“Just look it up on Google Maps!” is not just a phrase for frustrated girlfriends anymore. It will soon be a phrase for the frustrated guild leaders who try in vain to describe where the meet-up spot for tonight’s 10 o’clock raid (in-game time, of course). One of the developers behind Flickr and Glitch, Cal Henderson announced his project,”World of MapCraft,” a complete map of World of Warcraft, rendered in Google Maps. From the Barrens to Shadowfang Keep to the Outlands, every inch of Azeroth is covered.
On Saturday, June 16, Henderson posted on his blog about the development process of his newest project, a recreation of the entirety of World of Warcraft using Google Maps. Henderson is best known for his work for Ludicorp as the Chief Software Architect for Flickr. He also aided in the development of Tiny Speck’s MMORPG, Glitch. Cal Henderson calls himself “quite a fan of World of Warcraft” and has produced numerous addons for the game, such as “Hunter Loot” and “Auc-Searcher-Insane.”
The idea for a Google Maps Azeroth came to Henderson from MapWoW.com, an earlier attempt at a similar idea. He soon discovered that the in-game minimap images were stored in the game client as BLP files, which could be converted into the PNG format with a little work. He worked through the BLP files, finding minimap images and converting them in PNG files, until he had a complete picture of the world (of Warcraft).
As I mentioned before, the map includes every area that players can explore, including battlegrounds and instances. You can explore the map here and, although there is no way to enter Street View or get directions as of yet, viewing locales all around Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms, and anywhere else you can imagine is a mighty good time!
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