PDA

View Full Version : Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP



feanaaro
01-21-2014, 10:37 PM
This is the beginning of a city project that I harbored for a long time (and will take a long time to be completed, as usual), which I am able to do now that I have a new computer better able to handle large .psd files.
Basically this is a large city, which I am going to draw gradually from its founding up to its fully developed "present" state in my imagined world. There may even be some little story attached to each stage, if I find the time and energy to write it, but the main purpose is that by designing it step by step, thinking about the necessities and the resources available to the people inhabiting and building it, I will be able to achieve a more organic and realistic feeling, which until now has eluded me (or so I feel).
It's going to be a pretty large map, here you can see a 50% size of the basic terrain, where 1px=2m (1px=1m in my working version), so it is 9km*6.5km.
Of course any comment, critique or suggestion would be highly welcomed.

60532

Ilanthar
01-22-2014, 05:27 AM
Sounds like an interesting and cool project to me !

feanaaro
01-23-2014, 01:49 PM
Humble beginnings for what is going to be a great city.

60604

(I was lazy and did not double-check the English. Please forgive any error.

Edit: Corrected (hopefully) text

Elinore
circa 350 years aKf (~year 10 Ec )

The exact time of the founding remains just as uncertain as the identity of the first colonists. Most commonly, the present citizens place the founding of the city in the year 341 after the passage of the Kelerion’s falls, and they claim to come directly from the original lineage of the Elorils, upstream of Kyriakor and even of the Kelerion‘s waterfalls themselves. Others say that cannot be true, since at the claimed date of the founding Kiryakor was a sizeable city, already warring with the Namharim tribes, and therefore Elorils’ migration from upstream must have already ceased by then. This would support the claim that all the Eloril cities in the great Keleryon valley were originally Kiryakor’s colonies (understandibly, not a popular thesis downstream). However, history from such early times is sketchy and fragmented, thus no one can know for sure.
Probably, like most younh colonies, Elinore was originally a rather egalitarian democracy, with some informal prominence recognized to the leader of the expedition.
The “city” at the time was not much to speak of, subsisting on simple agriculture and river fishing; it is nevertheless possible that the original colonists chose the site as they already foresaw the potential of a place where the Akaderyon river met the Kelerion, and the great river was potentially bridgeable thanks to the group of islands.
The few notable features of the original village include the common hall (1), stables (2), and a logging camp (3).

Jalyha
01-23-2014, 03:08 PM
Hi there!!

This looks really amazing; I bet it will be fabulous when it's completed!

I really like your trees, and I LOVE the farms... but, I don't know how to say it... The trees look like they are sitting on air above the ground? I think it may be the shadows are too big, but I'm not sure?

Also, I want to help you with your description. You have a few typos/grammar nitpicks there... not a big deal, but if you want to, you might change them :)

"remains juast as uncertain" = "remains just as uncertain"

"must already had ceased" = "must have already ceased"

"understandibly" = "understandably"

"agricolture" = "agriculture"

The English is pretty good. :) I can't wait to watch your city grow! :P

feanaaro
01-23-2014, 03:21 PM
Thanks. It's because I usually rely on the automatic spellcheck (well, I still have the grammar to respond for...), but now I wrote directly in PS. I'll be more diligent next time (maybe)

Jalyha
01-23-2014, 03:33 PM
It actually isn't bad... might even make it more realistic. Words were spelled several different ways for a very long time, so you might have many errors in the language on a map. :)

TheHoarseWhisperer
01-23-2014, 05:21 PM
This does sound like a great project, and your progress is very promising so far. One thing I was going to mention is that the islands in your river look a bit wrong. It might be that they look like they've just been dropped there for no reason. In the only examples of riverine islands I know of (Ile de la Citte and Ile Saint-Louis in Paris, and the Tiber Island which you obvously wold be familiar with) the islands occupy most of the width of the river, and alter the way water flows around them. Eg the Tiber is widest where it passes the island (I'm not doing a great job of explaining myself. If there are any geologists reading this, could they please explain it more clearly). I also doubt those islands would appear where a tributary is entering the main river.

Also I thought I'd mention that many English towns (and this probably applies to river ports everywhere) placed their first jetties not on the main river, but on the tributaries of that river. The reason is that the strength of the current was lower in tributaries, and so provided extra protection for boats (especially in a flood).

Hope those thoughts are helpful and don't cause too much problems. As I said, this is a great idea, and I wish you luck with it.

feanaaro
01-23-2014, 06:00 PM
I am not entirely happy with the look of the islands either. One single large island occupying most of the river did not appeal to me, since the river is so wide (~1200m). Are you sure that in any case there is a river island then the river widens? Do you think just widening it a bit would make it look more realistic?
I am not an expert in rivers or geology (or anything), and I don't want to die over details either, but if I can make it more realistic without too much work I'm all for it.

As for the tributary, there will be soon developments in that direction too. I think that such a wide river flowing through a plain should not have an insurmountable current. It better not, indeed, since the river is the main transport route for the region and the center of the entire civilization inhabiting it and its surroundings.

Jalyha
01-23-2014, 06:18 PM
Actually I don't think that's true.

The mississippi river in the US has MANY islands in the river. Here's one off that little bump in illinois;

The largest, Quinsippi island, is about half the size of the river.

It comes right after the tributary from the river out by goose lake meets up with the mississippi.

Right before (almost at) the meeting of those two rivers are 3 smaller islands. None of those is more than 1/5 the width of the mississippi.

People don't see this a *LOT* because most rivers aren't as wide. A narrow river hits a piece of high ground and only has enough pressure to go around it one way. A big ole river like the mississippi will split, because the pressure of all that water hits the high ground and splits...

I dunno how to explain it.

Anyway, what makes an "island" in the middle of a river is simply that the ground there is higher than the water level.

The size of the island compared to the size of the river depends on how big the hill is and how wide your river is.

Quinsippi island:

60615


You can't see this from further up, but it's there. :)

The thing about the jetties makes sense though. :P

feanaaro
01-23-2014, 06:46 PM
So, should I widen it or not? I mean, would it be necessary to widen it, or could it make sense even as it is?

Jalyha
01-23-2014, 06:59 PM
It COULD make sense. The problem is that for most people, it doesn't. I happen to be a farmgirl who grew up along the mississippi, so I knew of that one. Most people've not seen things that way. And your islands don't seem as much like hills, and being hills is what makes them make sense, so...


I think you should either:

A) Lose the islands

B) Make the islands follow the coast a bit more, and bring them closer together

or

C) Widen the river

Or leave it like it is :P

It's really a matter of personal preference, but, tbh, I wasn't saying that the other posts were *wrong*... just that there are exceptions. It's still not typical for most rivers.

TheHoarseWhisperer
01-23-2014, 07:15 PM
Another suggestion for those islands: what I've noticed in all the examples so far given is that, no matter the size, location or number of islands, the river has a main channel and some smaller ones. The Mississippi actually shows the main channel sidestepping the islands. Perhaps you should just tweak the shores a bit to give it a clear main channel.

PS: There's also a type of waterway called a braided stream/river. Perhaps check out some images of them in Google Images to get an idea (but be aware that they occur in a very specific geographic range).

Zach
01-23-2014, 07:16 PM
I am not entirely happy with the look of the islands either. One single large island occupying most of the river did not appeal to me, since the river is so wide (~1200m). Are you sure that in any case there is a river island then the river widens? Do you think just widening it a bit would make it look more realistic?

If you put islands in a river, any of several things could happen. The constraint is that if X cubic meters of water flow into and around the islands per second, X cubic meters per second must flow out the other side.
First, the river could flood slightly in that area, or raise itself higher out of the banks. This is unlikely unless the river is descending at a fairly steep angle (and flowing quickly to begin with); on a flat river this scenario would have the water flowing briefly uphill.
Second, the river could become deeper in that localized area. Also unlikely; the islands would erode quickly.
Third, the water pressure could increase, but since these are rivers and not water pipes that won't happen.
Fourth, part of the river could go underground for a short distance, but if you ask me that seems awfully contrived.
Fifth, and most likely, the river will momentarily widen its course around the islands. If the islands are close to shore it may widen even more because it will not be so deep there.

Personally, I think it looks fine; it doesn't scream "this river is too narrow".

Z

feanaaro
01-24-2014, 12:30 PM
I think I will re-do the river, and maybe the entire terrain. Better to do it now before going further into the city development. I must also work on textures, to find something that works well both zoomed in and zoomed out.

feanaaro
01-25-2014, 10:20 PM
I tweaked the river edges, some of the colors, and a few other things.
Thoughts?

60684

Jalyha
01-25-2014, 10:43 PM
Hmmm... the wider river looks more plausible, but something is still off.

I think it's the islands... not sure if its the overall shape or what, but they feel disconnected to me?

In the *thumbnail*, and zoomed out, the river banks (and the definition of the hills) look smudged. Close up, they look really good :) Looks like your land continues, under the water.

Your islands don't have that look, but really, they *are* hills under the water... So I'm wondering if A) You can give them the same effect, and B) If the smudginess in the thumb bothers you at all.

Everything else looks really great, as far as I can tell.

feanaaro
01-25-2014, 10:53 PM
I am not aware of a way in which the river banks could be "soft", so that there appear to be a continuous transition from land to water as it should be, and at the same time not look "smudged" when zoomed out.
My original idea with the islands (don't know if it makes sense geologically) was that they are like "spikes" from the underlying bedrock (like small mesas, not really, but more or less); so that the river flow eroded the surface soil but let them standing. Thus, the islands should have very steep banks, unlike the regular river fronts. Whether this reasoning hold or not, I am not sure I could get the same effect as the regular banks, there is not enough space around the islands for all the bevels at the size they are now.

TheHoarseWhisperer
01-25-2014, 11:33 PM
I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of drawing on your map to illustrate roughly how I think the islands could be made to work better. I also got carried away, and started messing around with the hills (which look good, by the way, but for realism could be perhaps less circular).

I made the assumption that the river flows from right to left, as shown by the black arrow (it it doesn't, I think you might need to reconsider that tributary stream). As a result of my interventions, I also think the river may not be as wide as you had originally planned it, and I may have bulldozed over your village. Sorry about that. On the flip side, the river looks a bit more sinuous, which, in my opinion, helps realism. Hope this is helpful.

EDIT: I agree with Jalyha about the riverbanks. It does look good in the closeup, and I wouldn't worry about it too much for the thumbnail (except try to make it consistent at all points, including around the islands).

feanaaro
01-25-2014, 11:53 PM
I don't think that a small hill (roughly 2*2km, and maybe 150-200m high) could support 8 streams flowing to the rivers. For example, Rome is very hilly as it is well known, and yet no stream goes from the hills to the Tiber (plus, the entire region is not particularly rainy).
The river as you draw it looks indeed better, but it does not make sense either to have it so narrow – this is longer than the Nile and draws the watershed of a continent-sized area, though not a tropical one, so probably smaller than the Amazon – nor to have multiple islands so large, I think. I should probably try to get a better shape for the river, though I am finding difficult to obtain a good result. It would probably be easier if it were narrower, but it can't be.

TheHoarseWhisperer
01-26-2014, 01:23 AM
Hate to contradict you feanaaro, especially about Rome, but I think the original city may have had streams among its hills. I studied Roman history a few years ago, and remember learning that the early settlers had problems with flooding (in the low areas) and drainage. The first villages were located in the hills as a result, and a major early project was the Cloaca Maxima. Any streams that may have existed then will be covered as the city expands. I am uncertain about whether there were any real rivers in early Rome, but I do know that London had numerous small rivers that have been subsequently buried by urban development. You might be surprised, is all I'm saying.

If your river is meant to be so large, I think I know the perfect example for you to work from. The Yenisei in northern Russia has a huge watershed, and numerous islands along its course. Try checking it out in GoogleEarth ( I just did, and recommend the area around 69-70 degrees N and 84-85 degrees E).

feanaaro
01-26-2014, 01:46 AM
Flooding of the Tiber has always been a problem, until they built the current banks in the late nineteenth century (I think), that does not necessarily mean that there were significant streams coming from the hills. That is well possible, but if as you said they had problem with drainage, that would seem an hint against the presence of permanent streams, otherwise the water would have been drained into the river and they would not have had the problem to begin with. The region where this city is, in any case, is less rainy than Rome, and certainly much less than London.
I am trying to look at the Yenisei, but for some reason google maps blanks out for me in that area.

Edit: I know this will seem really stupid, but I am apparently unable to draw any decently sinuous line... maybe I would need a graphic tablet, I don't know...

Jalyha
01-26-2014, 10:29 AM
I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of drawing on your map to illustrate roughly how I think the islands could be made to work better. I also got carried away, and started messing around with the hills (which look good, by the way, but for realism could be perhaps less circular).

I made the assumption that the river flows from right to left, as shown by the black arrow (it it doesn't, I think you might need to reconsider that tributary stream). As a result of my interventions, I also think the river may not be as wide as you had originally planned it, and I may have bulldozed over your village. Sorry about that. On the flip side, the river looks a bit more sinuous, which, in my opinion, helps realism. Hope this is helpful.

EDIT: I agree with Jalyha about the riverbanks. It does look good in the closeup, and I wouldn't worry about it too much for the thumbnail (except try to make it consistent at all points, including around the islands).

THAT sketch fixed the problem I had with the islands, so I think it was a positioning thing.


I don't think that a small hill (roughly 2*2km, and maybe 150-200m high) could support 8 streams flowing to the rivers. For example, Rome is very hilly as it is well known, and yet no stream goes from the hills to the Tiber (plus, the entire region is not particularly rainy).
The river as you draw it looks indeed better, but it does not make sense either to have it so narrow – this is longer than the Nile and draws the watershed of a continent-sized area, though not a tropical one, so probably smaller than the Amazon – nor to have multiple islands so large, I think. I should probably try to get a better shape for the river, though I am finding difficult to obtain a good result. It would probably be easier if it were narrower, but it can't be.

Your hill is about 30 times the size of your village, on first glance. Your village is 6 farm plots across, and each farm plot *appears* to be about the size of a city block. (which is REALLY small, for a farm, but anyway...) That's a half mile. across... let's call the village 1 square mile... that makes the hill 48.2803 km2. So... something's off with either the perspective or your calculations. which may be why the hill looked like it could support that many streams, and the cause of this whole discussion.



but if as you said they had problem with drainage, that would seem an hint against the presence of permanent streams, otherwise the water would have been drained into the river and they would not have had the problem to begin with. Edit: I know this will seem really stupid, but I am apparently unable to draw any decently sinuous line... maybe I would need a graphic tablet, I don't know...

I'm not even sure what you're talking about. Streams don't (typically, where I'm from) just drain away, any more than rivers do. The water comes from whatever source it came from in the first place, and keeps flowing (usually) ... that's WHY there would be a problem with drainage... There's tons of hills around here with even more springs that feed into the river, and they been doin that for ages?


And I'm having problems with sinuous lines too :/ Maybe is because I'm using the touchpad on my laptop :(

feanaaro
01-26-2014, 11:01 AM
The farm plots are very small indeed. Actually, those are not even proper farms, just the little fields the first colonists put up next to their houses. Notice that there are perhaps 100 people in the village at this point. In any case, the size of the plots may be wrong, but the scale is 1px = 1m (1px = 2m in the overall map which I had to halve in size to upload). And the hill is roughly 2*2km. The entire village (minus the dock and the logging camp) would fit in a rectangle of 270*170m.
I am now trying to get the rivers a little more sinuous and the islands a little more believable.

feanaaro
01-26-2014, 12:46 PM
Ok, here is another attempt. I hope it looks better. It still does not look as good as HoarseWisperer's modification, but keeping the river wide enough and with my incapacity to draw this is what I could do.
Figuring that the appearance of the river could be improved by an higher length/width ratio, I also enlarged the whole map a little bit (now the depicted area is 10*7.2km)

60703

TheHoarseWhisperer
01-26-2014, 04:57 PM
Well I've said my piece about the river and its islands before, so I'll keep this brief. I've attached a quick grab from GoogleEarth of the Yenisei, to show you what I meant about the islands in a large river. I also took a measurement of the width of the river, roughly in the middle of the picture, and it is over 6km (assuming GoogleEarth measurements are accurate). You might also want to notice that all rivers (and especially large ones) become increasingly twisted as they enter flat country, and get close to their outlets. I've forgotten the name of loops in rivers, but if you look up Oxbow Lakes you'll probably find out what I mean.

All that aside, your new version of the river does indeed look better, although I still think you should have a main channel (i.e. at least one of the channels passing the islands should be larger, perhaps twice as wide as you've drawn it).

And, quickly, I don't know how realistic your farms are in terms of size, but you should remember that farms in the middle ages were much smaller than modern ones. Try looking up burgage plots to get a sense of how much land one family would have to farm.

feanaaro
01-26-2014, 05:15 PM
In terms of realism and beauty, you are right. The problem is that if I make the main channel realistically wide (say 500m or more), then it would also be unbridgeable, defeating the story-driven purpose of having islands in the first place. (btw, what would be in your opinion the maximum width which would be bridgeable with some plausibility in a non-mechanized society?)
6km would be too wide. I think of this river a bit like a longer Mississipi; that is to say a great river but not one so huge as the Amazon or the Congo in terms of discharge. This is because even if it drains a very large area, it is almost all within temperate/cold climates and almost all in the rain shadow of one or another mountain chain. Thus I would not expect the rainfall to be substantial enough to generate an Amazon-wide, or even Yenisei-wide, river.
Wikipedia says that the Mississipi is ~1.6km at its widest. This one would probably be more, but since this place is still quite far from the mouth, I think that ~1.2-1.3km is within the realms of plausibility.
Does this make sense?

Jalyha
01-26-2014, 05:58 PM
Well I've said my piece about the river and its islands before, so I'll keep this brief. I've attached a quick grab from GoogleEarth of the Yenisei, to show you what I meant about the islands in a large river. I also took a measurement of the width of the river, roughly in the middle of the picture, and it is over 6km (assuming GoogleEarth measurements are accurate). You might also want to notice that all rivers (and especially large ones) become increasingly twisted as they enter flat country, and get close to their outlets. I've forgotten the name of loops in rivers, but if you look up Oxbow Lakes you'll probably find out what I mean.

All that aside, your new version of the river does indeed look better, although I still think you should have a main channel (i.e. at least one of the channels passing the islands should be larger, perhaps twice as wide as you've drawn it).




I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, but ... well, first of all, there's no such thing as "all rivers do" anything. Any rule you think up, there's an exception, and, usually more than one.

Secondly, that picture covers a LONG length of river, so it doesn't matter what the width is in one spot... the terrain is different all down the length of it.

And /that/ is what makes a river move, or widen, or branch off, or makes tributaries flow into it.

There's more than one big river, more than one island in those rivers, and more than one way it could flow.

This is a very small section of map, a miniscule piece of a river, and you can't really generalize it based on what's shown here.

The river islands on this map are entirely plausible, depending on the conditions around it, and, quite frankly, with the information we've been given, there's no reason to think it isn't.

The reason you *usually* see islands only in the widest bits of a river is because that's where the land *under* the river is lower, over a wider distance, and there's a big ole' hill in the middle of that area. The river fills the lower ground, but does not climb the hill (island).

They *can* be any size of hill or rock, any width of ground, and any size river.

I think this river will be okay as is.

But, if you want more reference points, here's a few more images (since there's more than one big river in the world):


A comparably *sized* section of the Yenisei river:

60719

Some more islands in a big stretch of the mississippi:

60720

A weird little island in the middle of the nile:

60721

just saying.. it varies.

TheHoarseWhisperer
01-26-2014, 06:36 PM
You're right that there are always exceptions, but there are also general principles that can be referenced. Nonetheless, Jalyha, point taken, and I doff my hat to you. Really, it comes down to feanaaro, and his/her preferences. This discussion has lasted quite a while, and I would advise him/her to avoid getting bogged down on one issue. Many good maps have been ruined that way, so good luck to you.

About the length of a bridge in pre-mechanised times, I don't have much to add, but I heard once that London was chosen by the Romans as their capital (in Britain) because it was the lowest part of the Thames that was bridgeable. The width of the river at that point is ~240 m. If this story is true, then that should be the maximum length of a river (if the Romans couldn't build a longer bridge, then surely nobody else could). But, as with rivers, there may be exceptions (depending on the strength of the current, depth of the river, type of building materials etc.).

Jalyha
01-26-2014, 06:47 PM
I suppose I'm so adamant cause I grew up near an exception :P

I don't know anything about old bridges, though, so ya'll are on your own there. Sounds about right, though.

RedKettle
02-03-2014, 05:38 AM
...The problem is that if I make the main channel realistically wide (say 500m or more), then it would also be unbridgeable, defeating the story-driven purpose of having islands in the first place. (btw, what would be in your opinion the maximum width which would be bridgeable with some plausibility in a non-mechanized society?)...

Poking through a looong list of old Roman bridges on Wikipedia, I came across:

Puente Romano (Mérida) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puente_Romano_%28M%C3%A9rida%29)


...It is the longest surviving bridge from ancient times, having once featured an estimated overall length of 755 m with 62 spans...

:o

I am not sure which conditions led the Romans to build this bridge, but I assume the large island helped. Based on that example, I would have to say bridging a river 500m wide is plausible to me, especially in an area where the river is shallower/has islands.

feanaaro
02-03-2014, 11:07 AM
That's a good point. One of the many things I am not is an architect (or, make it two, an engineer). However I would guess that if the water is shallow enough that you can easily plant as many spans' pillars (or whatever they are called) as you want, than a bridge could technically be any length (elevated portions of roman aqueducts were in fact bridge over land, and they could be very long). However, would that (plausibly) be the case for such a big river? Not sure.

Edit: This is the bridge (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=puente+romano&ie=UTF8&ll=38.913089,-6.350012&spn=0.004339,0.005466&sll=38.914265,-6.342229&sspn=0.098172,0.174923&near=06800+M%C3%A9rida,+Badajoz,+Spain&geocode=CQG6gkH5IWnEFdnIUQIdqzmf_ynnPwJ7kCYUDTHerS zCWsJa_g&t=k&hq=puente+romano&fll=38.913008,-6.350366&fspn=0.004339,0.005466&z=18). The river looks quite shallow, and besides the given length seems to be for the entire bridge; but it touches the island in-between, so the actual width of the longer uninterrupted tract of river is less.

Jalyha
02-03-2014, 11:36 AM
A river is (typically) going to be much shallower near any islands, though... just as it's shallower near the shoreline on either side, it's shallower near the shoreline of the island.

The *height* of the river water doesn't change, but the height of the *land* beneath it does.


The land doesn't just drop off and disappear, giving you a floating pile of earth. TECTONICS don't form river islands. It's not the ocean. EROSION and LAND HEIGHT forms river islands.

So *every* island, especially the ones that are closer together, are going to help with crossing that river ... and I'm sure that includes bridging it. :)

60995

Gamerprinter
02-03-2014, 11:48 AM
@ Jalyha - not always true. In the section of the Illinois River, where I live (in north central Illinois) are featured with large sandstone bluffs formed from ancient sea sand turned to stone, then about 10,000 years ago a huge ice dammed lake formed as the glaciers melted back broke open and millions of gallons of water poured out forming the channels and cut sandstone bluffs of the Illinois River valley over the course of 3 days - not millions of years like most erosion. Many of the islands here are kind of mushroom in shape, where the portions under the rivers surface actually cut under the islands above the water, as in the illustration below. Granted it was fairly unusual geologic formation due to catastrophic erosion event, but this happened at many places around the world at the end of the ice age.

60996

Jalyha
02-03-2014, 12:11 PM
YES! GOOD! You're right and I like that. Don't ever let me generalize :)

BUT you're still illustrating (with a better illustration) my key point. The slope is gentler near the edge of the land. :)

That's sediment build up, right there. Good 'ole homegrown dirt.

If you look at the same size/scale cutaway of a part of the river with no islands, you'll see a deeper river... cause the river bottom keeps sloping underneath.

My AMAZING illustration:

60997


The section you showed would still be easier to ford (or swim, or bridge) than a section with no island, yes? :)

Gamerprinter
02-03-2014, 12:18 PM
Oh, I wasn't arguing one couldn't cross a river with such formations, only that not all islands have sloping edges.

Jalyha
02-03-2014, 12:21 PM
Yeah, I know that's what I meant about me generalizing - I was being lazy :)

OH I guess I should add, since laziness isn't allowed, that some river islands are *entirely* deposits of rock/sediment.

They still have the same effect, but instead of being part of the land, they're formed by, basically, large amounts of rocks piling up over time :)

Usually the weight of the water compresses the rocks and makes it really solid, but sometimes there's holes and gaps and (I forget which river it was) but one time this whole ISLAND collapsed, cause the rocks over a really big gap just fell in o.o.

I was like whoa. :D

feanaaro
02-07-2014, 12:14 AM
I hope to have finally reached a definitive shape for the river.
Meanwhile, the second step in the history of the great city.

61110

Jalyha
02-07-2014, 12:41 AM
I see you widened it? :)

I think everything looks pretty good (was afraid you'd been scared off!)"

I waas going to say something about there being so many villages in such a small area, usually they'd be much more scattered... but then, your area is bigger than it looks, AND if they were competing for this area, I can see it happening easily :)

(And I hope Elinore is the one that builds the ginormous bridge! :D )

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-07-2014, 12:55 AM
I like the river much more now. Also, at the risk of starting another furious discussion, I disagree with Jalyha about the villages. Dense settlement was the norm in many parts of Europe (as GoogleEarth reveals) and more often a rarity in Australia and USA (where I assume you are from, Jalyha?).

Point being, I don't think there's a problem with your (i.e. feanaaro's) update.

EDIT: I do have one comment to provide: medieval farming rarely involved large rectangular or square farming plots. More commonly, fields would be divided into long strips, each worked by a different family. These plots of land were the main way people got food for the table, so only in large towns and cities, where sufficient wealth exists to import food, would you not find this arrangement of fields (which are called burgages, by the way). Thus even the inhabitants of your villages should have burgage plots (which could be outside your back door, or could be a five minute walk away). Just thought I'd mention it.

THW

Jalyha
02-07-2014, 01:12 AM
Europe is little :P

I meant overall... not in any specific area and dense settlements happened, even in Europe, around resources, or large cities... points of interest, let's say. Tiny villages (like those depicted) were mostly scattered, without those points of interest.


Since the river (the only bridgeable area of the river) is one of these points, I was actually saying the settlement *does* make sense :)


And yes, I'm from the USA, but I try not to let that bother me :P


Also: THANK you, about the farms. No one ever believes me about the big ole' perfectly even rectangles >.<

Falconius
02-07-2014, 03:34 AM
Scattered dwellings such as those in the New World are unlikely in any period where bands of thugs can easily wander around burning stuff down and stealing things. Oh and killing and raping too of course. It wasn't really until the invention of guns that the requirement for company eased.

foremost
02-07-2014, 07:32 AM
I think these are errors you might want to fix.
Very cool project.

61125

feanaaro
02-07-2014, 09:40 AM
Thanks for the comments.

I am not completely happy with the look of the fields, but at the same time I don't want to waste too much time on them, since they will have to be drawn and redrawn at every stage as the city grows. The in-world justification, however, would be that at this point there is no private property of the land, they do things in common in these little villages. Later on, when society will become more segmented, the area around the city will be occupied by specialized farms which can profitably provide the city with fresh produce (while grains could more easily be transported from farther away). Thus in either case you won't see the typical middle-ages single-family lot. The ideal-type for this and the other cities I've done, anyway, is much closer to antiquity than to the middle ages.

Jalyha
02-07-2014, 09:47 AM
Not scattered dwellings. Scattered *villages*.

I will be more clear: I'm in NO way talking about the "new world".

You would have, typically, at least a half day's walk between farming villages, usually more. Since these are obvs villages, and not yet towns or cities (and not single dwellings) No, you wouldn't *typically* expect to see 4 of them converging in one spot.

But, as was stated, it *is* a strategic area, and vying for resources is one reason for the exception. :)

feanaaro
02-07-2014, 09:50 AM
Consider also that only two villages are actually connected by land. In the other cases, you just cannot walk from one to another. There is a lot of water in between. (notice that even the smaller river is ~250m wide at its narrowest).

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 12:02 AM
I've got the next step more or less done, I just need to finish some details and add the text description.
As I see it, at this point it should be a town of ~5000 people. Do you think the proportions are more or less right (I know there should be more fields, I'm talking about the buildings now)?

61227

edit: for reference, the area enclosed by the palisade is ~0.6 Km^2

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 02:34 AM
Well... it looks like you have about.. idk? I would estimate maybe 556 buildings. That's every man-made structure on the map except the wall and the docks.

Say 1/3 of those are utility buildings - barns, meeting house, towers, granaries, etc. (A conservative estimate, of course)

That leaves 371 *dwellings*.


If each family is 4 people, say, a guy, his wife, 2 kids, that's a population of about 1484. If 1/3 of those families have an extra couple kids - say 2, that would give you 240 more, for a total of 1724.

Yeah, some people might have more kids, but some will have 1 or none, so it kind of averages out. I'll give you the crazy guy that sleeps in the woods, and call it 1725..

Now, since this is early ages of your world, a lot of families will group together... 2nd and maybe even third generations. So we'll take your 371 buildings, and say half of them (185ish) have gramma living there... so 1910. Half of the grandmas still have hubby, so we'll call it an even 2000. Let's say you have a whole 50 great grands, that's 2050

Then you'll have orphans: Pot boys, stable boys, chambermaids, whatever, who sleep where they work... usually less than 1/4 of the population, but let's say you have a whole 500. That's 2550.

You're just over halfway to 5000.

Hmmm... if a few of those bigger houses are filled with higher-ranking live-in servants, or two families living in a home.. like a duplex or something... you could add another 5 people x 7-10 buildings that might be big enough to hold them, and have 2600 people.

So... if you want to be really precise, then no, you don't have enough buildings for 5000 people.

If you just want it to *look good*, and no one will be estimating the population, it looks busy enough, but, no it's not 5000, realistically.


What I would suggest is that you take some of the fields out from inside the walls. What would be more realistic, is if the people in the city (as it grew) built on that land, and the farmers were kind of shifted *out*. You'd still want your granaries and such inside the walls, and there could be some farm land (but more realistically, small plots within a larger plot, since that's how it was done long long ago).

You could then freely place more buildings within the walls.

I'd also make sure your FURTHER farm fields all had at least one building on them (more like 3-4 or more, but oh well).

That should give you the buildings you need (300 can be explained, 400 still a stretch, 500 good, 600 better) to reach a population of 5000.

Then again, A) This isn't an exact science and B) I rarely see fantasy maps with enough buildings to actually justify the population, so...

Let me give you CP. CP is a real town, population just under 1200. It's not really a town, it's a village, and exists, right now, today :)

This town has all kinds of buildings your town wouldn't have... bowling alley, gas station, grocery store, but it also has no blacksmith, or market, or meeting hall.

It does have stables, and barns, and a (lol) town hall. There's a school, which you might not have, and a few churches and a bar, which could pass for an alehouse.

no inn, it's too small.. :P

As for measurements... that's on the map.


People in CP live (I know from experience) like it was still medieval times. They have lots of babies to help with chores, and everyone knows everyone else's business.

There's 469 *homes* with families of whatever size/however many generations (they most is 4 generations right now - 18 people in one house) living in them... some are empty. The total number of houses is 514. Then there's your businesses, and the farms on the outskirts (nearer to CP than any other village .. the next which is a couple miles away, and counted in the census, but not the village statistics. Huh.) bringing the total to around 780 buildings.


Population 1200. Buildings 780. Granted it would be a little different in your time/world, but...


61230

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 10:05 AM
I am too lazy to count the buildings individually, so I proceeded by calculating the total area occupied by buildings, and that was roughly 100000 m^2. Some of this will be shops, workshops, public spaces etc; but then many buildings would have two floors, and moreover in pre-modern times there was not a strong separation between living and working spaces as there is today. So, balancing out the non-living buildings with the two-floor buildings, I'll just say that the total living space is 100k mq.* I think that 20mq of living space per person seems like a reasonable average for their situation and technological level (they certainly don't live in the typical american home of 300mq; well, except New York, here many people have 20mq or less available for themselves!).

Regarding the fields, the largest farm plot inside the palisade is ~11000 mq, meaning that it would be 100m*110m (it is not so square though), which I think is a small plot like you are asking. And that is the largest one (inside), the others are all smaller, with some at ~3000mq or less. How small should they be otherwise?

*I was thinking of keeping the same proportion across time, since later there will be many more non-housing buildings, but the houses will also become taller and, at least for the poorer classes, even more densely inhabited.

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 12:12 PM
Your square mileage is good, but your # of buildings simply won't hold that many people - especially if you're making them smaller homes.

You don't have office buildings and whatnot, people's home is their work, yes. But there are still Barns, and Stables, a meeting hall, granaries, watchtowers... familes don't live in those. And even if they did, you have 556 buildings (I know I said "about", but I'm like Rainman with that sort of thing, so no one needs to count, there are 556)

(That is, if the large groups that look like 3-4 houses/buildings touching are seperate houses/buildings - otherwise you have less)

556 buildings, and 5000 people means 9 people per house.

That's Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, JimBob, BillyJoe, MaryAnn, PeggySue, and little Susie Q.

Every man is married, both his parents are alive, and he has 5 kids. Every. Single. Man.

You can balance it out and say, well, but some houses have servants, and so on... but those servants came from one of your other houses to begin with.

So then you get into some families having more than 5 kids, but every family has at least 5.



You're right, people didn't have as much *area* in their houses. A lot of em might be a single room. And honestly, not everyone would be able to survive feeding 9 people in a 1 room house. So you need more 1 room houses.


And you still don't have the buildings that you *can't* live in - like food storage (granaries) and stables. It's not about the area - it's about the actual number of structures. Even if some of your buildings are 2 or 3 stories tall, to reasonably, consistently house a population of 5000 you need at least 1000 buildings.


Farms: First, let me say, you get tons of respect from me for your farms. They aren't all perfect squares, or laid out completely straight, or all growing the same thing... they look like farms. And the city farms are, generally, smaller than the country farms, and not all of them (in any area) are the same size.

EXCELLENT on the farms.

But.

Your city farms are the same size as your smaller country farms. You can *call* the area whatever you want, but compared to the other things on the map - they are huge. Especially if your houses are tiny 1-roomers.

Your city has enough space for farms *outside the walls* and as cities grow, farms *inside* the city limits dwindle AND shrink.

If this was a village of 1,000 - 2,000 people, I'd say it looks perfect. EVERYTHING, perfect. But you want 5000 people. That means more buildings *inside* the walls, and that means you'd probably lose some farmland.

The way *City* farms tend to work is it's one big community garden... (or maybe 1 per "block", depending on lots of things). Each family would have one little plot inside that community garden, which is just big enough to grow what they need for their family. The rest of the food for the city comes from *outlying* farms.

And you're right, those farms will be a lot smaller than modern farms.

A small farm inside my rural hometown (CP) is maybe 200m x 200 m.. about 40,000 m2 ... what's that, about 40km2?

Even the small farms are modern farms now, so they've got big machines that can cover like 4 times the area of a farm way back when.

What you need, for a FARMING family in a low-tech society like this, is a farm about half that size (100m * 100m) or LESS. That's your out in the country farms... which look pretty nearly that size (except for the biggest ones)

The ones in your city should be way smaller than that... or way fewer. You want farms less than 1/4 the size of your outlying farms (think big gardens). So... either there's fewer of those inside-the-city farms, and each of them is broke up into small plots for multiple familes, or you have *much* smaller farms.

Those city people have other jobs... blacksmith or baker or shoemaker, or whatever, and simply don't have time to farm that much land.

You need (sorry I'm bad with metric, so not precise) just under 1 square mile (1.6 km2?) of farmland to support 180 people. so total, you need about 44 km2 farmland to support your population of 5000. If I'm doing the math right (>.<) you're saying your largest town/smallest country farm plots are 1 km2... that means you need 44 to fully support your entire population. You have 45 outside the town (46 if you count the tiny one, dead center.

Your people simply do not need that much farmland inside the city walls, and they won't live in cramped, crowded buildings until they've used up the available space inside the walls... and that means your town farms.

What's likely to happen, from a sociological standpoint, and depending on your hierarchy, is that the people with money will buy out, or force out (or the government will do so) the farms from the town-farmers. Then they will build housing, and necessary buildings, like granaries and stables, watchtowers and whatnot.

Logically, while your layout works for a *VERY PROSPEROUS* village (tons of food to sell.. they have 2-4 times what they can eat!) of 1000 - 2000, it simply does not seem plausible for a town of 5000.

That's why I suggested you move the farms out of the city, and move some buildings in.

The other thing is those big ole farms themselves... they need more people to work the land (susie q isn't big enough to do more than feed the pigs yet) so you need more buildings NEAR the farms (cause you're right, people didn't commute to work) ... at least 1 per farm, but I'd still say 3 or 4 would be best. That's a house, a barn/stable for the animals and a silo for the grain. That's 3. That's if your farmers don't keep an icehouse/salting house, don't keep too many animals, don't have windmills or anything else. And that's not countin the structures that would be too small to show on your map like sheds and chicken coops and outhouses, if they have those yet.

I'll try to draw a sketch of what I mean, once my pain meds kick in.


And yes, once you have enough structures to support a *TOWN* of 5000, you can keep the general layout till it gets to be a city and all the way up to a big city. And from a big city, all you'll need to do is add some buildings starting to crowd outside the walls.

But first you need to move away from the "village" layout, which is what you have here.



Of course, that's just one farm girl's opinion.. and some borrowed statistics/common talk >.<

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 12:50 PM
I am perfectly willing to put some more buildings inside the palisade, but for the sake of the general logic of the settlement, to be valid also in further developments, I'd like to continue this discussion (I really appreciate your help by the way) a little bit first.

• You seem to assume that every building which is a house automatically is a house for one family, and then count from that on. I don't see any reason why that should be the case, the "average" building in this town is like 8-9m wide for 16-20m long, and probably a good portion of them is two floors. So one of these average buildings would cover an area between 128 and 180 mq, and a two-story one would be between 256 and 360mq. It would be illogical for them to be single-family houses. Most likely each of them houses at least two families per floor and/or an equivalent number of un-attached individuals (this is still a place witnessing significant colonial immigration at this point). So, even without starting from the area, if an extended family averages at 6 people, then the 371 dwellings you found plausible would be sufficient to house at least 4.452 people (371*12), double that if they were all two-stories (so probably something in-between, like 6k or 7k). Of course you would not always have full occupancy, so a number around 5k would seem plausible even within your estimate.

• I don't find the assumption that the whole principle of organization for this society would be the nuclear (or even extended) family. These people started as a closely knit colonial expedition, and even now they maintain a good part of that character, though it will of course get more and more diluted with the years). They are organized in quite a collectivist way, and this is true both for farming and housing. I can see and allow that most of the time a family would like to live by oneself, but that in a not-crazy-individualistically society would be perfectly compatible with two or four family living (in separated quarters) in the same building. For farming, you should not proceed from the assumption that each field is tilled by one single family, they are not.

• Regarding measures, 1km^2=1 million m^2 (that is, a square with 1000m long sides, just like a square mile is a square with 1mile long sides). So 40000 m^2 is 0.04 Km^2, which is of course the same as 0.2km*0.2km. The size of the largest plot inside the palisade is 11000 m^2, which is 0.011 km^2.

• I don't really get why you have to proceed by estimating distances; I told you that 1px = 1m (or 2m in the half-size versions that I posted for the whole area where the city will eventually grow). 11000 m^2, by the way is just ~1.5 times the area of a soccer field, and again that is the largest one inside the palisade, all the other are smaller. The plots outside the palisade are quite larger, like double the size or more for the largest ones, but as I said, they are not necessarily single-family farms.

• About the economics of the situation, at this point land is abundant and labour is scarce. The dominant incentive is not to build more or more spacious houses (it takes a lot of work to build a house), but rather to have as much as possible of your fields as close as possible to your houses. Later on this will change, and the city will be more filled with buildings, with little or no field left. Even now you can see that some farm area has been pushed outside, though a fair chunk of it remains inside. Recall also that in the beginning they over-built their palisade as compared to the size of the village/town at the time.

Thanks again for your very detailed and generous comments.

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 02:20 PM
Hey :) I LOVE to talk (especially about my "hyper-focus" topics, of which this is one) so I'd love to keep discussing it right up until you tell me either to "shut up Jalyha, and go away"or that you've made a final decision either way. :) Also, I don't get offended like.. ever... and I never intend to offend, so just keep that in mind, k? <3

1) Quite the contrary. I'm assuming a reasonable percentage of split-levels, duplexes, manors, normal 1 story homes and 1 room houses. (Mostly the first.) The confusion is my mistake, because I didn't clarify. Overall, you need about 300 *dwellings* per 1000 people. On average, for a "village" setting.


You have 500 buildings. Let's say half of them are 2 stories/families. That's 1000 *dwellings*. That's 3333 people. (and 1/3, but he died). You want 5000 people. That means you need 1500 *dwellings*.

If half of those poor people buildings are 2 stories, that means you need 375, two-story, buildings (Total: 750 *dwellings*) and 375, single story (whatever size) single family homes (750+375= 1105 *dwellings* which is 750 *structures*.)

The other 395 *dwellings* (1500-1105=395?) A few will be big mansion/manor-type houses with live in servants, and a few will be 3 or 4 story structures, so let's give you a break and divide by 5. (that's five FAMILIES per structure, not 5 people) that means 395/5 = 79 additional *structures*.


750+79 = 829 *structures* for a population of 5000 people *IF* most of them are more than one story/family per structure. Minimum.

Again, you have 556 *structures*, total. You're short (minimum) 273 *structures*. That's *if* those 273 structures contain some multi-story/multi-family homes.

2) See #1 I don't assume single families/nuclear society. I assume multiple families in seperate *dwellings* within *structures* cause that's how small towns/large villages tend to work. :)
So we agree here, I just wasn't expressing it clearly. BUT as you said, it will dilute over time. 5000 people, medievally, isn't a village anymore. It's a town, and dynamics will change over time. :)

3) I hate metrics >.< Next post I will just say what I mean in miles, and you can convert, since you're better at it ^.^

4) What I mean about the size is:

61252

1 & 2 are too close to the same size for in-town and outskirts farms.

Either 1 should be about 1/4 that size, or 2 should be much larger, or both, depending on if you stick with your scale or not.

I don't know where your scale is off, but *visually* it's off. A "plot" in a town or city farm is more like a large backyard garden... usually about the size (or less) as a house... sometimes up to 2x the size.

61254

I'm not saying that your people (5000) couldn't accomodate the farms. I'm saying you don't have enough buildings for the farms (or to house that many people) AND:

61255


The way you have it laid out, even without enough structures EVERY single man woman and child would have to work those farms year round, or they would not have a harvest from them. the seed and grain you planted would go to waste.

For anyone (and especially for born-farmers, like you have here) this is a big no-no. Maybe I think the farms are bigger than they are. I might have it backwards. I don't know much about your scales, or any scales... I DO know the size of a field compared to the size of a small (or large) farmHOUSE. And you have houses on your map.

So maybe your farms aren't too big. But that means your buildings are too small. Either way..

5) Right, and that's fine ... I don't have a problem with the abundance. What I have a problem with is you would need 10 families living in each of your *structures* to make a population of 5000.

I suggested moving the townie farms and putting buildings there, because that's more common, AND I thought it would be easier. Another alternative would be adding more houses around the current fields/farms.

My whole point is that you don't have half enough man-made structures *for the population* to be 5000.


The thing with the farms is possible... but like I said... if ALL those fields are planted (compared to the size of the buildings) that means *all* your townspeople are full-time farmers. There's no lords or ladies, no blacksmiths, no maids, no anything... just farmers, and the kids do farm chores too.

If the buildings were larger, OR the farms were smaller, it would make sense.

That's for an early-history, farming based village/town like you have here.

The size of the farms compared to the houses is pretty close if they are all modern farms with lots of machinery to help.

OR if some of the fields are left unplanted each year... you can rotate crops like that.. but then they'd look like mud in the off years.

But even then, you still don't have enough buildings to house the population... :/

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 02:40 PM
I told you how large are the buildings. Don't you think that a two-story building, having a total inhabitable space of ~300mq (~3200 square feet) would be enough for four families living in it (in the relatively cramped conditions of a technologically undeveloped society)? I think it would. Four families means ~20-25 people in this context, so 371 housing buildings you counted in the beginning could house ~7200-9200 people (if they all were two stories high).
I guess the basic point of contention is that it does not make sense to count by buildings, without considering how large those buildings are. 556 or 371 structures could house tens or even hundred of thousand people, if they were all residential skyscrapers. Or they could house merely a few hundreds, if they were all small shacks where 1 or 2 people lived. That's why you have to consider the area first, not the number. Are we on the same page on this??

The farms as showed in the pic are not too much for the population, rather too little, maybe way too little. If it is true that you need a square mile of farmland to support 180 people, then to support 5000 you would need 27.7 square miles (equals to ~71.7 km^2), which is almost exactly the entire area depicted in the whole map (not the cropped version showed in this last step, but the huge 10k*7.2k pixels I work with). This would be quite too much, but in any case it is clear that what you see now is too little. I will put some more, but I won't cover the entire map in farmlands, even if that would be more realistic (assuming 1sqmile*180 people is right, it seems a bit high to me, but I don't know anything about such things).

Pixie
02-10-2014, 02:41 PM
I hate to bring this at this time, but... a huge river draining such a wide basin would have a very important feature that is missing..
Furthermore, if it drains temperate/cold land, where you have melt waters every spring.

There has to be a wide stretch of land, on both margins that is seasonally flooded. I mean, nearly as wide as the river itself and with some meandering.

This would be suitable for farming but not for building houses. Those two hills and the islands could mean that there are rocky outcrops in the area and those could be used as suitable ground for building, but you cannot have it overall. (in my humble opinion that is)

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 02:53 PM
Yeah, it's a bit late to bring that out :-)
I was thinking about flooding actually, but I am not sure how that would work in practice. Notice that the huge basin cuts both ways, since different parts of the glaciers will melt at different times, and part of the flooding would also happen on the affluent rivers (many of which are quite big on their own).
Also the periods with more/less rain could either balance that or further contributing to the effect, depending how they are spaced.

Btw, how "floody" is the Mississipi (closest real-world model for this)? Judging by the number of cities built on it, I would not guess too much (although of course there could be the occasional catastrophic flood, as we sadly know, but not seasonal).
Also, one river with very famous seasonal floods is the Nile, but that is the very opposite of a river draining "temperate/cold land". So, are you sure that river in temperate areas would be more subject to floods?

Finally, once the city develops, the best houses will for sure be built on the hills, we're just not there yet.

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 03:44 PM
I told you how large are the buildings. Don't you think that a two-story building, having a total inhabitable space of ~300mq (~3200 square feet) would be enough for four families living in it (in the relatively cramped conditions of a technologically undeveloped society)? I think it would. Four families means ~20-25 people in this context, so 371 housing buildings you counted in the beginning could house ~7200-9200 people (if they all were two stories high).
I guess the basic point of contention is that it does not make sense to count by buildings, without considering how large those buildings are. 556 or 371 structures could house tens or even hundred of thousand people, if they were all residential skyscrapers. Or they could house merely a few hundreds, if they were all small shacks where 1 or 2 people lived. That's why you have to consider the area first, not the number. Are we on the same page on this??

The farms as showed in the pic are not too much for the population, rather too little, maybe way too little. If it is true that you need a square mile of farmland to support 180 people, then to support 5000 you would need 27.7 square miles (equals to ~71.7 km^2), which is almost exactly the entire area depicted in the whole map (not the cropped version showed in this last step, but the huge 10k*7.2k pixels I work with). This would be quite too much, but in any case it is clear that what you see now is too little. I will put some more, but I won't cover the entire map in farmlands, even if that would be more realistic (assuming 1sqmile*180 people is right, it seems a bit high to me, but I don't know anything about such things).


Okay, you say that the buildings are *ALL* at least 2 stories. and that it's 3200 sq feet. Okay. That's 1600 square feet per story which means, your building is 40 ft long, by 40 ft wide.


You could fit 3-5 trees along ONE side of that building. In your map image, the smaller buildings are the size of MAYBE 2 of your trees. If you have a scale, things need to be to scale. :P Either your houses are not to scale, or your trees are not to scale.


1 mile is 5280 feet. A square mile is 1 mile long, by 1 mile wide. Your houses (preestablished) are 40 ft long. 5280/40 = 132 house widths = 1 mile.

132 house widths = half the length of your city, which is way longer than it is wide. 2 miles, by...? Less than half a mile? Your town is (compared to the houses) about 1-2 square miles total.

That means you could only have 1-2 square miles of farmland inside it. but you said the farms are 100m x 100m - 100 m is 0.0621371 miles (about 328 feet)


328 feet long means that 16 farms would be the length of half your city (which established above, is about 2 miles long.) Since 10 of that size farm *on your image* could fit along that part of the city... something isn't adding up.


Part 2:

328 ft. The size you want your farms to be, is 107,584 sq feet.

1 square mile is 5280 ft (1 mile) x 5280 ft (1 mile) is 27,878,400 square feet.

27,878,400 square feet (1 square mile) feeds 180ish people.

27,878,400 square feet (1 square mile) divided by 107,584 sq feet (the size of your farms) is 259.

259 farms would be needed, if your scale is accurate, to feed 180 people.

You have 91.

If your scale is accurate, over half your people have no food at all.


With a population this high, focused, as you said, on farming, with that much arable farmland nearby, would not sit inside the walls and starve. They'd build more farms.

So, yes, with your calculations, you'd have no food.

But, as we've already established that the *actual size* of the houses you've drawn do not match the scale of the size you said for the farms *as they are actually drawn next to the houses*, there doesn't appear to be a problem with nourishment.

If houses are really *that size* and the farms are *on the same scale* as the houses, then the farms would be much bigger than you stated, and you'd have food aplenty.




Conclusion:

Either your scale itself is off, or the items you placed on the map are not to scale.

I personally believe it's a bit of both... maybe a calculation error somewhere.


All I know is, based on the size of things in your image, nothing you've said matches the *other* sizes in the picture.


Before I realized this was a scale issue throwin off my perception, I drewed on your picture to show what I meant about the structures:

61259


Also @ Pixie: LOL, that was like ... a whole different convo :P but ... yeah o.O

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 03:49 PM
Yeah, it's a bit late to bring that out :-)
I was thinking about flooding actually, but I am not sure how that would work in practice. Notice that the huge basin cuts both ways, since different parts of the glaciers will melt at different times, and part of the flooding would also happen on the affluent rivers (many of which are quite big on their own).
Also the periods with more/less rain could either balance that or further contributing to the effect, depending how they are spaced.

Btw, how "floody" is the Mississipi (closest real-world model for this)? Judging by the number of cities built on it, I would not guess too much (although of course there could be the occasional catastrophic flood, as we sadly know, but not seasonal).
Also, one river with very famous seasonal floods is the Nile, but that is the very opposite of a river draining "temperate/cold land". So, are you sure that river in temperate areas would be more subject to floods?

Finally, once the city develops, the best houses will for sure be built on the hills, we're just not there yet.


The mississippi floods A LOT ... but not usually too badly. Lots of houses are built on stilts, nearer the water, but lots of cities nearby (Quincy, IL, coming to mind, cause it's on a big bend) (and probably cause I used their island as an example at the start of this thread) are built on cliffs/small plateaus. You can literally drive right down in to the water, now, with front street being right on the edge, but half the city is on higher ground.

Rarely does that city flood, but the lower streets do, and often... though not badly.


The worst it can get? Well, in 1993, the mississippi flooded and people were driving through water even in some suburbs of chicago (other side of the state from the river) so....

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 04:09 PM
Survivable floods would not be a problem, those were common in every city over a river for a long long time (and apparently are still today in some parts of the Mississipi). They would be inconvenient, but then the rich would live on the hills and the poor would endure what they have to.

Regarding scale, I'm completely lost in your discourse (partly because I am not used to non-metric systems, it is one thing to make one conversion, another to follow an entire complex discourse). There is no issue of scale, 1px=1m in the picture as I posted it. That is EXACTLY so by definition. I can do wrong in drawing something too big or too little, but that is the scale, by definition, across the whole map and it is not subject to change. There is no comparison to be made anywhere, everything is at the same scale. Some things may be too big or too small, but that would be an error in drawing the thing, not in the scale. The area enclosed in the palisade is ~0.6 Km^2, as I said, and that is obtained by counting the pixels, no need to make guesses.

The houses (most of them) are roughly the size of a current-day detached sub-urban home; of course they are more densely populated, since the people and the entire society are of course not as wealthy as the typical sub-urban dweller of today. I don't see how this would be a strange size, nor do I see how it would be implausible for 20 people or so to live in a house that size, given how little living space pre-modern people usually had.

Of the trees, you see of course the treetops, which can represent a single tree (oscillating between 6 and 9 meters/pixel wide) or more if they are clumped close together. If you take a single treetop, you can fit roughly 1 or 2 on the short side of a typical house (few of them are square, most are rectangular), and 3 or 4 on the longer side. Again, you don't have to estimate this, it's just 20px divided by 6px or so. (notice that the trees may appear larger than they are because of the shadow, removing the drop shadow effect they would look much smaller)

Regarding farms, again those are not farms, but rather plots, there is no "family farm" at this point here. And again I know I have too few of them, but as I said I won't cover the whole map in farms even if that would be needed for perfect realism.

I don't get what the picture with the added red rectangles mean.

Edit: Also, I did not say that the buildings are actually ALL two stories, I said that if they were they would be enough to house a population of 7200-9200 people. Since I am aiming for 5000, obviously not all are two stories and/or not all are at 100% of their possible occupancy (which is as it should be, I think).

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 04:54 PM
I'm with you on the floods thing :)


OHHHH wait. At first I thought you changed it and were saying 1px = 1 mi, at first and I was like, okay, your houses are 40 miles long, coool....
Then I read it again

Okay, so I checked (good old google!) and 1 meter is ~ 3.28 feet.

Still... how big is a treetop, on average? I'd say around 6 feet across on average (or more... some oaks can be 80 ft wide!) but yeah, average, about 6-10 feet. That's about what? 2-3 meters? So you have trees with a diameter (on average) of 2-3 px right?

No. They range from 9 to 30 px in diameter.

If your houses are 3200 sq ft (1600 sq ft to a floor) that's still 40 ft by 40 ft, or about 12.19 meters to a side (or squared for the area which is 148.7ish)

Are your houses about 12 to 13 px wide? on average? Do they have 148px total area?

I just zoomed on a random area and counted px. The smallest in the zoomed in area was 25. The largest (not counting the huge meeting-hall/castle/whatever type building was 160.

So the average is about 92.5 px total area for the houses. That's 92.5 m^2.

(per floor, of course, but still, only 2/3 of your estimate.

If each of those structures is 185 m^2 (counting 2 stories at 92.5) , 9.6 meters to a side... NOT 12, or 13. Like I said, 2/3 of your estimated population.

Now, lets see... I live in a small apartment. My bedroom is 14 * 12 ft.... that's enough space for a twin bed, a dresser, nightstand and a hamster cage. I *could* fit a table in there, and maybe 2 cots. So that's home for 3 (tightly squeezed) people. Total. 14*12= 168 sq ft.


Sorry hit the wrong button and it posted early....


168 s ft.

you had 40 x 40 = 1600 sq ft. That's 9 times the space I have for 3 people = 27 people ... if your houses were to the scale you said. But they aren't that many pixels to a house. They're 2/3 the size you want them, on average. 2/3 of 27 = 18 people per house.

18 people, times 556 total structures. That's good. That means you could have double your population.

But it's unrealistic.

Not everyone can live in cramped space like that. It's no longer about community - it's about sanity. There's no room to *walk*.

And.... That's only IF you have 2 stories on every single house.

And that's crowding every family into that small space - think efficiency apartment for 3.

You couldn't fit a family of 5 in one family's allotment, and some people are going to live alone. Period. Unless ALL your citizens are exactly alike like something out of L'Engle.

More realistically, you'd expect 3 people to have twice that space. That's room for living in... even though it would still be crowded, you could walk between the furniture.

That would support your 5000, BUT only if every single structure on your map right now is a dwelling for 3-4 families.

Every single one.

So now you're back to having no granaries to store food, and no seperate structures like smithys or stables for the animals.

And you're back to ... some people will live alone.



Let me restate, though, that your map will pass muster with most people as is. But it's not truly accurate. I only mentioned it because you asked if it was. :)


Also... the red spots on my pretty picture are where I would add structures (any kind/size) that would solve all the problems with population/scale/food/whatever

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 05:12 PM
The single treetop here is on average 7-11px wide (I miswrote before), if you see anything larger than 11px, than it is more than one tree. A radius of 7-11 me is ok for a tree, considering that these are natural trees that are there since forever. I will use a slightly smaller brush for trees planted later by people.

On average the houses are 8-9px wide * 16-20px long (as I wrote before). Some are smaller, some are bigger, but more or less that's the ballpark. It is not an estimate (well, the average is still an estimate, but it is made starting from precise countings), but it is the actual number of pixels as painted in photoshop. It may be more difficult (due to antialias etc.) to count them exactly in the image as you see it, but trust me those are the measures.

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 05:14 PM
Trees.... it's plausible...


Houses... Something went wrong then, because that's not the number of px to a house when I open the image.

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 05:32 PM
Ok, let's see.
The building pointed at by the white arrow (which is on the larger side for an house) has an area of 276 px, and it is ~10px wide * ~27px long (the shape is not perfect of course, because pixel are discrete quantities).
The one with the black arrow is more typical and has an area of 188px
The one with the red arrow is smallish at 141 px.
There are others that are even much smaller, like 80px or so, but most are of within the average previously stated.

61262

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 05:40 PM
I've zoomed in on 7 different areas. Each time I've *counted*, personally, each and every pixel, length and width, and determined the area with my TS.

These are the *highest* numbers I've gotten, results:

61263

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-10-2014, 06:47 PM
I think this thread has gone a bit crazy (in a good way). Perhaps you are both being a bit too literal about the number of people and the size of buildings. Estimating population in historic towns is UNBELIEVABLY difficult. There are so many factors that are unknown and unknowable.

Jalyha is right, extended families might live in the same house, but then again, people had a shorter life expectancy, so how many grandparents are actually going to be alive? People tended to have a lot of children (owing to the economics of medieval life and the lack of birth control) so families of five or more wouldn't be unusual; until, that is, you factor in infant mortality and child mortality rates (not too mention women's deaths in childbirth). Jalyha also mentioned servants. Few households in a village would have servants (the lord of the manor might be the only one); in a town, a few of the richer burghers would have household servants; in a large city, yet more. 5000 people is a medium-sized town, so should have a few families wealthy enough to have burghers--but how many? Then you need to factor in tennants. Many families would supplement their income by renting out a house/flat upstairs or in the backyard to another family. As the town grows larger, the demand for land increases, and food is usually easier to acquire. Thus, the larger a town, the more common subdivision of a plot becomes. Then there are also vagrants, travellers, and people with a high level of mobility.

And you are forgetting how crowded these cities could be: I read someone earlier suggesting about 20m^2 per person; this is extremely unlikely. A wealthy person might have that much space (if you pretend he/she doesn't have servants); a poor person would have perhaps 3-4m^2 to call his/her own. In some of the slums of the 19th century, a family of six would occupy a single room (and often it could be even more crowded).

Overall, I don't think it is a worthwhile task trying to calculate population (although, granted, it might be fun), and I suggest instead going with 'gut feeling.' My gut feeling about this town at the moment is that it is not 5000 people; I would be willing to estimate 3000, probably. To make this look like a town of 5000 (or larger) I think the number one thing you should do is make it look more crowded. Buildings in historic towns were not the detached housing we see in today's suburbia; they were built right up against one another.

I've added some diagrams that show a process common to European cities known as the burgage cycle. I would suggest that your town, at its current stage, should be starting to show signs of stage 2 or even stage 3 in its central areas (note, the diagrams also show how urban farmland diminishes over time). The burgage cycle also explains how towns get alleys and lanes which are so useful for novel-writers (the passages leading to houses behind are the lanes, in case it wasn't obvious). Try to ignore the messiness of the diagrams, and the lack of scale (really, those plots should be much longer or narrower)

THW

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 07:02 PM
yep yep. I was getting that "it's not a town, it's a village" feeling, and trying to explain why. You stated it much clearer ^.^

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 07:28 PM
@TheHoarseWisperer: you are saying two things that are contradictory. On the one hand 20mq/person is too generous, on the other hand 5000 people is too many for this town. Well, if you use 20mq/person you actually get more than 5000 people, so...

In general, both Jalyha and others are assuming that this is a medieval european settlement. It is not. Most notably, it has not a strongly family-based social structure. If you want to imagine it as something historical, imagine it as an early Greek colony in the first period after its foundations. Families are sure important, but they are not necessarily the main structure according to which work and living is organized.

For sure most families would not have that many children/grandparents, but that does not matter since if a family is smaller that would just leave space available for another family to leave in the same building, thus the population number would not change. Again these are NOT necessarily single-family housing units. The reason why they are building dwellings that are larger than a single-family unit is that building many more smaller buildings is less efficient than building a smaller number of larger ones, and at this point as I said labour is still scarce (later on, they will still have to build larger, and taller, building because at that point space inside the city will come at a premium).

I get your feeling that the town is too "empty", but that is justified in-world; as I said they overbuilt the palisade relatively to the size of the town-village, as part of their strategy for material and symbolic dominance over the other settlements in the area (notice that they also wanted to enclose their harbors on both rivers, since having those is another relevant strategic advantage). If they had not done that, then probably you would have the houses clustered around a smaller area, and the fields outside the palisade, but they had, so you haven't.

@Jalyha, regarding pixels. For example, the building that you have at 153px in the lower half of the pic you posted actually covers an area of 232 pixels. The discrepancy is probably due to anti-aliasing, the mixing of the colors with the shadows and the ground, and possibly exacerbated by jpeg compression. As good as you can be at counting things, I still think the computer is likely to be better :-)

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 07:45 PM
I don't think that THW is saying isn't contradictory. You're making homes that (by the measurements you stated) are too large.

But you don't have enough buildings, close enough together, to feel "town" instead of "village".


I'm not assuming medieval, though that is the similar *time in developement* to the age you gave for your town. I'm most assuredly not assuming European. :)

Whatever your *social* structure, humans have the same basic *needs* and cities grow according to those needs. There's no 5000 population early greek "towns" that looked like this either.

However many families you have in a building, it isn't going to make it *look* or *feel* like a town. You simply need more buildings.

Even taking the counts where I said you could squeeze 5000 people in, that's still leaving you without buildings that would be required, in any society, to support that amount of life.



As for the pixels... if you are the only one who is ever going to use this map, you're right.

There WERE the right number of pixels, but any person can count those pixels and come up with the same number. Maybe it *was* the anti-aliasing and compression. I believe it probably was. But whatever number of pixels you used, originally, that's not what's there *now*.

And people need to be able to see/follow your scale when they have the map, without all this discussion, yes? :)


And no, the computer can't necessarily count better, especially when it's numbers a preschooler can add up, because *people* input those numbers into the computer. It has 153 pixels *now*. If you count the shadows, it's 178. There are not 232, however many you put in there to begin with :/

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-10-2014, 08:06 PM
This thing's still going? I salute your persistence.

Feanaaro, I accept all of your comments about my post. I certainly WAS assuming a medieval European town (because that is my expertise). If this were a Greek town, I cannot help you much. Your comment implies that you don't want to make historical comparisons; Elinore is not Greek, or Persian, or French or anything--it is not a part of the real world, and so real world comparisons are irrelevant (if this is your attitude, I like you very much).

Even better still, those things which seem wrong are explained in-world--I like you very very much.

That said, Jalyha is also right--no matter what historical counterpart (or none) you are using, people do still have needs that must be met. As far as I can tell, your town meets all of those needs.

Basically, this is just my long-winded way of saying, you are right.

EDIT (regarding the apparent contradiction in my post): 20mq/person is exceedingly generous. That is a matter of historical fact. No pre-modern town in history allowed that much space to its population (the amount afforded the rich balanced against the lack of space among the poor). When I made that comment, I was not paying any attention at all to the scale you have described (1pixel =1m, right?). I have no idea what the population would be when you combine the two factors--in-map scale and historical population densities....I suppose, thinking about it, the buildings you have are too large: in 16th C London, the average house would be about 3x3m with 2-3 storeys (in Ancient Greece, I have no idea). So the average building here should be 3x3 pixels, right?

Jalyha makes a good point--people do need to be able to assess scale more easily. Perhaps you should consider adding a scale bar, or a grid, or something to make it clearer.

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 08:18 PM
Aye, okay

THW is right. You asked, so I answered, but I did lose track of the fact that this is *your* world, and, having heard all the commentary, if you are happy with it, I think it's fabulous.

I'm sure your players will be more open minded than I have been... most people are :P

Waiting for the next update! ~

xoxoxo

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 08:22 PM
I think that the 3*3 tiny houses stemmed for the fact that society in those cities was strongly organized around families. I am not even sure that that was always the case in medieval-early modern cities, but I won't argue that since I don't have enough competence. I am pretty sure though that houses for poor people in Rome (usually but incorrectly called Insulae) were way bigger than 3*3. Again, if you don't have the assumption that only one family build and live in the dwelling, then making houses so tiny doesn't make sense.

feanaaro
02-10-2014, 10:06 PM
This is the finished version of this stage. I forgot to add a scale but I will for future updates (if I remember!).
I added a few more buildings, and made most of them smaller than the previous average, so I hope Jalhya and TheHoarseWisperer will be at least marginally happier.
Since I was sick of painting farm plots, let's just assume that they go on for a while outside of the area here showed.

61272

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 10:37 PM
Wow, that was a lot of work in one day :P What's that 683 buildings now? :P


I'm all excited like the town was my baby and just made me a grandma o.o

Yep, I'm weird like that.

On a serious note:

The extra "light" colored farms make the buildings pop... and with so many more buildings and farms, it really does look like it's thriving now. Bonus points on using "internecine" in a sentence :P and the story continues to interest.

I like it :)

I hope you are happy with it and didn't just change it cause I am annoying D:


xoxoxo

Scoopz
02-11-2014, 02:53 PM
Wow, this is lookin' awesome! Keep up the good work!

I'd like to say, and maybe I'm jumping the gun, is that even if they weren't using masonry on grand scales, the fortifications might begin to fill out some, especially around the rivers. I mean, given the chance, they almost assuredly would tax ships passing through.

Like I said though, I don't know, it might be too earlier in their development for that!

either way, great job!

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-12-2014, 01:25 AM
You say that insulae are incorrectly described as poor peoples' housing. Why is it incorrect? What is the correct term? I took a course on Roman cities at uni, and remember being told that insulae were tenement buildings (not for the poor, but for all classes). Is that correct? (I really like the architecture and urban form of Italian cities, by the way, so I am asking purely to satisfy my own curiosity)

THW

feanaaro
02-12-2014, 08:21 AM
I read somewhere that in the past few years most historians have come to think that "insula" was the generic term denoting a lot of urban land where a dwelling could be built, regardless of what was actually built there. Akin our "block", which makes a ton of sense if you think what the word "insula" actually means. Notwithstanding that, the previous meaning is so ingrained that it is still currently in use.
It's true that also the "middle-classes" lived in insulae, but I was more simplistically thinking about the distinction between rich (living in domus) and everyone else.

Jalyha
02-12-2014, 10:19 AM
THW is correct on the (currently correct/accepted) use of the word.

feanaaro is correct that *some* historians and etymologists now *theorize* another usage.


Which usage is actually correct? We'll probably never know for sure, but it probably meant both things. "Slang" is not new, in any way. I should think it might have had dual meanings as many words do.

Future historians will puzzle over why "neighborhood" is not the same as "THE neighborhood" or "The Hood".


And yes, it's EXACTLY the same principle.



Summary:

You're both probably right and it can mean either/both things depending on context and inflection :)

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-12-2014, 05:31 PM
Thanks for the explanation. Curiosity satisfied.

feanaaro
02-22-2014, 10:10 AM
I'm proceeding very slowly lately, mostly due to real-world businesses. Anyway, at this point we should see the switch from a mainly wooden town to a brick and/or stone city. Problem is, which one does look better? Or should I do a combination of the two, or a third color entirely?

61683

61684

Also, does it make more sense to have all or almost all the roofs in ceramic tiles? I was thinking of reserving that for the most well-to-do areas or for public buildings, and leave this kind of flat roof with parapet (which may have many uses in a crowded city) for most housing buildings. What would you think, both aesthetically- and functionality-wise

Scoopz
02-22-2014, 11:28 AM
Ok, I like the second style better. Also, aesthetically the tiled roofing might look very good for all around. The thing is, the city really isn't that "crowded", there doesn't appear to really be any slums, or large expanses of buildings thrown together with little to no space in between. Idk though.

feanaaro
02-22-2014, 11:45 AM
Thanks. This was just a quick proof to check the colors, I still have to add many more buildings and stuff. Most of the "new" buildings are quite close together, either touching or almost touching each other, anyway.
I am not sure about the dark roads in the second one, but if I do the buildings in the "stone" color, then I have to change the roads or else it would be too similar.

Jalyha
02-22-2014, 12:03 PM
I like the first one better :)

And I'm pretty sure that those who could afford to upgrade their homes would, and those who couldn't, wouldn't... but I think it would be more... centralized, like you said, on the wealthier/poorer areas.

(See, I have nothing to pick on today!)

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-22-2014, 05:21 PM
In terms of aesthetics, I'm probably with Jalyha in preferring the first one, but it's a pretty close thing. That opinion encompasses both buildings and the main road (and I think I recognise that cobblestone texture).

Also, I'm not sure the dark yellow/green lanes are working at this stage; perhaps a browner/redder/paler method would look better?

Also, if you want to make it look more crowded (as Scoopz notes) I think you should not only add buildings to the outskirts, but start squeezing more into the inner parts. You're mapping a city over time, which is a cool idea, but that means you have to accept that no city remains unchanged. Cities grow, but they also change internally, just about every generation (the only parts that tend to remain unchanged are the streets). It goes back to the thing I said earlier about the burgage cycle (and as Jalyha points out, people also upgrading their homes). I think it would be good if you started making the existing parts of the city more crowded, but if you have an in-world explanation, than, like last time, stick with that.

THW

Ilanthar
02-23-2014, 08:29 AM
I prefer the first one too, for aesthetics, as well, and mainly for the roads. Roads are way too dark on the second imo.

Falconius
02-23-2014, 09:29 AM
The type of roof people are going to have really depends on the climate and culture. Assuming it's Mediterranean or arid in nature I'd think the more crowded the city the more likely it would have flat roofs for extra personal space. If one owns a house in that area and they had sloped roofs they'd probably also have the ceramic tiles. You aren't going to spend all that money in a property and then roof it over with a bunch of garbage. Once a city is too crowded most of the dwellings will have roofs for privacy.

In the city you have there I'd guess at around a third to a half would have tiled roofs.

Personally I like the second better because the colours are more consistent. Any stone buildings (for regular folk) will obviously bear the same colour characteristics of the surrounding terrain, as that is their building material. They will also use the same rock for the road meaning the houses would be the same colour as it. In other words I think the first one would look just as good as the second if the road were a more lightish brown like the houses, and if the ground had more tonal relation to the houses.

feanaaro
02-23-2014, 10:41 AM
That makes a lot of sense Falconius, but if I make buildings and roads the same color it become difficult to distinguish them and less aesthetically pleasing. Also, isn't that possible that they used bricks for buildings and stone to pave their roads? That's what the Romans did, mostly, for example.
Maybe I could split the difference by using these different roofs colors (in order of affluence): hay, tiled wood, flat brick (the brownish one), flat stone (the grey one), stone+ceramic tiles, ivory/white (paint, or even marble)+ceramic tiles.
For the road I could use either texture, or perhaps the cobblestone one but in a lighter hue (although dark streets have a certain allure too).

Raptori
02-23-2014, 11:26 AM
I personally prefer the darker roads. To me the lighter ones contrast too much with the rest of the buildings - most notably with the wall. The darker roads match the wall quite nicely and allow the building layout to take more prominence. A tone somewhere in between the two might give the best of both worlds though, might be worth a try. The new roofs don't quite fit the rest of the map yet imo - I think they might blend better if they were made slightly less bright (the grey roofs much more so than the others, which are almost spot on).

However there's a fair chance that the colours would match much more on a different monitor, so if it looks right to you then ignore the above.

I like the style in general, looks really nice. I wonder if there's a way to make the cobbles/paving stones follow the direction of the road... it'd be possible using a direction controlled brush and a clipping mask in photoshop, but it might be a bit too much effort to be worth it. Something else that could be nice and would be a bit more simple is adding a very slight emboss to them to give the roads a little depth (assuming they're slightly raised in the middle as many roads used to be).

I love the concept of growing a city this way, looking forward to seeing how it develops!