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Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 08:15 AM
Hi everyone,

I've undertaken a huge world building project for my fantasy novel. As I was looking for fantasy maps to help me with realism I stumbled upon this amazing site! I had no idea there was a whole group of people like yourselves making realistic maps in a wide variety of styles. I must say quite a few of them really impressed me!!! So I love being here and I've been drooling over the maps for over a week!

The quality of my map is low because I'm working in kolourpaint on Ubuntu (no money for a new pc or windows). And I've been messing with the map a lot.
In my own humble opinion the continents are beginning to take a realistic shape, which is very important to me. I'm mostly concerned about which area would have which climate. I really need my map to be realistic when it comes to climate, rainfall, and so on. Who can advise me some?

The discolored sea area is where I'm going to drop smaller islands, as that is a sunken continent. And the novel will take place in the mediterranean kind of area near the center of the map. I have a bunch of history ready to be adapted to the realism of the map, story setting details will need to be adjusted as well.

I would appreciate any help or advice. (I can not receive pm's yet so please answer here)

Thanks!!!
Bjorn

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Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 09:48 AM
Using some info from http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?17959-Map-for-a-Worldbuilding-Project-Majy-sa I'm trying to create the climate myself, but I'm not knowledgeable.

loogie
03-27-2012, 10:08 AM
Well, let me be the first to say the landmasses look quite good, they just.. feel right you know?

as far as climates.. thats a big job... especially if you're looking to make them realistic.. cause there are just so many things that come into play. The sun for one, can cause a series of hot bands... or even bands of desert on a planet, ocean currents cause a lot of our climates as well... as well as numerous other things... I would say the best start would be ocean currents.. figuring out which are warm and which are cold currents... I dunno if anyone has any processes they've done to get something realistic, but that'd be where i'd start...

Mountains also cause a lot of climate dispersion by blocking it, the whole concept of dry areas on the opposite side of the wind on a mt, so.. getting your mt ranges would help... large bodies of water (lakes) rivers and stuff can help too.. also ice ages (if any) and current ice flows.. pretty much anything that can change/modify/block temperature effects all of the climate... and thats just for starters :P

Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 11:46 AM
Cool! Thanks Ioogie... From looking at oceanic currents I think I got pretty realistic currents now. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm trying to mess with climate zones and mountains, for whatever reason that seems harder, but I'm still messing with it.

It seems my previous post got eaten, where I said I was trying to use info from http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?17959-Map-for-a-Worldbuilding-Project-Majy-sa


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Joshua
03-27-2012, 12:04 PM
I second the comment on the landmasses. They do look good. They also look like they have a natural curvature going on that would suite some projection style of an atlas... But I don't know what style. Yet. Now I want to do some research and learning.

Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 12:21 PM
Thanks. I'm trying to place tectonic plates and mountains. And this feedback means a lot to me, this task seems so daunting! :-)

octopod
03-27-2012, 12:40 PM
Looks very cool! Is that whole big sea in the upper right corner very shallow (epeiric), or just the little sea near the top center? Either way, I love epeiric seas, I think they're underused in a lot of maps just because we don't have many on the Earth right now.

Also, I would tend to expect a westward equatorial flow between the continents about 1/3 of the way from the right side of the map, since there's nothing to block the flow.

Veldehar
03-27-2012, 12:44 PM
Your currents look pretty good, but you have an unnecessary band at the equator. Your equatorial countercurrent doesn't really need to be a loop, the east to west flows from your gyres basically equate to that loop. You are also missing a small section of what would likely be a counter-equatorial flow. Also in your northeast section there appears to be an oddity, which I don't think would work well. Here you have two gyres sort of meeting which should likely be one that sticks with more earthly travel. Your warm equatorial water should go around that island left and right and then continue north before swinging back east and dropping south. Or at least that would be the way to avoid some curious weather issues. I'm not an expert, but for surface currents I think that change would be a good bet.

You've a good deal of land mass and a fairly open equator, your ITCZ will likely be an interesting propellant of weather.

Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 01:06 PM
Looks very cool! Is that whole big sea in the upper right corner very shallow (epeiric), or just the little sea near the top center? Either way, I love epeiric seas, I think they're underused in a lot of maps just because we don't have many on the Earth right now.

Also, I would tend to expect a westward equatorial flow between the continents about 1/3 of the way from the right side of the map, since there's nothing to block the flow.

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Like this? Thanks!

Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 01:12 PM
Your currents look pretty good, but you have an unnecessary band at the equator. Your equatorial countercurrent doesn't really need to be a loop, the east to west flows from your gyres basically equate to that loop. You are also missing a small section of what would likely be a counter-equatorial flow. Also in your northeast section there appears to be an oddity, which I don't think would work well. Here you have two gyres sort of meeting which should likely be one that sticks with more earthly travel. Your warm equatorial water should go around that island left and right and then continue north before swinging back east and dropping south. Or at least that would be the way to avoid some curious weather issues. I'm not an expert, but for surface currents I think that change would be a good bet.

You've a good deal of land mass and a fairly open equator, your ITCZ will likely be an interesting propellant of weather.
This is a bit difficult for me to follow. I found out what ITCZ is on google. I will remove the unnecessary band at the equator. There will be islands coming there soon anyway. :)
I can't entirely follow whee you'd adjust the currents otherwise. Could you maybe quickly scribble over it in paint or so? Please and thank you. :)

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This is as far as I understood. :)

Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 01:21 PM
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This is how far I got with plate tectonics. I hope it's not too bad!

Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 01:49 PM
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Mild changes on the right side of the map for tectonic plates.

octopod
03-27-2012, 04:26 PM
A quick note on plate tectonics: plates tend to converge at 120 degree angles -- that is, three per intersection. So the intersection I marked (1) doesn't work at all, and a lot of the others are too square-looking (although your map projection may be messing with my head).

Also, one of them doesn't join up across the north pole (2).

The islands marked (3) look to me like the Phillippines, i.e. like an island arc, which means they'd be behind a subducting ocean plate. You already have a divergent margin out there in the ocean so you could just add a convergent margin in front of the islands. In fact, overall I'm not sure you have quite enough convergent margin to account for all that sea-floor spreading you've got (sorry about the little subduction triangles, I was trying to work it out).

Your southernmost three plates (4) looks like they're divergent on all sides -- this is a problem unless all that seafloor is being consumed further north, which I don't see, or your earth is getting bigger, which I suppose is possible given this is a fantasy world!

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Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 05:05 PM
Thank you. Is this better/more realistic?

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octopod
03-27-2012, 05:31 PM
Sorry, I should have specified -- my little yellow triangles are on the plate that is subducting. So that upper left corner is still the way you had it before.

I don't understand your notation, I think. What do you mean by the sort of plate boundary in the lower left, with one side moving away and the other staying still? Maybe establishing overall plate motions would make this easier to think about, so that it would be obvious whether things added up or not.

I would also lose the plate boundary that goes through the middle of that inland sea with the two blue continents. I think there's plenty of plate motion enough to explain those mountain chains as is, and the H-shaped thing there looks kind of implausible.

What is the little blob of islands right in the middle? Does that need its own plate? If not you could erase the boundary to its south, as I'm not sure what it's adding.

Hyrrow
03-27-2012, 05:42 PM
Thanks, can't do anything till tonight, but thanks so much! I got to take care of a few things first. :)
It's now 2:42 pm for me.

Gidde
03-27-2012, 09:30 PM
I don't have anything really helpful to add except encouragement; hats off to you for doing the daunting. I tried and tried to do this and failed every time, so now I just click PlanetGen's create planet over and over till I get something I like. Good luck! :)

Veldehar
03-28-2012, 05:47 AM
Post a copy with some regional names, easier to discuss that way, heh heh. Need to do that myself.

Hyrrow
03-28-2012, 06:36 PM
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Thanks. Have I got the climates right? Are there more areas that could be changed to temperate forests?

I'm taking care of names now. :-)

Hyrrow
03-28-2012, 07:23 PM
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Ok, these are the current names for the continents.

Veldehar
03-29-2012, 11:17 AM
Off the top of my head, first the current question:

The currents on the east of Arya and Katar are a place to look at. Your gyre here sweeps out and around the island east of Arya and then continues east. It could track around the west side and east side of that island and continue north to form a single gyre that cools near the arctic and sweeps back south on the west coasts of Sakura and Ystar. Now what you have could be correct, there is nothing impossible about it (it might even be likely) from the limited knowledge of the world climate, but the main thing is to be aware of the possibility of going the way I mentioned for climate choices. The more I look at your map, the less problem I see with how it now sits. The importance here is one of the major tenets of climate, warm waters evaporate and create moisture/rain faster and easier than cold current waters. The west coasts tend to be cooler and east coasts tend to be warmer, although this is naturally mitigated by many factors. Winds blowing onshore from a cold current will carry less moisture than those blowing in from a warm current, a good thing to think about all over the world.

Note: I'd be curious to see your tropics of capricorn and cancer put down for better reference of that zone.

Now onto your climates. You seem to have a lot of rain shadows unaccounted for. For instance, Tarantia. There is a mountain chain there that begs for something. At that latitude most likely your major storm systems are moving west to east with the jet stream. We've no real clue of the terrain heading across the bulk of the continent, so all is good until you hit those mountains. At this point any moisture left in the air is going to dump, creating a rain shadow on the east coast. Now this could be mitigated by tropical storms coming up from the equator (like the east coast of the US which pulls moisture from these tropical cells as well as the warm coastal waters) except that unlike the eastern US you have Naila down there that would likely inhibit tropical storms reaching that rain shadow zone. More likely any tropical storms would track to the southern coast of Tarantia (possible hurricane zone, although Ningya could deflect a little of that energy) and drive moisture laden air into the middle of the continent, as occurs in the middle of the US. In the midwest rainy years are often brought on by tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and not simply brought in on the jet stream.

Both Fellion and Gaya also seem to have mountains begging for rain shadows. Again, these look like they would fall into a west to east storm track with the jet stream, so you are looking at rain shadows on the lee (east) side of those mountains. And the little brown coastal area of Fellion would likely flip-flop with the green to the west, as you have a warm current on its east coast. And that rain shadow could be mitigated by tropical moistures coming down from the equator also, so the rain shadow wouldn't necessarily be desert.

North of the mountains on Sakura would be damned cold and dry. The area of water and land surrounded by Tarantia, Arya, Katar and Naila would be interesting.

One of the most interesting deserts to look at is the Atacama, which sits on the coast in Chile where fog is the main moisture it gets, and it is a great example of cold currents messing with things.

I could probably prattle on much longer but that will do for now, LOL.

loogie
03-29-2012, 11:47 AM
wow. Those currents are quite nice!

From what of I understood from Veldehar I agree.. he seems to have thought it out much more in detail than I have... Thats a good portion of work done! Make sure you keep even the most draft of your maps for they can come in handy in the future if any questions arise.. usually keeping the most refined of each type of data is the best.. Another tough thing but I feel can be worthwhile is geological history, tectonic's is great, but things like earthquakes, mountain building.. glacier advancement and receeding.. general land types can be a great thing.. really good for deciding things like vegitation.. for instance, knowing the location of something like the candian shield vs the great lakes st lawrence lowlands can pretty much define the soil context of the area... canadian shield will tend to have bedrock very close to the surface, if not ON the surface, so farming (and thus much vegitation) is hard to grow... pines grow very well on it, which is one of the reasons the forests are so huge in northern canada... the other reason is the weakness of the land for farming, so cities (especially before trains and such) had a hard time forming... I did work for a conservancy in Peterborough ontario, the beginning of the shield, and it was crazy how many abandoned villages were in the area, specifically once the railway changed locations these cities lost their supply lines, and therefore people had to leave... in a fantasy realm... it would be quite hard to keep them supplied...

Glacial flows (ice ages) can create some interesting landmasses, such as deposits (lines of debris left where the glacier stops, and retreats...), drumlins, lakes and the like...

It all depends on how detailed you wish to get, and it's usually best to start generic and get more detailed as you need it.. right now your already seeming to be farther on than pretty much any of the world's I've built.. and I really like how they're shaping up.. the contents all look quite interesting, and seeing them come together with climates makes em look even more exciting!

Veldehar
03-29-2012, 01:08 PM
Another good one is Australia. If I remember correctly, and my memory isn't always great, at least some of Australia would be a lot greener if not for the nutrient poor soil. That isn't the bigger cause of course, that would be that Australia has moved its way into a subtropic high pressure zone over the last 45 million years or so. The fact that Australia is also near the center of its tectonic plate heavily influences the lack of fertility as it doesn't have the typical seismic activity of other land masses, and volcanos are good at building soil fertility. Areas of high volcanic history will have very fertile soils.

Another important note with zones is that great soil still won't grow worth a hoot without rain, but all the rain in the world for poor soil will do no good, and simply cause massive erosion.

All and all with fantasy climates my outlook is to understand all the rules I can so that when I break them I know it and why. But in the end, climate is simply so vast and complex that if you need a region to be a certain way, you can probably justify it with minimal magic so long as you keep things making sense on a broad scale.

Hyrrow
03-29-2012, 04:15 PM
Thanks, here are the lines you wanted to see, like capricorn, approximately. Sometimes things seem to get technical for me on this site, English is not my first language, but I'm learning!

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In the mean time I'm adjusting the climate things with the info you guys gave me! :)

Veldehar
03-29-2012, 06:43 PM
I've read plenty of posts too technical for me and English is my first language, LOL.

A fun thing with tropical weather patterns is to look at the ITCZ, and I just stumbled across the website found below. But basically, where the NTCZ goes rani will follow its low pressure system (jungles of the Congo) and no rain north and south in the high pressure (the Sahara desert). The more land mass being warmed by the sun, the more the ITCZ will rise north and south seasonally, so Asia really brings the ITCZ north.

http://people.cas.sc.edu/carbone/modules/mods4car/africa-itcz/index.html

Hyrrow
03-30-2012, 11:33 PM
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I added some desert according to the comments giving. In fact I did that yesterday. LOL.

And today I've been redoing rivers and names for the area around that inner sea. I'm going to the movies now, to watch John Carter. But when I get back I hope to continue the inner sea map. Also I'll look over all the posts to see if I forgot anything or didn't understand. I love this place!!!

silverhead
03-31-2012, 06:32 AM
This is coming along nicely. I've read through all the thread and you're getting heaps of good advice. I'm eager to see what you come up with when all the climate is ready :-)

Veldehar
03-31-2012, 09:35 AM
Looking good, but remember that the long southern coast of Tarantia would probably get a lot of tropical moisture and Azuria's mountains could enlarge that desert... but those are coulds, not have to bes. LOL. Looking forward to seeing more.

Hyrrow
04-01-2012, 12:51 PM
Thanks so much!!! I gave the southern coast of Tarantia more subtropical forest and enlarged Azuria's desert. Thanks for pointing that out. I've been tinkering with the map of that inner sea, so that's probably the next thing I'll post. But I'm looking at everything, I'll need to correct the tectonic plates too. :-)

Hyrrow
04-03-2012, 07:26 PM
Does this make sense for the inner sea area, for the heights and rivers basics? I know the map is very dirty, but I'd like to get it right first, then fix details and beauty. :)
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Hyrrow
04-03-2012, 07:31 PM
What isn't right yet?

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Gidde
04-03-2012, 09:05 PM
Your deserts look too far away from the equator, imho. Usually deserts are centered on the tropic lines (23 deg north or south of the equator). Your rain shadows in the more temperate areas would be more like dry-ish grasslands (like the great plains in the US) as opposed to deciduous forest outside the rain shadow (like Michigan, where I live). The actual deserts happen further south (and usually still in rain shadows), like the one Phoenix, AZ is in the middle of.

(Sorry for the US-centric explanation; I live here, so I'm more familiar with our climate than elsewhere.)

Veldehar
04-04-2012, 12:27 PM
If there is a desert that bugs me most it is on Tarantia, that region probably gets a bunch of moisture, so you'd another explanation (easy enough) to really have it make sense. And as Gidde noted it is a bit north of the typical high pressure zone that aids in much desertification. But being north of it really isn't so much an issue as having another explanation and I just don't see one for this region based on the map. Storms should reach this locale rather easily.

What I am going to do with my world, amongst many other things, is to actually track its ITCZ and Jet Streams (very generally, obviously) to help determine likelihoods of climate. If you flip through some maps of of the ITCZ and jet streams as well as rainfall maps you will begin to get a feel for things, then throw in maps of mountain ranges to see their effects.

That being said, on your closer up river map, my gut says most rainfall would be on the southern side of those mountains as tropic moisture would certainly crash into those and dump on the south. The islands could begin to fall under the sway of the jet stream's moisture. This puts a major rain shadow on the east coast of Tarantia there especially after the stream has been over land that long, the air in that shadow should be moisture starved, because tropical moisture is either going to crash into those southern mountains or slide past to the larger Tarantia belt. Even if your ITCZ is pulled north in the northern summer the moisture is going to crash into those souther mountains before reaching that secluded area. Some thought could also go into whether that is a warm water or cold water region.

Hyrrow
04-04-2012, 12:47 PM
Thanks to everyone. I think that sometimes it may seem I'm not listening to everything, but if that's the case it's purely because I don't understand 100%. I'm grateful for all feedback though, and I try to implement as much as possible.

Veldehar, I'd really like to see your world. :-)

Today I don't know if I can do much, I've been having a sinus headache since yesterday, quite painful. :)

Veldehar
04-05-2012, 12:47 PM
I've an early WIP in the regional/world folder, but lack of time is my enemy right now, which I guess it almost always is, but more so recently, LOL.

Veldehar
04-05-2012, 01:24 PM
Some very basic guidelines... 15-25 latitude you will find moist tropical climates, 20-35 dry climates, moist subtropical mid-latitude climate 30-50 degrees. Following poleward from there, you head into moist continental mid-latitude climates and polar climates. Here's a fun page that messes with my mind, making me want that kind of map for my world, LOL.

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/global/climate_max.htm

octopod
04-06-2012, 06:51 PM
It looks to me like there should be an inland desert in Fellion. And you seem to have an inexplicably reversed arrow in your circulation patterns between Fellion and Azuria.

What's that little island east of Arya and why is it desert, rather than a climate like that of Sicily or Cyprus or something?

jbgibson
04-10-2012, 12:41 AM
As an aside, since you seem to be doing well with the mechanics beneath your climate and topography, I'll just note that later, if you want an easier path to a beautiful map, your chosen inexpensive Ubuntu platform will support the extremely capable graphics app called the Gimp. The *free* capable app the Gimp :-). You may now return to your previously scheduled climatology, where I'll cheer from the sidelines :-).