If you noticed Pokemon GO looking slightly different than usual, you are not alone.
Recently Niantic quietly changed the way it obtains and displays map data in Pokemon GO. In the past, Pokemon GO has always used Google Maps, so the in-game world of Pokemon GO will resemble what Google Maps displays. They’ve now shifted over to using OpenStreetMap, an open source collaborative world map.
Unlike Google Maps, anyone can submit their own data to OpenStreetMap, such as adding new roads, lakes, or places that exist in the real world. Because OpenStreetMap is relatively new, your surroundings may look slightly emptier.
It’s unclear why Niantic decided to move over to OpenStreetMap. So far there aren’t any reports of the change affecting third party trackers or Pokemon spawns, but still many trainers are concerned with the change as some places have started looking emptier than before.