet.

    The first thing I did was add a clustering systems for all the "pins" on the map. There were so many of 'em that it slowed down some browsers.

    Then I created a new way to display the user details, once you click on one of the pins. I think it looks pretty cool.

    Lastly, I changed the way you can set or update your location, click the link "Add me to the map!" or "Update my location" to try it out! It now uses Google's reverse geocoder which is much more accurate in finding out the address of a pin.


    Let me know how it works!

    Next up: Adding pinball locations according to all the ideas given by you in the above posts.

    #11 9 years ago

    I moved my pin (no pun intended) around several times with no problems. I'm looking forward to this being implemented. I agree with Seanymph's post, its important to know when the location was last updated.

    #12 9 years ago

    Robin, love the way the map is coming along! Can't wait till it adds locations and such.

    One thing I notice looking at the world pinball locations, the places in the world there are are huge areas without pinballs anywhere (middle east etc) are places you really do not want to go anyways. Coincidence? I think not...


    #13 9 years ago

    Can you blame the guys maldoror?
    Robin's pinball game room across the ocean, gets them all!!!!!

    PS: I'm dying to fill out the pinball map for my area of known pinball establishments.

    #14 9 years ago

    Yeah I think it's a great job so far Robin
    even with my super slow connection it's so much easier

    #15 9 years ago

    I'm surprised there are as many pinsiders in a lot of the Eastern Block. I mean, this is an English speaking forum. Not that everyone in the world doesn't speak two languages these days. Except us Americans that is.

    #16 9 years ago

    OK happy to hear it works for you guys. Is anyone of you using Internet Explorer 7 or 8 ? Just wondering if it works in that browser as well. I haven't been able to test it (I'm on a Mac at my workplace). I will check it on my old Windows laptop when I get home.

    #17 9 years ago

    I'm not sure which Internet explorer I'm using but it seems to work.

    1 week later
    #18 9 years ago

    I think if you could add a picture uploader that would be cool. It would need:

    1) To have an automatic resizer ability, or maybe a crop ability. (for score pics, for example)

    2) Need a griefing/reporting feature so that when inappropriate pics are uploaded they can be flagged.

    3) auto date stamp might be cool.

    As for the map itself I recommend that it have a flag/grief system as well, that it use captcha and not require a login/registration. You will get much better participation.

    It absolutely MUST be graphical, like google maps where the map is first and the data is second. There are already pinball locators out there but they are out of date because they're clunky and don't use mapping.

    #19 9 years ago

    Sounds like some good info jonnyo

    #20 9 years ago

    Wow the map looks *great*! I use both IE 8 and FF 3.5x+ and it's very nice in both.

    My only comment is maybe the location icons could be a tad bigger. Nice work!!!!

    11 months later
    #21 8 years ago

    Did this "Where to Play" site ever come to fruition?

    I live in the Omaha Nebraska area. Today, I discovered a the last stand of retail pinball at a billiards bar called "Big John's". OMG... They had 12 (count em 12) state if the art pins!! Conversely, I went the the "Family fun Center" where I would take my children (pre-high school)... not One pin left... they are too "Old School" for todays youth. Find Big John's at 98th and "M Street" intersection.

    Anyway, Big John's had; SS, MM, AfM, WST, T3, FT, STTNG, AF, TZ, Clue, BoP, and a few more I cannot remember. (the BoP had been ridden like little blackie by rooster cogburn), and a brand new RS. It was like a virgin in a brothel. The TZ balls were chaulky white, and the MM had a broken flipper. The STTNG and AfM flippers were so weak that you had to risk slam tilting the machines in an assist to get balls up the ramps! None the less, there were 50+YO "teenagers" playing, tilting, cursing and having a great time!

    Waitress asked my wife for a drink order, she said "nothing for me, ask my husband"... Waitress replied... " never while they are playing pinball". She had pinball karma, I think. I had a GREAT day, and am so thankful for Big John's. I Want to patronize anyone else who still offers a public gameroom like this one.

    #22 8 years ago


    I like to use this site to locate pins. I update the locations I play pretty frequently.

    Bradbot -- since you mentioned Omaha, here's a link (http://tinyurl.com/48qbox3) for locations w/in 50 mi. No one's updated the info on Big John's since November!

    #23 8 years ago

    They also have an iPhone app, although for the record I haven't tried it myself.

    #24 8 years ago

    I was well underway building it, but then work got the better of me.
    I hope to finish it some day soon.

    #25 8 years ago

    You're not the only one taking up that project! Prepare to spend a lot of time on the phone getting updates, if the person at the other end feels like giving you an update!

    I've been doing a Pinball Maps and Driving Directions web app for the last ten years. Only in the last two has it seen any serious use.

    I have a good deal of Seattle/Tacoma covered here, and a few other areas:

    Now I'm dealing with the problem of what to do when a location has more than 30 pins...

    2 weeks later
    #26 8 years ago

    I have picked up the location map project this morning and found it was pretty much half way finished! So after some more hours of work, it's starting to look like something

    Here's a little teaser of what it will look like - This is the "add a location" form, where you add (or edit) a pinball location.

    Comments are welcome!


    #27 8 years ago

    Looks awesome, robin! Your dedication to this site and this hobby never ceases to amaze me.

    1 year later
    #28 7 years ago

    I thought i would bump this topic in case any newcomers within the last year were unaware. I added a location today that will be opening in a few weeks. I put a note about that, hope nobody goes there before it opens!

    #29 7 years ago

    @davewth: thanks for adding that. finally a BK2k in under 100 mile range, might have to drive up sometime to play

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