Belfast Telegraph

Minecraft puts Northern Ireland on the map

By Laura Abernethy

If you've ever fancied redesigning the Giant's Causeway, or thought Stormont would look better with a Houses of Parliament-style clock, now's your chance.

A free, downloadable virtual map of Northern Ireland has been created for Minecraft - one of the most popular video games in history - which has had over 100 million downloads since its launch in 2009.

Players can explore, build local landmarks or their own homes in Minecraft NI and live in a virtual world created from over five billion coloured blocks, each representing 12.5 square metres and equating to an area of almost 14,000sq km in the Northern Irish version.

Using data from Ordnance Survey maps, three developers from Land and Property Services - the Government body responsible for land registration and mapping - built Minecraft NI in their lunch hours after finding that the Great Britain version was the most popular download for Ordnance Survey Great Britain.

Yesterday, some excited kids got to have a go as the map was launched by Finance Minister Arlene Foster.

Stephanie (11) built a house for her friend Margaret. She said: "I think it's really cool because they've got all the different railways and rivers."

Regular Minecraft player Matthew (10) said: "It makes me happy just seeing Belfast on the map."

Belfast Telegraph