PDA

View Full Version : Map of the Atregonese Aigentarate



tcberry
07-31-2013, 08:14 AM
This map is for the World of Gotha (http://worldofgotha.com), a collaborative geofiction project set in a pseudo-Victorian setting. Atregona is my nation, which is a sprawling, corrupt oligarchy, struggling to compete against more technologically advanced nations.

Most of the nations in the world appropriate foreign languages for use within their nations, and the national language of Atregona is a somewhat mangled version of Basque. The script featured on the map, however, is a constructed script.

Prepared with Illustrator, Photoshop, Fractal Terrains, and FontLab Studio.

Preview:
http://i.imgur.com/qq0KPsT.png

Deviantart:
Map of the Atregonese Aigentarate by ~plexust on deviantART (http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/212/3/0/map_of_the_atregonese_aigentarate_by_plexust-d6fzcag.jpg)

Ilanthar
07-31-2013, 11:35 AM
Good job tcberry !

The World of Gotha is an impressive project. I like the coloring and general style, but the mountains are a little bit hard too read.
Like the constructed script too.

Freodin
07-31-2013, 01:27 PM
Good clean map overall, though it looks more like an expriment for the four-colour-theorem than a genuine map. The differing colouration for every province (banner?) adds more confusion than information for the viewer. I would try to keep the layout simpler.

tcberry
07-31-2013, 05:44 PM
@Ilanthar - I wanted them to read as contour lines, I suppose it doesn't exactly come off that way?

@Freodin - So you would recommend omitting the coloration altogether, or just toning it down?

Midgardsormr
07-31-2013, 09:25 PM
The contours might read better at a higher resolution. At this size, they just turn into mush. Likewise, the political coloring might look better at a larger size—if this were a poster map, for instance.

And combining topographic and political maps into the same image may also hinder understanding. What is the purpose of the map? Who uses it, and what information do they need when they do so? Perhaps you could split the data onto two simpler maps.

Azelor
07-31-2013, 10:23 PM
I think you have too many political subdivision on a map of this size. Like Midgardsormr said, it's probably too much information.

Freodin
08-01-2013, 04:53 AM
@Freodin - So you would recommend omitting the coloration altogether, or just toning it down?
I would change the colouration, to provide a better focus for the reader.

The way it is now suggests that the important information that this map provides are the political subunits of your country. But beyond the borders, there is no information given about these regions - like names, important cities or such, (as in this map of England's counties (http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/maps/uktowns.gif), for example). I'd say that the scale of the map is even too small to provide such informations.

So I would try to put the focus on larger regions / political units - the areas delineated by the broader black borderlines, perhaps? - and just hint at the subunits with uncoloured, perhaps dotted lines. The smaller subdivisions could be presented in other, larger-scale, maps.

Ilanthar
08-01-2013, 10:41 AM
I kinda agree with Midagardsorm, a higher resolution is probably a solution, and the purpose of the map is a good guideline.
Maybe you can use a shadowing effect and a small number of contour lines or a different coloring effect to make it more easy to read.

Just a few ideas, I don't know if it helps...

tcberry
08-01-2013, 06:27 PM
Alright, I've toned down my crazy a bit, thanks for the help, everyone!

Are the contours still a bit much?

56560

Azelor
08-01-2013, 06:35 PM
I think it's good. What's the pink line in the middle ?

tcberry
08-01-2013, 06:38 PM
The "Prime Meridian", it runs through my capital (not an international standard). I don't think I'm happy with the color.

If I'm trying to replicate offset printing, it should probably be closer to the maroon text, no?

arsheesh
08-01-2013, 07:20 PM
Looks very nice to me!

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Freodin
08-01-2013, 07:28 PM
Oh yes, that is a lot better!

Lingon
08-02-2013, 03:56 AM
I really like this map, great style and layout. The second version I find more pleasing to they eye as well. I think the nations/political regions are a bit too similar in size though, especially the four big ones in the north. Also, I feel the need to point out that in your compass rose, the grey cross between the four fields looks a bit to much like a swastika…

tcberry
08-02-2013, 08:09 AM
Further modified. Added a bit of height shading to help the contour lines out with some context, re-did ripples around the coast (this time in Illustrator), modified the prime meridian color, and changed a couple of text items.

56594

@Lingon - Planning an overhaul of the administrative regions - as extant, they are merely the pre-determined regions from the canon world map. I intend to knock each into two to six separate regions. The compass rose isn't that, exactly; that is the national symbol, as seen on the flag. Swastika does seem to pop out when outlined, don't it? Not that a swastika has the sort of implications in that world as they do here, but we wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea, I suppose.

Ilanthar
08-02-2013, 10:40 AM
Excellent work tcberry! I would not done it so quickly.
In every way a better map according to me. Except for the numerous coastal lines. Why did you add more? It was just fine alreay to me.

tcberry
08-03-2013, 07:11 AM
Perhaps I was a bit overzealous with the coastline. I've reigned it in a bit, along with a few other minor changes, and a new scale.

56613

Next up is going to be adjusting the subdivisions to fall more in line with Ed Stephan's Division of Territory in Society (http://www.edstephan.org/Book/contents.html) to make them feel a bit more organic.

feanaaro
08-03-2013, 09:37 AM
Looking at the map, I have a feeling that some of the rivers follow a strange path, flowing on the crest of mountains instead that through valleys.
Besides that, the map is awesome.

Ilanthar
08-03-2013, 10:27 AM
I like the improvements!

Truth be told, I kinda agree with feanaaro on rivers and the awesome map.

tcberry
08-05-2013, 07:17 AM
There's some strangeness going on with my shading layer. I need to take a look at it. While I inherited the rivers from the world's map and there are indeed some issues, the actual situation appears to be much less dire than originally thought. Red being lowland:

56652

Edit: It appears that the Fractal Terrains shadow/highlight feature is pretty poor. Gonna need to figure something else out.

feanaaro
08-05-2013, 12:39 PM
I use the heightmap or bumpmap and create the shadow directly into photoshop. It gives you more control.

tcberry
08-07-2013, 09:43 PM
Embiggened, shading fixed:

56713

Ilanthar
08-08-2013, 09:31 AM
Well, I just love it this time ! :D

Awsome map. Where is the Atregonese Aigentarate in Gotha by the way?

tcberry
08-08-2013, 10:08 PM
Thanks! Atregona is located on the Southern edge of the most developed area in the world, Northern Anaria.

http://i.imgur.com/nOZOzhm.png

Gumboot
08-09-2013, 12:49 AM
tcberry, I have a question. I'm pretty new to this entire map thing, and have limited myself to the regional scale, but I've noticed a few people mapping on the global scale and pulling out sections of a globe to map. Is there some sort of software that can do this? I'd be quite keen to tackle placing my continent on a globe and starting to fill in the rest of the world, but I don't know how to go about doing that sort of thing.

tcberry
08-09-2013, 02:07 AM
The raw landforms are from Fractal Terrains Pro (http://www.profantasy.com/products/ft.asp), further edited by Wilbur (http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/wilbur.html), and adjusted by hand. These programs are useful because they can contain a high amount of detail on small scales with greatly reduced effort (though you do get more out of it the more you tweak). However, it isn't quite a perfect solution - one of the major issues being the lack of regard given to plate tectonics, and the climate model can be a little simplistic.

There are some decent tutorials for using Fractal Terrains to create maps on here as well (aided by the fact that the creator of both Fractal Terrains and Wilbur is a user here (waldronate), such as this one (http://www.worldofgotha.com/PF_TUTORIAL/israh_index.html) by Brian Stoll.

Ilanthar
08-09-2013, 07:11 AM
Ok, so, not so far of dhownolgos.

There are far much divisions than what I recall. Good to see that the Gotha project is still at work !

Lingon
08-10-2013, 04:08 AM
The globe view is spectacular, will you map more areas of this world in the same style as Atregona?

tcberry
08-11-2013, 06:34 AM
It is possible, but, frankly, the rest of the world is not mine to do with as I please.

tcberry
01-23-2014, 03:48 AM
Completely re-vamped the first order subdivisions so they're not quite as blobby and uniform as before. You may also go here (http://www.worldofgotha.com/wiki/index.php?title=Atregonese_language) for a primer on the Atregonese script.

60646

Larger version on Deviantart (http://plexust.deviantart.com/art/Map-of-the-Atregonese-Aigentarate-389640184) (4414x3720).

tcberry
01-24-2014, 03:04 PM
A version of the banner map that doesn't require knowledge of my constructed script:

http://i.imgur.com/66oKQYm.png

Freodin
01-24-2014, 03:23 PM
That's not a bad map in itself. ;)

I must admit that, as much as I like the style of you "real" map, I don't really care for the constructed script. Almost any constructed script in maps, that is.

The problem for me is: it is already difficult to construct a suitable script... but to also put it into a font suitable for a particular style of map... that is something I haven't often seen done well.

tcberry
01-24-2014, 03:44 PM
Indeed. I suppose the question is of the utility of a map to a reader from our world, as opposed to a map from a fictional world functioning as an artifact from it. My own fontmaking (ugh, kerning), conlanging, and even mapmaking skills aside, I think that this style of map can work.

Now, would it be possible, even now, to re-do this map in a Latin script, and therefore probably improve it aesthetically? Yes. But, in my opinion, it wouldn't function as well as an artifact of the culture I am attempting to create.

Ilanthar
01-25-2014, 09:29 AM
Thanks for linking your font, I think it's a very good one!

Freodin
01-26-2014, 07:07 AM
Indeed. I suppose the question is of the utility of a map to a reader from our world, as opposed to a map from a fictional world functioning as an artifact from it. My own fontmaking (ugh, kerning), conlanging, and even mapmaking skills aside, I think that this style of map can work.

Now, would it be possible, even now, to re-do this map in a Latin script, and therefore probably improve it aesthetically? Yes. But, in my opinion, it wouldn't function as well as an artifact of the culture I am attempting to create.

I understand your point, and I agree with it. But that is exactly the problem I am having with the font.

As an artifact from your culture, the producer of that map would not only have used his own native script, but also have chosen a font suitable to his era.
Just as in our culture, there would have arisen cursive scripts for faster writing... "modern" typesetting scripts based on these... I think you get my point.

If you were to re-do your map with a Latin script and used an uncial (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Uncialis.jpg) or textura (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Textura_quadrata.svg), it would look just as "wrong". It would just not fit the style of the map.

What you would need - in my view - is an atregonaren equivalent of Didot or Garamont. But to make such a font is hard - at least for me, whose fontmaking and design skills are just bad. That is why I personally would rather go back to a latin script... the easy and lazy way to solve this problem.


I hope I could make my point clear, and that you don't see it as an overly harsh criticism of your approach to culture building. It is just that I think the style of your map is quite great, and it deserves a better font.

;)

Jalyha
01-26-2014, 10:56 AM
I'm confused - are you all talking about the font on the regular map, or the blue/white one last posted?

I've been following, and I've been confused, because... I didn't look at the main map and think "gosh, that's the wrong font" I looked and thought "gosh I wish I could decipher those runes"

(And after staring at them long enough, you *almost* can)

And it's *not* an attractive language. I mean the formation of the letters, of course... but... not all languages *are* pretty, to other cultures. So I think it really does depend on the purpose of the map.

You say it's a collaborative-type project.

If this is a map that you will distribute to everyone involved in the project for *reference*, it needs to be easily understood - and while those involved might be able to *translate* the map, it will be harder for some than others, and the map isn't functioning properly.

If it's going to be an *actual relic* from their society, and you just want to give it more realism, I think you're fine.

If it's *BOTH* things, or a combination of purposes, then I think you should find a compromise.

Example? Let's take Tolkein - you have maps that are supposed to be artifacts, but they are really meant for 1) his own reference and 2) readers of the books.

So there are SOME runes, but MOST things are spelled phonetically.

And later maps combine several latin-ish fonts that LOOK similar to the other languages. The result is that *anyone* can read the map - but it still gives the feel of being an artifact.

So really - it depends on the purpose of the map.


(And the only problem I had/have with the font (and only because I've been staring at it for hours) is that the spacing is REAALLY weird in a few places, like in the Stettant ocean or Okoen)

And... nitpicky... I can't tell which word is ocean and which is sea but you've used different ones in some places than you used on the blue/white translation maps... On the regular map, only the sea of Urruti uses a different word. Why is that?

Freodin
01-26-2014, 12:48 PM
Well, perhaps I am just too nitpicky. ;) Or it is the fever... I am quite ill at the moment. Or is the point that I am trying to make really that obscure? Or all of that? Please, please, isn't there someone who understands me? Somebody?? Anybody??? ;)

So, let's take Tolkien as an example. Thror's map (http://wordsathome2.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/thrors-map.jpg), for example. It is presented as a "genuine artifact", the very map that Thorin got from his father, or perhaps Bilbo's reproduction of it for his book. And it looks like a genuine artifact: something that a learned dwarf or hobbit would draw as a map and annotate. That the script is latin / runes is not bothering us that much - it is something we subconsciously expect. Just as we are not bothers that all these good dwarves / hobbits / elves / humans speak modern English. Unconscious suspension of disbelief at work.

But the script still is a certain kind of style. Handwritten, elaborate, with all kinds of individual flourishes. Some sort of minuscule script.
And we accept that as fitting for the setting, because we sort that kind of script under "how people wrote in the really olden times."

Now imagine this same map with all the text set in Arial. Would it still seem like something a hobbit drew?

Midgardsormr
01-26-2014, 03:10 PM
I think, Freodin, that you are making an unwarranted assumption. We don't know the nature of the culture that produced this map. We don't know their attitudes toward type and its evolution, nor much about its aesthetic tradition.

I personally find the typeface legible and attractive, and it looks suitably mechanical such that it matches the technical draftsmanship of the map, with a calligraphic flair that implies that perhaps the Atregonese value traditional formal handwriting skills, and that shows up in their typefaces.

It's true that the kerning could use some love, and I think the tracking is too wide for what I presume is the map title at the bottom. Also, tcberry, I think you should avoid the double inflections in the curved text. For example, the label that roughly matches "Sea of Urruti" in your reference image really doesn't need the second curve. There are others following other island chains that do the same thing. There may be some justification for a shape like that if you're labeling a meandering river and have a relatively high text density. In this case, mere proximity to an appropriate landform should do a good enough job of association without needing the additional contortions of following the undulation of an island chain.

Also, you may want to mask the coastline rings beneath your coastal city labels. The lines are nearly the same color, frequency and weight as the text, which reduces the (hypothetical) legibility considerably.

Jalyha
01-26-2014, 03:19 PM
Well, perhaps I am just too nitpicky. ;) Or it is the fever... I am quite ill at the moment. Or is the point that I am trying to make really that obscure? Or all of that? Please, please, isn't there someone who understands me? Somebody?? Anybody??? ;)

So, let's take Tolkien as an example. Thror's map (http://wordsathome2.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/thrors-map.jpg), for example. It is presented as a "genuine artifact", the very map that Thorin got from his father, or perhaps Bilbo's reproduction of it for his book. And it looks like a genuine artifact: something that a learned dwarf or hobbit would draw as a map and annotate. That the script is latin / runes is not bothering us that much - it is something we subconsciously expect. Just as we are not bothers that all these good dwarves / hobbits / elves / humans speak modern English. Unconscious suspension of disbelief at work.

But the script still is a certain kind of style. Handwritten, elaborate, with all kinds of individual flourishes. Some sort of minuscule script.
And we accept that as fitting for the setting, because we sort that kind of script under "how people wrote in the really olden times."

Now imagine this same map with all the text set in Arial. Would it still seem like something a hobbit drew?


No, it wouldn't. And I do understand what you're saying. (and ignoring the fact that a dwarf drew the map, not a hobbit) What *I* am saying is that if THAT is what we're going for... something for other people to *believe* it's an artifact, then you're right. It should be a few runes from the old language and a complimentary script.

What I'm *ALSO* saying is that maybe that's not the OP's purpose for this map. Perhaps this wants this to be a *truly* genuine artifact, in which case, he's right, it should not have ANY latin script, because, as is obvious from the map, they *don't* speak in modern english.

This is an entirely different language, and maybe that *is* how they write. I definitely think something's wrong with the way it flows... and I truly think that's mainly the spacing... but I don't see an issue with using their language on their map? :?

tcberry
01-27-2014, 03:59 AM
@Freodin - I do sincerely appreciate your comments about the script, and your compliments on the map as a whole. Understand that my font-making ability is extremely limited, and I did try, initially, to create a font similar to a traditional Latin serif-style font. After several abortive attempts, I landed on this "fraktur" style font due to the ease in constructing the glyphs from a small set of primal strokes. As the approximately equivalent time period for Gotha is the turn of the 20th century (and the Fraktur-Antiqua dispute was ongoing in Germany at the time), I am reasonably happy with rationalizing my use of a "blackletter" font here. (Though my attempts to find an engraved map with blackletter lettering to back me up here has been frustratingly fruitless. ;)) Here's a version in English to appease you: :D

60743

@Midgardsormr - Thank you for the note on the text curves. Looking at it now, I do see that perhaps a simpler curve may be better; I'll play with it for following iterations. I will also look in to applying some sort of mask to improve legibility of coastal text, and I am continuing to refine the kerning/tracking issues.

@Jalyha - You're absolutely right, there is still some inconsistency between the Latin reference map made for the wiki and the map here. However, I do have a few different things being named here. Where it says "Sea of Urruti" on the wiki map, it actually reads "Eccasian Islands" (ekhial uharteak) on the Atregonese map. Sea of Urruti would probably read something like urruti istasho, as that sea is not yet named on the Atregonese map.

Thank you all for your very helpful comments.

Jalyha
01-27-2014, 04:06 AM
Oooo i see it now :)

I'mma figure out this language eventually :P

tcberry
01-27-2014, 05:55 AM
Well, it's Basque, essentially, just with a new alphabet.

Nathan
01-27-2014, 10:24 AM
Wow. I'm impressed. It looks perfect ! Congrats for the style !