View Full Version : Map Using Power Point

06-30-2010, 10:54 PM

Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria, was the home of the French Foreign Legion for almost 100 years until they packed their bags and left for France in 1962. I made a quick trace of an old map of the old city using Power Point. I'm trying to create a map that includes the walled city you see on the picture as well as outlying areas that will be of interest to RPG/Wargame players. These points of interest will include the Train Station, training areas & ranges, the Village Nègre (the Arab Quarter with all the neat shops and places that Legionnaires are "prohibited" from patronizing) and various other commercial establishments. I put the old map in as a slide master to make the tracing easier and then turned it off to create this picture. I've used Google Maps to see what the city looks like today in order to somewhat fill up the city blocks with buildings. When done I plan to save this as a .png image which is a neat feature of Power Point. I'll paste that onto the larger map I'm creating that will show the outlying areas. I'll change the size of the PowerPoint slide to the size of the map I want to use. Possibly 32X24 off a plotter. I hope to figure out how to add some terrain textures on the final product. Why PowerPoint? --cause I suck at Photoshop. Has anyone else used PP (for anything mapmaking wise?)

07-01-2010, 03:01 AM
I tried drawing in PowerPoint once long ago and hated the interface so much that I swore never to do it again. I'll do simple shapes there if I need them for a presentation, but I make anything more complex in Illustrator.

Take a look at Inkscape—it's open source vector drawing software. It's nowhere near as powerful as Illustrator (yet), but it's got all of the basics, and it can produce some very nice results. Be sure to go through all of the tutorials before you decide whether or not you like it.

What year will this map depict?

Steel General
07-01-2010, 06:30 AM
I applaud your efforts, this is actually pretty darn good for using the limited drawing tools in Powerpoint.

07-01-2010, 08:23 AM
Thanks for the suggestion--I never heard of Inkscape. I'm trying to depict this town as it was in 1900-1914. It would be far less congested than it is today with more farmland and garden plots directly outside of the old walls. You would be amazed at some of the results I've obtained with PP when I was in the Army--especially floor plans. Seeing as how that was all we had available (besides Paint) I was pretty much forced to learn it well.

07-01-2010, 10:02 AM
Hi Pivo, very impressive work - didn't think you could use power point for that. Have you tried Paint - its simpler than photoshop but does a lot more than powerpoint... next step Gimp ... there are tutorials for gimp in here - but if you're just starting to learn the program- try youtube for some tutorial in how to use the basic tools (that goes for photoshop too) :)

07-07-2010, 10:24 PM

I worked on this map some more--in PowerPoint. But I did download Gimp and Inkscape and I hope to play around and learn more about those programs in the future. I also created some simple houses in PP that can be plopped down on a decent texture and rearranged for a quick adventure. I can post an example if anyone is interested. You can see tiny examples in the upper right corner of this map.

07-08-2010, 02:31 AM
well, that looks really good - and I'm still amazed that it came out of power point - have some rep :)

07-28-2010, 09:18 PM

O.K. This is about my 99% solution for this map. It was a bit challenging using PowerPoint--as some of you pointed out, it's not the best tool in the toolbox. I did learn tons of neat tricks though and now have several floor plans and other maps in progress. I'm also getting plenty of good ideas from this site. Especially the tutorials.

07-28-2010, 09:28 PM
If you care to, try to make a tutorial out of it for others who wish to attempt using PP as well. Looks really nice to me.

07-29-2010, 06:23 AM
Rep from me too! It looks great!