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Niantic to build a 3D augmented reality world map with Pokémon Go data

"We want players to build out the game board they want to play on," says CEO

With help from Pokémon Go players, developer Niantic hopes to establish itself as a leader in digital mapping, CEO John Hanke has revealed.

Speaking with Reuters, Hanke detailed how Niantic plans to create a 3D augmented reality map of the world using Pokémon Go data.

"We want players to build out the game board they want to play on," said Hanke, who has worked previously on both Google Earth and Google Street View.

Similar to the Google Maps APIs revealed in March this year, Niantic's efforts would gather data using phone cameras and ultimately allow developers to anchor new textures over realworld objects using AR.

Hanke declined to reveal when mapping would begin, or how exactly the tech would be implemented into Niantic's games. He did add, however, that Niantic would allow third-party developers to use its AR map.

As part of Niantic's efforts, the company acquired Escher Reality earlier his year, an augmented reality developer which explores the "intersection of digital and physical worlds".

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Ivy Taylor

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Ivy joined GamesIndustry.biz 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.