This is a first: Denmark has used official topographical data to create a reasonable facsimile of itself — in Minecraft. You can log in and take a virtual tour right now.
The game map is based on real, official measurements made public by the Danish Geodata Agency, though various things have had to adapt to the game's scale and, naturally, its blocky graphics. The scale is about 1:1, meaning virtually walking across the country could literally take days.
Danish Geodata Agency
A view of a small town in eastern Denmark; hundreds of other cities are similarly represented in the Minecraft map created by the Danish Geodata Agency.
The creators also made the dubious choice of allowing the world to be modified by players, which means that the rolling hills outside Silkeborg and majestic harbor of Aarhus are punctuated by burning buildings, enormous columns covered in torches and collections of miscellaneous blocks.
Be prepared for a bit of trolling, too: One player, adorned with a "Spider-Man" skin, immediately enveloped new players in web blocks as soon as they arrived on the server.
In addition to providing servers on which to explore the maps, the Danish authorities have also made the maps themselves available for download — or you can look at the real-world data used to create them. It's all free, provided as "a potential driver for innovation, growth and job creation," according to the agency's website.
It's certainly massive, but is only the latest such enormous recreation in Minecraft: Other players have recreated everything from Middle Earth to Westeros to Minecraft itself.
First published April 25 2014, 12:46 PM
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer at NBC News; he started his role in April of 2013. Coldewey is responsible for original reporting on a number of tech topics, such as photography, biotechnology, and Internet policy.
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Coldewey joined NBCNews.com from TechCrunch, where he was an editor covering a similarly wide variety of content and industries. His personal website is coldewey.cc.