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Minecrafting with OS OpenData

We have created GB Minecraft 2, a Minecraft® world made with digital map products – freely available as OS OpenData™.

Eastenders mapped with GB Minecraft 2

Create your own stories in GB Minecraft 2, our new Minecraft map of Great Britain. Download GB Minecraft 2 at: http://os.co.uk/minecraft S...

The world consists of more than 83 billion blocks representing over 220,000 square kilometres of mainland Great Britain and surrounding islands. We don't include Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man because they are mapped by other organisations.

Take a look at our Developer Centre for lots more information on the data, tools and other resources we offer.

Requirements

  1. A licensed copy of Minecraft.
  2. 23GB free disk space. The full world is approximately 20GB uncompressed.
  3. Minimum 4GB of memory.

Installation

Download the Minecraft-GB .zip archive

Note: this is a large file – around 1 GB

Then

  1. Unzip the archive to a temporary location.
  2. Follow the installation instructions in the GB Minecraft 2 readme.txt file.

Getting around

The initial starting point is next to the our head office. Take a moment to read the signposts, then fly up in the air for a birds-eye view of the landscape (double-tap and hold the space key to fly up).

A ramble through Snowdonia in GB Minecraft 2

Enjoy a stroll through Snowdonia in GB Minecraft, our new Minecraft map of Great Britain. To download the GB Minecraft 2 map visit: http://...

Since Minecraft GB 2 represents the real world, you may want to navigate to some familiar places. Our online OS getamap service (works in most desktop browsers – Microsoft Silverlight required) enables you to search for a location, place name or postcode. The grid reference is displayed in the top left corner of the map view.

Find your way around GB Minecraft 2 with this handy OS Minecraft coordinate generator.

Once you know the grid reference, this conversion tool can be used to generate the Minecraft teleport command with the correct world coordinates.

Southampton Water --- X = 17900 Y = 100 Z = 47800
London -------------- X = 21000 Y = 100 Z = 45000
Mt Snowdon ---------- X = 10438 Y = 200 Z = 37823
Outer Hebrides ------ X = 5700 Y = 100 Z = 14700
Shetland Islands ---- X = 17900 Y = 100 Z = 6350
Poole Harbour ------- X = 16100 Y = 100 Z = 48500
Weymouth ------------ X = 14700 Y = 100 Z = 48900
Foulness Essex------- X = 24000 Y = 100 Z = 44300
Lake Windermere------ X = 13600 Y = 100 Z = 32000
Ordnance Survey ----- X = 17492 Y = 100 Z = 47380 

Here are some locations to get you started:

Use the values above with the teleport command; for example /tp 13600 100 32000.

How we built it

We used a custom built computer programme to create the GB Minecraft 2 world in the Anvil file format using the methodology described below.

For each 100 x 100 km grid square:

  • Load height data from OS Terrain® 50 files and interpolated to 25 m.
  • Load image data from OS VectorMap® District vector files.
  • Both datasets were processed in QGIS and exported into images
  • Using a custom generator, these two images representing topology and height are used to generate the world file.

Following this, groups of 32 x 32 chunks called regions are created and the complete set of files is assembled. This includes the level.dat file specifying start position and weather. The entire generation process took around seven hours on a modest desktop PC.

Each block represents a ground area of 25 square metres. The raw height data is stored in metres and must be scaled to a suitable resolution. A maximum height of 3,200 metres was chosen, which exaggerates the real-world height by approximately 2.3x, which preserves low-lying coastal features such as Bournemouth's cliffs, adding interest to the landscape. Dimensionally, each block is more like a cuboid measuring 25 m x 25 m x 12m.

Block materials

As described above, the image data from OS VectorMap District has been processed from vector format into a set of distinct features. The table below lists the materials used for each map feature:

MotorwaysBlue wool
A roadsGreen wool
B roadsOrange wool
Minor roadsYellow wool
Local roadsStone slabs
WaterWater
ForestForest biome - generated trees
PlainsPlains biome - generated grass
Built-up areasBrick
RailwayBlack clay

Acknowledgements

Minecraft is ©2009-2013 Mojang AB.

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See the Minecraft world for real with OS getamap

You've explored the virtual world of Minecraft, now find your way around Great Britain with OS getamap - our online map application.

Create your very own, personal map with Custom Made

Centre your map anywhere in Great Britain, plus customise the front cover with your own photo and text. And you're ready to explore!

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Register to find out more about GB Minecraft 2 and to get the latest innovation updates.

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