As mentioned in my previous blog post, it will be possible to choose between these different scales:

- 1:200
- 1:100
- 1:50
- 1:25
- 1:33
- 1:10

## Smallest scale: 1:200

This scales are somehow limited to the progress of the map creation. Since the Minecraft maps are stored in 512×512 block large sections (called region files), the smallest size for a single Tile is 512×512 blocks.

At the Equator this corresponds to a scale of about 1:217 and at 23.5° N and 23.5° S (Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn) it corresponds to a scale of exactly 1:200. For easier use I will stick to the scales at 23.5°.

Now we have the smallest scale of 1:200 due to the region files, but what about the larger scales?

You might think that a scale of 1:1 is the biggest and best.

## Biggest scale: 1:10

In reality, however, it is not useful to create a map on a scale of 1:1. This has several reasons:

First of all: Minecraft has a view distance of 32 chunks, with a chunck consisting of 16×16 blocks, this corresponds to a view distance of 512 blocks. (With some mods you can increase this value, but we will stick to the vanilla experience.)

If we take a look at the following table, we will see that a person of about 2 meters height is visible in a 5 km radius (if the earth is a perfect sphere). In Minecraft, we can only see the area of 500 meters around us, which is roughly one tenth of the real view distance. And keep in mind: higher mountains are visible from much further distances.

distance | visible object height |

5 km | 1.96 meter |

10 km | 7.85 meter |

15 km | 17.66 meter |

20 km | 31.39 meter |

25 km | 49.05 meter |

30 km | 70.63 meter |

35 km | 96.14 meter |

40 km | 125.57 meter |

45 km | 158.92 meter |

50 km | 196.2 meter |

60 km | 282.52 meter |

70 km | 384.54 meter |

80 km | 502.26 meter |

90 km | 635.66 meter |

100 km | 784.76 meter |

As a result, almost the entire map would look like a super-flat world that goes up or down a block every now and then. SUPER BORING!

Secondly, the exported image used in WorldPainter to create one Tile (which corresponds to 1° longitude and 1° latitude) would be about 100000×100000 pixels and this size can’t be handled with WorldPainter.

Furthermore, the accuracy of the elevation map is not good enough to represent the earth 1:1. The horizontal resolution is only 30 m and the vertical accuracy is about 10 m.

## Vertical scale

One could imagine that the vertical scale corresponds exactly to the horizontal scale. But there are good reasons to deviate from this assumption.

At a scale of 1:200, Mount Everst, the largest mountain on earth with 8848 m would only be about 44 blocks high.

At a scale of 1:100 it would be 88 blocks high. With the water level at 62, that makes an ingame height of 150 blocks. At a scale of 1:50 the Mount Everest would be 239 (177+62) blocks high. Ideal for the minecraft limit of 255 blocks.

For larger scales, such as 1:25 and 1:10, the Minecraft limit is simply not enough. At least not for the whole planet. For Central Europe, for example, Mont Blanc (4810 m) would be 255 blocks high at 1:25 scale. And for Great Britain even 1:10 would be possible without mods. But for the rest of the planet, i’m currently experimenting with the mod CubicChunks, which has a theoretical build limit of 8388608 blocks.

## Sicily

To get a small comparison of the scales, I generated 4 maps of the island Sicily.

Full size gallery:

scale | roughly ingame size | filesize |

1:200 | 1700 x 800 blocks | 49 mb |

1:100 | 3400 x 1600 blocks | 196 mb |

1:50 | 6800 x 3200 blocks | 804 mb |

1:25 | 13600 x 6400 blocks | 3,11 gb |

Here is another comparison for the city of Palermo in 1:25 and 1:50 scale (vertical scale both 1:25). You can clearly see the famous mountain / plateau at the cost. But you also notice the checkerboard pattern at the terrain, which is caused by the poor resolution of the source image material (globcover, only 300 m resolution).

Full size gallery: