OAK RIDGE - The same technology used in the Pokémon Go app is being used in East Tennessee to try and save lives.
“The science behind Pokémon Go is driving a lot of the research we do here at ORNL,” said Jesse Piburn, a research scientist in geographic data sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“Pokémon Go uses this same idea to place Pokémon in the correct Pokémon habitats," said Piburn. “So this is why you’ll see a Magikarp or fish-like Pokémon near bodies of water.”
Jesse and his team use the technology for much more than placing Pokémon.
“So while Pokémon Go is using GIS technology to let you catch Pokémon, we’re using GIS here at the lab to help you cure polio.”
He and his team use geographic information system technology which tracks information about certain geographical areas.
“We use the technology for providing high resolution population estimates across the globe, used for emergency response and preparedness," said Piburn, "So instead of where are the Pokémon, it’s where are the people.”
With such great knowledge of this technology, it could certainly give the scientists an edge on the game.
“Well cheating in Pokémon go would be against the terms of agreement so we definitely do not want to do that," said Piburn.