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Talk:Map item format

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After coming to the conclusion from [[Talk:Map_(Item)#Internal_representation_.2F_map_data|Talk:Map (Item)]] about how the colors data should be used, it seems it is some sort of color-table, like in gifs. Although, we only know a few of these colors what they represent, and it seems it is over 50 that we are not sure what they are. I would suggest that someone adds this color-table as a table to this article. Probably the ids in the table is final as it would else destroy backwards compatibility for maps in the future. --McTwist 18:19, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks to Gameslinder creating a PNG/DAT converter he checked what values it were and therefor got some color values. Currently these looks valid but needs to be validated by checking the colors on normal maps. It also seems that the fourth color for each group is the same as the second in the same group. --McTwist 19:39, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
That looks very nice! I'll be able to validate those colors in a short time, I'm currently writing a program that renders these maps to an image file --Flippeh 22:12, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Someone should verify, but I'd guess 36-39 is clay - seems to be about the right color. As for the other grays, the first two sets might be Smooth and Cobblestone, but it's hard to say (I'm sure *one* of them is at least smooth stone). The bottom one (44-47) may be Bedrock. Obviously though, I'm guessing here based on the colors. --Warlock 22:24, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't actually think the colors represent types of blocks, since 1 pixel on the map is about 8 square blocks ingame, so the colors are best interpreted as they are, not what they could be. --Flippeh 22:34, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I finished my map rendering program using the color values from this table, and it looks pretty accurate, I'll link it on imgur since I don't want to abuse the wiki upload for this: --Flippeh
That might be one reason of why he didn't use blocks, because there will be blocks interfering with each other. Then the description should instead say either what it contains most or what blocks could be mixed to create that particular color. When I wrote that I just predicted which one was which, nothing else. Still, this color-table will help either for those creating images for the map or those creates programs that reads them to images(Enough saying...).
Feel free to do any changes to the table. The wiki is good on making backups so there will be no loss if you do anything wrong. --McTwist 05:12, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Looking at Zooming scales it clearly tells how water works. First it uses 4 colors. But then it mixes two colors to form 4 colors more. This is an old technique that used when there was only 256 colors to pick from. This gives the water 5 depth, where the darkest one is the deepest. It is odd that Notch didn't used the extra duplicate color to add 3 more depth. Anyone got an idea of why Notch is duplicating the fourth with the second in each group, and why he even thinks of duplicating 12-15 for 24-27? Either it is a final system that made his work even easier(Or faster) or it is for future updates where the color will change.
One thing other to think about is if creating a map in the Nether, it will look like rubbish, just like the compass is going in circles. --McTwist 12:04, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
The colors are much more straight-forward than most people are making them. Each block type has only 1 color associated with it. The shading comes from the map rendering elevation changes, and from people testing sections that aren't properly aligned. You can test pixel color by creating 8x8 areas of one block type, but that 8x8 area has to be aligned perfectly with the chunk or you can get discoloration due to blending. I can verify that #606060 is the pure color of smooth stone, cobblestone and ore blocks, #6d9930 the color of grass(unsure about biomes?), #9d5b28 for dirt, #59472b for planks, #d5c98c for sand and gravel, #59472b for all types of logs, #006a00 for all species of leaves, #909090 for sponges, and glass transmits the color of the blocks underneath it. NZPhoenix 14:23, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Those colors are correct and we've already verified them. Although, first the wood color is the same as log is a new thing, as long with sponge that probably makes that color an undefined color, i.e. blocks that have not been mapped as a color. Also, due that the glass isn't visible, I guess that the built-in heightmap is used.
Moreover, those colors is exactly what is in the table, and I guess that the color is more about how the blocks works. The only thing to do is fixing some of the colors and add the others. Other than that, the article is done.
Also, there could be an addition of making the color-table more easy manageable with a template. --McTwist 16:41, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
It's confusing to list multiple colors for the same blocks, especially since 2 of the 4 are the same. I would recommend listing only the base color, and then showing the higher-elevation/lower-elevation variants. NZPhoenix 18:45, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Just make the template and it will be easy to do such a task later on. --McTwist 21:10, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
I just made the template. I took it from the Programs and editors page as I felt it easy understandable. Need to add some documentary later, but that could be up to somebody else's job. --McTwist 07:38, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Zooming scales[edit]

When Flippeh mentioned in the Color-table discussion I saw a pattern in his "1 pixel is 8 blocks". The scale now is as default 3, as I suggest this might be a 2 power of the scale value. It might be also a bitwise moving to the left as that contains the same pattern and would be a lot faster to process(Even if that in this case probably wouldn't be necessary). This means that each "step" when zooming is doubled each time.

0 = 1 block, 1 = 2 blocks, 2 = 4 blocks, 3 = 8 blocks, 4 = 16 blocks, etc, up to 16 (actually 255, but that ain't gonna happen) = 65536 blocks. There probably is a limit because processing power to determine that much data is bigger than the world itself (255 = 5,7896044618658097711785492504344*10^76 blocks).

I suggest that someone tries to mix with this value to see what we get. This would mean that the zoomable maps are implemented, but not possible to make without cheating as we do. --McTwist 05:10, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Editing this value (tested on SMP with the server stopped), I'd agree powers of 2 are correct. However, values larger than 4 (16 blocks/pixel) do not work (they're treated as if it's set to 4). JonAtkins 16:23, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for verifying it. I checked it myself, but it don't zoom in but only changes the size of the circle that is used to make the map go bigger. When I tested it I could only go down to 3, but maybe I saw just wrong. I also tried to use width and height, but those are not used yet and are set to 128 each time, so they are probably hardcoded.
Conclusion: The scale function was implemented and should have been visible when Notch released it, but unfortunately he probably commented out a big pile of it and the only thing he forgot to comment out was parts of the scale code. This means that we cannot zoom in nor out, but only change the size of the view-circle, a good thing for those don't wanting to explore the whole map. I wonder why he commented out so we cannot have real scalable maps... --McTwist 05:04, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
Scaling does work - see [1] for some samples. Keep in mind any existing explored areas will not be rescaled when editing the value (I crafted a fresh map and took a copy before viewing it to use as a blank template for map hacking). JonAtkins 01:06, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
You are right. I checked once again and it worked. Therefor I made 4 different kind of maps: 1, 2, 3 and 4 scaling. I then went through the first two, and some on the last two and got this:
Scale 1
Scale 2
Scale 3
Scale 4
I will continue on the two last so this will be complete. I might also put these images on either [[Map (Item)]] and/or this article. There is also a scale 0(?) compare here made by PixelMap (Rotation: 270, Up: East)). --McTwist 11:53, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I tried the scale 0, which will result in a map being 1:1 (that is, 1 pixel = 1 block). I found that really useful when mapping, for example, castles or building sites, as the default scale will show big buildings tiny and blurry on the map. --TheKax 07:50, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Name of maps[edit]

As I wrote in this article, the name of maps comes from the filenames. Although, I have not validated this yet. I only thought so because the names was identical from the file and the name in-game. I might validate this, but others will feel free to do it as well. --McTwist 05:33, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Using NBTEdit, I went through level.dat looking for how map worked. First, it seems that it stores the map connection to the item in the Damage field. This is a short, which probably is one of the reasons of the limit of the maps. Then I went and changed the name, and suddenly it created an another map instead of the other one that I renamed. This was expected as it didn't know about the change. This id number could probably be what he meant of cloning the maps, e.g: Use same id for multiple items. And according to his twitter it seems to work fine to clone it, but he does not tell if it really works.
I myself would do as the world saves is made: Store in each map item an extra field TAG_String and use that as a link to each map. This could also be used to link maps together if the name is he same one instead of the incrementing folder in world saves. --McTwist 07:17, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

idcounts.dat Format[edit]

"Curiously, this file, while still NBT, is not gzip compressed"

By Specification, every NBT file consists of a single GZIPped Named Tag of type TAG_Compound. Since idcounts.dat isn't GZIPped, it isn't NBT. It's just similar to NBT. DiEvAl 14:39, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Fixed. --McTwist 08:45, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, GZIPping a file containing a single value (if I'm right) would seem like wasting time. That kind of file might actually get bigger in the process... (again, correct me if I'm wrong, but that would seem logical, to me at least.) --TheKax 07:57, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Map rendering radius around player by exploring[edit]

I was wondering what the radius is of the rendering of pixels or blocks on a Minecraft map. In sethblings 12 by 12 11-colour display map: [2] you can stand about two pixels away (so 16 blocks) from the edge of the display to still completely render the image. This would result in radius of sqrt( (12+2)^2 + (12/2)^2 ) = 15.23 pixel, so 121.85 blocks.


The 12w36a snapshot added zooming to maps, should this page include that? Additionally, there are other changes to maps (They can be duplicated, for instance, that may need to be included. Pokechu22 02:55, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Both additions utilize existing features that have been documented on this page since maps were initially introduced. LB(T|C) 03:19, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
At the top of the page it says that it may become a feature, even though it is in the game now. That is what I was asking about. Pokechu22 23:04, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Ah, you are correct. I fixed it. Something like that can be fixed without asking, if it is incorrect someone will revert it ;) LB(T|C) 07:12, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Byte Arrays[edit]

So i have been experimenting with NBT edit and tags. i was messing with th map data file and i found that with byte arrays you need to import/export them. since you cant edit them with NBT edit, how do you edit them? i tryed a text editor but that didn work. i think i need to decompile the byte array somehow... i dont want to use image to map, which i found online because if i use that then it will create a data file and not a byte array. does anyone have any ideas please??? –Preceding unsigned comment was added by (Talk) 20 October 2012 (UTC). Please sign your posts with ~~~~

Use NBTExplorer, not NBTEdit. See NBT format, at the bottom there is a link. NBTEdit is outdataed. LB(T|C) 23:34, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you sooooooo much. but i still have a question. is there a program to convert a pic into a byte array. i know that image to map will turn it into a map data file but is there a way to just turn it into a byte array with the correct map color ids?? –Preceding unsigned comment was added by (Talk) 21 October 2012 (UTC). Please sign your posts with ~~~~
Can't you just use the image to map program and then take the byte array from the map it generates? LB(T|C) 20:19, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
I could but what I was going to try was taking a higher resolution pic and try to put it in a map. I don't know if it would work though... and after seeing the byte array for myself I saw that the bytes were simply numbered 1, 2, 3, ect. which lead me to believe that 128x128 was the highest resolution possible. but i still wanted to try a higher resoltion pic... but doing so in the actual byte array would talk far to long... –Preceding unsigned comment was added by (Talk) 21:04, 21 October 2012 (UTC). Please sign your posts with ~~~~
According to the article (and my tests), you can use higher resolution images but Minecraft will always resize them to 128x128 - so the image will always have the same quality in Minecraft. Sorry. LB(T|C) 01:35, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

1.8.1 RGB values have changed[edit]

Proof: New RGB values:

More Proof: –Preceding unsigned comment was added by GentlegiantJGC (talkcontribs) at 12:37, 30 December 2014 (UTC). Please sign your posts with ~~~~

I don't see a need to have color tables for both 1.8 and 1.8.1, just update the existing table with the new values. -- Orthotopetalk 22:55, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Incomplete color table[edit]

The color table is incomplete near the end. Could someone with access to the data please fix it? —Fenhl 23:11, 12 September 2015 (UTC)


@, hi,

I see you've been making progress here on this page -- could I ask, though, how you have the IDs numbered? There is a table at the top, which represents the current 'base' colors, and the IDs are numbered one way. And in the second table, which breaks it down into four colors, and which is also labeled 'current', the IDs are numbered another way. Do you know what accounts for this difference? Thanks! – Sealbudsman talk/contr 02:58, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Expand Code Section[edit]

I would like to add spookymushroom's minecraftmap Python library to the Code Examples section. As a new user I cannot do this (I cannot even post the link, but you should be able to find it on Github), and I have no interest in editing other pages at the moment to cleanse myself of my "new user" status. If anyone deems this library appropriate and/or useful, please add it to that section. Photonblue (talk) 21:57, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

 Done. Maethoredhel (tcLogs) 22:05, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Many thanks. A minor suggestion I would give is that "" should be changed to "", as that is more Pythonically correct. Photonblue (talk) 22:21, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
 Fixed now. You are very welcome. Maethoredhel (tcLogs) 22:31, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Map File Editors/Generators[edit]

Can we add a section on tools/scripts we can use to add and edit maps in each version? also techniques... for instance, i didn't know that there was a file that kept track of item counts, and after I added a bunch of custom map arts to a server, they were overwritten by players making new maps! I solved that by generating 100 maps and then reuploading my custom maps to overwrite the generated ones... but would there have been a faster way? Also, can the map.dat file be renamed to any number, or does it have to keep the number it was generated with? changing the number didn't seem to work for me (both the old and new maps returned with the give command were "new").

Any way sorry for the distractability, but the tool I used for custom pixel art maps in 1.14.4 is the MC Map Item Tool by djfun at

I would like to get the "hex 4" colors locked down so i can create a palette in my pixel art program and really go to town. I understand pretty much nothing of that part of the conversation though.

RinaCraft (talk) 01:43, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Suggestion: Add hexadecimal column for easier copy + paste[edit]

Working with Gimp's color indexing to make map art. Picking each color from the RGB values requires a copy and paste for each channel, while a hexadecimal value is only one. First post here, didn't want to edit prematurely. Argentfrequencies (talk) 04:35, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

On Nether Update[edit]

As it turns out, the Nether Update changed maps somewhat, this needs to be reflected in the article. Examples:

Newer 58 colour pallete

Colour Table

Map Art Making- Flat provides 58 colour, Staircase 174, Total (Including 4th unobtainable) 232

And probably some things I'm forgetting.

- 20:24, 30 June 2020 (UTC)

PS: Bassicly every block in the Nether Update needs to be checked, as many of them (Ej: Nether Gold Ore) are on wrong categories. -21:21, 30 June 2020 (UTC)