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Mapping agency builds all of Great Britain in Minecraft

British governmental mapping company Ordnance Survey has re-created the entirety of Great Britain in Minecraft using real-world data.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
2 min read
Ordnance Survey

Minecraft players have created some pretty darn amazing stuff in the game. This latest one might not be as visually spectacular, but the amount of technical awesomeness blows the mind.

Ordnance Survey, Great Britain's governmental-mapping agency, has used its data to re-create the entire (almost) country in Minecraft. The massive 86,000-square-mile map uses 22 billion blocks to represent the continent's terrain, built using Ordnance Survey's own tools: OS Terrain 50 and OS VectorMap District.

Included in the map are roads, bodies of water, forests, plains, mountains, urban areas, and landmarks such as Stonehenge, and users can download the map for free and modify it as they please.

Ordnance Survey

"We think we may have created the largest Minecraft world ever built based on real-world data," Graham Dunlop, OS Innovation Lab manager, told the BBC. "The resulting map shows the massive potential, not just for using Minecraft for computer technology and geography purposes in schools, but also the huge scope of applications for OS OpenData too."

Once you have downloaded and installed the map, you start outside the Ordnance Survey head office on the outskirts of Southampton. From there, using OS getamap, you can search for locations using place names or postal codes for in-game coordinates and then use the teleport command to get there.

Then, depending on your available materials, you can go crazy, Minecraft style. Or maybe, for residents, just build your house.

You can grab the download for free on the Ordnance Survey Web site. Be warned, though -- uncompressed, it adds up to a massive 3.6GB.

(Source: Crave Australia via PCGamesN)