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View Full Version : James Gurney's Mapping Epiphany



Carnildo
10-26-2007, 02:55 PM
James "Dinotopia" Gurney talks about his efforts to generate a fictional city map and the out-of-the-blue epiphany that solved it for him:

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2007/10/cracking-paint-and-city-streets.html
(http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2007/10/cracking-paint-and-city-streets.html)

Carnildo

MGCJerry
10-27-2007, 12:12 PM
Wow... Thanks for posting this. This was very cool, never thought of that.

ravells
10-28-2007, 07:28 AM
Excellent read, thanks!

Paul
10-28-2007, 03:04 PM
Cool link! Thanks for posting.

The Cartographist
11-27-2007, 12:24 AM
Not only was his "epiphany" interesting, but his site in general has lots of good info for artists, cartographers, and designers. It's a real resource. Thanks for including it.

I'm currently working on a city map for my next BIG project. The way I am going about it is to start from the beginning--literally, the "historical" beginning of the city. I plan to watch it grow organically as I add buildings in the order that I think would make sense. The city is slowly expanding as buildings are built down streets. Then, the construction of a wall will force crowding as space is limited inside. Then, of course, the wall will no longer be able to hold all the inhabitants and building will continue.

Additionally, I started with terrain contours before drawing a single building. I think that the growth of ancient cities was very much influenced by the contours of the land. I'll have them dictate where streets go, where the breaks are between buildings, etc.

I'm very excited about the prospects, and I will, at some point, post some of them to the site.

Rik
11-28-2007, 07:33 AM
What a wonderful example of finding inspiration from the world around us.

People don't believe me when I say the inspiration for the shape of the main continent on my constructed world was in fact a patch of mould on my bedroom wall ...

RobA
11-28-2007, 10:35 AM
Rik-

You hit the nail on the head there. Since most patterns in nature are fractal, there will be self similarity at all levels. That is why you CAN take the outline of a patch of mould and make it a continent. This old post (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=677) talked about using real world maps as a starting point for fantasy maps, and talked about changing scale (i.e. use a small cluster of islands in the real world as continents in the fantasy world) and other techniques to obfuscate the source.

The same reasoning lets us use cracks in paint as roads and macro photos of broccoli as forest textures :)

-Rob A>

pyrandon
11-28-2007, 03:40 PM
...a patch of mould on my bedroom wall ...

Ummmm...you have mold on your bedroom wall?........???????

Rik
11-28-2007, 03:46 PM
Ummmm...you have mold on your bedroom wall?........???????
Had. I had mold on my bedroom wall. That was a different house in a different decade ...

su_liam
11-28-2007, 03:51 PM
One of the main reasons I got my first digital camera was to take pictures of things like that for future reference. Rocks, mold on walls, puddles, whatever...

RPMiller
11-28-2007, 03:52 PM
Had. I had mold on my bedroom wall. That was a different house in a different decade ...
Hehe, the Englishman dropped the 'U'! Did everyone catch that? :o




;) j/k We have a running joke about these parts involving 'u's.

pyrandon
11-28-2007, 03:56 PM
Hehe, the Englishman dropped the 'U'! Did everyone catch that? :o

I think that means I won, doesn't it?

Thus, the current score:
American: 15, Superflous "u" dialects: love


;) :P :)

Rik
11-28-2007, 04:21 PM
I think that means I won, doesn't it?

Thus, the current score:
American: 15, Superflous "u" dialects: love


;) :P :)

Damned automated spellchecker.

Do you keep scores for 'grey'?

RPMiller
11-28-2007, 04:48 PM
You mean gray? ;)

Torq
11-29-2007, 05:22 AM
Damn American Imperialism knows no bounds. Even the spell checkers have been compromised.;)

Torq

RobA
11-29-2007, 08:44 AM
Torque -

This is part of a larger programme to colour the opinions of people without honour. A gray-ops initiative of a specialised centre designed to initialise the corruption of the Queen's English!

-Rob A>

su_liam
11-29-2007, 11:42 AM
Damn American Imperialism knows no bounds. Even the spell checkers have been compromised.;)

Torq

I hear the Chinese spellcheckers don't suffer from that problem.;)

ravells
11-29-2007, 12:04 PM
What's McDonalds in Chinese? :P

RPMiller
11-29-2007, 01:32 PM
Must... resist... comment... must... resist...

Phew! I did it! I didn't say d...!:shock: Oops...

The Cartographist
11-29-2007, 03:05 PM
As an American working in London (for the Royal Navy), I am constantly confronted with this issue. "Whilst" in place of "while". "Programme" instead of "program". The list goes on and on.

And it's true--spellchecker is American biased--the Brits just make do ignoring the red squiggly under half of the things they type in MS Word.

RPMiller
11-29-2007, 03:38 PM
Or they could always switch it to use the UK English dictionary via the spell check options... ;)