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Google opens up Maps data for developers to build mixed reality games

Google Maps API grants access to accurate, living model of the world to serve as foundation for games

Google has revealed a new set of tools that will allow developers to easily create mixed reality games using Maps data.

Google Maps API brings its extensive Maps data to Unity, turning buildings, roads, and parks into GameObjects. This allows developers to add texture, style, and customisation to match the aesthetic of their game without the overhead of scaffolding a global-scale game world.

Developers will now have access to an accurate, living model of the world to serve as the foundation for their game. Google Maps API provides access to over 100 million 3D buildings and landmarks from over 200 countries, allowing developers to craft games around the globe.

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"We are excited to partner with Google to provide the most up-to-date and rich location data to enable us to create an immersive experience tied to your location," said Teemu Huuhtanen, Next Games CEO.

"When new buildings or roads are built, we'll have access to them in our game. Google Maps' unrivalled location data, covering world-famous landmarks, businesses and buildings, like the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, London Eye, Burj Khalifa, and India Gate, makes exploring your surroundings a breathtaking experience."

So far the tools have been adopted tb developers to build upcoming games like The Walking Dead: Our World, Jurassic World Alive, and Ghostbusters World.

In a blog post, Google Maps API product manager Clementine Jacoby detailed how building on top of Google Maps infrastructure would result in faster response times, the ability to scale on demand and "the peace of mind knowing your game will just work."

A live demo will be featured next week at GDC in booth 823.

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Ivy Taylor: Ivy joined in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.
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