View Full Version : Cartography Resources...?

03-23-2008, 06:33 AM
Well, heres my first post...

I'm wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of any good historical cartography resources? I am currently working on a medieval Campaign Setting that could do with some grounding in reality. I'm thinking about town layouts, fortifications and how they evolve - among other things.

Also, I'm keen to find some data that can be imported into Fractal Terrains to create accurate maps of Earth and Mars? If anyone knows where I can find this I'd much appreciate it.

Until then, I'll keep looking

I will be posting maps soon, promise


03-23-2008, 06:47 AM
Here is some info on how Castles and such evolved:


03-23-2008, 09:48 AM
I am not a fractal terrains guy myself but the guy who writes it also writes Wilbur which is a terrain editor - its free and from here...


What you will need is some digital elevation models - DEMs. The best source for these is the USGS site and they have a nice DEM server here...


So between the two I think you can get the area you want, convert it and import it into FT.

Mars is a little more tricky. Firstly there is GoogleMars


and I am sure that NASA has some topo data for it. Getting the google data into a height map grayscale might be a little tricky - you need to do a gradient remap. I know Image Magick can do that job but I don't know how to do it myself. I have seen the tut here tho...


For accurate maps of the earth then the NASA's blue marble is a doozy but its very very large at the full res as a TIFF at 52000x26000 - beautiful tho.


For castles the wiki is a good source. Also for some old maps and pics


this one is a good start but I am sure there are a lot more. The pics from this site are usually public domain tho as they are often out of copyright.

03-23-2008, 10:58 AM
Of course, there's Medieval Demographics Made Easy by S. John Ross and all the associated calculators others have made to go along with it:

And also this thread started by Pyrandon has some good advice for building towns and cities: