Google launches Geospatial Creator for building world-scale augmented reality experiences

In Augmented Reality News 

May 11, 2023 – At its I/O developer conference this week, Google has announced the launch of its new ‘Geospatial Creator’ tool that allows anyone to visualize, design, and publish world-anchored immersive and augmented reality (AR) content in minutes, straight from Unity and Adobe Aero.

According to Google, Geospatial Creator, powered by ARCore and Photorealistic 3D Tiles from Google Maps Platform, enables developers and creators to easily visualize where in the real-world they want to place digital content, similar to how Google Earth or Google Street View visualize the world.

Geospatial Creator also includes new capabilities, such as Rooftop anchors, to make it easier to anchor virtual content with the 3D Tiles, saving developers and creators time and effort in the creation process.

“everything created in Geospatial Creator can be experienced in the physical world through real time localization and real world augmentation.”

The company stated that these new tools will help developers to build world-anchored, cross-platform experiences on supported devices on both Android and iOS. Plus, immersive experiences built in Adobe Aero can be shared via a simple QR code scan or link, with no full app download required.

With Geospatial Creator, developers and creators can now build on top of Photorealistic 3D Tiles from Google Maps Platform (left) which provide real time localization and real time augmentation (right).

Google noted that everything created in Geospatial Creator can be experienced in the physical world through real time localization and real world augmentation, and added that when the physical world is augmented with digital content, it redefines the way people play, shop, learn, create, shop and get information.

Ultimately, the launch of the new Geospatial Creator tool means that it will now be much easier for developers and creators to build and publish world scale immersive AR experiences remotely in a few minutes (in countries where Photorealistic 3D Tiles are currently available).

To give users a better idea of what can be achieved with the new tools, Google has been working with partners in gaming, retail, and local discovery including Gap, Mattel, Global Street Art, Singapore Tourism Board, Gensler, TAITO, and more to build real world use cases, some of which are listed below.

SPACE INVADERS: World Defense immersive game turns the world into a playground

To celebrate the 45 year anniversary of the original release of the iconic arcade game SPACE INVADERS, Google teamed up with TAITO to launch ‘SPACE INVADERS: World Defense,’ which will allow users to play the game in real life, in the real world later this summer.

The game, powered by ARCore and Geospatial Creator, is inspired by the original gameplay where players will have to defend the Earth from SPACE INVADERS in their neighborhood. It will combine AR and 3D gameplay, according to Google, to deliver a “fully contextual and highly engaging immersive experience that connects multi-generations of players.”

Gap and Mattel transform a storefront into an interactive immersive experience

Gap and Mattel will transform the iconic Times Square Gap Store into an interactive Gap x Barbie experience powered by Geospatial Creator in Adobe Aero. Starting May 23, customers will be able to see the store come to life with colors and shapes and be able to interact with Barbie modeling the new limited edition Gap x Barbie collection of clothing.

Global Street Art brings street art to a new dimension with AR murals

Google Arts & Culture partnered with Global Street Art and three world-renowned artists to augment physical murals in London (Camille Walala), Mexico City (Edgar Saner), and Los Angeles (Tristan Eaton). The artists used Geospatial Creator in Adobe Aero to create the virtual experience, augmenting physical murals digitally in AR and bringing to life a deeper and richer story about the art pieces.

Singapore Tourism Board creates an immersive guided tour to explore Singapore

Google Partner Innovation team partnered with Singapore Tourism Board to launch a preview of an immersive Singapore guided tour in the VisitSingapore app. Merli, Singapore’s tourism mascot, leads visitors on an interactive augmented tour of the city’s iconic landmarks and hidden gems, beginning with the Merlion Park and engaging visitors with an AR symphony performance at Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Google stated that the full guided tour will launch later this summer.

Gensler helps communities visualize new urban projects

Gensler used Geospatial Creator in Adobe Aero to help communities easily envision what new city projects might look like for the unhoused. The immersive designs of housing projects allows users to better visualize proposed urban changes and their social impact—ultimately bringing suitable shelter to those who need it.

In addition to the launch of its Geospatial Creator tool for building world-scale augmented reality experiences, Google has also announced a host of new ARCore capabilities, including Streetscape Geometry API, Geospatial Depth API, and Scene Semantics API.

For more information on Google’s Geospatial Creator tool and to get started, click here.

Image / video credit: Google / YouTube

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.