Minecraft Your City

Minecraft Your City
Team Name: 
Mind the App

What is it?

Minecraft Your City is a project for GovHack 2015 which developed an accurate topological map of Canberra using datasets provided by Geoscience Australia and CSIRO. The map is a fully playable world in Minecraft and available for download from the GitHub repo at http://github.com/matthewpurcell/minecraft-your-city .


Agencies such as Geoscience Australia and CSIRO provide a wealth of open geospacial data. However, it is very difficult for the average person (or even developer) to use and understand this data without a strong background in geospacial analysis with tools such as GIS. This project was designed to make understanding this data easier in a very approachable way, allowing the user to experience a virtual world built upon top of this data.

This GovHack project was designed to just be a proof-of-concept for one city. It can certainly be generalised to other cities and areas which have accurate survey information and has substantial implications in many spheres, including education, urban planning and modelling, community engagement, and open data agencies.

What have we done?

As a proof-of-concept we have created a playable Minecraft world of Canberra, along with major Canberra landmarks (e.g. Telstra tower, Parliament House, Australian War Memorial) so that the user can gain their bearings.

We also intended to include other data sets, such as infrastructure (roads, water) along with geological information allowing the user to "mine" within the game and see accurate geology. Unfortunately we did not have time during GovHack to include these features, as (much!) more time was spent than anticipated on getting the topography of the landscape correct, as there were issues with elevation - as Minecraft has it's own coordinate system which doesn't necessarily correleate well across to real-world coordinates!

Note, before GovHack we had no experience in Minecraft or GIS...so it was a steep learning curve! Fun though :)

Datasets Used: 
1 second SRTM Digital Elevation Model of Australia: http://www.ga.gov.au/gisimg/rest/services/topography/dem_1s/ImageServer Australian_Topography_2014: http://www.ga.gov.au/gis/services/topography/Australian_Topography/MapServer/WMSServer?request=GetCapabilities&service=WMS Australian_Topography: http://www.ga.gov.au/gis/services/topography/Australian_Topography/MapServer/WFSServer?request=GetCapabilities&service=WFS Gazetteer_of_Australia: http://www.ga.gov.au/gis/services/topography/Gazetteer_of_Australia/MapServer/WFSServer?request=GetCapabilities&service=WFS GA_Surface_Geology_of_Australia: http://www.ga.gov.au/gis/services/earth_science/GA_Surface_Geology_of_Australia/MapServer/WMSServer?request=GetCapabilities&service=WMS (attempted to use) http://www.ga.gov.au/geows/geologicunits/oneg_east_aus_1m/wfs?version=1.1.0&SERVICE=WFS (attempted to use)

Local Event Location: