Minecraft Map of BRITAIN 22 billion Blocks used to Create Interactive Map

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The Minecraft map of BRITAIN 22 billion blocks are used to construct the virtual world that even includes famous landmarks

Ordnance Survey used 22 billion blocks from the game of building

The 3D interactive map is interactive and covers the mainland UK and the surrounding islands

Each block is 50m2 and the map covers 220,000 sq km.

By Victoria Woollaston

Published at 10:02 EDT, 30 October 2013



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The popular building game Minecraft lets players create their own worlds. However, a brand new 3D gaming map allows them to explore the UK and even build new settlements within their virtual back gardens.

Minecraft Britain was built using Ordnance Survey maps of the UK as a basis. It was built using 22 billion building blocks from the game.

It covers the equivalent of 86,000 square miles of mainland Great Britain and the surrounding islands and each block represents 50 square metres.

Ordnance Survey used 22 million blocks from Minecraft to create the interactive 3D map of the UK and its islands. Boasted The OS Minecraft world covers 86,000 square miles. This image illustrates the Minecraft version of Stonehenge in Wiltshire

This is how Stonehenge in Wiltshire looks in real life

Ordnance Survey also published a list with coordinates to different markers in the UK, including Stonehenge, Wiltshire, to help players navigate the interactive world.

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This map was made using OS OpenData, maps and mapping tools that Ordnance Survey allows developers to use to create alternative maps.

They can then walk through various terrains, including caves, forests, and mountains.

For a bird's-eye view the landscape, players can also fly high in the air.

The game was initially made for the PC but now there are Xbox 360 and mobile versions available.

Ordnance Survey provided height information for landmarks and buildings for 100 km grid area.

The left-hand image shows Snowdonia as it appears in Minecraft. The right-hand picture shows how North Wales' mountain ranges look in real life. Because the tallness of many buildings and landmarks in the UK is higher than Minecraft's built-in height limit, developers scaled them down so they could fit.

Minecraft was released in 2009. When you start the game, a player is placed in a 'virtually endless game world.' The player is then able to explore the world and build towns and cities. Although the original game was designed for the PC but there are now mobile and Xbox 360 versions.


Players need an approved copy of Minecraft and around 5GB of disk space on their computer.

The world is covered by 3.6GB uncompressed and needs a minimum 4GB of memory.

Players must download the MinecraftGB.zip archive to install the map

Save the archive to an unnamed temporary folder. Open the readme.html file in a browser and follow the installation instructions.

Then they loaded images from OS VectorMap District files for all UK locations.

Each 20 x 20 pixels of the map was analyzed so that the designers could choose the right material, colour and block size.

The raw height data was stored as meters. This meant that developers needed to be scaled down to fit within Minecraft's 256 block height limit.

Ben Nevis, for example, has a height of around 2,500 metres and this was converted into 128 blocks high.

Ordnance Survey stated in a blog post that despite exaggerating the scale of the real world, it is able to preserve low-lying coastal features, such as Bournemouth's Cliffs, adding interest and beauty to the landscape.

Developers utilized diamond blocks for motorways, emerald blocks to build A roads and pumpkin blocks for B roads. The standard water, leaves, and brick blocks were used to construct water, forests and areas of built-up.

After that the 32 x 32 chunks called regions were created and put together. Ordnance Survey stated that the entire process took seven hours.

The River Thames in East London is pictured. Ordnance Survey stated that the entire mapping process took seven hours. Each 20x20 pixels area of the map was scrutinized to ensure that the map makers could choose the right colour, material and block size.

These images illustrate Minecraft London from above, with the River Thames running through its central area. A satellite view of the same area is shown right.

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