View Full Version : July 2012 Challenge Entry - Chyogamsidyo Harbor

07-18-2012, 02:31 AM
OK - if I don't quit staring at clouds I'll never get this map going. So - what I decided to start with:

Picked an intricate cloud, dropped it into PhotoPlus 11, and dialed the threshold up and down til I saw something interesting - looked like a nice sheltered harbor.

Did three slightly different gaussian blurs, each thresholded to about the same outline. Stacked, then set the top two to partial transparency. Merged. Found all edges. I usually drop back to PhotoPlus 6 or 7 for that step - it gives crisper edges. This found an aliased edge, with some funky gray artifacts. Well enough - thresholded that to get back to a simple b&w layer. White is going to be land, in this case.


Took the original cloud, grayscale, placed beneath the edge layer. Keeping that for elevations, maybe. Flood erased white of the edge layer, leaving just coasts. Kind of thick for my usual style of one-pixel coastlines, but could be useful if I do an overall view and a zoom-in. Gives me leeway to smallify the whole thing if I want later - the present 3072x2304 may be a tad big.

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Copied the B&W edge layer and contiguous flood filled my ocean with a nice unsaturated medium blue. Now to decide how many of those internal onshore edges need to be lakes and how many need to be erased. All the offshore bits look fine as islands. There's a few artifacts of the aliased edging that need to be erased no matter what. When I first fooled around thresholding this cloud looking for some likely randomness, there were a bunch of pixelly N-S and E-W artifacts at the coasts. Might go back to that if I need some piers later - this IS a harbor of some sort :-).

Naah waitaminnit - always getting ahead of myself - need to delouse the edge layer before I fill. Some of the Carto Guild styles expand certain layers under edges so, say, water shows under aliased shore. I work a more pixelly style so it's fine to have exactly sea then exactly coast, then exactly land. but I do doctor the generated shorelines to get rid of too-square corners, indistinct ?peninsula-or-islands?, and most little lakes. That'll wait til next post.

07-18-2012, 08:43 AM
Looking forward to seeing the results.

07-21-2012, 12:27 PM
It has a really interesting shape to it. I can't wait to see what you do with it.

07-23-2012, 01:46 AM
Now, that's irritating. Me, I mean. When I gen these tantalizing shapes all pixelly, I start to care about every pixel. Which eats a doofus quantity of time twiddling bits. Siiiigh. So, fairly well cleaned up, here's the overall view.


One OTHER thing irritating about me, to me, is that I'm kinda dense about learning lessons. Can't tell you how many times I've 'found edges' to make a coast, and realized steps later I intended to define edges onshore instead of out to sea. The result of that here is basically the first one to three pixels of shallow water is all black. Hmph - musta been a wicked oil spill. BUT I had already generated depth curves - call 'em 2.5 fathom and 7 fathom. Trouble is, most of the zero to 2.5 fathom band is hidden by that oil slick. I had intended that zone to be inconvenient areas too shallow to anchor big ships, leaving that to the 2.5 to 7 fathom band. "Big" being frigates and modest ships of the line - call my equivalent date early 1800's.

So now maybe I'll gen a 2.5 fathom line a bit farther offshore. See that circled area? That's the inner harbor - probably needs some dredging too. Aaaand I will exercise my Rationality License and fill in a bunch of the deeper pockets in each of those depth bands - after all, real silt would do just that.

Like mechanically fractal terrain, this cloud generated rather too many lakes -- I deleted many. Also like many Landforms Of Randomness the surface would be inconveniently rough, and not pleasantly plausible, so I'm going to take the tack most harbor charts do, and ignore the landforms. Except those reasonably expected to be markers for navigation, of course.

Scale of the oval is something around 10-15 miles across.

07-23-2012, 08:24 PM
Select black, change color. Yes? Maybe? Possibly.

I like your use of depths. Will you include little depth numbers too, like a chart has?

07-28-2012, 12:33 AM
Yes, I'll put soundings across the harbor areas.

Thanks for the thought about narrowing the coastline - I got rid of the outward-from-zero-depth line I'd generated, and regenerated a single-pixel one onshore from there. That gave me back some shallows, like so:

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But before I go throwing a lead line all over the place and fathoming this an' that shoal, the purely fractal/cloud seafloor needs some mud, sand, and suchlike mucky accumulation. Which I'm going to quickly do by filling in some of the pockets of deeper water, just like deposition would have over centuries. I'll say in a fairly big harbor like this there've been chaotic currents so maybe not all the deeper areas are filled in - or rather, there's plausibly some odd shoals and spits sticking up. At the same time I'll be a dredge too - even in mid nineteenth century, channels were deepened where needed. Aaaand, where things are too detailed for meaningful undersea surface measurements, I'll smooth away some of that lovely fiddly fracticality. Oh, well. I'm still trusting to the cloud image to have made the original placement of features.

07-29-2012, 01:33 AM
Mud now shoveled into most of the underwater depressions, towns and the city judiciously sprinkled about, and a bit of a legend applied, we have:

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07-29-2012, 10:14 PM
Add some labels and scales:

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07-29-2012, 10:58 PM
And labeling some of the expanses of water will have to do. I finally figured out the scale I built it at was wrong for including soundings - they would've had to be in about 3-point type :-b...

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07-30-2012, 01:55 AM
Nice job! Very crisp design. =)

07-30-2012, 02:03 AM
Thanks, Chashio. I was seeing how long I could keep it in .gif without losing anything. Even adding some aliased text for shoals & such seems to still stick within .gif's 256 colors, like so:

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That gives it more of the character of a coastal chart - with mostly land features t'was just a map of the town's surroundings - now it focuses on the *harbor*, which was my intent.

The -ji suffix is a settlement in the village to town range, the -yo ones are more town to city sized. That 'back door' out the NE of the harbor is such a devious passage that the Naval authorities use an early steam-donkey set of winches to tow ships through. I imagine when steam tugs are developed they will be a better solution. The next edition of the chart would likely show the bridge being proposed to ease access to the Naval Base there - Parliament has appropriated the funds, but the procurement is held up among the three qualified but unpatronized engineering firms in Cho., and the two unqualified but well-patronized ones. The local odds are three to two that the bridge if ever built will collapse within a fortnight.

The wide expanse of inner harbor, much of which is three fathoms or greater depth, makes it a prime anchorage for the Nearer Muobiju Squadron, as well as in storm time, the Outer Muobiju Fleets. Mind you, that number of sailors cooped up in a modest sized city for two months at a time is a bit hard on the Naval Guard. Gaols on both island portions of the Naval Base have to be supplemented by the Old Dunjon in downtown Chyogamsidyo, which the city considers reasonable trade for the huge business done among the city's taverns, chandleries, and outfitters.

07-30-2012, 07:11 PM
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A few notes on what I used -- DrawPlus Starter Edition (the current freebie) was enough to gen the curved labels. Fonts were things like Bookman Old Style, Chevara Outline, Californian FB, and the compass rose was built up from Soft Ornaments Three characters.

The locals tend to put just a reference lat/lon on non-navigational maps, and the projection they used was centered on that point. Other characteristics relate to that point as well, like the magnetic declination and the distances. These folks' miles and leagues differ from country to country, much as ours did in the 1700s and 1800s. They do not equate to (any of) ours, but figure the statute millia shown are in the same ballpark as a statute mile of 5280 feet.

I want to do one like this where scads of soundings, navigational aids like bouys and lighthouses, and things like onshore landmarks are all shown. Maybe if I get my starting file sized right :-).