How to Make and Use a Cartography Table in Minecraft

In Short
  • You can make a cartography table in Minecraft with four planks, two pieces of paper and a crafting table.
  • This block generates in the villages, as it's a cartographer villager workstation block.
  • Add a piece of paper in the lower slot to zoom out the map, an empty map to duplicate it or a glass pane to lock the map.

Minecraft maps are a very cool feature that allows you to create a top-down view of one section of your world and then display it in an item frame wherever you want. If you’re a fan of working with maps, then you’ll also definitely need a cartography table. This block goes hand in hand with maps, as it has specific and important interactions with them. In today’s guide, we will take a look at the cartography table block, teaching you how to make and use it in Minecraft.

Items You Need to Make a Cartography Table

A cartography table is one of the most basic blocks you can make in-game. It requires the following items :

  • 4 planks (of any type)
  • 2 paper
  • Crafting table

Planks are blocks you can make in your inventory’s 2 x 2 crafting grid by placing a log in one of the empty slots. Paper is one of the more useful items that can be made with three pieces of sugar cane. Finally, the crafting table is a utility block that you can make with four planks.

How to Craft a Cartography Table

As you can see here, you can easily make a cartography table on the very first day in your world. So, with the resources at hand, let’s look at the crafting recipe for this item:

  • Place the crafting table in your world and right-click it or use the secondary action button to access it.
  • Place four planks in a 2 x 2 configuration in the bottom-right corner, so the topmost row stays empty.
Planks placed in a 2x2 configuration inside a crafting table
  • Then, you need to place two papers above the plank square.
  • The cartography table will now appear on the right, so you can click and move it to your inventory.
Completed crafting recipe for a cartography table in Minecraft

Alternatively, you can use a crafter in Minecraft 1.21 to automate the process. However, to craft any item using this block, you’ll need to power it using a Redstone power source like a button, lever, or Redstone block.

Where to Find a Cartography Table

Apart from making it yourself, you may also find a cartography table in your world, though only in one place – villages. The cartography table is a workstation block for cartographer villagers, one of the many villager jobs in Minecraft. That’s why you’ll find it in cartographer houses, usually near a chest with paper and some other map-related items.

How to Use the Cartography Table

1. Cartographer Job

Now that you’ve acquired a cartography table, it’s time to start using it. First, as we have already mentioned, it is a cartographer’s workstation block. This means you can turn an unemployed villager into a cartographer by placing this block near them. They can buy paper and glass panes and sell empty and explorer maps, as well as banners.

Now, let’s see how you can use the interface of the cartography table. Right-click and you will see there are three main sections:

  • The left section with two vertical slots and a “+” sign between them;
  • The middle section with a large empty map image;
  • The right section with an empty slot.
Cartography table's user interface

You will be interacting the most with the left section. The upper slot usually requires a generated map and the bottom slot requires other items that can be:

  • Paper
  • Empty map
  • Glass pane
  • Compass (Bedrock edition only)

2. Zoom Out the Map

Once you place your generated map in the upper slot on the left, you’ll see the preview in the middle section. Once you add a piece of paper in the bottom section, the overview will change and the image you saw at the beginning becomes smaller. By adding paper, your map will get zoomed out.

Zooming out a map in Minecraft

When you hover over the map in the slot on the right, you’ll see that the scaling changes from 1:1 to 1:2. You can click on the map on the right to craft the zoomed-out map. You can zoom out the map again by adding one more paper in the bottom slot.

It’s possible to zoom out the map four times or up to scaling 1:16 (indicated by the level below the scaling value while looking at a map in your inventory). This is a useful feature, as the default maps cover only a small area.

3. Clone the Map

If you add an empty map in the bottom slot and your generated map in the upper slot, the preview will change to include two identical maps instead of one. You’ll create a new identical map if do this and can share it with a friend who just joined your world.

Duplicating a map using the cartography table

4. Lock the Map

If you aren’t aware, when you change something in your world, add a new building or terraform an area, all the changes will appear on your generated map when you load the area. This is a very good thing as it would be kind of annoying if you had to craft a new map for every change in your world.

However, this can also stop you from comparing the world before and after the change. This is why using the cartography table to lock the map in Minecraft is important.

You can add your generated map in the upper slot and a glass pane in the bottom slot. A lock will appear in the preview indicating the map will be locked. This means that no changes made to your world will affect the map after you add a glass pane in the bottom slot.

Locking a map in Minecraft

Craft the map by clicking the slot on the right and bring it to your inventory. This completely freezes the map, so any newly generated areas will stay blank.

5. Locator Map

In the Bedrock edition, you can also make something called a locator map. Just like the Java edition, it shows a player marker on the map. It is possible to make a map without this marker, and it will be called an empty map.

Adding a compass to an empty map, a generated map, or even paper in the bottom slot will add the player marker to that map, making it the same as in the Java edition. You can even make a map by adding a paper in the upper slot of the cartography table. This makes an empty map, which doesn’t contain the player marker.

So that’s all you need to know about the cartography table in Minecraft. It’s a fairly useful block if you love making maps and if you don’t, it can serve as a good interior decoration block in all your house builds. With that said, how often do you use a cartography table? Tell us in the comments below!

How big is a level 4 map in Minecraft?

The level four map or the last zoomed out map version covers 2048 blocks long and 2048 blocks wide area, which is 16×16 blocks per map pixel.

What is a locked map in Minecraft?

Locked map is a map that won’t adjust to any changes made in the world. It’s basically a frozen map that will always stay the same.

How do you make a map bigger in Minecraft?

Add your generated map in the upper slot on the left and a piece of paper in the bottom slot of the cartography table’s grid. This will zoom out the map and let it cover a bigger area.

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