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BookOwl
03-04-2013, 11:26 PM
This is a world that I have been attempting to draw for a couple of years now. No idea if this will be the final shape of it, but so far I like it and am really thinking this may be 'it'. I'm hesitant to post it here, mostly because I have no idea if I'll finish (here's hoping!), but I want to see what other people think.

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That image is at 33% original size, I like working BIG :) I really like the ocean colors I've done and land colors. I plan on adding country/city/etc. names and maybe heraldry and other stuff.

What I'm really worried about is the mountains. What they look like and where they're placed. I'm not completely finished with them but I think I have most of the mountains in there. I was trying to go for a realistic look, but I'm not sure about them. I'm also wondering if the 'green' and 'dry' areas on the continents make sense.

Thoughts are welcome! :D

vorropohaiah
03-05-2013, 12:58 AM
nice map and colours though on something that scale I don't think Rhumb lines makes much sense. graticules would be better on a world map.

BookOwl
03-06-2013, 05:21 PM
I'm not really familiar with the terms rhumb lines and graticules. After a quick google search I'm guessing the rhumb lines is from the compass I have, and graticules would be the grid thing? I'm partial to the rhumb lines but I think I see what you mean. I'll try it out :)

Larb
03-06-2013, 05:42 PM
I believe it may have something to do with the projection you are using for your world map which makes the rhumb lines inappropriate. While I like the way rhumb lines look, I think they work better for more regional maps.

Whatever lines you decide to go with though, I would suggest lowering the opacity of them so they are more subtle. I think the stark white lines are a bit too distracting to the rest of the map (which looks great).

Gold
03-06-2013, 06:54 PM
Hi BookOwl. Thanks for posting your map. I like the colors of ocean, ice, green and arid areas. I like the icebergs breaking away. The mountain ranges, I like the placement, but yes they look strange, veiny, linear, and kind of low looking. The mtns on some of the green islands actually look better to me.

What type of "map projection" are you using? I've learned it could be important to know with a global map. The top and bottom of your map are probably very stretched out because of map projection, so, the land near the top and bottom is "actually" a different size (smaller) than what is depicted. The compass lines are confusing, making it seem like the equater is very far south (where your worldwide horizontal line is), where a graticule (global grid of latitude and longitude) would help to show the map projection and how the projection is affecting the angles, area, or shapes. Also just remember with the wrap-around, your top-left and top-right areas are nearly touching ("I can see Russia from here!"). Good luck with your map progress!

BookOwl
03-06-2013, 10:15 PM
Larb- I tried out some graticule lines and do believe it looks better than the rhumb lines. And thanks for the suggestion to turn down the opacity of the lines, looks way better, I think :D

Gold- I have very little idea of what a map projection is. I guess I was trying to use whatever projection is used for rectangular maps of earth.

I do understand that the top and bottom of the map is stretched. Is there some other way I should draw it or something?

And thanks for pointing out about the top corners nearly touching on a globe. I might put a bit more ocean between them :)


Here's an updated image with graticule lines instead of rhumb! Opacity turned way down, is this the way graticule lines should look?

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I'm going to try some experimenting with the mountains and try to get them to look more like mountains :)

Gold
03-06-2013, 11:47 PM
I think it might be Equirectangular map projection. If it is equirectangular then you can import it to GProjector (free program from NASA folks) (http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/gprojector/) which I learned about from Hai-Etlik here on Cartographer's Guild, along with half of this info I'm attempting to share. With GProjector you can see your map rendered in many different map projections -- very fun. If it is not equirectangular and turns out to be Mercator projection, or something else I didn't spot, then your graticule would need some changes probably. The 2 pictures on Wikipedia for Equirectangular Projection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equirectangular_projection) are helpful.

I think you would enjoy learning basics of map projections anyway. It is a factor in your world mapping and will help you as a world mapper. The reason for map projections is you are mapping the surface of a sphere (a globe), onto a flat rectangle. Imagine cutting open a basketball and trying to flatten it out on the ground. Because of the curves of the Earth, it comes out strangely on flat paper, the strangeness can be called distortion. Different types of map projections have different types of distortion (area, distance, angle, shape). The 2nd pic on the wiki link above shows the distortion on equirectangular maps. Just recently I learned about all this from links and posts mostly from Cartographer's Guild. It might affect your graticule spacing, or you may have nailed it (that looks like equirectangular graticule if I'm not mistaken). Google Earth, G Projector, and Fractal Terrains 3, all make graticules automatically with choosing various settings and options.

Hai-Etlik
03-07-2013, 12:14 AM
Gold- I have very little idea of what a map projection is. I guess I was trying to use whatever projection is used for rectangular maps of earth.


Rectangular maps result from Cylindrical projections, of which there are several. The the square grid and you dropped on the second map, and the 2:1 aspect ratio, would make it "Plate Carree" which is a special case of the "Equidistant Cylindrical" or "Equirectangular" projection which is often used for raw data, but doesn't make for very good finished maps because it significantly distorts both angles and areas, and that distortion is rather ugly looking.

Really, projections are something you need to think about before you start drawing the map. They ALL cause some form of distortion and you have to understand that distortion and draw it into the map, otherwise what you've done is distorted the features themselves in order to compensate.

Think about what it means to put a globe on a rectangle. In your case, the equator and lines running straight north-south are "true" but other lines are distorted. If you walk along the 45th parallel on a globe, it will be about 70% of the length of the equator, but on your map, it's exactly the same length. The 75th parallel is only 25% as long as the equator, and at the poles, you have single points without length, but on your map they are infinitely stretched out to become lines as long as the equator. So as you get closer to the poles, everything gets stretched out east-west on a cylindrical map. Equidistant Cylindrical leaves north-south distance alone, so shapes on the map should be progressively more and more stretched out sideways as you near the poles. If they shapes aren't stretched on the map, then it means that the the real shapes are "pinched" in toward the poles.

Other projections try to compensate. Mercator adds a north-south stretch equal to the east-west stretch, which keeps shapes/angles correct. It also drastically distorts areas, and pushes the infinitely stretched poles infinitely far away. It was created for marine navigation as it preserves compass bearings, which makes it the only projection where you can have a whole world, and put a compass rose on it (compass roses are not decorative, they are there to indicate that the map preserves bearings)

The other main cylindrical projection is the Equal Area Cylindrical projection which does the opposite of Mercator, squashing north-south where it stretched east-west so it balances out and keeps the area the same, but distorts the shape even more. Gall-Peters and Hobo-Dyer are both particular cases of this projection. It's ugly, hard to read, and generally no good far anything. There are non-cylindrical Equal Area projections that are far superior like Mollweide and Aittoff. Equal area maps are generally used for thematic maps that display data like population or weather, not for reference or navigation maps.

There are loads of other non-cylindrical projections including Azimuthal, Conic, Pseudocylindrical, and Hybrid projections. Modern world maps tend to use Hybrid projections like Robinson and Winkel Tripel, which both have sort of oblong shapes.

NASA has released a free program called "G.Projector" which can take Equidistant cylindrical maps and reproject them. Doing so will make the distortion you've drawn into your land quite obvious though.

Here are views of the north and south poles from space: "Vertical Perspective" in G.Projector.

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BookOwl
03-07-2013, 02:17 AM
Gold- Yes I believe it is equirectangular, two times as wide as it is tall right? I think I'm starting to understand, just a little, about projections. I never really thought about it before. And thanks for the links, I'm going to check those out.

Hai-Etlik- Wow, a lot of info there. I had no idea this stuff was so important. Thanks for explaining the parallels like that, I completely understand now. And thanks for explaining some of the projections, I understand a bit better now. I just downloaded G.Projector and as far as I'm concerned, that program is amazing! I apologize if this is something you already explained somewhere in there, but how do I fix the distortion in my map? I see the distortion pretty clearly in the image you uploaded, but is there anyway to fix it?

Thanks for all the info! (Which I will now think about and google to learn more ;))

vorropohaiah
03-07-2013, 04:41 AM
I think its just a matter of going back to the base image, trying to alter it, uploading it back to g. projector, seeing it, altering it again etc. etc. until your'e happy! At least that's what i do.

If there's an easier way I'd love to know!

BookOwl
03-07-2013, 11:15 AM
I found this: Avoiding polar distortion by ~Naeddyr on deviantART (http://naeddyr.deviantart.com/art/Avoiding-polar-distortion-119133522) It looks like a better way to fix things than guess work. I ran through a test and it looked like it worked decently. I'm going to work on my real map with this and try and get rid of the distortion :)

york84109
03-07-2013, 12:38 PM
That's a very useful information.

I can't wait to see your revision :)

Hai-Etlik
03-07-2013, 06:27 PM
I think its just a matter of going back to the base image, trying to alter it, uploading it back to g. projector, seeing it, altering it again etc. etc. until your'e happy! At least that's what i do.

If there's an easier way I'd love to know!

You could try working with GIS. If you do your editing in a suitable projection for the particular region you are editing then it should all work out on the globe. The problem is you have to learn to use a GIS, and creating new projections isn't done much so they tend not to have great tools for it.

It's something that really calls for specialized software. Graphics tools just don't have the right functionality and GIS tools are designed for working with real world data, not creating whole new worlds from scratch. I might give it a stab at some point but I don't have enough time at the moment.

BookOwl
03-08-2013, 01:34 AM
york84109- Glad to share! I think I finished fixing the distortion, that little tutorial worked out great, I think :)

Hai-Etlik- I downloaded it but upon opening it I decided I didn't want to learn another program right now. Maybe another time, thanks for sharing it though :)


Here is the updated image of my world, in simple black and white. I think it turned out well:

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Hai-Etlik
03-08-2013, 02:31 PM
york84109- Glad to share! I think I finished fixing the distortion, that little tutorial worked out great, I think :)

Hai-Etlik- I downloaded it but upon opening it I decided I didn't want to learn another program right now. Maybe another time, thanks for sharing it though :)


Here is the updated image of my world, in simple black and white. I think it turned out well:

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GIS isn't a particular application, it's a general descriptor like "Wordprocessor". At a quick guess, you've probably found ArcGIS Explorer which is really just a viewer app for data created with ArcGIS Desktop (which starts at 1500 USD and goes up rapidly from there) If you decide you do want to give GIS a try later, I'd recommend QuantumGIS.

That's certainly a big improvement. If you look really carefully, you can see "jumps" in the level of distortion rather than a smooth progression but it's probably not worth worrying about. I'd suggest you keep your base map simple while placing features like cities and rivers. Once you have everything in place, run it through G.Projector to get it into a projection that works for a finished map, then pretty it up. Any fancy symbolization or labelling you do before reprojection is going to be wrecked by it.

BookOwl
03-08-2013, 11:54 PM
Hai-Etlik- You were right. I did download ArcGIS. I downloaded the other one but haven't really checked it out yet. I might if I'm feeling up to it :)

I see what you mean about the 'jumps'. I went about fixing them earlier today but photoshop crashed on me and I hadn't saved it. That kinda made me lose steam. I'll probably try again tomorrow though.


In other news, I altered the land shapes a bit. Most of it is still the same, only moved around, with pretty much only one large section that's new. I colored it real quick because I couldn't help myself :)

I also fixed the distortion in the small southwestern landmass and the islands underneath it, as well as the larger set of islands in the northeast.

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I'm also thinking about what sort of projection to do this in when it's closer to finished. Right now I'm thinking something like Winkle Tripel or Robinson. Thoughts?

Gold
03-09-2013, 02:33 AM
I'm also thinking about what sort of projection to do this in when it's closer to finished. Right now I'm thinking something like Winkle Tripel or Robinson. Thoughts?

Sure, those projections seem nice for an encyclopedia type of look. It gives you the feeling of a globe / planet, yet shows all the continents and oceans ("both sides" of the world showing at once). As always it must be mentioned, there's distortions, and probably more distorted around the edges, but at least not giving the appearance of wild distortion. May be better if you can spin the view so that mostly oceans are on the edges, although they seem to handle continents wrapping around fairly convincingly.

I am finding it comes back to balancing "what are you looking for" with "the limitations of map projections (distortion)". When it comes to global projections, you are going to see effects of some type of distortion, somewhere on the map, possibly distorting large areas of the map, so choose in relation to understanding the effect of the projection. When it comes to regional / state / local area maps, zoomed in, the distortion has less effect and you effectively have more valid choices of various projections (though again, some projections are better for some regions, depending on latitude, scale / size of the area, and whether it is a roughly round area or otherwise, and of course what types of distortion however small you want to abide).

These are just some of my novice notes and observations. Some of the expert forum members know this stuff inside out! My understanding is pale in comparison. Respect to the cartographers who came before us.

World map that would be used for sailing / ocean navigation, and doesn't need the poles; things seem to stand up nicely in line, can look kind of old (like 1980's old, or like antique old): Mercator projection.
World map that's going to migrate through other programs like G.Projector: Equirectangular.
World Book Encylopedia / World atlas from the US type of modern-ish look: Wagner VII.
World Atlas looks contemporary: Winkle Tripel.
World map antique look: 2 stereographic maps, in circles, side by side. And you can put smaller north pole map & south pole map in the margins.
World map for an RPG game: Icosahedral (which can be a Gnomonic projection on an icosohedron, like a 20-sided dice unfolded to triangles, then add hex grid)

World "map" (or globe?) types I really like --- when you're talking globe map, I like to see a globe in action. I like the blue marble, the way the Earth looks from space, especially if you can rotate the planet and see the same view perspective from all longitudes (spin the globe around the equator), or better still: rotate the globe in all directions including up and down (spin, roll, tilt). For my visual preferences, the globe is by-far the best way to understand the world, compare continents, see where oceans connect (usually making "the global ocean"), see where everything is relative to the equator and the poles, and start to imagine continental drift / plate tectonics, ocean currents, wind, and climates.

1. World map spin around the equator view (cannot be printed because it is moving, but can be shown on webpages): Make several orthographic projection maps from every perspective (say every 10 degrees longitude, keeping the same latitude constant, would make 36 orthographic maps). Now assemble these orthographic maps in sequence (let's say in Photoshop) and save as Animated GIF. It's at least a fun toy version of your world that looks almost 3D, and it maybe an educational-informative view. In conclusion I like the Orthographic map projection because it looks like seeing the world from space, however, one lone Orthographic projection map is not a "world map" because it cannot show the entire surface of the sphere from this projection perspective. If you put maybe 4 orthographic hemisphere maps on a paper map, you would start to get a 'world map'. Best used for the spinning GIF, I think.

2. World map that you can spin, roll, tilt, rotate, by hand at will: Google Earth (KMZ). Very fun. To import map to the free program Google Earth, you have to make the map a KMZ file, which contains an image file that happens to be equirectangular sphere-map. (Also if you want to share this type of map, to show others, you would have to give them the KMZ file with its enclosed image file -- this option is for home learning about your world, not really good for printing, and not great for sharing). The program Fractal Terrains exports a KMZ file, this is what I used to do it sof ar. Without FT3, I have not learned how to make a KMZ yet. I'm not sure if you can do it with a plain equirectangular map from photoshop that doesn't have geographic information embedded. It seems like maybe you could since the only geographic info you really need is that the map goes from 180 degrees to -180 degrees, however I'm not sure how you write this into a Google Earth KMZ. Might be something to look up. Google Earth gives you lots of fun features like seeing an "atmosphere" effect, day light and the shadow of night coming around as you timeline the hours of a day, and seeing the world in an obtuse angle like you're a satellite orbiting over the planet.

For a regional map of a continent or a state (zoomed in) in the northern latitudes -- I got a tip earlier from Hai-Etlik on using LCC (Lambert Conformal Conic), and I'm finding it works nicely with the right settings. BookOwl, I don't know if you are doing zoom maps of different regions or just focusing on the whole globe for now. Hope these thoughts help.

BookOwl
03-09-2013, 03:07 AM
1. World map spin around the equator view (cannot be printed because it is moving, but can be shown on webpages): Make several orthographic projection maps from every perspective (say every 10 degrees longitude, keeping the same latitude constant, would make 36 orthographic maps). Now assemble these orthographic maps in sequence (let's say in Photoshop) and save as Animated GIF. It's at least a fun toy version of your world that looks almost 3D, and it maybe an educational-informative view. In conclusion I like the Orthographic map projection because it looks like seeing the world from space, however, one lone Orthographic projection map is not a "world map" because it cannot show the entire surface of the sphere from this projection perspective. If you put maybe 4 orthographic hemisphere maps on a paper map, you would start to get a 'world map'. Best used for the spinning GIF, I think.

2. World map that you can spin, roll, tilt, rotate, by hand at will: Google Earth (KMZ). Very fun. To import map to the free program Google Earth, you have to make the map a KMZ file, which contains an image file that happens to be equirectangular sphere-map. (Also if you want to share this type of map, to show others, you would have to give them the KMZ file with its enclosed image file -- this option is for home learning about your world, not really good for printing, and not great for sharing). The program Fractal Terrains exports a KMZ file, this is what I used to do it sof ar. Without FT3, I have not learned how to make a KMZ yet. I'm not sure if you can do it with a plain equirectangular map from photoshop that doesn't have geographic information embedded. It seems like maybe you could since the only geographic info you really need is that the map goes from 180 degrees to -180 degrees, however I'm not sure how you write this into a Google Earth KMZ. Might be something to look up. Google Earth gives you lots of fun features like seeing an "atmosphere" effect, day light and the shadow of night coming around as you timeline the hours of a day, and seeing the world in an obtuse angle like you're a satellite orbiting over the planet.

For a regional map of a continent or a state (zoomed in) in the northern latitudes -- I got a tip earlier from Hai-Etlik on using LCC (Lambert Conformal Conic), and I'm finding it works nicely with the right settings. BookOwl, I don't know if you are doing zoom maps of different regions or just focusing on the whole globe for now. Hope these thoughts help.

Gold- Thanks for all the info :) I really like the idea to make a GIF of the world spinning, I might just do that as well!

In google earth you don't have to have a KMZ file to put an image in there. You can just use a regular png/jpg file. In google earth you choose 'image overlay' and then go to your png/jpg/etc. image and it'll load it over the globe. Just resize it over the entire globe and voila! That's how I've been doing it anyway :)

Right now I'm just focusing on the entire globe. I have to finally pin down the land shapes before I can do anything regional, though that is definitely in the future :)

Gold
03-09-2013, 03:25 AM
Good to know. So just a nice equirectangular PNG will import to Google Earth? I will try that soon. Have you found what the maximum resolution / pixel size would be, for importing PNG to GE? I am thinking that the higher resolution image gives more zooming ability, detail at greater zoom levels. I think that you get more abilities for this in Google Earth Pro (ability to have it load a more zoomed map when you zoom in). I will only be using the free version access on GE, so it's just the one world image, you can still zoom infinitely, it just starts to lose detail at some point. Also I have been seeing a LOT of "artifacts" (noise, messed up little triangle areas and lines) on my Google Earth maps, have you seen that? Was not sure if this was a problem with my resolution, my image, or just a normal quirk of GE constantly reprojecting my equirectangular base image.

Have you named your world, any continents, or named your oceans yet? Finding what bodies of water constitute a different ocean, is a fun process. And learning about the global ocean, fact that all the oceans are eventually connected.

BookOwl
03-09-2013, 01:16 PM
Gold- Yeah, equirectangular should do. I uploaded a 25mb jpg image at 10000x5000pxls and 300dpi and it didn't protest too much. I haven't hit any limit yet. The only problem I can think of is that using an image overlay, if you zoom in way far it will eventually go through the image overlay and into the ocean beneath it. But you can zoom in pretty dang far nevertheless. You'd have to have a monstrous image to keep any detail before it zooms to underneath the overlay.

Well, the world name is Veriel, for now anyway. I thought up that name because I was tired of calling it 'the world' or some such so I don't know how long it'll last. I have named the continents, may need to change a couple after altering the land like I did but maybe not. I have many country names but they're all generally on the east side of the large western continent, I've also named one or two oceans. I'll be putting labels on this things before it's all said and done.

I haven't noticed any pixelization in my google earth (also the free version).

BookOwl
03-10-2013, 01:09 AM
I'm starting to put names for countries and stuff down. I'm not doing anything fancy here, just writing names on simple white land. Names are subject to change or move around until I'm settled with it :)

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BookOwl
03-12-2013, 04:33 AM
I've made a bit of progress :) I think I'm decided on which map projection I'm going to use - Eckert III. And I've started going with a more antique style than realistic like before. I've started putting down labels. I'm not sure how I'm going to draw the mountains, I'm still experimenting with that. And I still have to do rivers. But so far I think it looks pretty nice:

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arsheesh
03-13-2013, 10:18 PM
This is looking rather nice! The color scheme is attractive, and I like the land formations. The only thing I'm not so fond of is the font you've chosen for the capitals/cities; it doesn't seem appropriate for an antique piece.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

BookOwl
03-14-2013, 12:43 AM
arsheesh: Thanks :) You're right about the font. I've changed it to something that I think looks better.

Okay, I've added borders to the countries and added some cities in Abathel and SeÓna, though I'm nowhere near done. I still got a bunch of countries and cities to add. I've made some simple mountains and hills brushes. Still got to add some more hills but I think I'm done with the mountains. I've added a river going through E'avok.

I took the color off the map for now. It wasn't sitting well with me, it looked too vibrant for an antique map. So until I can find another way to put color on this thing, I'm going to keep it like this.

I've also started making some symbols for things like the capital cities. I'm thinking of making flags for some of the countries but haven't decided yet. . .


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arsheesh
03-14-2013, 04:23 AM
Looking really good so far, I dig the mountains. The new (Optimus Princeps?) font looks much better as well.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

aquarits
03-14-2013, 07:35 AM
I really liked the whole shape.
You know, i can see Brazil, Africa, Australia and all Europe Structure. Super amazing to define all politics and economic features.
Waiting for more progress :D

BookOwl
03-14-2013, 12:15 PM
arsheesh: Glad you like the mountains :) The font is actually Trajan Pro, and I totally agree. The other fonts are, for the outlines, Palatino Linotype and for the cities, Vijaya.

aquarits: Thanks :) I did get a lot of inspiration from the landmass shapes of earth, especially on the western continent. The eastern continent has kinda been evolving without too much of earth in mind though. The one that I assume you think looks like Australia, the southwestern one, I totally agree and have pretty much thought the same thing since I first made it :P

vorropohaiah
03-14-2013, 01:12 PM
Aquarits summed it up pretty nicely: the continents are a very interesting shape and offer a lot of scope for possible worldbuilding after

- Max -
03-14-2013, 02:31 PM
Nice job. Also with the triangle mountains and overall tone, looks like almost some Diamond style's maps, well which is a good thing :D Not sure about the cities icons though...
And I agree Trajan pro is just a beast font :)

BookOwl
03-15-2013, 01:15 PM
vorropohaiah: Thanks :)

Max: Thanks! I decided to do the triangle mountains since I didn't think more custom looking mountains would look right on this sort of map. I don't think I've seen any of Diamonds maps, I'll have to check them out. As for the icons, I'm still working on them and they probably won't be those colors by the time they're on the map :)

Hai-Etlik
03-16-2013, 02:38 AM
Scaling the single mountain symbol is a bad idea as it looks obviously scaled. I think you'd get better results by drawing the symbol at each size you need. Even at a single size, they look a bit too perfectly alike. Even if the person drawing/engraving were trying to make them identical, there would be variation.

The graticule and what I think is a river also have an "obviously done with a computer" look. It seems the look you are after is a map that was either printed or inked, and then coloured with a watercolour paint or dye. The graticule doesn't look like something that could be produced that way. I think foll opacity but thin would look more in keeping with the rest of the map. I prefer to try to replicate the map "in order" when attempting this kind of map. I do the drawn/printed part of the map in its entirety, then add the colour afterwards and try to include misregistration, bleed, etc. The river on the other hand has two lines that are very close together and perfectly equidistant, while going around varying curves. That also looks quite computer generated.

Labelling maps well is one of the hardest parts of cartography. There are a few things you've done that should really be avoided.

* Never use deformation to curve labels. Always use a text along path tool. Deformation/envelope transform actually distorts the glyphs. Text along path moves and rotates the individual glyphs to follow the curve. "Fentehirus Mountians" shows quite a bit of deformation for instance.

* Try to avoid splitting labels into multiple "lines". In particular, never stack glyphs on top of one another. (Unless you are using a vertical writing system like that of Chinese) I'm particularly looking at "Oprim". "Delrek Rivi Plains" is also problematic though.

* If you rotate labels from horizontal, also give them a bit of a curve. Text along straight diagonals looks bad. Never curve it back over to the point you have glyphs upside down though.

A few things that aren't necessarily wrong, but might help to change.

* Letter spacing and kerning are your friends, particularly to fit labels around obstacles. Labels for areas and linear features often look best with at least a bit of extra letter spacing. Avoid having glyphs touch things like coastline. If all else fails, make a gap or remove the offending feature, but try to resolve it some other way if at all possible. I'd recommend trying to make it look like the gap was drawn rather than using an "outer glow" type effect on the text.

* Try to stretch area labels over the areas that they label. Use letter spacing to spread them out, and curve them on a path. Sometimes the area is just too big or the name too short. Accept this when it happens and don't increase spacing to the point that the text can't be read any more.

The labels on the graticule are also a bit problematic. The labels on the parallels don't seem to fit in the border, while those on the meridians are hard to associate with their respective meridians. Finer lines would probably help with the meridians. Smaller text, and vertically centring would help on the parallels. You could also try rotating the labels for the parallels (Either radial or along the arc), or moving the meridian labels to the equator (Which again would call for smaller text).

vorropohaiah
03-16-2013, 04:17 AM
And I agree Trajan pro is just a beast font :)

QFT - one of my new faves, as well as oldstyle hplhs (created by the h.p. lovecraft society - OldStyle Font | dafont.com (http://www.dafont.com/oldstyle-hplhs.font)

regarding the graticule - my recipie for a more hand-drawn look is - add a white background, then apply a spatter brush filter to break up the outline, blur, add some noise to the further break it up and either set the layer to multiply or remove the white. hope that helps make more hand-drawn-looking lines

- Max -
03-16-2013, 07:13 AM
Very true, Old style is lovely. Some similar one are very nice: Old Claude, Caslon Antique or Shipley for example but they're not free. Well back to bookowl promising's map :D

BookOwl
03-16-2013, 02:28 PM
vorropohaiah- Ooh, I love that oldstyle font, thanks :) And I'll try out that for the graticule.

Hai-Etlik- Thanks for all the info, about the labels :) As for the river, since I put it on there I haven't liked the way it looks, so I'll see what I can come up with. I do like the mountains how they are though. I might experiment a bit but I'm pretty satisfied with them.


Progress on the map is going a bit slower now that it's come down to names a more detail oriented things. I hope to make a bit of progress today though :)

BookOwl
03-18-2013, 03:15 AM
Okay, an update. I've made smaller graticules and roughened it a bit as vorropohaiah suggested, thanks for that! It worked great :)

I also altered the colors a bit, put the land colors back up after I altered those a bit and added some noise. I think the land colors look a lot better now (maybe a bit dark?). Do you guys think the image is too dark or saturated or contrast-y (can't think of the proper word)?

I'm also working on a sort of flag chart, there at the bottom.

And I'm in the middle of changing the fonts like Hai-Etlik suggested. I didn't even know that I could text along a path :D

I also got to make this thing smaller somehow. Merge some layers or something cause I got a huge 3GB file that's getting pretty hard to do stuff with.

Oh, I also got an updated batch of map symbols. I'll probably change their colors once I get them on the map, but for now. . .

And here's the pics:

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vorropohaiah
03-18-2013, 03:51 AM
graticules look much grungier. you can also rasterize the numbers of latitude/longitude and do the same with them (and even the text once its done, though be careful not to go overboard) as they stand out now.

what resolution re you working at? if you don't intend to print it you can work at 100 DPI or less. alternatively, if you have lots of layers you can create a copy of the file, keep the copy safe, merge as many layers as you can on the original and keep on working on that. if you need to change any thing you always have the copy with the individual layers to fall back on, and you can work on the merged smaller one to save you time, and then copy/paste layers from file to the other as needed.

looking at the map, i notice that the text over the green regions is very difficult to read. maybe try another colour for the text? i'd stay away from an outer glow/stroke as it would detract from the hand-made look you have going, though

BookOwl
03-18-2013, 01:34 PM
Ooh, good idea to rasterize the long/lat and roughen them, don't know why I didn't think of that.

I'm working at 300dpi. I do have plans to print it when it's done so I don't really want to skimp on the resolution. I've merged many layers and cut the image in two, one with the map and the other with the flag chart. Though I may need to half the map itself cause it's still very big, or merge some more stuff.

Ah I notice how the text seems to get lost. I'll try out some different colors. Do you think an outer glow would look more hand made with some noise? I'll try that too, to see what it looks like.

- Max -
03-18-2013, 01:47 PM
Noise effect can be tricky to do not look too computer generated but at a big scale maybe it's easier.

vorropohaiah
03-19-2013, 02:40 AM
I'd try and avoid an outer glow on the text. it's helpful but i dont think it's good for faux 'hand-drawn' maps

Gold
03-20-2013, 05:54 AM
I am loving the latest development of the colors on this, and some of the grungy additions. Been a lot of fun following this thread so far.

BookOwl
03-20-2013, 07:57 PM
vorropohaiah and Max: Yeah, I tried it with the noise and it didn't look that great. I've changed the color to white and I think it looks much better now.

Gold: Thanks :)


Update! I've added those grunge effects to the long/lat numbers, the black lines on the orange border and the mountains. I'm also working on adding more countries in Aethos, Anza and Kwe'aela. I think I've got all the borders on there and now I'm just getting the names.

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Christopher Johnstone
03-28-2013, 08:12 PM
That's got some wonderful texture to it. I can almost feel the thickness of the paper between my fingers when just looking at the tone and texture of the image. Also, very nice shape and distribution of continents. I like your names too. They give a good feel for individuated cultures, but without being too complex to easily remember.

I was trying to work out the weather patterns in my head. A westerly wet/dry wind would generate the rainshadow on Kwe'aela, but I suspect there would be a bit more drying out east of Kwe'aela too. The islands might be a bit dryer than they appear on the map at the moment, although by the time winds reach the next continent they might have picked up some more moisture, so the darker green works ok there? Hope that makes some sense.

However, that's a minor point and if you desperately wanted to you could just add some browning to the islands east of Kwe'aela perhaps to even out the rainshadow a bit. It really is a very nice piece of work as is.

Chris

vorropohaiah
03-29-2013, 02:21 AM
looking nice :) perhaps making the orange border a bit less opaque, so we can see the paper texture a bit more (or set it to overlay). also, once you're done with the text, you can rasterize it and do the same grunging to it that you done to the lines, to make the words feel more like part of the map

i like how this map's progressing - its really starting to look like something found in the world itself. nice stuff

Hai-Etlik
03-29-2013, 02:41 AM
The white labels look rather "CG" to me. White "ink" is hard to do effectively. You have to create a thick opaque layer over top where as pigments can soak in. That means white ink has to be thicker than pigment inks and not very good for fine detail. It's also not as durable. I think you'd be better off sticking with black and then lightening the colours you use for the land cover instead.

There are also some incongruities with the colour washes. The interior of the land has a bunch of subtle variation that looks like meaningless noise that I think you meant to be artefacts of the physical process of making the map. If they are meant to be meaningful features, they should be more distinct. If not, they are too distinct and also quite coarse compared to the very precise boundary at the coastline. That mismatch between the noisy interior and the sharply precise edges looks artificial.

Try to think about a notional cartographer who is making a real map of the world they live in using the techniques and materials available in that world. Consider what information they are trying to convey, and what how they would do so. Consider what they would try to do, and where their techniques would fail to measure up to that ideal. If you add imperfections they would have avoided, or display precision they couldn't have achieved it will give away the origin of the map. If you do both at once (like the noisy interior and the sharp coastlines) it downright clashes.

Aredhel
03-29-2013, 11:30 AM
I like how it's going. Nice job!

BookOwl
03-29-2013, 11:55 PM
Sorry for the long absence, I got real sick and am finally feeling better now.

Christopher Johnstone: Thanks! The paper texture I made myself a few years ago with some tea. Thanks for the thoughts on the rainshadow, I'll probably fix that. Since you pointed it out, it does seem a bit odd for that western island to be so green.

vorropohaiah: Thanks! I'll try that out, with the orange border. I plan on doing the grunge effects on the text but it'll be the last thing I do in case I have to change anything.

Hai-Etlik: I think the black really got lost, especially in the dark green areas. I tried just about every shade of grey (as well as other colors) before deciding on straight white. I thought about changing the darkness/lightness depending on what color was behind the text but I really prefer to have all text be the same color. I understand what you mean about the white pigment but I think I'll keep it white, I like the way it looks :) I did add noise to the interior color because I thought that before the colors looked too smooth to have been painted on rough paper, it looked out of place to me. I may try some stuff out but so far I really like it. Thanks :)

Aredhel: Thanks :)


And an update! I completed the names just before I got sick and didn't get a chance to post it until now. I also made the font for both the countries and the cities smaller. And I totally used that text to path tool :D:

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Christie Shadow
03-30-2013, 06:34 AM
Hi BookOwl, that's a nice map you've got going there! Beautiful work! I'm especially impressed with your colouring, what do you use?

I'm with Chris on what he said regarding the rain shadow on Kwe'aela, but my main concern is that the mountain range that divides Aethos W-E is a bit "thin" in the eastern parts. The "folded carpet"-effect that would have resulted in the mountain ranges W-E should (IMO) have generated a more rugged structure where the mountains meet the N-S-ranges - it should have resulted in higher mountains and a broader mountainous area where they "collided" - I take it that it is three different tectonic plates that meets there?

BookOwl
04-02-2013, 02:46 AM
Christie Shadow: Do you mean what program? I use Photoshop CS5. I've only been vaguely thinking about tectonic plates but now that you've mentioned it, it does look like three. I've added some more mountains and think it looks better :)


Update on where the west/east and north/south mountain ranges meet in Aethos and the river in E'avok. I think the river looks much better now. Thoughts?

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vorropohaiah
04-02-2013, 04:48 AM
this is coming along really nicely. great work

BookOwl
04-02-2013, 11:37 PM
vorropohaiah: Thank you :)


Update! I've added rivers! Like, a lot of them. I think I drew the rivers properly, as in they are in places they may actually be in the real world. Please tell me if any rivers look out of place or something :) I've also changed the coloring and stuff of the rivers since the last update. I've added a couple of lakes as well. I think I should add a lake or two in Aethos/Kwe'aela/Anza too. And then I've only added some more countries on the southeast end of the Delrek RivÓ Plains and fixed the country borders that were drawn all over the mountains and stuff. And I've changed the coloring a bit in EŠvok and on the two islands east of Kwe'Šela, as Christopher Johnstone and Christie Shadow suggested.

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- Max -
04-03-2013, 03:34 AM
Looking very nice so far! Can't really see rivers details on my phone but it seems ok. Do you plan to label the whole map more?

BookOwl
04-03-2013, 01:20 PM
Yes, I do plan to label the map more. I'm very inspired by vorropohaiah's steroegraphic WIP map, but I don't think it'll get that many labels. :)

Maybe I should uplaod some detail shots of the rivers.

vorropohaiah
04-03-2013, 01:53 PM
I'm very inspired by vorropohaiah's steroegraphic WIP map, but I don't think it'll get that many labels.

if you value your sanity, i dont suggest it... :)

cdhall
08-24-2013, 10:50 AM
Bookowl, that is some great work. Thank you for this thread. I will admit that I sort of liked it better with the islands in the middle but that is great work.