Niantic has announced that the company has joined the open source Overture Maps Foundation as a Contributor Member, giving the Overture Foundation access to its massive catalogue of 3D scans and POIs submitted by us, Pokémon GO Trainers.
In return, Niantic gets access to Overture’s open database of more than 59 million points of interest (POIs), that will enhance the Niantic Map and the Lightship VPS service that developers use to build their own location-based AR experiences.
The benefits of this collaboration for the wider public are clear:
- Niantic is getting access to 59 million new POIs that can be converted into PokéStops, Gyms, or Ingress Portals
- Most of Niantic’s data will become open source, as Overture is part of The Linux Foundation, and is committed to building an open source geo dataset that can be downloaded and used by anyone
Niantic has joined as a Contributing Member, which makes them one of the core data providers according to the Overture website:
Contributor Members: Contributor members bring critical data sets, technology or expertise to the Working Groups. They participate in the Working Groups and expand the expertise of those groups by contributing to the goals and technical direction. They do not have voting rights in the Working Groups.
Currently the main steering members of Overture are Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, and TomTom, which makes this foundation one of the strongest mapping initiatives on the planet.
Keen readers will notice the lack of Google and Apple on this list, and you are not mistaken. Overture was created to create a viable Google and Apple Maps alternative, but it seems that recently parts of Google’s Building data have been incorporated into this project as well.
Editor’s Note: We are not sure if the featured image used for this article is not directly related to Niantic joining the Overture Foundation, but we do suspect that there could be a connection between the new Catch screens that Niantic is testing and new data that can be obtained from Overture.