UK: Ordnance Survey has used open source data to create a map of Great Britain in the popular Minecraft video game. It features 22 billion blocks which represent over 220,000 square kilometres of mainland Great Britain and surrounding islands.
Minecraft is a virtual world made up of cubes of different materials like rock, sand and lava. Now, the game can incorporate accurate Ordnance Survey terrain data of Great Britain in its virtual world. Developers have created a Minecraft world using two of their OS OpenData products. The Minecraft GB terrain was created using OS Terrain 50, a three-dimensional model of the bare earth surface known as a Digital Terrain Model which is delivered as a grid with a resolution of 50 metres. The raster version of OS VectorMap District, a mid-scale contextual or backdrop map product was then used to extract surface features like water, woodland and roads – based on pixel colours and densities. This information was then used to modify the material of individual blocks in the Minecraft GB world. The new Minecraft GB world is available to download by any of Minecraft’s 33 million active users with a licence.