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Daelin
11-17-2011, 05:04 PM
Oh hai.
This is map. Yeah, so...
Tried copying that map style you see on Wikipedia sometimes. Did kinda okay, I guess.
Actually managed to finish a map for once. Probably not gonna happen again anytime soon.
Well, that's about it.

furiousuk
11-17-2011, 06:01 PM
Much more than ok!

The mix of photographic and standard height-mapping is slightly odd, but I like it! Your labelling is really nice too!

Well done finishing a map too!

Larb
11-17-2011, 08:27 PM
I like it, it's really clean and modern looking. I also think I've seen some relief used on those style maps before too. Looks great!

jesuisbenjamin
11-18-2011, 06:49 AM
Well done! :)

Steel General
11-18-2011, 08:02 AM
Nicely Done!

ChicagoMay
11-18-2011, 09:25 AM
Very cool map! Is there a step-by-step of this one being made?

laevex_esre
11-18-2011, 09:45 AM
Absolutely brilliant! Really clear and modern looking. Great stuff.

I am trying to do a similar thing at the moment. You've inspired me to make a few changes to mine.

Lukc
11-18-2011, 09:55 AM
Grand! That looks like a fine map! :)

Daelin
11-18-2011, 01:45 PM
@ChicagoMay

I'd sure like to make a tut for this style, but with IRL looking like it does right now, that's probably not gonna happen. But really, it is a pretty easy style. The only element that's a little tricky is the relief and even that is not that hard. New layer->layer mask->bevel and emboss (play a bit with the settings)->draw in the mask with a 20% opacity brush. Almost everything else is made by drawing with paths, the land, the color-codes, the rivers, roads, etc.

Oh yeah, and thanks for the nice words, everybody.:)

Aenigma
11-18-2011, 10:16 PM
I love it. You've got some sharp skills there!

maxsdaddy
11-18-2011, 10:46 PM
Great map! I go to wiki every day and I'll be booking a trip to Capital Bay soon. ;) Hope you can find time to post more
quality maps like this.

paulbhartzog
11-19-2011, 02:54 AM
Great work!
Most of the maps on wikipedia are vector maps (svg), is yours?

This looks so incredibly functional, like you'd get it from some functionary if you stopped at a visitor's center while on vacation. :-)
It's so minimalist in line and font and texture.

Looking forward to the next one.

Hai-Etlik
11-19-2011, 04:47 AM
It looks very nice, but there are some technical problems.

For a large scale map at high latitudes like this, you wouldn't use an equidistant cylindrical projection (Where the graticule is a simple square grid), and if you did, everything would look stretched out east to west. Also the scale bar would be inappropriate in equidistant cylindrical as the scale would be inconsistent depending on the direction. Which is why large scale maps are normally done in regional specific projections, such an azimuthal, conic, or transverse cylindrical. When you get down to a sufficiently large scale, the differences between such projections fade away for the most part and you just gets something like a rectangular grid spaced out more north-south thant east-west. I wrote a tutorial on making an approximate version of such a graticule here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16284-Large-Scale-Graticules-Made-Easy

Also, although it's not strictly "wrong" to measure from longitude from 0 to 360, the convention is to measure from -180 to 180 and I think it light look a bit better if the river names curved to follow the rivers, and maybe had the letters spaced out slightly.

Daelin
11-19-2011, 03:00 PM
@paulbhartzog
No, I did copy the style straight from Wikipedia, but I did the map in Photoshop. The color-coded elevation is drawn with paths, though, so it's kinda vector-based. :)

@Hai-Etlik
Your comment is interesting. You sure have your argumention in order.
I would just like to point out two things:
* 'mf' is a fictional unit of measure - I don't even know what it's short for. So the map being "large scale" is really an individual choice. I got the inspiration from here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Topographic_map_of_Liberia-en.svg), and I imagine that the size of Urovangia is about the same as Liberia. And you wouldn't use map techniques that take the curve of the planet into account with that small a country, or would you?
* Also, the -180 to 180 thing was actually something I thought about while making the map. Again, you could argue that since this is obviously a non-existent country on a fictional planet in some other universe, the math is also different, and on this world, they use 'metrical' angles, where a circle is 400 degrees, so the measurement would be from -200 to 200. Nifty, huh? :P

As to the rivers, you're right, that would have looked better. :D

Hai-Etlik
11-19-2011, 08:15 PM
Your comment is interesting. You sure have your argumention in order.
I would just like to point out two things:
* 'mf' is a fictional unit of measure - I don't even know what it's short for. So the map being "large scale" is really an individual choice. I got the inspiration from here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Topographic_map_of_Liberia-en.svg), and I imagine that the size of Urovangia is about the same as Liberia. And you wouldn't use map techniques that take the curve of the planet into account with that small a country, or would you?

The thing is, you've put in a graticule, and a graticule implies certain things. For one, regardless of the the size of the planet, it covers a quite small part of the surface of the planet, which makes it a fairly large scale map (Yes a lot of people think this sounds backwards but there's a perfectly good reason for it and it's part of standard cartography jargon). That does mean you can get away with ignoring some aspects of curvature in a fictional map, but not all of them.

If you measured the graticule on that Liberia map, you would find that the meridians are very slightly closer together than the parallels. That's because Liberia is very close to, but not quite on the equator. Urovangia is at a much higher latitude which means that the meridians have converged significantly. At 55.5 gradians, the meridians would be 0.4746 as far apart as the parallels.

This map, by the same Wikipedia user, demonstrates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bathymetric_map_of_the_Baltic_Sea-en.svg


* Also, the -180 to 180 thing was actually something I thought about while making the map. Again, you could argue that since this is obviously a non-existent country on a fictional planet in some other universe, the math is also different, and on this world, they use 'metrical' angles, where a circle is 400 degrees, so the measurement would be from -200 to 200. Nifty, huh? :P

Fair enough, though I wouldn't say "the math is different". In fact that's a way of measuring angles that has been used IRL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gradian Gradians and Degrees are both essentially arbitrary units, while the math underlying them is the same. That's why mathematicians generally use radians (The arc length on a unit circle subtended by the angle) to measure angles.

ChicagoMay
11-21-2011, 12:15 AM
@ChicagoMay

I'd sure like to make a tut for this style, but with IRL looking like it does right now, that's probably not gonna happen. But really, it is a pretty easy style. The only element that's a little tricky is the relief and even that is not that hard. New layer->layer mask->bevel and emboss (play a bit with the settings)->draw in the mask with a 20% opacity brush. Almost everything else is made by drawing with paths, the land, the color-codes, the rivers, roads, etc.

Oh yeah, and thanks for the nice words, everybody.:)

I'll try this all out :)

jbgibson
11-21-2011, 01:00 PM
If I may, let me throw a bit of geometry at your (very nice and rep-worthy ) map.

What matters is the nation itself, not the entirety of the map extent, and 53 to 57 metrigrees :-) is (rounding) about 47.5 to 51.5 plain-ol' degrees.

at 47.5 degr N or S a degree is about 75.4km E-W.
at 51.5 degr N or S a degree is about 69km E-W, or 91.5% of the lower latitude.

So if your scale was true at the north or south edge of Urovangia, it'd be off by 8 to 9% at the other. But standard practice for an average scale would be to split the difference, so assuming the 100 mf scale is true at midpoint, the error is a bit over 4% at northern and southern borders. Since I'm not going to be driving the roads or buying land there, I am OK with a minor discrepancy :-).

Assuming your depicted 100mf scale is at 49.5 degr, being what looks like a hair less than a degree, makes a single mf about 0.7 km.

That distortion doesn't sound too bad. It's certainly not enough to expect a noticable "Greenland as big as Africa" effect. Trouble is, N-S, each of those metrigrees is more like 100km or 62 miles.** On the upside, that's constant across the whole map. Now, if you wanted to put up with the plus/minus 4% distortion / inaccuracy in E-W measurements, and fix the discrepancy between N-S and E-W grids (and scales), you CoUlD shrink the spacing between the lines of longitude. Say, to an average amount of 7/10 the spacing of what you have now. Leave the terrain the same, the nation would just span about 10.7 metrigrees E-W instead of 7.5 metrigrees. You'd leave the scale the same - the E-W width would still be about 750mf. Correcting things this way would mean your mf's are more like 0.95km each.

Like Hai-Etlik says, the map will still have a bit of distortion -- to make shapes and sizes the closest match to "reality" one would expect the lines of latitude to curve. Or even if you were using an orthographic projection (simply "looking straight down" on the globe, at the centerpoint of the map) both sets of lines would curve a bit toward the center, close to each edge of the map.

But it's an imaginary place, ja? So a bit of fudging doesn't bother me --- in fantasy maps I shoot for plausibility or "looks about right". I have seen maps that simply acknowledged distortion by stating under a scale bar something like "scale correct N-S everywhere and E-W along 55th parallel - approximate elsewhere".
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Now - separate issue - something's wonky with some of your altitude shading. If I look at the Quillas valley in the E, you've got that slightly-lighter 0-50m band next to the ocean, and quite a ways up the valley. Good so far. And the road from Verity's Town to Halios City looks like it traverses most all your altitude bands, steadily upwards. Then if you intend that 50-100m band that the label Manaheim sits on to run all the way to the sea, that's maybe OK, if you intend 50m cliffs at the shore (or some really steep slope, anyway).

From Galvat over to the western coastal border with the Taevon Kingdoms, though, it gets less plausible - UNLESS you really do intend it to be 50-200m cliffs the whole way. I'd instead expect to see at least a sliver of the bottom one, two or three (!) altitudes show up at the coast - if not all along there, at least in places. If you really are depicting serious coastal cliffs, then Wow - it's definitely an interesting place! Hmmm - interesting society anyway - they seem to prefer high-and-dry for their major cities. If t'were an earthlike bunch of people I'd expect to see more along rivers.

Except for the coast, all the rest of the topography is quite believable.

Anyway - advice and criticisms aside - I like this and I've saved a copy in my inspiration folder. Will there be more, or is it a standalone country & map?


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** warning - do not base any life-threatening or major financial decisions on these calculations - back-of-envelope-level math herein is warranteed only for fantasy use and could result in distorted planets, political strife, or hair loss. Use with care, your mileage may vary, check your results, refrigerate after opening.

cereth
11-22-2011, 10:05 AM
Great looking map, sir!

Clercon
11-24-2011, 06:47 PM
Really nice!

davoush
11-24-2011, 07:10 PM
Fantastic!

ravells
11-24-2011, 07:40 PM
Don't know about all that science stuff, but I think it look gorgeous. Love the colours.

Hai-Etlik
11-24-2011, 11:34 PM
Don't know about all that science stuff, but I think it look gorgeous. Love the colours.

All the geodesy stuff jbgibson and I said boils down to: the grid should be tall rectangles (Roughly 1:2) rather than squares (or rather that that would be fairly close to correct, if still not exactly right). In fact, since it is so close to 1:2, a simple relabelling would work reasonably well.

And I do agree the colours are quite good. The relief shading looks a bit odd in places, most likely a result of an artificial DEM, but that's fairly common with fictional maps as realistic artificial DEMs are hard.

Katto
11-25-2011, 04:30 AM
Nice work! One of the styles I wish to create in Illustrator.

RobA
11-26-2011, 05:43 PM
Nice and clean-

You just can't go wrong with a shaded relief map for a modern style.

-Rob A>

Daelin
11-30-2011, 04:03 AM
@jbgibson and Hai-Etlik

Valid points, all. Stuff to consider for next map? Sure.

Will there be more maps like this? Well, yes, of course, as soon as I finish my education, get a job, settle down and get some more dang free time!

gwiley
11-30-2011, 02:04 PM
Your use of colored elevations is very well done. And continuing it into the sea works naturally. I've never used a legend myself but I can see from looking at yours just how useful and readable they can be.
Regards, Gary