View Full Version : My first world map

07-25-2011, 05:16 AM
So this is my first attempt at a world map... after a whole lot of tweaking and reading and rereading tutorials. Any criticism would be hugely appreciated :D

And a massive thank you to Ascension and RobA for the tutorials :D


07-25-2011, 08:47 AM
This is pretty darn good.

07-25-2011, 02:56 PM
Hey, that does look good. Love the colors and patterning.

07-25-2011, 04:40 PM
Yep, that's good. =) I don't have much experience with mapping rules, etc, but you might have trouble putting this on a globe if you ever decided to. Something to do with distortion at the poles? I'm pretty new to this stuff - probably not very helpful. Anyway, I love the colors and shapes!

07-25-2011, 04:50 PM
The Projection Police are as big of sticklers as the River Police but from a "map as art' perspective this is pretty good. You might want to lighten up on the texture on the ocean but otherwise - good stuff.

07-25-2011, 08:14 PM
If you treat your map as a Mercator projection, possibly squashed, then your shapes are preserved on the globe. Your northern continent will actually be very small though (it'll be small WHATEVER projection the original map is), as will to some extent your southernmost landmasses.

07-25-2011, 09:28 PM
Put it... on a globe? Is there a program I could use to do that? =O

07-25-2011, 10:26 PM
Well I was thinking conceptually. But if you mean a picture of a globe, a "view from space" as it were, I think GIMP can map an object onto a sphere. It may not get the results you want however, unless you first distort your map suitably.

A physical globe is obviously trickier. But it is possible to put a map onto a net of a dodecahedron or icosahedron, which you can then make into an approximate globe. This site: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/fliers/04mgg02.html has an example for the real world.

I don't know if there are any programs that will make it easy to do though. Gdalwarp will reproject your map, but it takes some learning to use.

07-25-2011, 11:11 PM
You can stick it in google earth if you want. There is a link (to a post by RobA) on my bio page somewhere in the comments section.

07-26-2011, 07:37 AM
Personally, I like to use Celestia to display global maps. For one thing, it's easy to add other features to the image without a lot of work. (And for other reasons, of course ;) What, me biased? )

It does require the surface map to be in what's known as "simple cylindrical" or "Plate Carré"

Here's your map wrapped around a sphere. Atmosphere and clouds are added by Celestia.


07-26-2011, 08:19 AM
One thing I would suggest is to get filimage (http://fimg-gmplugins.sourceforge.net/) and add into GIMP. It produces far better cloud results than the native GIMP Render Clouds filter(which produces some funky artifacts that are much more visible in a bump map of the clouds).. Other than that, it looks pretty good..

07-26-2011, 09:36 AM

I'm confused. Are you referring to the image that I posted? It was generated by Celestia (http://www.shatters.net/celestia/), not by Gimp.

07-26-2011, 11:42 AM

I'm confused. Are you referring to the image that I posted? It was generated by Celestia (http://www.shatters.net/celestia/), not by Gimp.

Sorry that was not clear... I was referring to the original poster who (at least per his profile as well as tutorial mentions) is using GIMP.... not your post... cool planet render btw....

07-27-2011, 07:54 PM
Selden - I downloaded Celestia, but I don't think my computer can handle it... after about five seconds I get a 'celestia has stopped working' message.. Does anyone know of any other 3d applications I could use to wrap my image onto a sphere? Or Selden, is that a known issue with the program?

and toJfrazierjr, thankyou, I got the plugin and my noise is looking far better :D

07-28-2011, 01:10 AM

I'm a GIMP map newb myself and this blows my garbage out of the water.

07-28-2011, 07:01 AM

I assume your computer is running Windows.
Celestia uses OpenGL 3D graphics so it can be built to run under Windows, MacOS and Linux.

That symptom is one of many which usually are caused by buggy, out-of-date graphics drivers. The graphics drivers provided by Microsoft's update service contain buggy and out of date OpenGL code. (They'd rather software used their proprietary DirectX graphics.)

Free copies of the current graphics drivers should be available from the Web site of the company which made the graphics chips used in your computer: AMD, Nvidia or Intel. Some laptops need modified drivers which are provided on the Web site of the manufacturer of the laptop itself.

07-28-2011, 07:51 AM
Wow Seldon, I've just downloaded Celestia, what a fantastic program! Thank you for all of your hard work in putting this together. It's mindblowing!

07-28-2011, 08:30 AM

Thanks for the kind words, but I'm not directly involved in writing any of the code. I'm more of an advanced user who complains about bugs and writes documentation. I do agree that it's a fun program to use, though!

07-31-2011, 01:23 AM
Thanks Selden, now at least Celestia works...
Next question though.. How do I put my map onto a globe in celestia, and how do i edit the image?

07-31-2011, 09:55 AM
Thanks Selden, now at least Celestia works... Great!

Next question though.. How do I put my map onto a globe in celestia, and how do i edit the image? That's two questions ;)

To place a map on a globe, one must define a planet and specify the map as its surface texture.

To define a planet with a surface texture, one must create an appropriate "solar system catalog" and place it in Celestia's extras folder. Here's a minimal example catalog, just to get you started. It doesn't include atmosphere or clouds.

"my_planet" "Sol"
Radius 6000
Texture "my_map.jpg"
EllipticalOrbit { Period 1 SemiMajorAxis 1}
UniformRotation { Period 24 Inclination 20}

Use notepad (or your favorite text editor; NOT Word, WordPad or other word processing editor; I use emacs) to put this text into a file named my_catalog.ssc in extras. The first part of the name is your choice. The file type must be .ssc

In the extras folder, create the folder textures. In that folder., create the folder medres. Place the image my_map.jpg in Celestia\extras\textures\medres

Start Celestia, wait for it to go to the Earth.

where <enter> is the Enter key
"my_planet" should appear at the top left of Celestia's window.
type the letter
Celestia's viewpoint should turn and go to the planet "my_planet"

As for how to "edit the image", you can use Celestia's various commands to look at your planet from various directions and distances, to make time go by faster or slower (so you can see different parts illuminated by the Sun), etc. You can add directives to the ssc file to give your planet atmosphere and clouds, to specify a bumpmap to give its mountains the appearance of height, to specify a specularmap so sunlight glints off its oceans, etc.

Celestia includes a "capture image" command so you can take a .PNG or .JPG snapshot of what it's drawing, and then use your favorite paint program to modify that snapshot.

To get you started, I've attached a zip file (my_addon.zip) which includes a catalog and a shrunken version of your map already in appropriate directories. If you extract this zip file into Celestia's extras folder, Celestia should show your planet.

An verbose introduction to creating Addons (like your planet) for Celestia is available at http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/~seb/celestia/addon-intro.html

A Celestia user's guide is available at http://celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/documentation.html

A detailed reference manual for Celestia is available at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Celestia

I hope this helps a little.

08-02-2011, 01:10 AM
Thanks Selden, I've got my map onto a globe... now I just need to add atmosphere and clouds... is there a script you could give me to copy/paste, or is it too complex?

08-02-2011, 01:15 AM
Also to Mr. Pink, can I suggest that you look at RobA's excellent tutorials for mapping in the GIMP, and even Ascension's photoshop tuts?

08-02-2011, 07:35 AM
The SSC catalog included in the zip file attached to my previous post has atmosphere directives in it, but here's another link to it.

All I did was copy-and-paste the atmosphere and cloud code from the definition of the Earth that's included in solarsys.ssc in Celestia's data folder. You might want to find (or create) a more appropriate cloud image, since the Earth's cloud patterns are very distinctive. (E.g. they often form in outline around major continents.)

08-03-2011, 11:43 AM
Following this thread with interest. There are some good cloud masks here (http://www.shadedrelief.com/natural3/pages/clouds.html).