View Full Version : [CWBP] Thinking BIG - 600 miles

04-30-2008, 03:18 PM
I was told that these squares were 600 miles across (give or take).

Its a little hard to get my head around that much land.

Washington DC to New York city is, according to google, 229 miles by highway. As the crow flies it might be roughly 200 miles.

- So these squares are 3 times the distance from New York City to Washington.

Washington to Quebec City is likely about 600 miles as the crow flies.

London England to Berlin Germany is 684 miles by highway - 583 miles as the crow flies.

The isle of Britain is less than 600 miles nth-sth (548 by my inaccurate google earthing.)

I'm going to have to give the scale a rethink.

600x600 miles is 360,000 miles square.
The land area of Germany is only 216,998 miles.
The land area of Britain (Scotland, England, Nth Ireland) is 152,112 miles

So each of these squares is over twice the area of Britain and more than half again the area of Germany.


04-30-2008, 03:30 PM
It just means one really giant impact crater. But thats cool too. It could possibly be the defining event in the planet's history, who knows.


04-30-2008, 03:36 PM
My region is fairly simple because everything defined so far is natural and I haven't said how big each tree is :).

I'm thinking that down the road we will have our jobs cut out for us to put cities, villages and roads in these squares. It also makes me wonder what will and wont show up in our views. When I'm thinking of the number of roads it helps to imagine Germany.


The Cartographist
04-30-2008, 05:09 PM
Sigurd - Really good point. 600 miles is a LONG way. Which is why in an earlier thread I proposed we NOT expand the CWBP into new regions. There is SO MUCH to map right now, that we don't need to open up new areas.

I've also found (since living in the UK) that distances are relative. 100 miles is not considered very far in the States, but it is considered quite a long way in the UK. I think it's easy for Americans to think in terms of vast distances when, in reality, vast distance or large area is not needed.

04-30-2008, 05:28 PM
I think we should try and make the most of the Wiki and other ways of presenting our various areas. With so much to do it seems silly to not do precisely what we most enjoy.

We should probably learn to think small inside of each region. Germany has how many cities, castles and whatnot?

Story should guide the development of a region not geographic happenstance.

Talking only of my situation - I had intended to have nothing but ruins. I'm going to have to think of some, perhaps monstrous, inhabitants. 360000 miles is a lot of space for one ruin :).


04-30-2008, 05:57 PM
thanks for that post sigurd, I've been wanting to figure out just how much area we've been mapping, and your comparisons were awesome. Now I have to go back and add a bunch of places...

05-01-2008, 12:19 AM
This is a close approximation of the scale involved.

It took the early pioneers a year to cross the United States using wagons. That's about 4 of our regions wide. There are so many thousands of cities in the USA, and I'm sure medieval times had many fewer towns, but all the same, we need to seriously reconsider the scale we're using.

I suggest the scale is halved or quartered. This will make the planet smaller, but judging by the maps I've looked at, the regions would fit better with a 300 or 150 mile width/length.

Just my 2 cents.

05-01-2008, 02:24 AM
See, this is the problem with everyone concentrating on the idea that each area is 600 x 600 miles. They are not.

The total North/South distance is 2200 miles. So each area (there are 5 rows) is actually 440 miles north/south.

The East/West is at the bottom of the map is approximately 2300 miles (or regions 21, 22, 23, 24, & 25 are each approximate 385 miles at their bottom.

At the northern portion of the map, the distance across the top of regions 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 (plus the blank region) is approximately 1200 miles east/west, for a distance of 200 miles east/west.

Now, the Earth, has a the following:

Equatorial Circumference 24,902 miles

This world is 25,000 circumference, so only a marginal amount larger than the world we all live on.

The attached file is the Earth Superimposed over our World. This will give you an actual idea of how large our area really is, and you can see it is not bigger than all of the U.S., but rather, about the same size as Ontario, Quebec, nanuvit, and the Atlantic provinces of Eastern Canada.

05-01-2008, 03:39 AM
London England to Berlin Germany is 684 miles by highway - 583 miles as the crow flies.

As far as I know, there is no real way to get from London to Berlin by car - at least, not without resorting to the tunneltrain, or the ferry.
;-) But that isn't sooo important.

But yeah, 600 miles is, maybe, a little too big. I figured that while scaling my map - I came to realize that every mm was three miles! Here's to marking cities on the map...

Edit: On the other hand, if each region is 440 n/s and between 220-385 e/w... it sounds more plausible. But then again, we have squares, with actually odd lengths.
So either we start handing out trapezes, knock off any scales, or just mutually agree on 440m n/s&e/w... (I guess...)

05-01-2008, 07:34 AM
There will be anomolies
Personally, I'm not too too concerned with scale problems and anomolies. This is our first project and everyone is having fun. Thats more important.

squares are square
I hear what you're saying about the curvature of the world map Neonknight but rightly or wrongly, my section is a square. If the flat maps get finished people will spend far more time on the flat maps than the globe map.

I dont think we can affectively map thinking that every pixel is a third shorter than it is wide. Its just too hard for 12+ map makers to have different scales north-south than east-west. The global plotting in FT is a thing of beauty. The globes are cool and useful as regional maps. I think we have to accept that the squares are square because thats what we have to work with.

I also dont think we should change the scale.
Shrinking the world would change all the information generated in the various maps and make future measurements on something like google earth impossible.
Besides, there's a lot to learn in adapting to various land masses. I think its better to develop regions in a square than shrink the squares.

Adapt Region Names & Rethink
If each square is half again the size of Germany, we should probably develop our regional names a little bit. Unless this world has cars, european distances make much more sense to me. Cities and villages 12 miles apart etc...
Most people have coastline, I think we should look at settlement patterns springing from the coastline and rivers.

Perhaps we should trade regions after they're 'done' ?
One way to adapt to the size of the regions might be to have more people create into them. That would give genuine variety and maybe reflect the size better. How many different stories are between London and Berlin?


05-01-2008, 11:53 AM
This is a fantasy world, and adventurers need vast areas of nothing in which to encounter monsters etc. Middle Earth (for example) had big regions of wilderness in it...I don't really see a problem with the scale.

-Of course if people want to have dense populations, they are free to do so.

05-01-2008, 01:07 PM
Its just too hard for 12+ map makers to have different scales north-south than east-west.

Agreed. This is why we see so many real life country maps with "Not to scale" written somewhere. However, maybe we could fudge it by taking an average between the E/W and N/S distances on the maps, and make a scale according to that. For example, if your region is something like 440 miles N/S and 300 miles E/W, then you could make a scale based on a square map of 370ish miles NSEW.

The only side effect I can foresee is that the northern maps will cover smaller areas.

Here is a diagram that explains the idea. Notice the white squares are maps, and the yellow stretchy stuff is how they connect to each other. Imagine that they are wrapped around a globe and it makes more sense.

05-02-2008, 11:56 AM
Could we not just get pictures from the Fterrains Globe with the Graticule (the lines of Longtitude & Latitude). That would give us sections that are correct to the globe and we could accept the morphing of the polar regions.

We could still assign 'blocks' within the lines of latitude & longitude.


Handsome Rob's tutorial uses this method.

It seems to me we do that or simply map to the flat map and use the globe for navigation, weather etc....

05-02-2008, 12:21 PM
You could also use an equal-area projection. HR used Lambert Azimuthal EA, I believe, centered on each tile.

I personally like equal-area cylindrical projections. No wasted pixels. I know a lot of folks were put off by Peters', "Mercator Projection is racist," silliness, you could always call it Gall Projection. Actually, I prefer the Behrmann Projection with standard parallels at 30 N/S, it seems to look less, "continents hanging out to dry."

05-02-2008, 04:15 PM
I've been thinking a bit about this and:

1. I'm grateful for the organization so far. Everyone has contributed to a very neat experiment.

This is a fantasy world, and adventurers need vast areas of nothing in which to encounter monsters etc. Middle Earth (for example) had big regions of wilderness in it...I don't really see a problem with the scale.

2. This is a very valid point. What we have is completely workable and interesting. I've enjoyed my tile and have learned a lot from trying to make it better.

3 - Most importantly - I don't want to try and change anything now. People have their tiles and their plans shouldn't be derailed.

Personally, I think some of these details have merit and might be a good for a second go at this sort of project. Torg and the others who have done the lions share of the organization so far can make whatever calls they like and I'll be happy to go along.

Everything about scales and possible ways of organizing things has to remain hypothetical at this point.


05-02-2008, 09:38 PM
As I am new here take my opinion with a grain of salt (though I did try to post in the intro forums and got back a blank page, I will try again if it doesn't post).

I don't think scale, in this case matters, you can set your map to any scale you want, not literally, but as in it would take a Mastodon 40 days to cross your tile, if that was the cartographers mode of travel, and the players went by that. I have seen several old maps as part of my genealogical research which listed scale as how far a Ranger could travel in a day, or how far a revolutionary company could muster out and still arrive fresh,, granted these were drawn by "locals" in one of my ancestors companies ( Bedell's Company of Rangers, 1777, NH), but that is what gave them flavor.

The whole Guild World map, as it is now, if plotted top left corner at 90 and -180 degrees and the bottom right at -90 and 180 degrees in Mercator gives about 300 miles a tile average, so what.

I suggest you set the tiles to what ever size can be agreed upon for continuity and run with it.

Google maps, and your work does look good on my comp/local server in google maps,( I couldn't resist) , will still display it, and no one will ever know the difference, as long as the top left and bottom right corners are as above, if you don't add an interface for them to measure with they will have to take for granted what the map scale is said to be. Google Maps doesn't really care what your scale is, it just cares about tile names and resolution of the original image ( the bigger the better).

Which brings me to another point, which really should be another thread but I keep loosing my connection due to the Blizzard so I will ask here, is there interest in seeing a google map of this GuildWorld Project, I have spoken to RedRobes (here), and the key members of the ME-DEM Project (RedRobes is one) and we would like to see your work showcased, we have the server space for the tiles, the programs to tile your imagery (well, most of that is done, better to be almost ready if one is going to make an offer), and a website design in work, which I am more than happy to send out some screen caps of for input.
Right now it has the working name of Inspired Cartography, and would host both me-dem work and Cartographers' Guild work, with full credit given and links back to the home Project.
As it stands now, I have a 16kx16k pixels image of the joined tiles (those that were done when RedRobes sent them to me), a 16kx16k pixels image of Throbmorton for higher resolution, more zoom levels done,,,and I would be happy to rerun the tiles as they are done, or add higher resolution subsets for individual tiles as needed, it only takes an hour or so to do.

If any one has any input,ideas, please start a thread, perhaps called InsCarto, and answer there so this thread doesn't wander any further than I have taken it (my connection is flaky, so I am doing this in notepad to be quick), I am more than happy to listen to anything you all have to say, from website ideas to kml overlays for safe areas and ,,well anything...

Edit: I just had a look at Sigurd's post (I think) with the scale bar, great idea actually. If every one uses a scale bar of the same "length" on their map then they can set the scale units to whatever fits there creation. As Kasim's post below says "Wagon Travel", a Wagon can travel to the first division in x days and the full length of the bar in xx days. Though I would really like to see one labeled Mastodon Travel, for who ever thought of having those great woolly beasts, would not a Cartographer hired to make a map for a warlike people base the scale on how far their main offensive weapon could trundle in one day, or even the poor folks who had to defend against such an onslaught.
If the players who will use the maps have trouble getting their head around the distance relationship then comparisons could be offered on the Wiki, this would make for an interesting read in itself
As long as the scale bar has a "known" agreed upon distance scale will remain consistent throughout the realms for the players.

05-02-2008, 10:07 PM
Yeah, I ran into an issue with my maps when I was doing them up as well. I originally created the eastern arm of my little continent to be roughly the size as Australia. Then when doing some prelimiary common sense checks, I realized it would take 3 months travel for adventurers to get out of the region they were starting in. It would have been several weeks to get to the nearest village.

I ended up rescaling and eventually redoing portions of the map, not based on miles or kilometers but based on "days of wagon travel". I basically had to reprogram my method of thinking to not think at 70 mph, but at a crawl. That way distant foreign lands were still distant, yet areas they were meant to travel and adventure would be accessable. Now it takes about 3 and a half weeks to get out of the region.