Make a Minecraft map

Collaboratively create maps of the server you play on without needing admin or hosting

screenshot 1

Explore the example map, using real (SMP) locations

The map lets any player show locations of interest in the world without spoiling the element of exploration.

No access to the Minecraft server files is required to create a map, and having your own web hosting is not necessary either.

(Alternately, for anyone with admin access to the server, their own hosting, and who doesn't mind removing the element of exploration, map systems such as Overviewer can provide a nice full online map system)

screenshot 2

Example map with oceans

Oceans can be shown by the map if you know the seed for your world. See the section on adding oceans for how to do this.

Other map examples:

Creating your own

  1. Create a .txt file containing all your map locations, and make it available on the web, or upload to Dropbox.
  2. Add the encoded direct URL of your map locations file to the end of this URL:
  3. You're done!

If you like, you can add oceans.

Running it from your Dropbox, or a wiki page.

Example using Dropbox.

To create your own map you take the URL of the Ink & Parchment map generator and add your own settings to the end of it. One of the settings you will add is a URL for a file or page which contains all the locations you want displayed on your map, this file could be in your Dropbox, it could a wiki-page, or a webpage.

More details of how to specify the URL of the locations file

If you're going to collaboratively build the map with others, then a shared editable file like a wiki page is good places to keep the list of locations - that way everyone can edit the list and the map generator can read the locations directly from it. The locations list can be in either html format or txt format.

Often sites will block "cross-origin resource sharing", which is where one site, such as, is prevented by your browser from loading data from a different site, such as This can reduce mischief on the web, but also limits your options for where the locations file can be loaded from if you don't wish to host the map generator yourself. See the next section for more details.

Can I trust this to not disappear after I've started using it?

Download .zip file

You can download your own copy of the map generator and run it locally straight off your computer. Or host a copy on your own website.

Obviously though, I intend to keep it available from this website.

If you want to maintain your locations list in a wiki-page then you may need to host your own Ink & Parchment map anyway - so that it's on the same domain as the wiki. For security reasons, browsers won't allow the map generator to access your locations list unless both their addresses share the same domain, so...

that means if you don't want to host the map generator yourself, and just want to use the one already hosted here, then you must create your locations list on a site which allows cross-origin resource sharing, such as Dropbox.

I haven't mentioned other cloud file/hosting services as I've not tried them, they probably work fine though.

Making a location list file

An example location-list file.

A template location-list file.

You can automatically generate your location-list file if you know the seed for the world.

The Location list file is a list of locations, one per line. Each line gives a location type and its Minecraft x and z coordinates. You can use F3 in Minecraft to get coordinates (or from Rei's Minimap).

If your location list file is a text file, then the filename must end in either .txt or .csv (I recommend .txt because an office application might open a .csv file and mess it up). Locations are specified in comma separated format. For example:

type,             x,     z,    description,                      owner,       href, icon-index

DesertVillage,  245,   350, "Ghost town"
WitchHut,     -4056, -2487,
PlayerHouse,   -800, -1800, "Dr.Frankenstone's mountain lair", "Dr.Frankenstone", "", 31

If the location list is an html file (for example a wiki page), then the locations can be specified either with unordered "bullet" lists in the same comma separated format, e.g:

  • DesertVillage, 245, 350, "Ghost town"
  • WitchHut, -2056, -2487
  • PlayerHouse, -800, -1800, "Dr.Frankenstone's mountain lair", "Dr.Frankenstone", "", 31

or by using a table:

DesertVillage 1245 350 Ghost town
WitchHut -2056 -2487
PlayerHouse -400 -1800 Dr.Frankenstone's mountain lairDr.Frankenstone 31

(Or with a combination of bullet lists and tables)

Settings for the map, such as showcoordinates can also be specified in your location list file.

Any line in the file that does not start with one of the location-types or a setting-name is ignored. So the line containing column headings is ignored, because "type" is not a location name nor the name of a setting.


Each location may have up to 7 columns (or comma seperated values) of information:
type, x, z, description, owner, href, icon-index
but only the first 3 items are required (type, x, z).


x and z

description and owner




Map settings such as showcoordinates can be specified either in your location-list file, or in the map's URL. Settings in the URL will override settings in the location-list file, allowing the creation of different URLs for different views of the same location list. For example a portal might link to a the URL of a map for the Nether, but with x and z specified so the Nether map will be centered on the portal that was clicked.

Rather than comma separated values, settings take the from of setting=value. Settings must have one line each when in a location-list file, but are all on the same line when specified in a URL - separated by "&" symbols.

When text values are specified for a setting in a URL, then if they contain spaces or punctuation you should encode the value first, to ensure the URL remains valid.

Example of specifying settings in a location file:

title = Map of Treasure Island
range = 6400

Example of specifying settings on the end of a URL:  

The following settings are available:

Required URL setting: src




x and z









Showing oceans on the map

  1. Obtain the seed for your world.

    You can do this by typing the /seed command into the Minecraft console while you're playing in that world (press T). If you're playing on a server then you'll probably need to ask the server administrator for the seed — and they may say no, since the seed can be used to create a very detailed map. If they say no, you could ask the server administrator to generate the ocean mask file themselves and send you that instead of the actual seed (worked with my server admin!).

    The /seed command doesn't let you copy/paste the seed, so if it's too long to remember then you can exit to the menus, select your world in Single Player, and click the "Re-Create" button, followed by the "More World Options..." button — this shows the seed in a textbox where you can use Ctrl+A Ctrl+C to select and copy it.

  2. Use AmidstExporter to export the ocean mask .png file. (an example of an ocean mask)
  3. Copy your ocean mask file to the same place as you keep your locations list file, and add an oceansrc setting to the URL — just like how the src setting points to your locations list file.
  4. You're done!

If you like, you can choose a style for how the ocean will be shown.


Optimizing oceans for faster load times

Extra features

Poster prints

printed wall map

Instead of scrolling around fully zoomed in, the entire map can be printed out as a large poster.

When viewing a map online, there's a small icon at the bottom-left corner of the screen, clicking on that brings up options for make a poster sized image of the map.

Here's the poster I made from our server's map, and how I made it.

iframe support

Setting a default src, so URL arguments aren't necessary

Setting a default oceansrc, so URL arguments aren't necessary

Background themes

Overlay icons


Estimating distance

map scale example

You can use the paper texture to estimate distance, as the distance scale is aligned with it and tells you how far 1 block of the paper texture represents.

So those two villages are about 3 squares, or 600 meters (Minecraft blocks) apart.

Adjusting labels so they don't overlap

Making it zoom in further

Short URLs

Rei's Minimap


Extra features can improve the map and perhaps will happen with time, however the original idea behind this map was to preserve Minecraft's world-exploration gameplay. It's intended to be like ye olde fantasy-genre map - having to work out where you are, what direction you face and what direction to head, more of a guide really. Put on your adventurer's cap.

It was made for our no-cheats/shortcuts survival server. Overviewer already caters nicely for the opposite philosophy.

What'd be nice is a web-UI for people to enter their locations in with, but that would need a lot of hours, and it would mean everybody's maps depend on the server being maintained.