This article provides an overview of how maps or Maptiler maps in particular can be used to create NFTs (non-fungible tokens). You are also going to get relevant context on related cryptocurrencies and metaverse projects that have an advanced map as an integral part of their ecosystem already implemented...
What is NFT?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital tokens stored on the blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies, where each coin is the same (there’s no reason to prefer one particular Bitcoin over another), each NFT is unique and can be sold as a way to prove ownership over some sort of digital file.
An NFT is a unit of data, stored on a type of digital ledger called a blockchain, which can be sold and traded. The NFT can be associated with a particular digital or physical asset (such as a file or a physical object) and a license to use the asset for a specified purpose. An NFT (and, if applicable, the associated license to use, copy, or display the underlying asset) can be traded and sold on digital markets. The extralegal nature of NFT trading usually results in an informal exchange of ownership over the asset that has no legal basis for enforcement, and so often confers little more than use as a status symbol.
Ownership of an NFT does not inherently grant copyright or intellectual property rights to the digital asset the NFT purports to represent. Someone may sell an NFT that represents their work, but the buyer will not necessarily receive copyright to that work, so the seller may create additional NFTs of the same work. So an NFT is merely proof of ownership separate from copyright.
In case you plan to use MapTiler maps to transform individual map tiles into NFT (perhaps as part of your virtual world project), please make sure to contact the MapTiler Sales department to discuss the terms of your deployment, expected use case, and user volume.
Where are NFTs used?
It might seem that in 2021 and 2022 the NFTs are everywhere. Music, fashion, video games, virtual reality, finance, pop culture, the list just keeps growing and growing. But has not always been like that. In fact, the first NFT project occurred just a few years ago, in June 2017, almost half a year before the first big cryptocurrency price crash that took place in January 2018. And it was this price fall that had put the 1st NFT project, the now very famous CryptoPunks "on ice" for several years to come.
Let's fast forward to today, it's Spring 2022, and new projects using NFTs are growing like mad. It looks like everything is being tokenized, including fashion, art, music, real estate, and land. Especially the last two items are very interesting from the POV of mapping or cartography in general. The concept of virtual land with its scarcity and unlimited potential has been growing more and more popular in the times when classic real estate has become increasingly less and less affordable for the common man with an average income.
Let's take a look at the two most popular metaverse projects that use virtual land as one of the core concepts of their ecosystems: Sandbox and Decentrland. As you can see, neither of these projects is building their "worlds" based on real maps, which gives them high flexibility in terms of what to put where and how to shape the landscape. Both projects grew a lot in the last 2 years and their users have spent millions of dollars on virtual land purchases. And guess what, each piece of virtual land sold in these metaverse projects has been sold as an NTF, which is stored on the Ethereum blockchain and which can be further resold or traded in one of the many NFT marketplaces, such as Opensea.
How to integrate MapTiler Maps for your project?
Apart from the big projects that shape the industry, there are also smaller ones, like this one called "the Spheroid Universe", which uses the maps of the real world to allow its users to select and purchase a piece of virtual land. This way the users can identify their favorite places, their dream destinations, or their own neighborhood and they might be more likely to purchase the land, compared to the situation when it was just a fictional and non-existent place.
If you are a creator of a virtual world as well and if you want to allow your users to buy and sell virtual land, MapTiler Cloud Maps offer a great solution for you. All you need to do is:
- Go to the MapTiler Cloud page and select the plan according to your user volume
- Contact MapTiler Sales to negotiate the terms of usage for MapTiler maps for your NFTs
- Take a closer look at the MapTiler Cloud API and integrate MapTiler maps into your application
- Integrate ERC 721 protocol into your application
- Start selling NFTs based on map tiles generated from MapTiler maps! =)
MapTiler gives you the opportunity to build your virtual worlds based on real maps representing real places and real terrain bodies. They are the same maps that help game developers create fantastic surreal worlds of classic PC games using the World Creator tool. This makes MapTiler maps an excellent all-around solution for mapping both real and virtual reality. =)
How to deploy ERC 721 standard
Maps for virtual reality
Wikipedia about NFT
Virtual Worlds on Wikipedia
Cryptocurrency on Wikipedia
Sandbox - The map of the Sandbox virtual world
Opensea - NFT Marketplace
Decentraland - Map of metaverse