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Larion
04-07-2013, 04:47 PM
Made a map today, and it turned out really nice. It was made entirely from scratch in Photoshop, and it has kind of a minimalistic design. No mountains or forests. I suppose you could consider it a political map.

Here it is.

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A bit of history, now. The Eledrian Empire, the red nation, is the dominant power of the region. All the others have become vassal states to them, except for the tribal Wayu in the south. They fight for what little land they still retain. The green/purple island to the right is a nation that is in the middle of a cold civil war following a bloody decade of fighting.

In the top right is the ruins of an old kingdom known as Heiran. It's long since been plundered and abandoned, and the area around it has steadily grown more and more inhospitable. The Arthans live to the south of the old Heiran ruins. Lastly, the Korians inhabit two relatively small islands in the bottom right. Their distance from the Eledrians allows them more freedom than their fellow vassals, and as a result any who are displeased with their Eledrian taskmasters go there. Rumor has it a rebellion may be in the works there, but it's still in the early stages.

The Eledrians themselves are similar to our own Roman Empire. Their military might keeps all in check. They fight the Wayu in the south, but due to the guerilla tactics of the tribesmen, little headway is being made.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the map! It was certainly fun to make :)

- Max -
04-07-2013, 04:57 PM
Pretty nice...but it just lets me with the feeling it's not finished. Not enough informations for a political map in my opinion.

arsheesh
04-07-2013, 05:12 PM
I tend to agree with -Max-. The map is nice as far as it goes, but it does seem to be lacking in detail. There is a whole lot of empty space. Also, the colors look nice, but they are a bit bright. I would recommend turning down the opacity by about 50%. Otherwise though this looks nice.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Larion
04-07-2013, 05:13 PM
What more information could be added in your opinion?

arsheesh
04-07-2013, 05:33 PM
Perhaps more political and terrain names for a start. It might also be good to include a Key detailing what the may symbols refer to.

vorropohaiah
04-07-2013, 05:35 PM
Nice map. I like the colours. If youre intentionally going for a minimalist look, fair enough, though otherwise id prefer more labels. The lack of details doesnt bother me. If its a political map we dont need to see forests and mountains.

foremost
04-07-2013, 05:42 PM
Green and Purple reminds me of North and South Korea...

I know it's a political map, but that looks like some pretty flat terrian. Just plop some mountains in and you'll conquer that empty space. if you really want to stick with no landscape, then I think towns might suffice.

- Max -
04-07-2013, 05:47 PM
I expected more labels as a political map.

jbgibson
04-07-2013, 06:16 PM
Paradoxically, it may be your high level of detail in the land outlines that makes one expect more detail in the way of names and topography. If there was a lower roughness to the coast, I might expect a simpler map; say, one for use inline in a Wikipedia article. As it is, maybe you could add area names as well as the city names you already show? Like Eledrian Empire, Wayu Tribes, Koria (Ele. vassal), Nameofdisputedislandrealm -- that sort? I understand if your people name realms by their principal city, you've pretty much done that already. Maybe a couple of more sea/ ocean/ strait/ bay names? It wouldn't be out of place to note right on the map something like "both realms claim the whole of Whatever Island"

That Hieran / Arthan river is looking implausible, by the way. In general, a river won't make a major split like that - sure, little diversions like deltas, and inline islands, but two far distant directions can't both be "most downhill" from the point of alleged split. One would in fact be a bit lower or steeper, and would capture all the flow, leaving the other way dry. If your story called for river contact between Arthan and old Heiran, maybe there could be a canal connecting two different rivers. If it doesn't warrant that much effort, just erasing a little bit of the rivercourse, say N of the Arthan border, you would be showing two separate rivers, both arising in presumed highlands between Arthan and Heiran., and both flowing downhill, one N to join the Heiran River and one S to pass the city of Arthan.

It's already a pretty map. I don't mind the bright colors, but neither would muting them hurt your look.

A simple border might put a finished impression on it - even a plain thin neatline.

You're right - a political map doesn't need topographic elements. River locations have a bit of interest, since they're often borders, they are vital for many cities, they indicate transport... but even they aren't crucial for a purely political map. The bodies of water are politically-related - people talking about the Korian Rebellion potential are going to talk about the impassibility or ease of transport across the seas between that and the main Empire lands - and the name folks refer to those waters by are thus apropos.

Political maps often indicate size and/or importance of cities.

vorropohaiah
04-08-2013, 03:00 AM
You're right - a political map doesn't need topographic elements. River locations have a bit of interest, since they're often borders, they are vital for many cities, they indicate transport... but even they aren't crucial for a purely political map. The bodies of water are politically-related - people talking about the Korian Rebellion potential are going to talk about the impassibility or ease of transport across the seas between that and the main Empire lands - and the name folks refer to those waters by are thus apropos.

nice to see this. I think a lot of people on this forum take the more artistic interpretation to cartography - adding features like mountains, forests etc. to a map just because they make it nicer. though there is the other, more functional route, where a map has a specific purpose (other than looking pretty :) ), where everything it contains is there for a reason. dont get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with either way, it's just nice to see a more 'functional' map here.

Larion
04-08-2013, 03:09 PM
Thank you all very much for the feedback. Rather than modify this map, I decided it would be easier, and perhaps more fun, to create a new map using all the advice I received from you guys for this map. So I'm posting another thread with the better map :) Again, thank you all VERY much for the feedback.