MapCarte 280/365: GB Minecraft 2.0 by Ordnance Survey, 2014


Minecraft is a computer game that allows players to create and build places in which they can then play. The landscapes are built of 3D textured blocks and since its creation in 2009 many different worlds and environments have been built. Gameplay is supported by the procedurally generated 3D blocks. Britain’s national mapping agency Ordnance Survey has built an entire version of Great Britain as a downloadable world that players can then use in minecraft.

The map consists of 83 billion building blocks that represent the 220,000 sq km of mainland Britain and its surrounding islands, all built from Ordnance Survey data. Each building block represents a ground area of 25 sq metres and has been vertically exaggerated to reflect topography in a way that gives interest to low-lying landscapes.


The original map was built by intern Joseph Braybrook who has now improved the detail in GB Minecraft 2 by adding trees in forested areas as well as more detailed hydrology and the rail network. Roads are also classified using Ordnance Survey’s familiar scheme. What better way to play in a computerised world than by using the real world, mapped by Ordnance Survey!

GB Minecraft 2 not only provides gameplayers with a beautiful world in which to play, it acts as an educational tool to explore geography.

You can read more about GB Minecraft and download it here and, inspired by Ordnance Survey, the British Geological Survey has build a geology world that you can also download here.