Inspired by the Ordnance Survey (OS), BGS has reproduced the 2D geology of mainland Great Britain and surrounding islands within the world of Minecraft. This map shows the OS map data on the surface and the rough position of real geology beneath, repeated down to the bedrock.
In reality the geology varies with depth, like cake layers, and BGS is working on representing the arrangement of the rocks and sediments in the form of a 3D geological model. Watch this space!
Following on from the scale model of Great Britain, BGS has taken another step into the world of Minecraft by creating three-dimensional representations of geology at several locations across the country. These models show how the geology rises and falls, overlaps and folds and at different depths.
The starting point is at the BGS Cardiff office. Around you will be signposts with information to get you started.
Once you've got your bearings you can fly around the landscape by double tapping and holding the spacebar or by teleporting to other parts of the Great Britain geological map.
To teleport to another part of Great Britain you will need to find its co-ordinate. You can use this web map to navigate to a familiar location. The co-ordinate for this position is shown in the bottom of the map.
Once you know the co-ordinate, you can use these values with the teleport command:
/tp 6282 10 22365
Using the methodology developed by the OS, we wrote computer software to programmatically generate the GB geology world in the Anvil file format.
For each 100 x 100 km grid square:
To do this, we have used BGS's Soil Parent Material dataset. A parent material is a soil science name for a weathered rock or deposit from, and within which, a soil has formed.
In the UK, parent materials provide the basic foundations and building blocks of the soil, influencing their texture, structure, drainage and chemistry.
By using the parent material dataset we can get a general understanding of the types of geology to be found across Great Britain.
In order to represent the geology found across Great Britain, BGS geologists were involved to select suitable Minecraft blocks for the parent material types. To do this they tried to find the best match in terms of hardness, texture and appearance. The table below shows how we've assigned each parent material type.
|Parent material||Minecraft block||Comments|
|Limestones, dolomites, chalk and other calcareous rocks||Stone||This block was chosen for its visual appearance of a limestone|
|Colluvium, till, loess, alluvial deposits and other minor superficial deposits||Dirt||This block was chosen for all superficial deposits except peat, sand and gravel|
|Clastic rocks, breccia, calc-silicate rocks||Cobblestone||This block was also chosen for miscellaneous sedimentary rocks|
|Superficial deposits of mainly sandy composition||Sand||Self-explanatory|
|Glaciofluvial deposits and superficial deposits of mainly gravelly composition||Gravel||Self-explanatory|
|Rocks composed predominantly of sandstone and siltstone||Sandstone||Self-explanatory|
|Basalts||Obsidian||Obsidian was chosen as the closest relative to extrusive rocks|
|Quartz rich rocks and quartzite||Nether quartz ore||This block was chosen to resemble the mineral appearance of quartz.|
|Chert and chert rich rocks||Redstone ore||This block was chosen for its appearance|
|Not mapped by Soil Parent Material dataset||Ice||Areas under water have not been mapped by BGS and we chose ice blocks to represent these areas|
|Peat||Soul sand||This block was chosen for its sinking characteristics, which are similar to a peat bog|
|Halites||Glowstone||This block was chosen for its similarity with salt|
|All intrusive and metamorphic rocks||End stone||This block was chosen for its hard characteristics|
|Serpentinite||Emerald ore||This block was chosen for its colour resembling the mineral serpentine|
|Unconsolidated clays of various origins (lacustrine, fluvial, residual)||Yellow stained hardened clay||This block and colour was chosen as most of these clays have a yellowish colour|
|Rocks composed of predominantly mudstones||Brown stained hardened clay||This block and colour was chosen as most mudstones have a brownish colour|
Using the methodology developed by the OS, we took the data from the OS VectorMap® District raster to decide the material of each block.
|OS VectorMap® feature||Minecraft block|
Minecraft is ©2009–2014 Mojang AB.
NEXTMap Britain elevation data from Intermap Technologies.
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2014.
Ordnance Survey and Joseph Braybrook for the initial concept.