Cal Henderson is no stranger to the world of MMOs. In fact, he’s the guy that founded TinySpeck, the company you may know as the creator of minor hit Glitch. Henderson had some spare time on his hands and apparently loves World of Warcraft, so he set out on a very odd mission.
Working with the source files for the intensely popular MMO, Henderson managed to piece together an enormous zoomable world map a la Google Maps.
You can check it out here: World of Mapcraft
Henderson also documented the process in detail on his blog. The post includes technical details, plus personal notes from various challenges encountered. For example:
“To help it take the crown of most annoying instance to deal with, Karazhan also suffers from typos. Some files are labeled Karazhan, some Kharazan and some Karazan. Fuck that place.”
He also put up a cool list of factoids discovered along the way (quoted from the site):
- Scholomance was originally called School of Necromancy (or the Ruined keep crypt).
- Deepholm was originally called Deephome.
- Ragefire Chasm, presumably one of the first built instances, is simply called "Orgrimmar Lava Dungeon" in the world files.
- The Eastern Kingdoms were originally called Azeroth.
- Within the Eastern Kingdoms, files are broken down into 3 regions - Lorderon at the top (LD_ prefix), Khaz Modan in the middle (KZ_ prefix) and Azeroth at the bottom (AZ_ prefix).
- Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightning are internally referred to as Ulduar: Dwarf and Ulduar: Iron Giant.
- Utgarde Pinnacle is called Valgarde in the world model.
- The Tempest Keep dungeons were originally the Factory, Atrium and Arcane wings.
- The Auchindoun dungeons are labeled as the Ethereal, Shadow Council, Demon and Draenei wings.
Overall it’s a cool project. Now all it needs is Street View.