A visually-accurate version of Great Britain's geology has been recreated within Minecraft.

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The fine city of Norwich.

The map is the work of the British Geological Survey and can be freely downloaded from its official site. You just need a PC copy of Minecraft and about 6GB of free space.

England, Wales, Scotland and various nearby islands are all covered by the project, which was inspired by Ordnance Survey's own effort last year.

The map's surface actually uses the world data created by Ordnance Survey. The difference with this new map however is that if you tunnel down beneath the surface you will find an accurate-looking representation of what you might find.

Limestone and chalk are represented by Stone, peat by Soul Sand and basalts by Obsidian.

Other choices are more obvious - water is water, sand is sand, sandstone is sandstone and gravel is gravel.

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Geology blocks are repeated from bedrock up to surface height.

"The Minecraft blocks were produced using data from the BGS's soil parent material map," the British Geological Survey explained. "In the UK, parent materials provide the basic foundations and building blocks of the soil, influencing their texture, structure, drainage and chemistry.

"By using the parent material data BGS holds it's possible to get a general understanding of the types of geology found across Great Britain which is then translated into Minecraft blocks."

On the map's surface, road networks and built-up areas are represented by their typical Ordnance Survey colours - motorways are blue (Diamond), A roads are green (Emerald), B roads are orange (Pumpkins) etc.

Watch Ian take a surface tour of the map below.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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