• Topographic map: A graphic representation of position, scale, shape, relief, and distribuation of selected natural and cultural features of an area of the Earth's surface.
  • Contour Line: A line drawn on a topographic map connecting two points of equal elevation above sea level.
  • Contour Interval: The vertical distance between two adjacent contour lines.


Overview of Topographic Maps in JourneyMap

Version 5.2 and up
The information in this page only applies to
JourneyMap 5.2 and up
JourneyMap's Topographic Maps let you see the elevation contours of your world. You can customize the topographic map properties and colors in (.minecraft/journeymap/config/5.2/journeymap.topo.config) according to what looks best to you, or what you want to emphasize. Here's how it works:

{World height} ÷ {Number of colors} = {Contour interval}

So, the default color palette of 32 colors divides elevation (y axis) of worlds with a height of 256 into contour intervals of 8 blocks. This means blocks in y 0-7 are in one contour interval (band of color), blocks in y 8-15 are in the next contour interval, and so on.


The topographic maps config file .minecraft/journeymap/config/5.2/journeymap.topo.config has the following properties:

  • showContour: Whether to show a contour line between contour intervals. Defaults to true.
  • contour: Hex color (#rrggbb) of the contour lines. Ignored if showContour is false.
  • land: Quoted, comma-delimited list of hex colors (#rrggbb) for non-water terrain. The number of colors determines the contour intervals (see Overview above).
  • water: Quoted, comma-delimited list of hex colors (#rrggbb) for water. The number of colors determines the contour intervals (see Overview above).
  • configVersion: Used by JourneyMap to track configuration changes. You can ignore this, and don't need to change it.

Choosing Good Colors

In truth, finding a "one size fits all" set of colors for topographic maps isn't likely. Most real-life maps have nonlinear gradients customized to work best with the unique terrain features of a specific area. For example, colors that help you see elevation changes clearly in a place like Kansas, US (very flat) would not work well in the neighboring state of Colorado and it's Rocky Mountains.

For some examples of topographic gradients used in the real world, see this site, especially this [page].

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