View Full Version : Pen and ink map comission

02-20-2012, 08:58 AM
Hi all,

I just found the cartographers Guild website & descided to sign up. I've been in the midst of creating my second comissioned pen and ink map which will promote artist's studios, galleries, museums and slow food along the coast of New Brunswick Canada, and Maine. There are a load of seaways and ocean in view this time, so I'd like it to have nautical feel. In particular, I'm trying to figure out the classical map borders which have markings with numbered degrees indicated (I have no idea what this is, but guess there is a formulatic use of this degree/numbering/measurement system). I'd like to be able to do that same thing around the border of my new map - any idea anyone?
Many thanks,


02-20-2012, 12:14 PM
You might want to check out a few of the guys who do the more realistic maps around here:


I would add more links but I can't seem to locate the finished maps thumbs anymore...I'm guessing we discontinued it due to server load.

I can't recall off the top of my head who has used that style.

02-20-2012, 06:18 PM
Well, the grid of lines indicating the coordinate system is called a graticule. The math behind it involves a function called a projection, which is what takes a position on the curved surface of the Earth and gives a position on a flat map. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map_projection

So, how you go about this depends on the projection you are using. If you are using an existing map as a base to trace over, you'll need to find out what the projection is and line things up with it. If you are just sort of freehanding it, you are basically out of luck. There's nothing wrong with such a map, but you shouldn't include any sort of indicators that it is more precise than it really is. That would essentially be lying. So no graticule, no scale bar, no rhumb lines, and no compass rose.

If you are still at an early enough stage that you can draw your base map as needed, then you can set it up however you want. This generally requires tracking down suitable data and running it through some specialized software like a GIS to get it in the projection you want. Natural Earth is a good, easy to use source of such data. OpenStreetMap is another rather more detailed one, though it's a bit harder to work with in a GIS as a result, and is under a Creative Commons license rather than public domain.

Here's a quick base map in Mercator projection (A projection created for marine navigation) The data is from Natural Earth. A compass rose would be appropriate if you want to add one. It includes a 1 degree graticule. The intersection near Windsor, Nova Scotia is at 45 N 64 W.