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(Pocket-lint) - Ordnance Survey - yes, the people who make the maps - has announced that it is working with game studio Preloaded on an augmented reality (AR) game.

Ordnance Survey (OS) produces maps that are favoured by many exploring the great outdoors, with detailed paper maps an essential tool for anyone venturing off the beaten track in the UK.

To keep up with the times, OS pivoted into digital solutions, like apps and online mapping, but wants to use its core data to drive a new AR world and introduce itself to a new range of users, keeping the kids entertained when out on family walks.

"We want to make maps fun and geo-location games and gamified apps enable their players to collectively visualise the great outdoors as they wish to experience and interact with their surroundings," said Nick Giles, managing director of OS Leisure.

Augmented reality hit the mainstream in 2016 with the launch of Pokemon Go, which used Niantic's maps. Subsequently we've seen Harry Potter Wizard's Unite based off the same maps - very much based around urban environments.

For Ordnance Survey there's an opportunity to come up with something that can fuse exploration of walking routes in popular areas with some sort of game. While OS has the maps (for the UK at least), it's going to be down to Preloaded to turn it into some sort of game and make it engaging.

"We're at a point where advancements in AR and geospatial technologies allow us to connect with our real world in completely new and meaningful ways. We're so excited to work with Ordnance Survey to bring the true potential of location-based play to family audiences in the UK and beyond," said Phil Stuart, creative director at Preloaded.

But there's no hint at what the gameplay might involve. The success of Pokemon Go comes down to the fact that it leverages a hugely successful franchise and that's where the challenge will lie.

Hopefully this will give families something else to do when enjoying nature, quietly educating those playing the AR game about what those maps mean, so they're better equipped to interpret them and navigate using maps in the future.

Ordnance Survey is targeting 2022 for the launch of its first game.

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Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 13 July 2021.