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Sepultallica9
06-05-2008, 02:51 AM
Hi all, my name's Nick, from Australia, 26 years old. For as long as I can remember, I've always thoroughly enjoyed making and drawing maps, particularly nations and cities (I guess I'm more of a political or road map amateur cartographer rather than a fantasy-based one... if that makes sense). Anyway, obviously I'm new here and I was looking for a bit of assistance for a personal project I'm working on, and I'm a tad confuzzled as to where to start. Any help or pointing in the right direction would be much appreciated.

Thanks guys!

ravells
06-05-2008, 05:11 AM
Hi Nick,

If you are aiming to accurately map a real world location, there are a handful of people here who do that for a living or are studying it. From the little that I've seen, professional cartographers use specialised software (e.g. Arc Gis), which is expensive and requires some study to learn how to use properly. There was a recent post here about an open source version of 'proper' mapping software called Grass (http://grass.itc.it/index.php). I'm sure the professional mappers here could advise you further.

Another place worth visiting if you are into real world cartography is CartoTalk (http://www.cartotalk.com/) which is a bbs for real world mappers and a very friendly place.

On this site, apart from one or two whizz kids who know how to use the complicated GIS stuff, we generally use software like GIMP, Photoshop, Inkscape etc....ie more artistic packages as we are generally more after look and feel than we are about accuracy - given that most of our worlds are fictional.

Take care and welcome to the Guild!

Sepultallica9
06-05-2008, 05:40 AM
Cheers for the tips, much appreciated.

I probably phrased that wrong, when I said I wasn't into fantasy maps, I meant "fantasy" as in Middle Earth, medieval type ones. I like mine with roads and cities and whatnot. This "project" I'm working on (for lack of a better word... more of a "time-filler" than anything else hehe) is a fictitious land, but the idea is to be drawn as a moden map. I plan on making a mini-site around it, with information about my nation, details on the individual states, etc etc.

Thanks a lot ravells, most helpful. :)

NeonKnight
06-05-2008, 07:51 AM
Welcome to guild!

ravells
06-05-2008, 08:47 AM
Ah ok. Sorry my misunderstanding. Are you currently drawing your maps on paper or on the computer? if the latter and you don't have any software immediately to hand, I would recommend GIMP and Inkscape. The first is a raster image editor (like photoshop) and the second is a vector image editor (like illustrator), but both are open source and free downloads.

If you have not yet started, I suggest that you sketch out your ideas in pencil (you can always scan it into the computer later). In my experience, for modern city maps, vector programmes are generally more useful, but it depends on the style you're shooting for.

Sepultallica9
06-06-2008, 01:06 AM
I'm currently using Paint Shop Pro 8, but I've used Inkscape at work before (albeit very briefly, and mainly only to export vector images to PSP haha). I think I should start thinking about drawing it by hand and then scanning it in. It will probably allow the flexibility of doing exactly what my mind tells my hand to do, which doesn't seem to work drawing it with a mouse. :)

Thanks for the help.