When Jon and I started this blog, we put a link in the sidebar, to a humble little operation called PortlandPinballMap.com In the last year or so, this site has expanded and improved, and I now think it is one of, if not THE most important resources for people interested in playing pinball.
Not only did they expand their database to include the Bay Area, Boston, British Columbia, Chicago, Colorado, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle and Spokane, they also built an interactive app for iPhone and Android mobile devices. Let me be perfectly clear: if you play pinball and you have a phone that can run this app, you NEED to get it. It's $1. Just do it.
On my recent travels to Boston, Seattle and Portland, I had friends or family members install this app, which then allowed me to find pinball ANYWHERE. You can literally hit a button and it will pull up a map with all the pinball machines within a 3 mile radius. You can also search the database by neighborhood, by machine, or by specific location. So if you feel like playing a specific game, you can find all of the places it is available in your area and then pick the closest one.
Probably the best part about the app though, is that the database is completely updated by users. So if you go to a location and a machine is all beaten up, you can leave a comment, like, "The left flipper is broken" and it will be uploaded to the system. When the next user looks up that machine, they'll see your note. Or better yet, an operator may see your comment and come fix the machine! You can also update which machines are available at a location, so the more people use it, the more accurate it is.
If, like me, you don't have a smart phone, you can still access the database via the pinballmap.com website. But I'll tell you, I'm sorely tempted to get a smart phone, just so that I could have this app running when I'm wandering around any of the above cities (many of which I visit every year!) Either way, check it out and update some listings!