11-10-2010, 07:42 AM
This is a basic map I made to help in a story I plan on writing. Its no where near as great as some of the maps I've seen here, I admit, so please ... be gentle :-}
Here's a zoomed out view showing where the island is in relation to the rest of the world ...
And here's a zoomed in version:
Any advise would be appreciated. Should I make a key to explain what the different lines and symbols mean or are they self explanatory?
11-10-2010, 12:22 PM
Hi there, it would be better to upload directly to CG. If you post and click on go advanced you should get an attachments button. Uploading to CG provides us with a thumbnail in your post and there is no need to go offsite.
The map is a nice start. I would go and try to change the coastal outline as it looks a bit pixelated. Are there any rivers feeding Slag Lake?
11-10-2010, 04:08 PM
If the map is just to help you write the story, you're there. Done. Finis. If you want to publish it with said story, you're already ahead of what some big-name authors provide :-). But if you're wanting something closer to the Really, Really Nice work like certain Guild experts produce, yes we can give you pointers.
For my money, light ocean next to light land benefits from a dark coastline. You've uploaded in .gif, which is great for small filesizes and limited palettes... but like Troedel noted, you're left with pixellated edges. There's nothing that says .gif can't be antialiased, like your world map is, BUT with a tight max number of colors, all the in-between shades produced by antialiasing add up really quickly. If you're OK with the pixellation, and need small file size, no problemo - it's all about what YOU want it to look like. I do a lot of maps intended as just part of a web page, and I'm compulsive about keeping page load size down, so I'm often OK with flat colors and pixellated edges. So far you probably have a restricted enough palette you could stand some antialiasing on the edges of things, and still keep your .gif.
Key = good. Sure, there's standard stuff - don't bother to annotate "blue wavy line = river" :-). But I'm uncertain why you have dead trees. It is winter and they're deciduous? (not likely, based on your equatorial latitude). Which is bigger, Restpoint or Stonedale? And for that matter I'd like to know the absolute city size ranges. Do the red borders denote national boundaries? Subnational divisions?
You no doubt grasp the advantage of .gif for your text - it's razor-sharp, at the type sizes you use. If you go to .jpg, and stop short of 100%, compression is going to get you some artifacts. <shrug> catch-22.
River deltas : your rivers may not drain enough watershed to generate that much of a delta. Too, don't think of one as "river branches when it hits a coast" but rather "slow river outlet dumping sediment builds up new land, so flat that river wanders and splits". Hence, a delta might be expected to stick out into the ocean, or just maybe, could be filling in a 'drowned valley' situation. If the seafloor just off your coast is steep, there's nowhere for sediment to build up, hence no delta.
You may have taken the page-design rule too far : "minimize font changes". Too many and the effect is confusion, but there's room for you to vary things a bit, among the political vs. landform labels. If your smallest town names start to blur if you go to .jpg, consider a vertical, sans-serif font for legibility. The font you've chosen is pretty, and elegant. If you're conveying "yesteryear" it does send a bit of that message. If you're simulating hand fonts, the look may be *too* precise. Take a look at the label placement guide (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?12373-Positioning-names-on-maps) that Ravells posted a few days ago. What you've done with labels looks OK, but following Imhof's guide might raise your map's impact even without any other changes.
The mountains look nice. The percentage-white background you put on labels isn't allowing the mountain names to be very distinct though. You've done a pretty good job of using the symbol sometimes flipped, and clipping/ overlapping it. For maximum niceness a few more variations would be good.
"Additional continent" : niiiiice. :-) I like alternate-geography stories. Ever seen the online-only island of Tarrantry (http://members.fortunecity.com/infinitywanderers/tarrantry/menu01.html)?
11-10-2010, 09:06 PM
Wow, I didn't notice just how pixellated the borders are. I was paying so much attention to what's inside, and the details, I forgot to look at the BIG picture. Thanks. Okay, I went and tried to repaint the borders. Then painted the edges to make it a bit more pronounced. (BTW, the pixelization wasn't because of the .gif, but because of how I made the outline in the first place.... stupid me). I made a key. I made the transparent squares behind the names of mountains and lakes LESS transparent. Got rid of a delta or two (you had a point). Introduced a different font for natural landmarks/islands etc (sure does make it more readable). As for that 17 page pdf file .... >_> I read the part about positioning, at least the first part (and mostly looked at some of the pics...) and rearranged my labels a bit. And now ... to attempt to post the image directly to the forum. Wish me luck ...
Postscriptum: Troedel, No, Slag lake is an endorheic lake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorheic_basin)
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