A view of Mission Creek in a digitally recreated Kelowna for the video game Minecraft.(City of Kelowna photo)

A view of Mission Creek in a digitally recreated Kelowna for the video game Minecraft.(City of Kelowna photo)

City of Kelowna recreates itself in Minecraft

Minecraft is a video game that allows players to explore a 3D world and create a built environment by extracting raw materials

Kelowna just got a lot more blocky.

To mark GIS Day (Geographic Information Systems), the city has digitally recreated its landscape in the popular video game Minecraft, allowing people to explore a digital version of the city.

Minecraft allows players to explore an endless, procedurally generated 3D world, extract raw materials, and use crafted tools to farm, trade, construct buildings and eventually cities. It’s a game played by more than 120 million people worldwide.

“Cities collect geospatial data on lots of things – from public facilities to the terrain that makes our city unique,” said Jazz Pabla, the city’s information services director. “We are hoping our younger residents will enjoy discovering and creating a world of possibilities through the data in this new accessible format.”

The city hopes this will promote the more than 150 open data sets the city has publicly available through its open data portal.

“We are constantly looking to use data to tell a story about our city and we saw this as an opportunity to introduce more people to our open data offerings,” said Pabla. “Who knows, maybe a young person who starts off with the Kelowna Minecraft world gets more interested in GIS and goes on to a profession in information technology or planning.”

GIS Day is a celebration of the technology of geographic information systems and how they can be used to understand the world around us. The first GIS Day took place in 1999.

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Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


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