Each pixel of a map corresponds to a variably-sized area of the world, and is always aligned to X and Z coordinates that are multiples of 8. Generally, the color of a map pixel matches the color of the most common opaque block in the corresponding area, as seen from the sky. 'Minority blocks' in the target area have no effect on the color of the pixel, thus small features tend to be undetectable on zoomed-out maps.
Grass, foliage and water colors that are biome-dependent are represented accurately on a map.[Bedrock Edition only]
Maps will also show ground up to about 15 blocks below the surface of the water in oceans as slightly lighter blue, so you can see where the ground rises. This is not true with land above water. Higher elevations in the world mean lighter colors on the map. The map will record the surface even as you move below the surface.
Maps are 128×128 pixels in size, giving coverage varying from 128×128 to 2048×2048 blocks (8×8 to 128×128 chunks) depending on their zoom factor.
Some relevant distances: 128 blocks (8 chunks) is the update radius from a player in the overworld. However, it is half this (64 blocks) in the End and the Nether. Also, 1024 blocks is the minimum Overworld distance from a Nether Portal, at which you can build another portal and expect to reach a new location in the Nether. This is the distance across a 1:8 map, and also from a 1:16 map's center to its edge.
Player marker and pointer
In the Java and Legacy Console Editions, every map contains a marker that marks the position of the player, and points in the same direction as the player.
In Bedrock Edition, a map can be crafted with or without this marker, and a map without a position marker can add one later by adding a compass to the map. When a map is crafted without a compass, it's simply called an "empty map", but when crafted with a compass, it's called an "empty locator map".
Maps are always aligned to a grid at all zoom levels. That means zooming out any map in a specific area covered by that map will always have the same center, regardless of where the map was originally centered. As such maps will be aligned by map width (1024 blocks for a level 3 maps) minus 64. As such a level 3 map generated at spawn will cover X and Z coordinates from -64 to 960. All maps generated in this area will zoom out to the same coordinates, guaranteeing that they are always 'aligned' on a map wall.
For the Legacy Console Edition, Maps are only available in zoom step 3 maps and cannot be zoomed out or in. The map generated at spawn will cover X and Z coordinates from -512 to 512, this is done so that a classic and small sized world uses only one map, a medium sized world using exactly 9 maps (X and/or Z coordinates from ±512 to ±1536), and a large world using exactly 25 maps (X and/or Z coordinates from ±1536 to ±2560).
The parts of the world that have already been explored and mapped will be copied, and newly explored areas will appear on both instances.
In Creative mode, a map in an item frame may be cloned by using pick block on it, as long as that map is not also in the player's inventory.
The player has the ability to mark spots on a map. To do this, use a map on a placed-down banner, and the spot of the banner will be marked on the map. The mark will take the color of whatever the base color is for the banner, and if the banner has a name, the mark will show that name. If the banner is destroyed, the mark of the banner will stay at first, but if you get closer to where the banner previously was, it will disappear as the area is updated on the map.
Crafting a map creates an empty map. The map will be drawn for the first time when it is held and used (with use item). This map can then be adjusted to different zoom levels. After conversion to a drawn map item, it starts to draw a top-down view of the player's surroundings, with North pointing to the top of the map. A pointed oval pointer indicates the player's position on the map, and will move in real time as the player moves across the terrain shown on the map. The map will not center on the player when created, rather, the world is broken up into large invisible grid squares, and the map will display the area of whichever grid square it is in when it is first used. For example, if a player uses a new map in a certain grid square, and then moves a distance away and uses another fresh map but is still within the same grid square, the maps will appear identical. To make a map that is not identical to the first one, the player would have to move outside of the edges of the first map (because then they would be in a new grid square). This way, no two maps will ever partially overlap and every map will only display a fixed area.
To record the world on a map, that specific map item must be held in the player's hands while the player moves around the world. The world will be recorded as-is during exploration, meaning that if the world is modified, a player must revisit the area while holding the map in order to update the map's view. Maps can also be cloned. A map's parameters are fixed when the map is first used, meaning the map does not remain centered on the player—the drawing snaps to a pre-set grid.
Other players will only be displayed on the map if they have a map in their inventory cloned from the one being looked at. When placing a map into an item frame, the map will display with a green pointer shown at the location of the item frame. This is to help the player see where they are in relation to the area that the map is showing. If the player leaves a map in an item frame and views a clone of it, the green pointer will remain in the spot of the framed copy. This can be used to set up waypoints. Unexplored areas خرید خدمت are transparent, making the item frame visible.
When the player leaves the area shown on a specific map, the player pointer will transform into a white dot on that map. The marker will shrink to a smaller white dot if the player is very far from the map's center: the radius is 320 blocks per level of zoom. The dot will move along the edge of the map to show the relative location of the player. However in Bedrock Edition, the pointer will remain as an arrow but shrinks until the player is near the area shown in the map.
While maps in the Nether work, all that will be shown is a red and gray pattern. The only useful function is finding where the player is in relation to where the map was made (the center), or have placed framed maps (green pointers). Additionally, the player pointer rapidly spins and is not a good indicator of direction. Placing a banner in the Nether will still show it on the map like normal.
A player can make a large piece of pixel art facing upwards, center a map on it, and place that map in an item frame to create a custom picture.
Maps display as a mini map when held in the off hand, or if the off-hand slot is occupied; the map is full-sized only when held in the dominant hand with both hands free.