View Full Version : Map Sizes

04-18-2011, 12:12 PM
I was asking myself how big you design your Maps. Letīs say I was new to cartography and would like to start mapping my shiny hombrew campaign world. How big would you start with your world map? Whatīs your size for a medium battlemap? What kind of resolution do you use? Looking foreward to your answers...

p.s.: I am kind of new to cartography myself and have no experience in graphical design

04-19-2011, 12:55 AM
It's highly dependant on the particulars of the map and what it will be used for.

Start by considering the the smallest feature you want to be able to resolve and the region you want to cover and work from there. If this leads to a map that's too big, you probably need to make several 'large scale' maps that are 'zoomed in' to get the details and a 'small scale' map for a lower detail overview. You need to make similar decisions with vector graphics, even if they don't have quite the same 'resolution' issues as raster images: which features are you going to draw, and how precisely are you going to draw them.

And yes, 'large scale' means a map that shows a small area, and 'small scale' means a map that shows a large area. In cartography, 'scale' refers to the scale factor and 1/2,500 is larger than 1/100,000. If it doesn't make sense now, it's something you get used to.

04-21-2011, 02:11 AM
Map size can be anything you want but posting onto the guild is limited is anything below 36 megapixels (correct me if i'm wrong) so nothing larger than 6000x6000 pixels. I generally stick to sizes about 2000-3000 pixels as they seem to run the best in photoshop and are large enough to encorporate a lot of detail at smaller scales without being too big that there is too much/overwhelming amount of detail. But that's just me.


Steel General
04-21-2011, 08:11 AM
@LonewandereD - The actual limit is ~33Megapixels

04-21-2011, 11:08 AM
Thanx for the answers, diving into FTPro and Wilbur the next few evenings creating the baseline.

04-21-2011, 12:07 PM
I tend to work on rough paper sizes to get an idea for the size of a map. An A4 map is 2480x3508 px at 300dpi, A3 is probably better for a world map and that's 4961 by 3508 px. I've set up a shortcut in Photoshop so that cmd-shift-1 gives me the pint size of a map, so that I can quickly see what a map looks like at the final resolution.

With wilbur and FTPro I'd guess you probably want to err on the side of going larger than needed and then you can shrink down for the final map if necessary. What are you going to use to make the map once you've done the Wilbur/FTPro work?

04-21-2011, 02:42 PM
Thought of keeping the .mdr file as a reference taking out regional areas to map with PS for myself. But first Iīve got to get a grip on those two beast wilbur and FTPro to make them give me what I want. We shall see. I think Iīll orient myself on the Din Values at 300dpi. Printsize viewing is a little big larger on my screen tha in reality, is there a way to calibrate in PS?

04-21-2011, 02:55 PM
Yes, you need to go into Preferences -> Units and Rulers and then set the screen resolution to be your actual screen resolution. Tweak it if it's not quite right, until print resolution shows it at the right size.

04-22-2011, 04:13 PM
That was an excellent tip, thanks. I would not have it reckognized by myself.

04-22-2011, 04:46 PM
You're welcome - happy to help.