View Full Version : Woadsbury Graphic Timeline

01-13-2011, 06:28 PM
When last you heard from me, I was quitting "everything" to pursue a writing career. Bad news is, that pursuit is torturous and (so far) of negligible gain, except that I will mention that my writers group has self-pubbed our first anthology, I Dreamed A Crooked Dream (http://fsfw.net/antho), which includes a modern-day scifi story by me, and I also did the prologue/epilogue.

Our next anthology will be Woadsbury, which some of you might remember that I began to map a while back. In fact, I stuck it into a monthly challenge; to my surprise, honor, and gratitude, you actually voted it as the winner, though it was (still is) unfinished.

So, good news is -- or, I assume it's somewhat good news, given the focus of this guild -- I now find myself once again doing some graphic work for Woadsbury. Yes, I will finally finish that map ... er, ahem, I hope to, anyway. And I am also doing a graphic timeline, which is not only a lineage of the Woadsbury noble family but also a storymap of sorts, depicting events and relationships across approx. 3,000 years.

I know that infographics are not what some of you guys call "maps," but I call them maps, of a sort. Notice I just used the word "storymap." Well, I know what to do with map wips! ... POST THEM ON CARTOGRAPHERS GUILD!

Here's where I am so far: that barest beginning, really, just developing a visual style, and later I'll fill in all the data, from about 350 A.D. all the way out past the 26th century, or to wherever "The Witch" decides to destroy Earth. Oops, is that a spoiler? :)


01-13-2011, 07:01 PM
Definitely a map - and a very nice one at that. Good to hear from you again!

01-13-2011, 07:03 PM
I agree that it's certainly a map, and it looks way cool -- and helpful as a writing aid! Good to see ya, töff :)

01-13-2011, 07:22 PM
That is totally cool.

01-13-2011, 07:29 PM
Looks like a map to me (and a darn nice one at that) :)

01-14-2011, 08:05 AM
I just live in awe of your graphic design skills. Very, very cool infographical map!

01-17-2011, 08:13 PM
Just beginning to fill in some details. Yes, I know there are "errors" ...

I'm having way too much fun with this. Every bioline I draw is a whole story in my head! Well, the seed of one, anyway.

I ran across a system limitation: I wanted to put issue between parents; but, without severely excluding lots of characters, I'd end up with more and more widely separated parents as we go back in time. If one couple had two children, who then had two children each, etc., then tio show five generations I'd have to split the original father and mother apart by ... okay, I didn't do the math, but it's a lot of space. I mean, look at Eleanor of Aquitaine.

I wanted to keep all biolines straight, as they show here. But, I might have to bend them. Only their X/horizontal length really carries infomation: lifespan. The Y/vertical dimension means nothing. Maybe I can use the Y dimension to bend/angle some biolines out of the parentage area, if necessary. Meh, a complication! But it will lead to a tighter and more inclusive infomap. So I'll probably have to do it.


01-17-2011, 08:38 PM
I just live in awe of your graphic design skills. Very, very cool infographical map! That's very kind of you to say. Thanks!

This is all in Illustrator so far, but I hope to take it into P'shop and style it up a bit once all the elements are in place.

02-06-2011, 02:58 PM

Latest WIP, mostly filling in the monarchy of Mercia.

SHAME SHAME SHAME on the educational institutions that have made uncounted millions of poor students hate history. OMG, the character, the stories --! It's an utter tragedy that not every single person on the planet is in love with our wonderful history. It's US, it's our story. This is our great family of mankind, all our woes and downfalls and crimes and triumphs ... okay, not so many triumphs as the other stuff, but still. I've always preferred tragedy over comedy.

The infographic system I'm using is becoming less and less capable of displaying the information I want to show, in various ways. More and more, this opus must be called a "simplified" representation. How many years have I dreamed of developing an comprehensive storymap system? ... a lot. But I'm no closer than I ever was, really. Maybe next time, I'll just chuck everything and start over with some new approach. But what will that be? I dunno. Maybe it's unrealistic of me to want to show ninety-three different sorts of info in two dimensions and eleven colors. *sigh* Meh, bitch bitch bitch. Why am I never happy? ... BECAUSE I WANT MORE! hahahahah. I'm such a glutton.

02-06-2011, 04:05 PM
Oh man this is just gorgeous.....have some rep! No hang on, just take my first born child! Don't do yourself down because it doesn't do everything, it does quite enough, and there's a huge amount of information there.

See if you can pick up a copy of 'Wolf Hall' which is about the life of Thomas Cromwell (won the booker I think), it's a stunning read if you want to put yourself in Tudor England.

02-06-2011, 07:15 PM
Cool stuff, töff!

02-06-2011, 07:40 PM
"crowding of offspring"... so don't think of it as a static graphic. Think of it as a miniature website of its own. It takes not too much effort to make a flat graphic into an image map. Put a set of destinations and 'tooltips' on each needed link. Viewer hovers over something, say a given union. All but the focal offspring of that union are hidden on the chart, and show up listed in the tooltip. Click there, and you get a new, derivative graphic, which *does* show that generation of that branch in full, relegating the others to single-line obscurity. <engineer waves hand airily> "that's the idea, carrying it out is mere turning the crank."

Slick map, btw - I like it.

02-07-2011, 12:23 AM
It's intended as a print piece to accompany my writers group's next anthology (as is the Woadsbury map! still under revision), so mouseovers etc. are no-go. Otherwise, I'd probably be doing it in Flash.

I think I've solved the "crowding of offspring" problem. I don't have a screenshot handy to post yet, though.

Robber Baron
02-14-2011, 08:53 PM
Excellent work!