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Ordnance Survey Creates Minecraft Model of Great Britain

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the wales-is-not-amused dept.

United Kingdom 67

First time accepted submitter jeremyp writes "Ordnance Survey intern Joseph Braybrook has created a Minecraft World based upon accurate terrain mapping data of Great Britain. The world accurately represents the whole of Great Britain and surrounding islands (but excludes Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands). It maps 224,000 square kilometres of Great Britain and contains 22 billion blocks. Graham Dunlop (Ordnance Survey Innovation Lab Manager) says: 'We think we may have created the largest Minecraft world ever built based on real-world data.' The map can be downloaded from the Ordnance Survey."

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67 comments

I made one of Halifax NS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44938145)

That's impressive. I know how much of a pain it was to do just 12 x12 km of Halifax Regional Municipality

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44938177)

OP here. Now I see this is 20:1 Scale. Mine was 1:1 scale. This is still a 4x bigger map, but not even remotely as detailed as mine was.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44938289)

The Russians think it's an insigificant little island that nobody cares about too!

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44939849)

And we still did a better job of policing / ruling the world than you Merkins or the Ruskies have done.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44941745)

And we still did a better job of policing / ruling the world than you Merkins

Oh yeah, then why does a whole lot of the world speak English, including you Brits? Woo!

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44941965)

err because English was the official Language of the British Empire, The ruling classes of which could speak excellent English except the American colonies who even whilst being colonised never could master the concept of the letter 's'.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44942041)

Not the two world war thing again? All that proved is your habitually late and needed the Russians to help you with that.
Have you ever one won a war against quality troops on your own?

You needed the French to beat the British and didn't even beat the Canadians.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (1)

vuke69 (450194) | about 7 months ago | (#44938521)

It's actually 50:1 scale

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 7 months ago | (#44939441)

Consider that the entire Kingdom can fit inside the state of Texas...

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44940991)

Yes, that's because texas is indeed moderately sizable. Why, it's almost the size of Alberta (6th largest Canadian province)

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (2)

peragrin (659227) | about 7 months ago | (#44941883)

True but

Canada Population 35 Million
Texas Population 26 Million
Great Britain Population 63 Million.

Population density also counts.

It is why china and India, once they get their populations up to speed will be the places to worry about.

on the flip side the same reason why they are so populaous will take them that much longer to get up to speed.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44938365)

Why can't this be done programmatically?
At least for the terrain from topo maps?

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#44938413)

how do you think they did this one? they had the data. now they have the map. there's only one reasonable way to do that.

if they did it by hand then you know where uk money is getting wasted that's for sure.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44938459)

Then I don't see what was that challenging vs a very small map using the same software.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44938483)

You're a moron. Just shut up a bit and let the adults talk.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44938819)

You're moron the dumb side.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44939977)

Can you count to potato?

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44940381)

Can you count to potato?

Yes but only in base 31 and up.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#44939371)

well I don't see what was that challenging either and the fact that it's not in scale diminishes it even further.. something that loads their data real time to have it in 1:1 scale and injects it into the game as the player walks around would have been nice and cool but this..

then again I don't even play the game. 3d construction kit wasn't that much fun back in the day(there's better modelling sw).

Trivial, realy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44939169)

Just pixelate the texture of a targa dem drape at a resolution great enough for your block size. If you need a numerical stream for further programmatic block modification then take the pixel elevation and lat lon.
The question that might be interesting is are the blocks georeferenced, then you have a model that could be on a minecraft earth. Tile that and you could have a great strategy game. My guess is that this has military applications as this would be the fastest way to represent a terrain for virtual strategy.

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about 7 months ago | (#44938439)

Are you suggesting that it wasn't done programmatically? In any event, I'd guess that the vertical size of the minecraft world would be a limiting factor.

Good luck doing an actual map of California, for example. :)

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (1)

turgid (580780) | about 7 months ago | (#44941239)

Are you suggesting that it wasn't done programmatically?

Have you never been a summer work experience student?

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (3, Informative)

Atzanteol (99067) | about 7 months ago | (#44938541)

The astute would notice under "How we built it" they talk about how the did just that.

How? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 7 months ago | (#44938383)

Can you give a glimpse at the process this requires? I assume it has to be algorithmic in some way but it's still baffling to me how it's done. What sort of errors happen?

Re:How? (4, Funny)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 7 months ago | (#44938707)

Can you give a glimpse at the process this requires? I assume it has to be algorithmic in some way but it's still baffling to me how it's done. What sort of errors happen?

Absolutely. You can find a good explanation here [ordnancesurvey.co.uk].

Re:I made one of Halifax NS (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#44939083)

That's impressive. I know how much of a pain it was to do just 12 x12 km of Halifax Regional Municipality

Meh.

I'll wait for the legos version.

Seems to be a concentration of Creepers (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44938237)

around Manchester....

Re:Seems to be a concentration of Creepers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44938429)

Do creepers steal cars?

Re:Seems to be a concentration of Creepers (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 7 months ago | (#44938575)

Panic on the streets of London
Panic on the streets of Birmingham
I wonder to myself
Could life ever be sane again ?
The Leeds side-streets that you slip down
I wonder to myself

Re:Seems to be a concentration of Creepers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44940199)

Panic! at the disco.

Industry will love this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44938441)

Now we can know with certainty where the coal, iron, and diamond deposits are, so the mining industries don't have to waste resources doing core sample testing looking for anything of value. On top of that, we can also warn them beforehand where the zombie spawners are, so the UK isn't overrun by the undead.

Earth Map (4, Informative)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about 7 months ago | (#44938467)

Here's one of the whole Earth at a 1:1500 scale. I'd love to see them regenerate this with the biom updates they currently have in the snapshots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnNbR_PIMJM

http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/the-recreation-of-the-earth-11500-scale/

Hogwarts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44938559)

Someone needs to tell the BBS that Hogwarts is a real castle. They seem to think it's imaginary.

Description of the process (3, Informative)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 7 months ago | (#44938783)

For those who might be interested, here is a link [ordnancesurvey.co.uk] to the ordnance survey page where they describe the process used to create the map.

Fa17zors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44939275)

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Important caveat (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 7 months ago | (#44939397)

We think we may have created the largest Minecraft world ever built based on real-world data.

Emphasis mine.

While extremely impressive, it's definitely not the largest based on data from another source. For instance, World of Warcraft's Azeroth has already been largely recreated [minecraftforum.net] to the tune of 68B blocks using a similar automated process. There are other projects to recreate Westeros and Middle Earth that are already well underway, though both appear to be being done by hand, so though they've had a lot of progress, I'd doubt they're into the billions of blocks placed.

Re:Important caveat (2)

the_arrow (171557) | about 7 months ago | (#44945187)

I wouldn't call anything from a game, movie or TV-series "real-world".

Re:Important caveat (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 7 months ago | (#44947979)

Neither would I, and I don't know why you feel compelled to point that out. I specifically said "from another source". I was pointing out that while this is quite possibly the largest from real-world data, it is by no means the largest one based on data taken from another source.

not to scale = not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44939657)

Had they mentioned it I wouldn't have bothered reading the article, let alone download the map.

Re:not to scale = not impressed (1)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about 7 months ago | (#44940839)

Had they mentioned it I wouldn't have bothered reading the article, let alone download the map.

I have a map of the United States... Actual size. It says, "Scale: 1 mile = 1 mile." I spent last summer folding it. I also have a full-size map of the world. I hardly ever unroll it. People ask me where I live, and I say, "E6". -- Stephen Wright

What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dullards (-1, Flamebait)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 7 months ago | (#44939701)

More complex 3D modelling software from 3D Construction Kit to Second Life seems to have fallen by the wayside, but this tedious bit of repetitive crap... oh wait, I get it, it's the dorky alternative to Farmville.

Shame the government has to waste money paying people to play Farmville, though, but we have had a Tory government since 1979.

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (3, Funny)

Lithdren (605362) | about 7 months ago | (#44939815)

Wow you're so hip I wonder how you see over your own pelvis.

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#44939857)

What is it with sanctimonious twonks who have nothing better to do than belittle the passions of others?

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (0)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 7 months ago | (#44939943)

No one's stopping you from being passionate about Farmville's allowing you escape the complexities of real life.

But why must you belittle my passion, which is to point and laugh when humans take their games too seriously?

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#44940369)

Because it's unkind. Why not try contributing positively to the general well-being of the human race?

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (0)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 7 months ago | (#44941187)

Discouraging people from wasting hundreds of hours on a silly game - or maybe hundreds of millions of hours in total across all users - is far kinder to the human race than promoting that game.

And I say that without even intending to be kind. It's just incidentally kinder, from a utilitarian perspective.

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44941447)

Depends on your definition of "waste". I spend hours playing Minecraft with my kids each weekend - it's almost a reward at the end of the week for spending the rest of the time doing "useful" stuff. In the long run, we're all dead, including the kids. I think you've picked limited definitions in order to rationalize your misanthropy and justify your rather preachy assertions.

Sorry for you.

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 7 months ago | (#44944685)

Wow, such angry defensiveness.

"Stop disliking things I like!"

I'm not stopping you from playing your silly time-wasting game. I'm just telling you it's silly and time-wasting.

If you think that identifying a silly game as time-wasting is "misanthropic" then you have either led a very sheltered life or you have a playful love of hyperbole. If the latter, carry on; if the former, perhaps you should play Minecraft less and go out more at the weekends?

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#44941915)

Discouraging people from wasting hundreds of hours on a silly game - or maybe hundreds of millions of hours in total across all users - is far kinder to the human race than promoting that game.

Who are you to decide? Come to think of it, what are you doing wasting time on Slashdot when you could be out feeding the homeless or becoming a doctor? Get cracking on that cure for cancer, slacker!

It's just incidentally kinder, from a utilitarian perspective.

The same has been said of eugenics, among other things.

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 7 months ago | (#44944701)

Who are you to decide?

Bla bla morality is relative everything is okay stop having an opinion different from mine.

what are you doing wasting time on Slashdot

I think I just established that I was, albeit incidentally, not wasting time. If I've discouraged someone from playing Minecraft, I've done a public service.

The same has been said of eugenics

Yeah ethical living is about weighing up different priorities. Encouraging people to stop playing Minecraft doesn't result in murder.

(Although if you had a better grasp of reality, you wouldn't be playing Minecraft, would you?)

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#44946109)

Bla bla morality is relative everything is okay stop having an opinion different from mine.

You're welcome to have a different opinion from mine - it's assuming yours must be the correct one that makes you come off as sanctimonious. In my opinion.

I think I just established that I was, albeit incidentally, not wasting time. If I've discouraged someone from playing Minecraft, I've done a public service.

...in your opinion. And if you feel passionate enough about this that you'd like to encourage the world to play Minecraft a little less and go out and enjoy the world a little more, you could try to do so using reasoned argument rather than insulting your target audience.

Yeah ethical living is about weighing up different priorities. Encouraging people to stop playing Minecraft doesn't result in murder.

(Although if you had a better grasp of reality, you wouldn't be playing Minecraft, would you?)

I don't play Minecraft.

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 7 months ago | (#44946349)

Well of course I'm going to come into this assuming that my opinion is probably correct. If people always sat on the fence with everything, never daring to speak up lest they be considered sanctimonious, all sorts of horrible things would happen. I never said I'm not willing to reconsider my opinion, though.

As noted above, my words having a benefit is incidental, not primary.

Glad to hear you don't play Minecraft! Since you seem to have sustained a conversation more than 5 minutes, was about to positively review my opinion of the articulacy of fanatics, but I see it's not necessary now.

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44950043)

Sheesh.. Was this some sort of glorified ATOR moment, or were people actually arguing with the most obvious troll on the internet..

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44939955)

Shorter "time to penis". That is, from the first time a person first launches the game until they've constructed a penis.

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (2)

psmears (629712) | about 7 months ago | (#44940929)

Shame the government has to waste money paying people to play Farmville,

Err, you do know the Ordnance Survey entirely funds itself from selling maps/map data, and gives a proportion of its profits to the Treasury?

Re:What is it with Minecraft that appeals to dulla (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 7 months ago | (#44941153)

And this isn't how it should be. The Met Office and OS should give away their data to the country, and be funded by taxation.

The idea that a national surveying organisation should make profit is absurd.

In other news . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44939821)

The well known group Spinal Tap, complained about the size of Stonehenge.

Not the largest for long... (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 7 months ago | (#44939923)

We think we may have created the largest Minecraft world ever built based on real-world data.

Cue the "Google Earth" version in 3...2...

How about doing something useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44942015)

and for example get rid of the Silverlight crap? Make their shit portable? Open source some proper data?
Ordnance Survey is pathetic.

Accurate? So it's curved? (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 7 months ago | (#44947999)

I'm guessing they are using a flat projection, so claiming it's "accurate" is potentially questionable, depending on your definition of the word. Can any flat map be described as "accurate"? I guess it probably can, actually, as long as it is consistent and the projection is well defined. Just like a photograph or a painting of an object can be called "accurate" even though the object is actually three-dimensional.

Re:Accurate? So it's curved? (1)

Eyeballs (64172) | about 7 months ago | (#44956591)

After doing some testing, it appears the map scale is around 1 block equals 1/2 acre.

You can see this by teleporting to 10545 100 24400 which drops you on the south side of Hyde Park's Serpentine Lake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpentine_%28lake%29_)

The lake is around 80 blocks of water and is reported to be 40 acres big in Wikipedia.

Also, the map is is just a single layer of blocks covering over stone blocks.

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