A few things are changing on the live map. This is in preparation for the 1.8 update, as well as to keep the server running efficiently.
Removal of unused map areas
Currently, the live map shows the entire 34,000×34,000 world. This is unnecessarily huge, and only a very small part of that area is used. I don’t have the capacity to save such a large map of the world, and therefore the map size is going to be greatly reduced.
Starting soon, the live map will be greatly reduced and will only show areas that have been visited by players. The rest of the terrain will be blacked out, until it is visited by a player in-game.
The 3D Cave Map has also been removed, though I highly doubt anyone used it (or was even aware of it). This used to show underground caves and structures, but was very unclear and was unpractical for any use.
Day-Only mode for maps
The live map has always changed between “daytime” and “nighttime” images, reflecting the in-game time.
The nighttime maps make it slightly harder to use the map, as it’s quite dark. Therefore, I have added a day-only option. You can find this on the sidebar (mouse over the far right edge of the live map).
Additionally, the top-down map (also accessed from the sidebar) will only show as a daytime map. There is no nighttime top-down map.
Live Map Visual Redesign
This is slightly old news, but still relevant. The map UI received a visual overhaul, and now looks much cleaner, better matching the website. The font has been changed to improve readability, most of the UI is transparent now (so the actual map isn’t covered up), and overall it looks much cleaner and simpler.
I’m also going to try and get some markers on the map, to better show the locations and names of cities, towns, points of interest, and boundaries.
Higher Quality maps for main areas
The quality and level of detail will soon be greatly improved in certain areas, most notably the cities. This may take a while to show up, as it takes time to generate the high-quality images.