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Minecraft map shows the entirety of Britain, and its geological features

You may remember when Britain's Ordnance Survey recreated the entirety of the country as a Minecraft map. That was all well and good if, for some reason, you wanted to explore its top soil in a geologically removed way. But what about the peaks and troughs of the British landscape? The mountains, the cliffs, the caves filled with mole people and discarded Cliff Richard albums? To see those, you'll need a new Minecraft map—this one created by the British Geological Survey .

"Inspired by the Ordnance Survey (OS) map released a year ago," says BGS, "this map shows the OS map data on the surface and the real geology beneath, right down to the bedrock. You'll be able to look over the white cliffs of Dover, climb to the top of Ben Nevis and scour over the ancient volcanoes of the Scottish Isles."

There is a point to this, and it revolves around Minecraft's continued popularity as an educational tool—a fact born of the game's continued popularity with people who need educating. "This work is an outstanding opportunity to get people using Minecraft, especially youngsters, to understand the geology beneath their feet and what it can be used for," said Professor John Ludden, executive director of the BGS, in a press release.

Head to this page of the BGS website to download the map; but be mindful of the fact that the full thing is 5.4 GB uncompressed. The page also explains how they arrived at its particular block choices. Soul Sand, for instance, contains similar characteristics to peat bog. That's a comforting thought.

The big question now is which governmental organisation will be next? Maybe the Crown Prosecution Service could fill high-crime areas with mob spawners.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.