Units and Data Follow-Up: Pokémon GO in the United Kingdom

Hit augmented-reality mobile gaming sensation Pokémon GO is now available in the UK, so it’s time to test my hypothesis about searches for 5km converted to miles in that second bastion of “Let’s use miles as distance units in defiance of basically every other country”:

5kmUK

Results are consistent with hypothesis.

(( Now if only I could get around how the Google Play Store is identifying my Z10 as incompatible with the game… ))

:chutten

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Units and Data: Pokémon GO

Topical Data Post: Pokemon Go

I live in Canada which means we hear a lot about things that are United States-only. The latest (and the largest, outstripping in volume and velocity even the iPhone (which I may misremember being the last must-have-thing back in 2007)) is the hit augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon GO.

One gameplay mechanic of Pokémon GO (I am told) revolves around hatching eggs. These eggs hatch not after a certain period of time, but after you have walked a certain distance with the application open on your phone.

The kicker is that the distance is measured in kilometres, a unit whose use the United States and United Kingdom have evaded (yes, despite the latter’s metrication since 1965). People in the United States are being confronted with unfamiliar distance units of 2km, 5km, and 10km.

This, via some Twitter jabs, lead me to Google Trends and a prediction: what if Pokémon GO’s release date in a region that still uses miles as a unit of distance could be detected simply through the rise in search volume for the term “5km”?

So far, the data for the United States is consistent:5km

I await the UK launch date to follow-up.

:chutten