Faq and other information

The world you are about to order is based on real true-to-life geographic data. So please spend a few minutes to read about what that means.

Terms and conditions

Why do you call it a template?
WorldBloxer worlds for Minecraft are based on data from OpenStreetMap. When you purchase a WorldBloxer world, you do not get an exact replica of the real world — you get a template of the chosen geography, that you can perfect in Minecraft.

How is the world bloxed?
The Minecraft worlds are constructed from OpenStreetMap (OSM) features and NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). The SRTM height model is used to construct a rough model of the terrain (hills, valleys, etc.), while OSM features like roads, buildings, rivers, lakes and land use information is used to construct what’s “on top”.

In areas marked as forests by OSM, Minecraft saplings are “planted” and will eventually grow into trees. we have placed rows of windows in all buildings to make them more “alive”.

The specific appearance of features is sometimes an intelligent guess and sometimes a deliberate symbolic representation. Our modelling engine is quite flexible and though it does allow for a one-click quick-fix, it will let YOU configure certain details of your bloxed world.

Why don’t the WorldBloxer maps look more like the real world?
The world is not perfect. Nor is the data describing it. Maps are typically made where people show an interest. The WorldBloxer maps are mainly based on OpenStreetMap.org data mapped by really awesome skilled people on a voluntary basis. We use NASA/SRTM for terrain heights and OpenStreetMap.org for buildings, roads and other mostly man-made features.

OpenStreetMap is a great and detailed map but some areas are not mapped … yet. When you place your order, look at the map first. Are there any buildings? If yes – your Worldbloxer map will have buildings. If no – well… too bad. If you order an area in the middle of a desert you might as well just use a flat world from the Minecraft default world generator. If the people mapping OpenStreetMap on a voluntary basis have told OpenStreetMap the height of the buildings they have mapped, we will make sure this is reflected in the WorldBloxer map. Most buildings will NOT have a determined height so it will be set to a default of 10 m.

Also, OpenStreetMap is (like every other map) not updated in real-time – this means, that elements in the map may have been removed in the real world, and new roads, buildings etc. may not be included in the map yet.

So in summary: What you see in the map is what you get in the WorldBloxer world.

NASA/SRTM is data about the terrain, and it covers most of the world but not it all (if interested check out the SRTM coverage. The resolution is not high so hills and cliffs will appear as smooth slopes. Ideally we would like to work with high resolution laser measured data but this is not widely available yet – and certainly not for the entire world. Terrain models are also known to contain errors. Therefore you will receive TWO models. One where the terrain is flat and the other will be modelled with the NASA/SRTM data, if these data are available in the chosen location. If the terrain data exceeds the 256 limit it will be slightly scaled.

New York is known to be flat as a pancake. The tall buildings confuses radar, hence Fifth Avenue looks rather bumpy. Here it is best to use the flat world also included in the download.  

If the data is not perfect – what’s the use?
The data is not perfect. And it is not a true photo realistic model of the built environment. It will however give you a template to build on. Depending on the effort the awesome OpenStreetMappers have put into the area you are looking at, the quality will vary. Some places it will be spot on and some places not so much. Therefore – look at the map before placing an order.

Why do buildings have flat roofs in the WorldBloxer maps?
Only in very few places we find building heights and true roof shapes in the data, and when we do, we make sure, it is included in the WorldBloxer map. Otherwise buildings will be represented with flat roofs. We give buildings random colours and add windows as ‘bands’ of glass automatically for each 2m in height. It is up to YOU to perfect it and make it look better.

What do I buy?
1 km x 1 km around any location of your choice on the surface of the Earth, generated in Minecraft on-demand. Your map will consist of the mapping elements available in OpenStreetMap within 0.5 km north, south, east and west of your selected point on the map. The map will be generated with a block size corresponding to 1 meter in the real world. You have the opportunity to choose between different blockdesigns for buildings, terrain and underground. You will receive an e-mail with download link to a zip-file containing a readme.txt and two Minecraft maps, one flat without terrain heights, and one built upon SRTM-data. Follow the instructions on how to install.

How do I get my own house in Minecraft?
The short version: If you can find it in OpenStreetMap, you can have it ‘bloxed’. The longer version:

  1. Go to www.geoboxers.com/worldbloxer
  2. Follow instructions and go to the map of the whole world (based on OpenStreetMap).
  3. Zoom and mouse around to find the place you live.
  4. Check the map: can you see your house?
    If you can, it will be included in the WorldBloxer map as it is registered in OpenStreetMap, ie. if there is a registered height, your house will have a flat roof in that height, if there is no registered height, we will give it a flat roof in a random height. OpenStreetMap contains no information about doors and windows, so you will have to make the doors yourself. Buildings are (by your choice) not included or included as horizontal bands of glass. The interior of buildings are not registered in OpenStreetMap, so buildings are created as empty boxes (you may find bats and spiders, though…).
    If your house is not on the map, we cannot blox it in WorldBloxer, until it IS in the map (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Editors).
  5. Click to select your wish of center of your WorldBloxer map for Minecraft.
  6. Select your choices for block design.
  7. Enter e-mail address and your country of residence.
  8. Read terms and conditions, and tick the box.
  9. Pay.
  10. Receive an e-mail with download link and a link to check status for your order.
  11. Receive an e-mail saying, that your WorldBloxer map is ready.
  12. Install your map following the instructions.
  13. Build your own version of your neighborhood in Minecraft.
  14. Enjoy!

Can I ‘blox’ my whole hometown in one WorldBloxer world?
The world is a huge place. If you were to walk all the way along the equator it would be about 40.000 km / 25.000 miles (and you would also have to swim quite a bit too). The same would be the fact for a computer generated world map in Minecraft. At a mean speed of 15 km/h your avatar would spend 111 days to go all the way. This is an awful waste of time. On the way you will pass mountains and valleys way taller than the Minecraft 256 block limit. You would simply go through the roof.

 To limit your waste of time and to make sure that everything packs well within the height tolerances of Minecraft, at present we only allow you to order a 1km x 1km block at the time. You are welcome to order adjacent data but there will not be any guarantee that they “fit” together.

Why can’t I open the world on a mobile device (Minecraft PE)
We only support the pc and Mac versions. This is because the technical requirements for making worlds to the Pocket Edition is different from the computer version. When this changes we will consider to support android and iOS devices. You may try to convert the world with common tools but this is not something we recommend.

How do I install my WorldBloxer map?
Go to the Installation Instruction to see how.

How do I credit correctly?
As described above the data used for creating your world is created by NASA and some really awesome skilled people on a voluntary basis putting their effort into OpenStreetMap.org. These people don’t ask of much – nothing to be exact – except for one thing. They like to be credited if you use their work. Therefore if you post a screenshot or a video or some other work, you must credit them as well – for instance “Here is my really cool house in my awesome city. I made the house myself. Map data by © OpenStreetMap Contributors and terrain by © NASA”.  And please credit GeoBoxers too.

When I browse the GeoBoxers website, I see images of Minecraft worlds that are more detailed than the WorldBloxer templates, why?

Stavanger, Viborg, Copenhagen, Aarhus in Minecraft are all based on a combination of GIS data, 3D city models, elevation models and additional georeferenced data like addresses, geology etc. Especially 3D city models make Minecraft worlds beautiful, but unfortunately 3D models are not globally available – yet. So, to get Minecraft worlds with that level of accuracy and detail, you will have to provide us with the necessary data.

I’m a professional with access to better/additional data, can I use it in Minecraft?
Sure, you can. It is becoming increasingly common and popular to use real-world maps in Minecraft for eg. urban planning. In GeoBoxers, we have a lot of experience working with all sorts of geographically related data and converting data into custom Minecraft world for professional users. WorldBloxer solves all the difficult stuff when recreating the urban environment in Minecraft. Distances, area sizes etc. are true-to-scale. If you at some point wish to get your Minecraft creations plotted on a map, that’s also possible. Feel free to contact us for a tailored solution.


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