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Why Minecraft?

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

Side by side shots of New York City in the real world, Geopipe models rendered in Unity, and Geopipe's Minecraft NYC.

1:1 Minecraft New York City is now live at (map) or (server), and you can join now and explore. Want to participate in upcoming events in this virtual world, like our NYC Scavenger Hunt? Find us on social media below! A few weeks ago, I read this article- The Metaverse Is Already Here — It’s Minecraft, and I found it fascinating. The Metaverse doesn’t have to be something that Facebook…er…Meta sells us at a mega-markup under a glossy corporate market strategy. It’s something that we already know and love, like Minecraft: a hackable, decentralized, imperfect, interactive game where players from all over the world can play and interact together.

The Metaverse is new, buzzy, and sci-fi, but like most buzzwords, it’s built on tried and true concepts realized in brand new ways. At Geopipe, we’ve been ahead of the bleeding edge, spending the last few years teaching computers to digitize the Earth for gaming, simulation, and beyond. Our AI figures out the details of every building, tree, road, sidewalk, you name it– then goes one step further, rapidly creating a 3D digital twin at city scale from that information.

Geopipe's NYC in Minecraft.

What do you do with a digital twin? You explore it. You transform it. In Minecraft, that might look like new builds and mini-games, new experiences built in a familiar landscape. In urban planning, that might look like rerouting traffic during construction. In simulation, that might mean that firefighters can play out emergency scenarios on real city streets with no cost to life, limb, or infrastructure. To transform the real world into your application, you need more than just a flat map. Even photos and photogrammetry will only give you a copy-and-pasted 3D picture that doesn’t behave like reality. You need real world data – knowledge of where trees are, where roads are, where windows are – and that’s exactly what we do.

We decided to build NYC in Minecraft to show the possibilities of massive real-world game environments.

We think the games and experiences of tomorrow will be built in twins of our reality: we built Geopipe to create these models, and it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with a deep copy of reality at your fingertips.

Oh, and we built NYC in one day. Wherever you need to be in the real world, we can bring it to you.


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