A lot of us were wondering how will the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite map look like inside the game. Will it feature the same locations that are present in Ingress and in Pokemon GO? Today we’ll take an in-depth look at how the map in Wizards Unite is constructed, where the data originates, and how you can submit new locations and Points of Interest. This article is mainly aimed at newcomers to the genre and players who haven’t investigated Niantic games in-depth.

The information outlined here was confirmed by Anne Beuttenmüller, Niantic’s Head of Product Marketing in the EMEA region, in an interview with the Polish magazine Gram. The same interview hints that Wizards Unite is to be released by the end of 2018, so it’s worth checking out our analysis on that: Niantic Says a 2018 Release for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite


Pokemon GO, Ingress, and Wizards Unite maps are actually all the same

Niantic uses the same proprietary, user-submitted map of interesting locations around the world in all of its games–Pokemon GO and Ingress included.

The map contains all POIs (Point of Interest) that were submitted through Ingress’ Portal submission mechanism and approved for inclusion. The POIs are validated against a set of rules known as the Candidate Portal criteria. The map is a part of Niantic’s Real World Platform (RWP), a platform that powers the entire lineup of Niantic’s modern AR games:

  • Ingress Prime
  • Pokemon GO
  • Wizards Unite

The connection between Ingress, Pokemon GO, and RWP was well known since RWP debuted. Recently Beuttenmüller confirmed that Wizards Unite is also based on the platform:

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be based on our platform, so we will have to deal with the same locations as in the case of Ingress or Pokemon Go. This is our platform, our database on which we base games, including Harry Potter. However, I can not go into any details, including gameplay mechanics.

Gram, interview

What does this mean for you? A lot actually – every location that is filled with Poke Stops (or Portals if you’re an Ingress player) will also be filled with a Wizards Unite equivalent.

Ingress versus Pokemon GO map, image credits to Vice
Ingress versus Pokemon GO map, image credits to Vice

Submitting new locations to Niantic’s Real World Platform

Naturally, more locations in RWP means more fun for the local player base, therefore there is always a lot of interest in submitting new locations to the database. Currently, the only way to submit new POIs is to play Ingress and reach level 10. Ingress L10 players can submit new Portal Candidates and  add new locations to the game.

More advanced players can reach Level 12 and participate in Operation Portal Recon, a crowd-sourced POI reviewing platform exclusively available for Ingress L12 players.

A Pokemon GO submission system is also in the works, but there is no news about that topic as of yet.

Will there be third-party Wizards Unite maps?

No one, including us, knows that yet. The game is not even in Beta yet, and there is no way of saying how important the in-game map will be. Pokemon GO maps were widespread because Pokemon GO featured location-specific encounters and an intricate mechanism of collecting strong, rarely-seen Pokemon. As Wizards Unite mechanics are not yet known, there is no way of saying if there will be any third-party maps available.

Recap

  • Wizards Unite map uses the same data as Pokemon GO and Ingress
  • Niantic has confirmed that the map is based on Niantic’s Real World Platform (RWP)
  • You can submit new locations to the map only by playing Ingress
  • It’s not yet clear how the currently available map locations will be used in Wizards Unite
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