Ordnance Survey has launched a new version of its enormous map of Great Britain built entirely of Minecraft blocks, which is now so large that gamers can even pinpoint their own houses in the game.
The new version of GB Minecraft boasts more than 60 billion more building blocks than the first version, which was released last year.
The first version was created by former Ordnance Survey intern Joseph Braybrook, who applied 22 billion blocks to figures from the mapping organisation’s data banks. This year Mr Braybrook was made a full-time member of staff and took the opportunity to improve his model by using an incredible 83 billion blocks, doubling its scale.
Mr Braybrook, who works for the Ordnance Survey future technology team, said: “I’ve attempted to recreate Great Britain to be more realistic, while maintaining the gameplay elements people love from the game.
“The terrain has been doubled in scale to provide more detail. It uses 1:25,000 scale to give a smoother, more expansive appearance that is closer to real life.
“I have added local roads using our in-house colour classification system – so motorways appear as blue, for instance.
“The water features now appear in sharper detail too. You can see individual streams and tributaries coming off rivers.
“The forests and woodlands are now populated with generated trees, and the national rail network has been added.”
The newly-improved world has a scale of 1:25,000 – the length of one block in the game is equivalent to 25 metres in the real world. The extra detail allows users to quickly find their own neighbourhood, street and house.
Ordnance Survey’s Innovation Lab Manager Graham Dunlop said: “Joseph’s previous map was limited in terms of its gaming possibilities. This new map he has created not only looks better, but offers a much more interactive environment to play in.
“It is especially pleasing to know that GB Minecraft 2 Map has been developed using free products from OS OpenData. This is just one example of how freely-available location data can support innovative projects.
“GB Minecraft 2 demonstrates what can happen when this data is put to use in innovative ways.”
Last week it was announced that computing giant Microsoft was buying Minecraft from Swedish game developer Mojang for $2.5 billion.
It is now up to the game’s community of 100 million registered users to complete the finer details of Mr Braybrook’s world.
Mr Braybrook, an avid Minecraft player who recently graduated from university, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing if people eventually build a working railway system in game.”
To download GB Minecraft 2 visit os.co.uk/minecraft.
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