Minecraft used to create 3D geological models of locations across Britain


I half suspect that the British Geological Survey's continued Minecraft experiments are just an excuse to play Minecraft in work. "It's educational," they probably tell their bosses, before closing their latest 3D model and loading in to a Dropper map.

A year after creating the entirety of Britain and its geographical features in Minecraft, the BGS is back with a new project. They've now created 3D geological models of three sites across Britain: West Thurrock, York and Ingleborough.

"They show how the geology rises and falls, overlaps and folds at different depths," explains BGS's press release. "You are now able to see the rocks beneath north London, the soils that were deposited by ancient glaciers in York and how the ground is dissected by faults beneath the hilly slopes of Ingleborough."

The three maps use a variety of tinted glass blocks to see the exact composition of different geological units under the surface.

Your level of interest probably depends on how much you care about a) Minecraft, or b) geology. Still, I do think Minecraft's continued use as an informative or educational tool is neat. You can download the maps from this page on the BGS site.

Phil has been PC gaming since the '90s, when RPGs had dice rolls and open world adventures were weird and French. Now he's the deputy editor of PC Gamer; commissioning features, filling magazine pages, and knowing where the apostrophe goes in '90s. He plays Scout in TF2, and isn't even ashamed.