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Zan's Free Minecraft Minimap Mod
One of the most important (and notably absent from the base game) tools that the avid minecrafter needs is a map tool. For many months, minecrafters wandered about the place, getting thoroughly lost in their own worlds. A variety of methods of not getting lost were devised by the early adopters, and the addition of a red stone compass undoubtedly made returning to one's spawn point easier, but what about structures and bases built away from the spawn point? Good luck finding those.
Cartograph improved matters slightly by generating a map based on a Minecraft save file, but it still only worked outside the game.
Finally however, there is a free mod that can be quickly and cleanly added to the game. It inserts a small circular mini map in the upper right hand corner of the game screen, providing superior navigation capabilities.
Zan's Minimap mod is that mod, and it comes with a range of zoom options up to 4x and an expanded map view as well.
How To Install The Minimap Mod
The mod comes with a default installer. To begin the installation process, simply double click on the .exe to run the program.
You will now see four options on the screen. The first of these is 'Install Minimap v.xxx'. Select option one by pressing the 1 key and press enter. Your minimap mod will automatically be installed. No need for messing around in the minecraft.jar file, no need to use Winrar.
When you next load Minecraft, you will be treated to a single tutorial screen which will explain that the 'Z' key is used to zoom the map in and out and the 'M' key opens up the map tools menu.
Not content with merely supplying a working mini map, the great lord Zan of Minecraft modding also added quite a range of interesting tools.
In the options menu, you can toggle co-ordinates on and off. Co-ordinates add a whole new level of sophistication to your Minecraft experience. No longer do you have to wonder if you are still tunneling under a structure, if you've taken notes of coordinates above ground, you can navigate around below them with the greatest of ease.
Waypoints are another incredibly useful tool. Thought the options menu, you can add waypoints at various places of interest, making navigation all the more pleasant and enjoyable.
You can also specify whether you want your mini map to show terrain depth, whether you want it to display at all (it is possible to hide the map if it is getting in your way, perhaps when hunting creepers on a moonlit night,) and if you're offended by the roundness of the circular map (after all, there are no circles in Minecraft!) you can also change the shape of the mini map to a square.