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Coordinate System to match Math Class



  • Official comment
    Kyle M

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for posting. You are right in the fact that this is a very large change that would most definitely have to come through Bedrock first. However I absolutely see the benefit this could have in the classroom. I will be sure and pass this feedback along to the rest of the team.


  • Chris Fuge
    Beacon of Knowledge

    Right, I was just hoping it might be possible to make the coordinate system used in Minecraft match the system used in Mathematics so students could demonstrate mathematical skills in Minecraft. Topics like graphing and slope would be great applications in Minecraft. Those skills can still be accomplished in Minecraft but its very different than the way we teach students which ends up making it very confusing.


  • Penny Support
    Bug Zapper Super Star Beacon of Knowledge Support

    Hi Chris-

    Here are a few lessons that show how other instructors have adapted the Minecraft Coordinate system to teach standard coordinates.  Hopefully you can find some ideas in these lessons to use in your class.

  • Alan Downes

    Just want to bump this, we're doing the same thing and teaching North/South followed by East/West, while ignoring the Altitude makes the lessons more confusing than they need to be. 

    Lessons are going brilliantly, but this is going to confound many students understanding when they start using coordinates in Geography. 

  • Alan Downes

    Just a quick note on this, I don't understand why it would be so confusing or difficult to fix, all that would need to happen would be instead of displaying X,Z,Y the system would display Y,X and then Z, perhaps like this 

    123,-34:45 that would make life far simpler for students and teachers, or am I missing something? 

    This seems like an easy fix, or a toggle in the classroom settings?

    Traditional coordinate display On/Off

  • Debbie Alexander
    Moderator Beacon of Knowledge Super Star

    Hi, Alan Downes, and welcome!

    When I teach math, I teach "the y is high" to teach the difference between the x and y coordinates. I know that's not the traditional north and south, but it works to get them straight at the beginning. And it ends up continuing to work in Minecraft. I know this is fingernails on the chalkboard for the precision folks!

    I find it difficult to orient in the world myself, since the whole NSEW thing is different in Minecraft. I find that the best approach is just to let the students spend time with coordinates displayed. Have the agent in the world, so they have a reference point. Start on a flat world, since you can be near 0,4,0. And then let them walk and fly around until they get the hang of moving to change one coordinate or the other.

    That's the best I can offer! Hope it helps!

    (As far as the ease of the change, you would have an awful lot of chat commands and code commands with pre-existing coordinate syntaxes that would become very confusing or need major changes, I think.)

  • Alan Downes

    Ah, I hadn't considered the commands aspect, that would be confusing, but in terms of displaying the coordinates, so long as the understanding was that this was just a classroom/education option, then the option to display the coordinates differently should be simple, no?.

    I have a map of Chester I made and a list of tourist attraction coordinates that they have to find, they do get it eventually (we have many of those lightbulb moments in lesson) but I just know it's not the right way to do it. They're 100% engaged as the leading question in the lesson - "Who's ever got lost in a world in Minecraft" is enough to guarantee their buy in, regardless of how backwards we know it is. Just need to make sure they're facing the right way (north) which is further confounded by the way the compass works! (I've made a separate post about that, North would be more useful than the spawn point). I get the orientation thing though (especially as I pointed Northgate street in Chester, West - don't ask, I made the world for fun and never imagined 8 years ago I'd be using it to teach kids! Eastgate street points North! 🤦🏼) I think I'm going to place Beacons at the North of the map to help them. When they're on iOS the direction buttons then become much more simple to understand.


  • Josiah Blaisdell

    This should not require a change to bedrock... The change should be minimal. Just modify the positions class to include a member function that uses the teacher's specified coordinate system. You already have a pos_local, just add a pos_custom, and let the teacher define a matrix that fixes the coordinate system they choose. 

    I am having serious issues teaching with the current coordinate system because the students do not understand "basis" in 5 - 8 grade, they just are not there yet. The coordinate system needs to be able to be modified to match the coordinate system used in the students textbook. It does not have to be perfect, it can just match in MakeCode at first, the problem is when I am teaching math + cs. WARNING: DO NOT ASSUME EVERY TEXTBOOK IS THE SAME! THEY ARE NOT! For example opengl coordinate system and physics coordinate systems are NOT the same. In physics Y is up and in OpenGL Z is up, it depends on the context, so the coordinate system MUST be configurable. It is not a big change though.




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