A new phenomenon is happening in the streets of the world’s cities and on the screens of mobile devices. Since the weekend you may have noticed more people than ever stopping in the streets with their phone enraptured in whatever is happening on the screen. What has happened is that gaming, mobile devices, GNSS positioning, augmented reality and the enduring success of the Pokémon franchise have all culminated in the widespread craze that isPokémon Go.

If you think this is just confined to the gaming community, think again. Despite the fact it technically hasn’t even been released yet, ‘Pokémon go’ is about to surpass Twitter in daily active users on Android. In the US, the Android Pokémon Go app is now installed on more devices than Tinder. In just a matter of days Pokemon Go has rocketed to the number one application on both the App Store andGoogle Play Store.

Currently the game is only officially available as part of a soft launch in select areas, including Australia and New Zealand. However, this hasn’t stopped desperate fans using workarounds to play along despite the risk of malware. As a result the servers supporting the game have been overrun, leading to delays in the global release of the game.

Why this is important for Spatial Source readers is the fact that the gameplay that is driving this craze is defined almost entirely by spatial means. As a result, Pokémon Go might be the first in a profitable new era of location-based gaming.

When playing Pokémon Go the majority of the gameplay is spent navigating a 3D map with a modified scale, based on a representation of the real world. Positioning established  by each mobile device’s GNSS receiver provides a means to navigate the features of the real world. As you can see from the imagery of the University of Sydney below, at first glance it appears to be based on the rich data of the Open Street Map (OSM), which defines public areas using a number of different layers. However, closer inspection reveals that Pokemon Go appears to have even more detailed data than OSM and Google Maps combined. As The Atlantic explain, where Pokémon Go got its map remains a mystery. The most obvious answer might be that they laboriously, or with the aid of machine learning, crafted their own. To do that on a global scale such as Pokémon Go’s developers have done is no easy feat and the resulting map has potential for navigation, emergency, logistics and security applications.

The map shows the streets, parks and basic features of areas globally, complete with geotagged locations known as PokeStops. There are also places called gyms, normally located at public parks, train stations and even public bars, where you can battle other trainers. To play the game, users travel about this map by navigating the real world in search of Pokémon. These are essentially imaginary monsters, but as we will see, the game is having some very real ramifications.

When players do encounter Pokémon, augmented reality is used to superimpose the creatures onto a real-world backdrop through the use of the phone’s camera. Players then attempt to capture them by throwing pokeballs at them, before heading on to catch more.

Even in the 1990s, The Pokémon Company were no stranger to branching out into different mediums. On the back of the success of the 1996 release ofPokémon Blue and Pokémon Red, they swiftly launched a TV series, card trading game, feature length movies, comic books and toys.

Fast forward to 2016 and many casual gamers like me who haven’t touched Pokémon since the 90s are rediscovering the passion for the game.  The Pokémon Company are now taking advantage of the ubiquity of smart phones to mobilise gaming.

This method of gameplay has a lot of people concerned. In addition to the fact this has seen the inherent dangers of using mobile device’s while walking in public go through the roof, there have also been examples of crime.

In Missouiri Armed robbers used the game to lure victims to an isolated trap. According to the police report by Sgt Bill Stringer,

“Using the geolocation feature the robbers were able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims.”

Normally sedentary gamers have also complained of sore legs due to the increased exercise they are getting. One user in Wyoming actually uncovered a dead body in her search for Pokémon.

There are also serious cyber security risks. If you register for Pokémon Go with your google account, the app can read your emails and view your search history.

In the Northern Territory the police are getting involved whilst including some safety tips of their own. The Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services posted the following on their Facebook page:


“…whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokestop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs.

It’s also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sandshrew isn’t going anywhere fast.

Stay safe and catch ’em all!”

The Pokémon Company have issued their own warnings, posting the following on the game’s website:

“For safety’s sake, never play Pokémon GO when you’re on your bike, driving a car, riding a hoverboard, or anything else where you should be paying attention, and of course never wander away from your parents or your group to catch a Pokémon.”

Where Pokémon Go will end up remains a mystery, but it’s safe to say that it is the start of something big. This is by no means the first location-based game. Pokémon Go’s developer, Niantic, previously developed a similar game known as Ingress. With a launch in 2012 Ingress never saw anything like craze that Pokémon Go is now undergoing, even in four years of availability. Now, on the back of an already successful franchise, Pokémon Go can now be considered the tipping point towards the mobilisation of gaming in a what may become a new wave of spatially-enabled play.

To get a better idea the best way is to play it yourself by downloading the app free on either the App Store or Google Play Store. Or, if you are already onto it, here are some tips to secure your Poke-success.

Written by Anthony Wallace

The US state of New York has passed legislation that will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15, bringing it level with the rate in California.

Rising global inequality has made minimum wages a hot topic in countries around the world, as governments attempt to ensure low-paid workers have the chance to escape relative poverty. For example, the UK has also recently introduced aNational Living Wage of £7.20 ($10.25) for workers aged over 25.

So what does the minimum wage look like around the world?

On top Down Under.

Click here to view the chart that shows the situation in 27 countries across the globe (based on data from 2013). The figures have been adjusted to their post-tax rate and for purchasing power parity, in US dollars.

Australia has the most generous minimum wage, with workers earning a minimum of US$9.54 an hour. Next is Luxembourg, where workers can expect to take home at least $9.24 after tax. The top three is completed by Belgium. Here, the post-tax minimum wage sits just above $8.50.

Several other European nations feature high up the list, with Ireland, France and the Netherlands following Belgium. There are also places in the top half for New Zealand, Canada and the United States, among others.

The minimum wage and inclusive growth

Last year’s ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report’ from the World Economic Forum highlights the link between minimum wage policies and inclusive growth.

The report argues that “data shows that inequality often starts in the labour market.” Therefore a broad package of coherent labour market policies, including minimum wages, is vital to tackle inequality and ensure that economic growth benefits everyone.

The report points to International Labour Organisation data showing that changes in the distribution of wages and job losses accounted for 140% of the increase in US inequality between 2006 and 2010.

“Ensuring that the benefits of growth reach the many rather than the few is one of the great challenges of our time, and rising wages are clearly a key driver of inclusive growth. When wages remain stagnant, imposing a minimum wage is one vehicle for driving them higher,” explains Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist at the World Economic Forum.

“This of course leads to higher wages for those with jobs, but the potential downside is that employers cut jobs, leading to higher unemployment. History has shown that minimum wages that are not ‘too high’ have a benign effect on unemployment, and can be an effective lever (although the threshold is of course difficult to determine). Recent efforts to impose much higher minimum wages are experiments that will provide us with a better understanding of how and under what conditions they work best.”

Written by Joe Myers

Sourced from

Going Back to Work

 Just as you’re getting used to being home with your baby and your work life feels like a distant memory, you realize that your maternity leave is coming to an end. The thought of waking up at 6 a.m. and racing off to a job after being up all night with a crying baby seems impossible. And then there’s the guilt: How can you spend so much time away from your infant?

No matter how long and hard you’ve thought about your decision to return to work, and how sure you are that it’s the right choice, you need to be prepared for mixed emotions. “You might feel guilty about leaving your baby in someone else’s care — or you might feel guilty about being eager to go back to your old life,” says Karol Ladd, coauthor of The Frazzled Factor: Relief for Working Moms. Although you’ll inevitably encounter a few bumps along the way, these five tips will make heading back to work a little less stressful.

Practice Your New Routine

It’s bound to take a while to learn to balance your new roles — and you’ll do so more quickly if your daily routine is efficient and well organized. The best way to make sure your new schedule will work? Do a couple of practice runs the week before you’re due back at the office. If possible, arrange for your child care to start a week or so early so that you can try out your routine — and get used to parting with your baby. Make sure you set your alarm extra early your first week back to give yourself time to work out any kinks in your schedule. And don’t forget to come up with a good backup plan for days when your baby (or your babysitter) is sick.

Get as Much Rest as You Can

One of the biggest complaints of working moms is sheer exhaustion — and when you’re overtired it’s much easier to fall to pieces. Your own sleep needs should take priority over doing another load of laundry or cleaning up the kitchen. And have your husband pitch in whenever possible. Because you’ll be getting up so early, you should aim to get to bed earlier too. Sticking to a 9 p.m. bedtime helped Heather Hill, of DeWitt, Michigan, get enough rest before her son Connor was sleeping through the night. “I woke up for the 2 a.m. feeding, and by that time, I’d had about five hours of sleep with a few more hours still ahead,” says the mother of Sean, 6 years, and Connor, 10 months.

Keeping It Together

Set Aside Time for Your “Mommy Life”

You’ve probably made a handful of new “mom friends” while on leave. Don’t put those friendships on the back burner once you start working. “Relationships with other moms are vital,” says Ladd. “You need them for emotional support.” Aim for regular weekend get-togethers. Gina Yager, mother of 5-month-old Mia, made it a point not to lose touch with her new friends when she went back to work. “On Saturdays, I’ll meet the girls and their babies at a coffee shop, and I’ve also joined a ‘mom and baby’ yoga class,” says the mom from Henderson, Nevada. “And I stay in touch during the week through our online support group.”

Keep It Together at the Office

Although you might feel like an absolute wreck when you’re at your desk — worrying about your baby, feeling physically and mentally exhausted, being daunted by the piles of work that have built up in your absence — don’t let your boss think you’re off your game. Keep your concerns to yourself, and avoid venting to your coworkers. Remember, your new juggling act might even make you more productive. “I’m a better boss now that I’m a mom,” says Sue Hermann, of Denver, mother of Sarah, 3, and Sophie, 10 months. “I’m more willing to delegate, more able to think outside of the box, and definitely better able to multitask.”

Hang in There

In your first few months back on the job, you will undoubtedly encounter days when you decide that you can’t manage and need to quit. But stick with it — at least for a while. Experts say most moms need time to get used to a new routine. If after a few months you’re still unable to cope, think about asking your boss for a flex schedule that lets you work from home one or two days a week, or for a part-time arrangement. Come up with a concrete plan before approaching your boss. “But be prepared for the possibility that your boss will reject your proposal and give you an all-or-nothing ultimatum,” warns Donna Lenhoff, JD, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who specializes in work-family issues. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to consider whether this job is right for you. “Your goal,” says Ladd, “is to find a healthy balance that works for you, your career, and your family.”

Nursing at Work

A Working Mom’s Guide to Breastfeeding

If you’re planning to continue nursing, you’ll need to get the pumping routine down well before your return to work.

Start pumping and freezing the milk a month before you’re due back on the job. You’ll get in the habit of pumping and build up an emergency supply.

Let someone else bottle-feed your baby. “He needs to get used to being fed by someone besides his mother,” says Kathy Baker, Peer Counselor Program training administrator at La Leche League International.

Talk to your boss to come up with a pumping schedule that works for both of you. You might suggest dividing your lunch hour into pumping sessions: You’ll need to take 15- or 20-minute breaks two to three times a day.

Find a private location. “If your company doesn’t have a designated lactation room, perhaps there’s an empty office or conference room that you could use to pump,” suggests Baker. “Some women get creative and hang a curtain around the outside of their cubicle when no privacy is available.”

Having Second Thoughts?

“Unless you have a contract that specifically states you’ll return to work on a set date — which can happen in some union or high-profile jobs — you can decide to quit whenever you choose,” says attorney Donna Lenhoff of the National Employment Lawyers Association. Though your employer does have the right to take you to court to get back the health-insurance premiums and wages paid during your maternity leave, Lenhoff says that this rarely happens. As for the best time to give your boss notice, the sooner, the better.

By Amy Capetta

Sourced from

Saturday is the day to have YOUR say in the voting stands.  Make sure you know which political group is right for you.

If you aren’t certain who you should vote for, Click here and go to Vote Compass.  “Vote Compass is an educational tool developed by political scientists designed to help you explore how you fit in Australia’s political landscape.”  You will be asked a series of questions to find out which Party is closest to your values and ideals.  Make your vote count.