View Full Version : My first attempt to create wolrd-map for my book whit Gimp

Shade of Dawn
10-03-2012, 06:41 AM

Well here is my first attempt to create world map for my book... Name of the world is preliminary Milodon, although I have names for the provinces they are not showed in this map because it is just blank at moment.
So feel free to give me critique and advice on that how I could make northern areas appear more like Polar or snowy. Also I would like to make desert areas to look more like deserts...

This map is made by Gimb using RobA's Artistic Regional Map in Gimp Tutorial - Revised Presentation as reference...

10-03-2012, 12:03 PM
It's obvious that you put a lot of work into this map, but I hope you won't feel put down when I say: it isn't very good.

Where to start...

First, the style: you said that this is meant for a book. What for, exactly? To help you gather your thoughts and keep track of your heroes movement? Or a map to show to your readers?
In the first case, it really doesn't matter what the map looks like, as long as you are happy with it. But in the second case, you should rather use a style that can be printed in a book, especially in black and white.

Next, the layout: Are you set on this world? Is this how you picture it in your mind... or could you change it? If you can, I would advise you to start over again. You current layout suffers from what I like to call the "fill in the blanks" syndrom: you have a rectangular piece of paper, and try to fill it with "geography". This way quite often results in very rectangular landscape.
Do you need all this stuff? Again, you said it is for a book. Do you visit all those island in the book? Perhaps you should rather put your focus on where most of your story happens. It keeps you from having to fill in the "whole world" (on a rectangular piece of paper ;))

Next, the geography: most obvious flaw are your various rivers. Usually, rivers don't behave as you show them on your map (wierd magical stuff happening not included). A good start on this topic is this thread. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3822-How-to-get-your-rivers-in-the-right-place)

I hope I didn't disencourage you too much with all that. Just keep going... not many people get it all correct in the first attempt!

Shade of Dawn
10-03-2012, 12:39 PM
Thank your for your advices Freodin.

You asked that what for is this map, well mainly it is just for me to help to track down my ideas but I am intend to create Tolkien style map for readers when my books some day is ready, but there is a very long way to go before it that. :D

Actually you give me a good critique about things that I wouldn't otherwise even thing.

You are right about that I should focus on those areas where my story happens and actually that is what I am intend to do but I just want to make rough map to show the whole world because the plot of my book is involved whit politics and so...I need to have world map to show all the areas at least for my self. You might be right that I should rethink the landscape to make it less rectangular. I need to thing about that.

So maybe I should now let the world map just be for now and use it as reference and start making city maps and regional maps for those areas where the story mainly takes place... So that would be maybe couple of regional maps and then some city maps and that should cover the needs at least for some time.

You don't discourage me at all, quite opposite :) it is good to read critique that actually helps me to see my own mistakes and therefore make my work better.

Shade of Dawn
10-21-2012, 09:55 AM
Hello again. I haven't posted anything for some time because I have had so much things to do. But anyways I have done some planing whit that map and I hope I have made the design less rectangular. I haven't done any details except some conceptional mountains and I thought that I could post the basic design here before starting to add any detail. This conceptional map is done in antique style in gimb and shows only the outlines of the landmass. After I hear you opinion of this I will start making it more detailed or redesign it again depending on feedback.


My intention is to make this map to be rough world map showing names of major areas so I won't add much detail in this but I will make more detailed maps for those areas I need and make some city maps for the major cities that I need for the story.

Here is how I planned the mountains:


So please tell what do you thing of this basic design.

Gregorus Prime
10-26-2012, 06:04 AM
Seems a little haphazard IMO... those mountains were laid down in lines and it shows. Maybe change up the placement a bit, have them follow the shore a little? Stamp smaller mountains around the big ones to give a sense of progression, maybe?

10-26-2012, 08:51 AM
“He lunged for the maps. I grabbed the chair and hit him with it. He went down. I hit him again to make sure he stayed that way, stepped over him, and picked up the maps.
"I win.”
― Ilona Andrews, Magic Burns

10-26-2012, 10:48 AM
The overall design looks good. The parchment might be a little dark but that's just a personal preference. I'll agree with Gregorus Prime on the mountains. You could try varying the size of the mountains and move the position of some of them I would also lower the opacity of the mountains a little bit. Overall a great start and I look forward to seeing this progress. :)

Shade of Dawn
10-28-2012, 09:24 AM
Thanks for the advices. I will post my progress here when I have advanced little bit further.

Again it was good that I posted here and asked your opinion since it gave me new perspective on those mountains. Without you saying it I would not have noticed there is something wrong in those mountains. I guess it's harder to see ones own mistakes especially if not aware of that what might be wrong. So again thanks :)