View Full Version : WIP Untitled Continent

12-27-2010, 03:30 AM
This map was created using Tear's Saderan Tutorial (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8086-Award-Winner-Saderan-%E2%80%93-a-tutorial&highlight=saderan). Awesome and easy tutorial!
Any and all criticism is welcome. Specifically, I'm looking for a "proofreading" in terms of name position. I've read through Imhof's essay on Positioning Names on Maps (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?12373-Positioning-names-on-maps&highlight=positioning+names). I know in the essay he specified rules for rivers, but I don't recall seeing anything for other bodies of water. (If I missed something, let me know!) I've scoured the net for maps as references and it seems oceans and seas are written either horizontal or curved, but I haven't seen any maps in which a bay or gulf is curved. Is that correct, and is there a reason for that?


Also, I'm unsure about bodies of water. I did my research but I would love some help. (See: second map.)
Okay, I'm pretty sure area 4 is a sea, but I also think the others might all be seas too. Maybe with some channels in there. I'm clueless here. lol Help please!

Lastly, I was hoping to make a political version of this map. Are there any tutorials out there? I couldn't find anything. If not, I'm assuming it's as easy as making each country a different color with an inner glow and texture.

Thanks for your time peoples! I love this community. :)


12-27-2010, 06:46 AM
Nice!! =D

I see nothing wrong with the naming. I don't think your definition of "Bay" and "Sea" matters, realy. I'd call areas 1 and 3 seas and area 2 and 4 bays. But that's just me. Usually on my maps I call any body of water that's technically part of the ocean a sea if it's relatively open to the rest of the ocean and anything fairly enclosed a bay.

12-27-2010, 07:12 PM
I've seen maps where bays and gulfs use curved text, and I've made my maps that way. Generally, names of hydrographic features should be in the visual centre of the feature, and if possible mimic it's shape by being curved. Ultimately, text placement is all about clarity and elegance though. As long as it's clear what feature the text is attached to, and it looks good, you'll be fine.

12-28-2010, 05:45 AM
I agree with jetfx. Clarity and elegance is paramount. As far as whether they're seas or bays, I think it's completely up to you as the world-builder. If a bay is really huge, but still technically a bay or gulf, you could still call it a sea, because that's most likely how the people who live around it see it. And nice work on the map; looks good.

12-29-2010, 02:27 AM
Thank you all for your input and opinions!

Where to start? Well, I've decided on a name: Geios. The bodies of water might be done. I'm unsure of area 4, though. Is it obvious that is one sea? Or should I rewrite Focal Sea on the lower half or split it? Also, I was thinking it would be cool to make a sort of 'sea island delta' at the southern tip of the Focal Sea. Think it can be done with space to write it's name? Or would that just look clustered?

I've added capitals and cities to almost every country (couldn't add capitals to Darinnia and Faennia without them being illegible). This part was really fun, looking up real world cities for inspiration. :)

I've slightly modified some landmasses; rearranged a few things; added a title. There are a lot more rivers now.

I would say it's very close to being done now. Let me know if anything is unreadable. After this is finished, I'm gonna work on the political versions. Tell me what you like about it, and what needs improvement. Thanks, guys!


12-29-2010, 10:59 AM
Looks really good!

As for names, don't think from orbit. You map is from a thousand miles up. Think from at most twenty feet above sea level - maybe 60 if you count a lookout in a crows' nest. If the northern part of the Focal is filled with Frenican galleys, and the southern is filled with Al Meengi corsairs, or icthysaurs, or crazy-dangerous storms, then the locals would likely consider it a separate body of water. If on the other hand your data comes from a Frenican cartographer, and the Frenicans as a political thing claim every drop of water from the Torrid to the Astrian as their private pond, then maybe they DO consider it one unit. Even in the latter case you could sensibly label it the N. Focal Sea and the S. Focal Sea. Don't get too anguished over the labels' "rightness", just go for plausibility... after all, the South Slovecans may have a totally different name for the S. Focal than "Focal", the Piccanians may have ten differing names for parts of the S. Focal, based on a combination of the fish harvested in different areas and the deities responsible for said fish, your Frenican cartographer calls it all the Focal, while the islanders from the back side of your world (not pictured) if they even know it exists, may call it Sieunatali's Water, after the legendary sailor of their race who traversed it all while fleeing from the Demon Waterspout Alacca. And so on :-)...

I dimly remember a tenet of labeling - maybe from the Imhof document Ravells posted - that one spreads the name of a geographical feature or region out, all along the feature. Tricky to do, and yet keep "all major hydro names looking alike". For instance, I can't tell for sure where the Fleeta range ends, and the Genesis starts.

By the way, what's the scale of this Geiosan map? Where's the equator fall ? That might imply certain currents in the Focal that would turn the 70km? 300km? pinch point at the middle into a well-nigh impassable strait.

You could still put Daennian and Faennian cities on there. Sure, if the capital of Faennia is Esmit k'Bookinarianasriafen si Jasmik, the font would have to be tiny. <shrug> So let your Cartographer-in-Charge just call it Esmit. I confess amid my worldbuilding and naming, if a map gets crowded at a certain point, a city might get a really short name, or might even find itself moved a hundred leagues downstream :-). If this is mainly a physical landform map, and your Focus :-) is not on those small SW kingdoms, you could imply unimportance by putting unlabeled cities on Daennia and Faennia, maybe along with a scattering of other unlabeled cities across the map. Then your political map could name fifty cities, all the way down to Esmit k'B. s'J.

I of course do not presume to name anything Geiosan - all my terminology is just to enliven discussion beyond generic Reallylongcityname and Shortvil. ;-)

I like the overall effect, the palette, the landforms, even the font. It's not super-legible, but you've got a display map, not a tactical battle map, and 'pretty' counts for something. I'm not a big fan of the mountain style where you wind up with a few smooth-ish ridges, yet shaded like a satellite photo, which stand in for varied, fissured, wrinkled ranges, BUT it works ok visually. If mountains like the Aspic range really are high, hard-to-cross wastes, I'd figure a believable Espanora/Brenier border to run along the continental divide. But you know your back-story -- maybe the Brenier folks ferociously hold all the mountains down to the Eapanoran foothills for good historical and 'present-day' reasons.

Have I said I like it? I like Geios !

12-29-2010, 11:13 AM
Thank you all for your input and opinions!

Where to start? Well, I've decided on a name: Geios. The bodies of water might be done. I'm unsure of area 4, though. Is it obvious that is one sea?
I see the Focal Sea, a straight or narrow to the South West and something that is an ocean / sea kind of thing connected to the Focal Sea by the straight / narrow, so I'd make it two bodies of water. A lot depends on the scale of the map, though (IOW: what jbgibson said).

Or should I rewrite Focal Sea on the lower half or split it?
I'd split it, with the split caused by the narrow. The two halves shouldn't be too far apart, after all, or you confuse the reader.

01-03-2011, 03:29 PM
Jbgibson! Wow! That was a very thought provoking post! Thanks for that!

Okay, well. I made a few minor changes such as adding bits of vegetation here and there; I messed with the tiny islands a bit. The Focal Sea was split in to North and South Focal Seas. And I changed the Espanora/Brenier border to run along the divide.

I gotta say, I'm having a lot of trouble trying to warp the text right so it fits across the mountains properly. Know if there are tutorials for that?
I'm also not sure what to do about the capital label dots. They're too small for a star brush to look like a star and as they are now they're way too similar to the city dots.

01-05-2011, 01:47 AM
Distinguishing capitals ... maybe something as simple as underlining the capital city names?