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Map item format

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Minecraft Beta 1.6 added craftable map items. Unlike books, maps do not store their information in the item - instead, their data value corresponds to the map number (ID) of a saved file. Their information is placed in the "data" directory within the world's save directory. Each map has its own file associated with its ID, and there is one file that keeps track of the highest (= most recently created) map ID. This is limited to the size of a short (32,768).[1] When Notch was adding them the first time he did not use the NBT format.[2]

When used in The Nether or The End, maps render as a kind of static, making them unreadable.

Data folder structure[edit]

The file idcounts.dat contains the latest ID for current map. Each map's file name uses the format map_<#>.dat, where <#> is the map's unique number.

map_<#>.dat format[edit]

map_<#>.dat files are GZip'd NBT files.

NBT structure[edit]


  • The root tag.

    •  data: The map data.

      •  scale: How zoomed in the map is (it is in 2scale blocks square per pixel, even for 0, where the map will be 1:1). Default 3, minimum 0 and maximum 4.

      •  dimension: 0 = The Overworld, -1 = The Nether, 1 = The End

      •  height: Height of map. Default (and only possible value) 128

      •  width: Width of map. Default (and only possible value) 128

      •  xCenter: Center of map according to real world by X

      •  zCenter: Center of map according to real world by Z

      •  colors: Width * Height array of color values (16384 entries for a default 128x128 map). Color can be accessed via the following method: colorID = Colors[widthOffset + heightOffset * width], where (widthOffset==0, heightOffset==0) is left upper point.

When this structure is loaded, Colors array is transformed to standard dimension (if it's necessary) and then structure is saved with standard height and width.

idcounts.dat format[edit]

This file keeps track of the latest map added. It is stored as a raw (uncompressed) NBT file.

NBT structure[edit]


  • The root tag.

    •  map: Latest map ID.

Color table[edit]

Maps use a color table to store the colors efficiently by ID.

Base colors[edit]

Blocks are colored according to their material. Each material has a base color which is multiplied by 180, 220 or 255, and then divided by 255 to make the map color. Each base color below is associated with four map colors - to get the first map color ID for a base color, multiply the base color ID by 4.

Color Table
ID Color RGB Description
0 Transparent Glass, Powered Rail, Detector Rail, Torch, Fire, Redstone Wire, Ladders, Rails, Lever, Redstone Torch, Buttons, Tripwire Hook, Portal, Cake, Redstone Repeater, Redstone Comparator, Glass Pane, End Portal, Flower Pot, Redstone Lamp, Barrier, Mob heads, Air, unexplored areas
1 127,178,56 Grass Block, Slime Block
2 247,233,163 Sand, Sandstone, Sandstone Stairs, Sandstone Slab, Chiseled Sandstone, Smooth Sandstone, Glowstone, End Stone, Birch Wood, Birch Wood Planks, Birch Fence, Birch Fence Gate, Birch Wood Stairs, Birch Wood Slab
3 167,167,167 Bed, Gravel
4 255,0,0 Lava, TNT, Block of Redstone
5 160,160,255 Ice, Packed Ice
6 167,167,167 Block of Iron, Iron Door, Iron Trapdoor, Iron Bars, Brewing Stand, Anvil, Weighted Pressure Plate (Heavy)
7 0,124,0 Saplings, Leaves, Tall Grass, Dead Bush, Flowers, Mushrooms, Seeds, Cactus, Sugar Cane, Pumpkin Stem, Melon Stem, Vines, Lily Pad
8 255,255,255 Snow, Snow block, Block of Quartz, Quartz Slab, Quartz Stairs, Chiseled Quartz Block, Pillar Quartz Block, Cobweb, Diorite, Polished Diorite, Sea Lantern
9 164,168,184 Clay Block, Monster Eggs
10 183,106,47 Dirt, Granite, Polished Granite, Farmland, Red Sand, Red Sandstone, Red Sandstone Stairs, Red Sandstone Slab, Chiseled Red Sandstone, Smooth Red Sandstone, Command Block, Jungle Wood, Jungle Wood Planks, Jungle Fence, Jungle Fence Gate, Jungle Wood Stairs, Jungle Wood Slab
11 112,112,112 Stone, Stone Slab, Cobblestone, Cobblestone Stairs, Cobblestone Slab, Cobblestone Wall, Moss Stone, Mossy Cobblestone Wall, Andesite, Polished Andesite, Bedrock, Gold Ore, Iron Ore, Coal Ore, Lapis Lazuli Ore, Dispenser, Dropper, Sticky Piston, Piston, Piston Extension, Block moved by Piston, Monster Spawner, Diamond Ore, Furnace, Cobblestone Stairs, Stone Pressure Plate, Redstone Ore, Stone Bricks, Stone Brick Stairs, Stone Bricks Slab, Mossy Stone Bricks, Cracked Stone Bricks, Chiseled Stone Bricks, Ender Chest, Hopper
12 64,64,255 Water
13 104,83,50 Oak Wood, Oak Wood Planks, Oak Fence, Oak Fence Gate, Oak Wood Stairs, Oak Wood Slab, Note Block, Bookshelf, Chest, Trapped Chest, Crafting Table, Wooden Doors, Sign, Wooden Pressure Plate, Jukebox, Wooden Trapdoor, Huge Brown Mushroom, Banners, Daylight Sensor
14 255,252,245 Wool (White), Carpet (White), White Stained Clay
15 216,127,51 Orange Wool, Orange Carpet, Orange Stained Clay, Pumpkin, Jack-O-Lantern, Hardened Clay, Acacia Wood, Acacia Wood Planks, Acacia Fence, Acacia Fence Gate, Acacia Wood Stairs, Acacia Wood Slab
16 178,76,216 Magenta Wool, Magenta Carpet, Magenta Stained Clay
17 102,153,216 Light Blue Wool, Light Blue Carpet, Light Blue Stained Clay
18 229,229,51 Yellow Wool, Yellow Carpet, Yellow Stained Clay, Sponge, Wet Sponge
19 127,204,25 Lime Wool, Lime Carpet, Lime Stained Clay, Melon
20 242,127,165 Pink Wool, Pink Carpet, Pink Stained Clay
21 76,76,76 Gray Wool, Gray Carpet, Gray Stained Clay, Cauldron
22 153,153,153 Light Gray Wool, Light Gray Carpet, Light Gray Stained Clay
23 76,127,153 Cyan Wool, Cyan Carpet, Cyan Stained Clay
24 127,63,178 Purple Wool, Purple Carpet, Purple Stained Clay, Mycelium
25 51,76,178 Blue Wool, Blue Carpet, Blue Stained Clay
26 102,76,51 Brown Wool, Brown Carpet, Brown Stained Clay, Soul Sand, Dark Oak Wood, Dark Oak Wood Planks, Dark Oak Fence, Dark Oak Fence Gate, Dark Oak Wood Stairs, Dark Oak Wood Slab
27 102,127,51 Green Wool, Green Carpet, Green Stained Clay, End Portal (frame)
28 153,51,51 Red Wool, Red Carpet, Red Stained Clay, Huge Red Mushroom, Bricks, Brick Stairs, Bricks Slab
29 25,25,25 Black Wool, Black Carpet, Black Stained Clay, Dragon Egg, Block of Coal
30 250,238,77 Block of Gold, Hay Bale, Weighted Pressure Plate (Light)
31 92,219,213 Block of Diamond, Prismarine, Prismarine Bricks, Dark Prismarine, Beacon
32 74,128,255 Lapis Lazuli Block
33 0,217,58 Block of Emerald
34 21,20,31 Obsidian, Enchantment Table, End Portal (portal)
35 112,2,0 Netherrack, Nether Quartz Ore, Nether Wart, Nether Brick, Nether Brick Fence, Nether Brick Stairs
126,84,48 Podzol, Spruce Wood, Spruce Wood Planks, Spruce Fence, Spruce Fence Gate, Spruce Wood Stairs, Spruce Wood Slab

Map colors[edit]

Each base color above has 4 associated map colors below. The conversion works by multiplying each of the red, green, and blue values by a value and then dividing by 255, finally rounding to the nearest whole. As of weekly snapshot 13w42b, the fourth base color variant is now multiplied by 135, providing a darker set of colors rather than just a clone of the second base color variant.

Map Color ID Multiply R,G,B By
Base Color ID*4 + 0 180
Base Color ID*4 + 1 220
Base Color ID*4 + 2 255 (same color)
Base Color ID*4 + 3 135

Here is a map color table provided as an example:

Color Table
ID Color RGB Description
0 Transparent Not explored
1 Transparent Not explored
2 Transparent Not explored
3 Transparent Not explored
4 89,125,39 Grass
5 109,153,48 Grass
6 127,178,56 Grass
7 67,94,29 Grass
8 174,164,115 Sand/Gravel
9 213,201,140 Sand/Gravel
10 247,233,163 Sand/Gravel
11 130,123,86 Sand/Gravel
12 117,117,117 Other
13 144,144,144 Other
14 167,167,167 Other
15 88,88,88 Other
16 180,0,0 Lava/TNT
17 220,0,0 Lava/TNT
18 255,0,0 Lava/TNT
19 135,0,0 Lava/TNT
20 112,112,180 Ice/Packed Ice
21 138,138,220 Ice/Packed Ice
22 160,160,255 Ice/Packed Ice
23 84,84,135 Ice/Packed Ice
24 117,117,117 Metal
25 144,144,144 Metal
26 167,167,167 Metal
27 88,88,88 Metal
28 0,87,0 Plants
29 0,106,0 Plants
30 0,124,0 Plants
31 0,65,0 Plants
32 180,180,180 Snow
33 220,220,220 Snow
34 255,255,255 Snow
35 135,135,135 Snow
36 115,118,129 Clay
37 141,144,158 Clay
38 164,168,184 Clay
39 86,88,97 Clay
40 129,74,33 Dirt
41 157,91,40 Dirt
42 183,106,47 Dirt
43 96,56,24 Dirt
44 79,79,79 Stone/Cobblestone/Ore
45 96,96,96 Stone/Cobblestone/Ore
46 112,112,112 Stone/Cobblestone/Ore
47 59,59,59 Stone/Cobblestone/Ore
48 45,45,180 Water
49 55,55,220 Water
50 64,64,255 Water
51 33,33,135 Water
52 73,58,35 Log/Tree/Wood
53 89,71,43 Log/Tree/Wood
54 104,83,50 Log/Tree/Wood
55 55,43,26 Log/Tree/Wood
56 180,177,172
57 220,217,211
58 255,252,245
59 135,133,129
60 152,89,36
61 186,109,44
62 216,127,51
63 114,67,27
64 125,53,152
65 153,65,186
66 178,76,216
67 94,40,114
68 72,108,152
69 88,132,186
70 102,153,216
71 54,81,114
72 161,161,36
73 197,197,44
74 229,229,51
75 121,121,27
76 89,144,17
77 109,176,21
78 127,204,25
79 67,108,13
80 170,89,116
81 208,109,142
82 242,127,165
83 128,67,87
84 53,53,53
85 65,65,65
86 76,76,76
87 40,40,40
88 108,108,108
89 132,132,132
90 153,153,153
91 81,81,81
92 53,89,108
93 65,109,132
94 76,127,153
95 40,67,81
96 89,44,125
97 109,54,153
98 127,63,178
99 67,33,94
100 36,53,125
101 44,65,153
102 51,76,178
103 27,40,94
104 72,53,36
105 88,65,44
106 102,76,51
107 54,40,27
108 72,89,36
109 88,109,44
110 102,127,51
111 54,67,27
112 108,36,36
113 132,44,44
114 153,51,51
115 81,27,27
116 17,17,17
117 21,21,21
118 25,25,25
119 13,13,13
120 176,168,54
121 215,205,66
122 250,238,77
123 132,126,40
124 64,154,150
125 79,188,183
126 92,219,213
127 48,115,112
128 52,90,180
129 63,110,220
130 74,128,255
131 39,67,135
132 0,153,40
133 0,187,50
134 0,217,58
135 0,114,30
136 14,14,21
137 18,17,26
138 21,20,31
139 11,10,16
140 79,1,0
141 96,1,0
142 112,2,0
143 59,1,0

Code examples[edit]


This section is a stub. Please help us by expanding it.
Library name Language Link to Map-related code
MCModify Java Map.java

References[edit]