Minecraft maps continue to grow

There is no end to the range of uses for maps – and not just for walking or planning either! Earlier this week, we debuted our coloring maps and now we’re talking about Minecraft maps after seeing two new releases this summer …

It’s been almost two years since OS Minecraft’s map of Great Britain was released, with 22 billion blocks representing our country’s 224,000 square kilometers. In the first months after the release, our Minecraft map was downloaded more than 50,000 times. It even earned us a Guinness World Record as the largest real-world location represented in Minecraft https://annoounces.com/

Last year we updated the map in more detail, bringing it to a staggering 83 billion blocks. Joseph, the creator of the map, used 1:25 000 OS VectorMap District scale to give a smoother, more expansive look that’s closer to real life. He added new features such as local roads, using our internal color grading system, so that highways appear in blue, for example. Water features now appear in more detail; also, so you can see the individual streams and tributaries coming out of the rivers. Forests and groves are now populated with generated trees, and the national railway network has been added.

London shows on our Minecraft map

With over 100 million registered users in the Minecraft community, there is always a demand for new uses for the technology. Joseph’s original map has been highly praised by parents and teachers as a way to engage children in learning about geography. It even inspired the Danish government to produce its own Minecraft map, and there have been two more Minecraft map developments this summer as well.

3D geological models in Minecraft

The British Geological Survey (BGS) reproduced the 2D geology of the British mainland and surrounding islands within the Minecraft world in 2014. Their map showed the OS map data on the surface and the approximate position of the actual geology below, repeated down to the bedrock. This summer, BGS took another step into the world of Minecraft by creating three-dimensional representations of the geology in York, Ingleborough, and West Thurrock. The models show how the geology rises and falls, overlaps and folds, and at different depths. BGS even used the blocks that best resembled the “real” geology, based on color, texture and hardness. For the three-dimensional models they decided to use glass blocks that were coloured with the traditional colours of geological maps.

The BGS Minecraft map showing Ingleborough

Minecraft map of Northern Ireland created
The Land and Property Service (LPS) has produced a Minecraft map for Northern Ireland that can be downloaded free of charge using the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) digital map products. It consists of over five billion blocks and is equivalent to an area of almost 14,000 km² covering the whole of Northern Ireland. In the month or so since launch, the LPS has seen over 4,300 map downloads. The LPS used custom software developed by our own Joseph Braybrook to create the Minecraft NI map.