View Full Version : Interested in Historic maps

11-02-2010, 01:08 PM
Hello all. I appreciate a good map, and I'm enjoying my initial experiments in the arts of creating my own.

I'm a bit confused though, because despite the title of this place "Cartographer's Guild", there seems to be an emphasis on Fantasy maps. While I do appreciate a good fantasy map, my personal interests are in "recreating" "historical" maps (for gaming purposes). Any hints about whether I belong here would be much appreciated!



11-02-2010, 02:39 PM
You're certainly not in the wrong place! There may indeed be a predominance of Fanstasy mapping here, supporting peoples' interests in role play games but it is in no way exclusive of any other types of cartography. There are strange people here involved in those odd satellite radar mapping thingies using height fields and people trying to model how cities evolve - for example.

I'm relatively new here myself and my main interests are more to do with 3D modelling but that includes (mainly) buildings and cities which is mainly why I'm here. I'm just as interested in modelling fantasy stuff as real stuff however, most of the time, real-world mapping is being done "out there" by proffessionals (some of whom are here too!) and the hobbyist is more inclined to create than document, perhaps? It's much easier to "just make it up" than to represent real stuff !!
As part of the recent "Super Challenge" about doing some sort of map about New York, one of my own entries is a 3D model of New Amsterdam, a real historical location, the majority of the information I used was from the "Castello Plan" of 1660 and the various versions of that since created. You'll also find in there an historical recreation of the map of the Battle of Long Island as well as some historical recreations of other mapping styles and eras.

The 3D community appears to be quite small here, but what I've done so far certainly seems ot interest a much wider spectrum of people than I imagined when I first joined. I think you'll find some kindred spirits here in your preferred styles too.
So I can only reiterate that, yes, you most certainly "belong" here!

11-02-2010, 03:02 PM
I will agree with Crayons. Additionaly the nature of the community here is to give tools and means to create maps in which meets every style you want. Meaning if you intrested in a more classical style of maps we can critique you and give advice on how to manipulate the software to achieve your end goal. Mind you not all things aren't easily achieved digitally and hand drawing can lead to the desired effect. Experiement and try things out we will help you along to reach your desired goal. As for personally I'm intrested in all types of mapping and am just starting off. I tried and made a fictional map of a priory in the later part of the 12th century. Not entirely accurate to the style or layout but with more time and research I most definitly could have produced a version that would be more accurate. We even present the monthly challenges which is a good way for you to express your opinion and bring a different view then whats currently found. This months challenge is to design and map out a castle. You can maybe do a floor plan similar to this church (http://www.burtonlatimer.info/images/Churches/Church-Floor-plan-1847.jpg), but of a castle of your choice such Blarney Castle, Ireland or Alcázar of Segovia, Spain. Again all up to you. Just remembers to have fun in the process or whats the point of taking it on as a hobbyist.

11-02-2010, 03:53 PM
Welcome to the Guild Ollie! You definitively belong here. The majority of maps in the guild are fantasy maps, but there are a few real life and antique style maps. Any map is welcome in the guild.

When you are ready, post a thread in the WIP section or if you already have a finished map, share it in the finished section. Happy mapping! :)

11-02-2010, 04:03 PM
Just to echo what the others have said - Fantasy maps often try to emulate the styles used by historical maps. If what you were looking for were examples of how political borders were set over time, have a look at the sticky in the Map Reference section which provides a ton of links to online map libraries.

Once you have the data and want to start to map, we can help you achieve a style to make the map look historical.

11-02-2010, 04:48 PM
Hello all, and thanks for the informative and interesting replies. It's good to hear that I'm in the right place after all! I am indeed most interested in "classical" map styles, although some may consider a map produced around 1950 as "contemporary", I think it can still be argued that it's historic.

It was interesting to read the comment about media - i.e. which software to use, or whether to stick to hand drawing. I initially experimented using some software, but quickly came to the opinion that I'm probably more interested in using "historic" techniques to generate the "historic" map! I am much happier with the results I'm now getting using pencils, pens and paper. Once I've tried a few more things I'll happily scan and post my "progression", which I'm sure might be quite entertaining in it's own right.

I don't think I'm quite ready to enter any challenges just yet, although if one came along that I thought tweaked my interest, I certainly would.

As I mentioned before, the initial driver for my interest is for boardgames design, specifically wargames. While this is somewhat different to RPG, there is clearly a need for maps for both gaming genres!

Right, I look forward to having a rummage around the site, getting some ideas, and trying a bit more cartography! Cheers!

11-02-2010, 10:49 PM
You might want to run a search for the Conquer Club. They make new variants of the boardgame Risk, and some of their maps are simply amazing. They've got a thriving community elsewhere, but quite a few of them wound up sharing some work here as well. I don't recall any names off the top of my head, unfortunately. Although a lot of those maps are in the Victorian style of the original Risk, there were a few other stylistic explorations, as well.

Welcome to the Guild!

11-02-2010, 10:52 PM
Welcome to the Guild!

Steel General
11-04-2010, 06:29 PM
Welcome Aboard!

11-04-2010, 06:48 PM
Welcome, Ollie!

How 'historical' a look are you going for? I've heard it said that while in the UK a hundred miles seems a long way, in the US a hundred years seems a long time ... yes, while I am a graybeard, the 1950's are technically before my time. On your side of the pond I imagine you have a wealth of really, REALLY historical material to follow.

Don't figure your choice of media and method is an either/or thing. I've seen a number of scanned-in hand-drawn maps whose makers did their base work in the easily-erasable digital realm. We do welcome hand-drawn work!

I look forward to seeing what you draw up.

11-08-2010, 08:10 AM
Welcome, Ollie!

How 'historical' a look are you going for?

Cheers. I do actually mean fairly recent history, like 20th Century. I'm actually trying to get a sort of "schoolbook" type feel to the map, and having looked around here, I now see that this is an area lots of people have tried to reproduce, with some really fantastic results. While I'm enjoying handdrawing, it does look like the best works are done digitally, albeit with a tablet. I guess I will have to get a tablet at some point, but not yet?

11-08-2010, 12:47 PM
Hi ollie - I'm also an avid classic map lover. I do not play role-playing games, or really am into the fantasy side of mapping. I make board-game maps for the Risk-like site MajorCommand.com. Check out my signature for some of my maps. I also used to map for conquerclub, as was mentioned earlier. If it's similar to the direction you want to go - i can answer questions, or guide you to some tutorials you may like. But yes, at first glance, this site does seem like an off-shoot of the D&D community, but it's much more. I don't see much about GIS and DEM or the "technical" side of accurate maps. I can't help you there - as all i use for reference is basically google/bing maps.

Here's one I'm not totally finished with yet - but I think it has a nice classic feel to it.