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Raptori
02-22-2014, 04:02 PM
I've slowly been bringing together some ideas I have for a fantasy series I'd like to write, and started to get them a bit more organised over the last couple of weeks. I wanted to create a realistic world for the series, with a realistic climate and consistent distances in particular. Having found this forum and seen some of the beautiful work on here I've started to map the world before deciding anything else, since that way I'll have a base to work from and can use Google Earth to measure distances accurately.

I made the map below over the last couple of days, and exported some projections from G.Projector. Since it's just intended to give me a clear idea of what the world looks like, I stuck to a semi-realistic physical representation, kind of like what you'd see in a physical atlas of the real world. If I do end up writing about the world, I'd then use this as a reference for creating a set of maps for whichever region the book is set in (vorropohaiah's Atlas Elyden (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/26175-atlas-elyden.html) would be the inspiration for that!).

Any criticism would be very welcome, in particular whether or not the climate looks like it makes sense. Hopefully the general colours will make the climate self-evident in each area, but if anything needs explanation then let me know.

I started adding in some rivers, but it turned out that the smallest I could make them scaled up to roughly 10 miles wide according to Google Earth, so I'll just add those in on smaller scale maps. Generally speaking the planet is identical to Earth in terms of axial tilt, dimensions, orbital path etc, so standard principles should apply. I've labelled the continents with numbers in case anyone wants to refer to a specific area, since I don't have any names chosen yet.

61693

6169461696616956169761698616996170061701

There are a few details I'm not happy with (such as one of the northern tips of the main island in continent 3, as well as some of the mountain ranges), but since they don't really affect the overall scheme of things I've left them for now.

Anyway, let me know what you think! :)

Lingon
02-22-2014, 04:18 PM
I like your mountains… The artistic style overall is very nice, actually! It has that atlas look, but also something else… :)

The reused land shapes from Earth is a bit distracting though. Taking parts of existing coastlines and putting them together in new ways is a good technique, but if the coast section is so big it's recognizable, it breaks the feeling that this world could be real too. It's just in a few places though – Scandinavia, Turkey and Antarctica was the parts I saw. I like the rest of the shapes.

arsheesh
02-22-2014, 04:27 PM
I agree, the mountains are lovely, and I really like how you've done the ocean floor. Great colors too.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Raptori
02-23-2014, 12:30 PM
I agree, the mountains are lovely, and I really like how you've done the ocean floor. Great colors too.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

I like your mountains… The artistic style overall is very nice, actually! It has that atlas look, but also something else… :)

Thanks, glad you like it!


The reused land shapes from Earth is a bit distracting though. Taking parts of existing coastlines and putting them together in new ways is a good technique, but if the coast section is so big it's recognizable, it breaks the feeling that this world could be real too. It's just in a few places though – Scandinavia, Turkey and Antarctica was the parts I saw. I like the rest of the shapes.

Good point, those two areas have been bugging me the most, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. I'll go back and remake those areas completely, as well as a couple of other areas that I'm not happy with.

I'll probably post them in a few hour's time :)

Maraxus_
02-23-2014, 01:27 PM
I just now realized that most maps of earth show the northern pole blue instead of white ... So I guess your world does have pole caps, too?

In any way, the arctic regions are quite small, from the globe projections this looks like the snow-covered zone is somewhere >=80 northern and southern longitude. On earth that border is more like 75 (Asia) or less (Greenland (60N), Canada (60-70N), Antarctica (63S)).

According to Global Warming Science, a world that warm would probably have more extreme and more unpredictable weather that earth.

seredemia
02-23-2014, 01:37 PM
Nice work so far! I agree with Maraxus that it seems to be lacking in arctic regions. Considering you said it was identical to Earth, then I guess you want to make the climate more or less similar? I like all the colours you've used so far though. Making it into a globe is a really neat idea :)

Raptori
02-23-2014, 02:14 PM
I just now realized that most maps of earth show the northern pole blue instead of white ... So I guess your world does have pole caps, too?

In any way, the arctic regions are quite small, from the globe projections this looks like the snow-covered zone is somewhere >=80 northern and southern longitude. On earth that border is more like 75 (Asia) or less (Greenland (60N), Canada (60-70N), Antarctica (63S)).

According to Global Warming Science, a world that warm would probably have more extreme and more unpredictable weather that earth.

The planet has ice caps comparable to Earth's, they're just shown at their lowest point in both hemispheres since I was basing the colouring off this map (http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/73000/73751/world.topo.bathy.200407.3x5400x2700.png). I used Google Earth to compare latitudes, particularly with reference to Eurasia since I hadn't really considered adding glaciers - I think I'll add some big glaciers to continent 2 since it's a bit featureless at the moment.

I'm guessing that the principle in that map style is to show each hemisphere as it appears in summer (i.e. northern hemisphere as it appears in July, southern in January). For example where I live is entirely covered in snow in winter (complete with sea ice thick enough to walk on), but it's green even further north than the Arctic circle in the summer. I think making it green on the map gives a better idea of the climate than showing it as either snow covered or half and half (since the entire country feels like one massive forest!), so I just went with that. I'm planning that kind of climate to be the location of one of the major cultural centres of the world, since it gives an interesting dynamic that fits a few ideas I've had :)

I think the south pole on my planet would be considerably warmer than Earth's due to the lack of a large landmass covering it, but the continents close to it would create a situation similar to our northern hemisphere. It'd also have better heat distribution because those continents would deflect the currents away from the pole, so again it'd be closer to our northern hemisphere. However, like I said before I've only looked into this a little, so my calculations could be completely wrong D:

Good point anyway, I like thinking that kind of thing through and seeing whether it makes sense or not :)



Nice work so far! I agree with Maraxus that it seems to be lacking in arctic regions. Considering you said it was identical to Earth, then I guess you want to make the climate more or less similar? I like all the colours you've used so far though. Making it into a globe is a really neat idea :)

Thanks! :)


Illustrator crashed on me... but luckily I had only spent five minutes or so altering the coastlines. Time to start again...

Azelor
02-23-2014, 02:58 PM
I think the south pole on my planet would be considerably warmer than Earth's due to the lack of a large landmass covering it, but the continents close to it would create a situation similar to our northern hemisphere. It'd also have better heat distribution because those continents would deflect the currents away from the pole, so again it'd be closer to our northern hemisphere. However, like I said before I've only looked into this a little, so my calculations could be completely wrong D:

Good point anyway, I like thinking that kind of thing through and seeing whether it makes sense or not :)

Illustrator crashed on me... but luckily I had only spent five minutes or so altering the coastlines. Time to start again...

No, more landmass means more heat. On Earth, the south hemisphere is colder than the north. It seems hotter because all we can think about are places like Rio, Sydney... but these place are at near the 30th parallel. Only a small portion of the souther lands are located under the 45th parallel, while a lot of northern cities are located near that latitude. When thinking about the south, we often forget about Patagonia, Antarctica and that most of it is covered by water. Places where the whether are much colder than their norther counterparts. (maybe with the exception of Siberia)

And yea, illustrator always crash where other software would just lag and function normally afterward. At least, the CS3 version seems to be a poorly optimized software.

Raptori
02-23-2014, 03:07 PM
No, more landmass means more heat. On Earth, the south hemisphere is colder than the north. It seems hotter because all we can think about are places like Rio, Sydney... but these place are at near the 30th parallel. Only a small portion of the souther lands are located under the 45th parallel, while a lot of northern cities are located near that latitude. When thinking about the south, we often forget about Patagonia, Antarctica and that most of it is covered by water. Places where the whether are much colder than their norther counterparts. (maybe with the exception of Siberia)

Yeah I said that I think I think the southern hemisphere on my planet would be considerably warmer than Earth's, since it's similar to Earth's northern hemisphere instead. That matches what you're saying about the difference between the two on Earth, right?

Edit: I re-read my original post - the confusion was caused by me mentioning the lack of landmass on the pole in my planet. Iirc, landmasses = greater temperature sensitivity to solar radiation, meaning generally higher temperatures in summer and lower temperatures in winter. I was under the impression that this meant the location of Antarctica actually lowered Antarctic temperatures (albedo = little solar heat absorbed in summer, land instead of sea = lower temperatures in winter), exacerbated by the lack of other continents nearby (which would lack ice cover and be in the sun more often, and would alter the currents to provide a more variable climate down there). I don't really have a particularly in-depth grasp of any of this though, so if I'm wrong then please explain :)



And yea, illustrator always crash where other software would just lag and function normally afterward. At least, the CS3 version seems to be a poorly optimized software.

Yup, and it's one in which I always seem to save the least often. I use CS5, and it's not usually this bad... but then again I don't usually have this level of detail in a single file, which might explain it!

Raptori
02-23-2014, 06:02 PM
I played around a bit with those coastlines, and I think they're a bit better now - what d'you think? I still want to alter the coast towards the south-east of continent 1 - it looks a bit odd to me, think it needs to be broken up a little. I tried extending the ice cap further south on continent 2 but it looked a bit rubbish so I've left that for now... any ideas for how I can improve that area?

### Latest WIP ###
61728

6172961730617316173261733617346173561736

Raptori
02-28-2014, 05:48 AM
I'm a fifth of the way through Guns, Germs and Steel (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1842.Guns_Germs_and_Steel), and I've decided to scrap all of the above and start again. Too many awesome ideas just from what I've read so far that need different geographies to what I've put in the map... :|

vorropohaiah
02-28-2014, 06:18 AM
had to order this thanks to you :) lets hope its worth it!

Raptori
02-28-2014, 07:02 AM
:D

It's been pretty good so far! There are a few things he says that irritate me (such as essentially saying that humans are no longer apes...), but other than that it's given me ideas for loads of different ways to develop diverse and realistic cultures. It'll be good to hear what you think of it too! I was thinking it might be worth starting a thread talking about books that are useful for world building, but wasn't sure if it's really related enough to cartography...

If you like it then you should get Collapse (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/475.Collapse) too, it's essentially the opposite of GG&S since it deals with how civilisations die; I've already read that one and it's awesome. So much detail and so many different facets that make it really interesting. It's also pretty useful for world building since it means you can destroy your cultures in a realistic way, rather than the usual "yeah, this civilisation died, just because" kind of thing :P

vorropohaiah
02-28-2014, 10:07 AM
i was thinking about a thread for good worldbuilding/cartography books we can share. i have a good for that i'd recomend

Raptori
02-28-2014, 04:48 PM
I've only got those two books that are in any way related sadly, so it'd be a bit of an empty thread if I started it!

I'm having a hard time coming up with a set of tectonic plates that both make sense and create the kind of continents I want... Basically I want something similar to my first map, but with a route that would link all the continents. I'm either getting plates that are far too small (i.e. every single one is smaller than Earth's) with unrealistic divergence zones or a continental layout I'm not happy with :(

Might just attempt to adjust the original one somehow unless someone has some ideas?

Raptori
02-28-2014, 08:11 PM
I think I've got it roughly making sense now, not 100% convinced by it though...

61897

Standard stuff - arrows mean plate movement direction, hatched lines mean divergence, chevrons mean subduction. The greyish blobs are roughly where I'm thinking the continents will go.

Raptori
03-04-2014, 03:59 PM
Had a little time today to mess around making the continents more detailed in Photoshop. Apparently tiny islands are NOT fun to make.

### Latest WIP ###
62027

Planned Alterations:

• All of the coastline of the continent just to the left of the centre of the map.
• Northern coastlines of the continent to the south-east of the central continent.
• Add some detail to the continent to the far south east.
• Make sure the coastlines look right at both full size and 100% zoomed in.

Some of the coastlines feel right to me, and I'm very happy with how some of the islands turned out. The ones just south of the centre of the map are my favourites, and also too the longest time to make. Anything look wrong to anyone? I'm not really convinced by the line of four big bays on the south-east coast of the continent north of the center...

Raptori
03-05-2014, 12:32 AM
Who needs sleep when you can stay up and make maps all night? :)

I've altered the coast a bit more, think it's good enough for now. I've also worked out where the high/low pressure should be.

Apparently the equator should be a solid band of low pressure, and then 20-35 degrees should be a solid band of high pressure. Then it's only the band around 60 degrees that should switch between h/l depending on the season. The poles also have a high pressure system there all year round. Funny that none of that was mentioned in the climate cookbook :?:

### Latest WIP ###

January
62034

July
62035

vorropohaiah
03-05-2014, 01:39 AM
I'm seeing a lot of teeny tiny islands with no sizeable heart - look at real-world archipelagos, there's generally something substantial amongst them like indonesia or the caribbean. unless there's a fitting in-world explanation for that i think they need revising.

Also, are these maps equirectangular, for the purpose of warping into a globe or other projections? I'm guessing so as you've included spheres above, though I notice you've not included any images of the poles from above/below - how's the warping there as it took me ages to get coastlines on my equirectangular map to look 'convincing' towards the poles and i still have some issues now, after lots of tweaking.

the climates look great!

Raptori
03-05-2014, 02:16 AM
I'm seeing a lot of teeny tiny islands with no sizeable heart - look at real-world archipelagos, there's generally something substantial amongst them like indonesia or the caribbean. unless there's a fitting in-world explanation for that i think they need revising.

Yah they did originally have larger islands, but I couldn't get them to look right for some reason. They're supposed to be similar to the smaller pacific islands - i.e. fewer large islands than you'd see in general - and there are a fair few miniscule atolls that are lost when I save at a lower resolution, which makes them look a bit more uniform than they actually are. I should probably make them less numerous I guess to make it feel more natural, but I wanted to have a huge number of them to fit in with an idea I had for a culture... I'll have to have a think and see what I can come up with, though I'll probably just end up adding some larger islands back in like you said :)


Also, are these maps equirectangular, for the purpose of warping into a globe or other projections? I'm guessing so as you've included spheres above, though I notice you've not included any images of the poles from above/below - how's the warping there as it took me ages to get coastlines on my equirectangular map to look 'convincing' towards the poles and i still have some issues now, after lots of tweaking.

Yeah they are, just haven't bothered doing it yet. When I'm messing around with the coastlines I tend to switch back and forth between Google Earth and Photoshop/Illustrator to make sure they look ok on a globe:

North
62036

South
62037

Those are orthographic projections, focused in on the poles and showing about 30 degrees I think. The north could probably do with a little more smoothing, and the smaller southern continent could do with a more interesting coastline somewhere. It's not as bad as it could be though!


the climates look great!

Cool! I'm torn between making a semi-realistic map like the first iteration I posted and skipping that to make a regional map focused on the most important area... D:

vorropohaiah
03-05-2014, 02:24 AM
impressive poles (hehe...) they line up very nicely.

How do you upload an equirectangular onto google earth? and whats the biggest res you can use? the problem with G. Projector is the highest res it exports is 3750 x 7500px whichreally isnt very much for a world map.

Raptori
03-05-2014, 02:29 AM
Haha thanks!

It's pretty easy actually:

• Open Google Earth
• Click "Add" on the top toolbar
• Click "Image Overlay"
• Click "Browse..." and select your image
• Click the "Location" tab further down the window
• Enter 90 0'0.00"N, 180 0'0.00"E, 90 0'0.00"S, 180 0'0.00"W in the North, East, South, and West boxes respectively
• Click "OK"

And that's it! :)

I use it loads since you can use the ruler to measure direct distances. Even better, you can create polygonal paths and see the lengths of those too - perfect for planning trade routes, roads, etc.

Edit: Forgot to mention, biggest res is 10000x5000 I think. It gets very pixellated when you zoom in a lot but it's better than nothing I guess. You can obviously add in as many smaller maps as image overlays as you like, so you could cut a much higher resolution into smaller pieces and fit them all in that way to get better quality. Would be interesting to see how well that works actually...

Another Edit: Apparently the max res is dependent on your computer. Mine is 16384 x 16384. Click "Help" > "About Google Earth" to see what the max size you can use for each overlay is :)

vorropohaiah
03-05-2014, 03:57 AM
Edit: Forgot to mention, biggest res is 10000x5000 I think. It gets very pixellated when you zoom in a lot but it's better than nothing I guess. You can obviously add in as many smaller maps as image overlays as you like, so you could cut a much higher resolution into smaller pieces and fit them all in that way to get better quality. Would be interesting to see how well that works actually...

i gigantic digital globe of my world in super small scale!

that's great thanks, though i'm hoping you enter the size of the globe (circumference, mean radius etc? as my world is not earth sized.

Raptori
03-05-2014, 09:55 AM
Ahh, nope you can't. I think you can also have mars and moon size globes (though I haven't tried it), but other than that you're stuck with Earth size :(

Caenwyr
03-05-2014, 11:31 AM
It's a simple calculation though. If your planet is has a radius x times the Earth radius, a distance measured through Google Earth just has to be multiplied by x, and areas have to be multiplied by x.

Example: if your planet has a radius of 4,200 miles (the Earth radius is 3,959 miles), a measured distance of 100 miles is in reality 100*4,200/3,959 = 106 miles. A country with a measured area of 250,000 sqmi has in reality an area of 250,000*(4,200/3,959)^2 = 281,363 sqmi. Same goes for a planet that's smaller than Earth.

Easy peasy, right?

Raptori
03-05-2014, 11:36 AM
Yeah I was just about to come back and suggest that! It's less convenient, and means you'd have to be careful not to either convert a number twice or forget to do it, but at least it would work :)

Apparently the pro version of Google Earth lets you measure areas by creating polygons... but it costs 321€ :shock:

Caenwyr
03-05-2014, 11:41 AM
Yeah I was just about to come back and suggest that! It's less convenient, and means you'd have to be careful not to either convert a number twice or forget to do it, but at least it would work :)

Apparently the pro version of Google Earth lets you measure areas by creating polygons... but it costs 321€ :shock:

321 €? I think I'll pass! (what is it with that number anyway? Are they counting down to zero euros in your pocket or something? :P)

Raptori
03-05-2014, 12:00 PM
321 €? I think I'll pass!

I know, right! I was expecting to see something like 10€ at most, 300+ is absolutely shocking - though it's aimed at businesses so I guess they can charge a lot for it.


(what is it with that number anyway? Are they counting down to zero euros in your pocket or something? :P)

Lol! I was guessing they had priced it in USD and then converted it, but I like your explanation better :P

Ilanthar
03-05-2014, 12:52 PM
Very nice work so far Raptori! I Like the general look, it makes me think of a good scifi novel. Do you intend to do it as a fantasy world like Pern?

Raptori
03-05-2014, 01:46 PM
Very nice work so far Raptori! I Like the general look, it makes me think of a good scifi novel. Do you intend to do it as a fantasy world like Pern?

Thanks :)

Actually I've never heard of Pern! But yeah it's a fantasy world, though much closer to the real world than most fantasy in some ways. I could probably go on about it for several pages but I won't bore you with all the details :P

Raptori
03-05-2014, 02:27 PM
Okay time for another update!

### Latest WIP ###

Current continents
6000px x 3000px so you can see some more detail if you want :)
62046

Antimeridian Islands
These still aren't exactly right, but they're a bit better. I'll have to shift the map around to work on them properly since at the moment they're right on the edge.
62047

Meridian Islands
Almost completely removed the islands here, and tidied up the coastline a bit. The bay of islands 60 N (just above the centre of this image) are the centre of the first civilisation I've developed for the world, so it's most important that this area looks good :)
62048

North Pole
Tidied up the coast a bit.
62049

South Pole
Removed these islands completely, then altered the shape of the small continent. Still not happy with it.
62051

I've also sketched in the climates over the top of the map. I'l try to fix the southern continent and antimeridian islands, then tidy up the climate map and post it a bit later on :)

Raptori
03-05-2014, 09:09 PM
I did the bits of tidying and then started doing the rainfall maps (and planned to do temperature maps too), but I was thinking that just doing it by educated guesswork would be far less effort and would probably come up with a similar result. Since I'm feeling lazy, I just gave up and guessed.

### Latest WIP ###
Climate
62063

Rainfall - January (abandoned)
62064

Rainfall - July (abandoned)
62065

I'm sure I've messed up somewhere, but it looks vaguely ok to me... but feel free to tell me what I've managed to get completely wrong, it's still less effort than doing it properly :P


Edit: just realised I didn't upload this!

Currents
62066

It's a little bit messy but it should be roughly correct :|

vorropohaiah
03-06-2014, 04:51 AM
• Open Google Earth
• Click "Add" on the top toolbar
• Click "Image Overlay"
• Click "Browse..." and select your image
• Click the "Location" tab further down the window
• Enter 90 0'0.00"N, 180 0'0.00"E, 90 0'0.00"S, 180 0'0.00"W in the North, East, South, and West boxes respectively
• Click "OK"
for the life of me i cant get it to work. im doing the above but its only loadinfg a small patch of the map. ive tried in different resolutions

sorry for the hijack!

Raptori
03-06-2014, 05:05 AM
for the life of me i cant get it to work. im doing the above but its only loadinfg a small patch of the map. ive tried in different resolutions

sorry for the hijack!

No worries! You have a screenshot? Does it look like the map is in the correct place, or is the entire map just shown in a small section of where it should be? I've had both problems a couple of times actually.

When it was in the correct place but only sections are loading, I just restarted Google Earth and it worked fine after that, no idea what was going wrong. When it was in the wrong location, I think I had to restart as well and then re-enter the co-ordinates... :)

vorropohaiah
03-06-2014, 09:25 AM
ive checked all the troubleshooting tips i could find and nothing seemed to help. i tried removing the atmosphere, deleting the cache. I either end up with a partial image that covers a small part of the globe or nothing. As i enter the co-ordinates i see the image distort to match them though whenever I enter the East co-ordinates it disappears.

not to worry though i can do the same thing in PS

Raptori
03-06-2014, 10:35 AM
That's a shame, I wonder what's going wrong with it :/

One other idea: it's possible that your map is being rendered underneath the 3D terrain (or that your computer just doesn't like the 3D terrain and messes it up for some reason). To turn that off, click "Tools" > "Options", then un-tick the box next to "Use 3D Imagery" and click "OK". *fingers crossed that this one works!*

You could also increase the altitude of the image overlay a little to see if that makes any difference, but that would only help if the 3D is the problem, and in that case the above would be a much better solution :)

Raptori
03-17-2014, 06:00 PM
Haven't had much time to work on the map recently - work's been busy, plus I've been reading a couple of things that are giving me a ton of ideas for the world, and I don't want to put effort into the map and then have to change it later...

However, most of what I want to add appears to be fitting in perfectly with what I've got so far, so I spent a little bit of time starting to paint the first continent. At the moment it feels like it's missing something, so I'm taking a break from it (hence the errors like the green in the top left, and green between the mountains and desert towards the bottom right). It could be the lack of rivers (though they'd be too small to show up at this scale), but can anyone spot anything else that looks missing?!

### Latest WIP ###

62409

Pixie
03-17-2014, 09:02 PM
Are you aiming for a realistic satellite view? If that's the case, I think it's your mountains that are you giving you that feeling.. they're missing the green winding lines that are the valleys, those could also lead to some river lines (darker brown if through dry land, bluish/darker green if through grassland, invisible in forest).

Overall, color wise, maybe moving the whole lot more into the brownish gray near the mountains.

I'm leaving you with a real color satellite image of China, for comparison, as it seems to be more or less at the same latitude than this continent (seeing your map above) and also features a large mountainous area.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/China_BMNG.jpg

Raptori
03-17-2014, 10:33 PM
Are you aiming for a realistic satellite view? If that's the case, I think it's your mountains that are you giving you that feeling.. they're missing the green winding lines that are the valleys, those could also lead to some river lines (darker brown if through dry land, bluish/darker green if through grassland, invisible in forest).

Sort of - I'd love to go for satellite realism, but not sure I'd have the time to put in that much effort. Something vaguely resembling realism is my intention though.

Yeah I think you're right about the mountains. I've actually re-done them several times now and never felt particularly happy with them. I can't really put rivers in at this scale sadly; I tried it and apparently each pixel is more than two miles across, so only the biggest rivers at their widest points would show up... I'll take a look at how river valleys and basins look like at a similar scale on real maps to see if I can get some of the effect.


Overall, color wise, maybe moving the whole lot more into the brownish gray near the mountains.

I'm leaving you with a real color satellite image of China, for comparison, as it seems to be more or less at the same latitude than this continent (seeing your map above) and also features a large mountainous area.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/China_BMNG.jpg

According to Google Earth you're incorrect, though only slightly! :P

China lines up roughly from the bottom of the continent to the top of the large island off the east coast of the continent - roughly the same latitudes as the desert in the latest image actually. The rest of the continent aligns more closely to the latitudes of Europe, and it has a combination of laurentian, maritime and mediterranean climates (at the moment).

However, I think you're right that a bit more colour differentiation would do some good. I think I'll move the edges of the mountains further apart, and make the area in the middle into an arid plateau like the Tibetan plateau in that map you posted. I think that kind of topography would make a lot more sense than the crumpled mountain ranges that I've got at the moment, and would be awesome for a bit of variety.

One thing I reeeally need to start paying attention to at this stage is the projection. When I worked on the coastlines I kept switching to look at the map on Google Earth to see if it worked properly, but I've completely neglected that for this step so far. I think that's another reason the whole continent looked so odd to me - it's actually shaped very differently to how it appears in the previous image. A quick projection of it to show the difference:

62413

Thanks for the feedback, it was very helpful - now I've got some stuff to move forward with :)

Pixie
03-18-2014, 04:01 PM
If you are reconsidering those mountains, maybe you could add some more "tectonic" detail to that orogeny area. So, take the following if you like (if not, I had fun imagining it anyway, no worries).

- looking at you tectonic map, the plate on the right is a oceanic plate moving SW-ward, the one on the bottom is a partially oceanic plate with some significant land (maybe remnants of an old continent) at this end, moving northwards, and the plate on the right with the most of the land is mainly continental.
- now, to figure which goes under which you take into account plate density - generally speaking, old oceanic crust is denser, continental crust is "lighter"
- I would definitely make the part with the desert the less dense crust of the three, as that would fit my supposition that it is very old crust, this means the other two would sink under it
- this means the plateau would be in the deserted area (continent under continent generates plateaus - west USA or Tibet are the perfect examples)
- there would be significantly less land mass on the west plate (or, in other words, the mountain range gets shifted eastwards), as the oceanic crust sinks as it meets the continental crust.
- the shape of the triple junction would be basically given by the junction of the two continental plates, so figure the accurate border for these two and then add the oceanic one (there isn't really any location like this on Earth and I will try to explain why next)
- now, consider this is going on for a while (like millions of years, as always).. one of the continental plates is being pushed up, this means it will rise even further in the region, which in turns moves the border between that plate and the oceanic crust away from that triple point.
- over time I reckon this generates a "tongue" of up-moving plate breaking the triple point into two separate ridges, or at least, the tongue spreads as far as a point where two of the plates no longer collide head on but slide in opposite directions (transform faults)

I loved this bit of "what if", as I said, use it as you want it. I would get a bit of plasticine and try to figure it out. But feel free to ignore it ;)

Raptori
03-18-2014, 04:56 PM
If you are reconsidering those mountains, maybe you could add some more "tectonic" detail to that orogeny area. So, take the following if you like (if not, I had fun imagining it anyway, no worries).

- looking at you tectonic map, the plate on the right is a oceanic plate moving SW-ward, the one on the bottom is a partially oceanic plate with some significant land (maybe remnants of an old continent) at this end, moving northwards, and the plate on the right with the most of the land is mainly continental.
- now, to figure which goes under which you take into account plate density - generally speaking, old oceanic crust is denser, continental crust is "lighter"
- I would definitely make the part with the desert the less dense crust of the three, as that would fit my supposition that it is very old crust, this means the other two would sink under it
- this means the plateau would be in the deserted area (continent under continent generates plateaus - west USA or Tibet are the perfect examples)
- there would be significantly less land mass on the west plate (or, in other words, the mountain range gets shifted eastwards), as the oceanic crust sinks as it meets the continental crust.
- the shape of the triple junction would be basically given by the junction of the two continental plates, so figure the accurate border for these two and then add the oceanic one (there isn't really any location like this on Earth and I will try to explain why next)
- now, consider this is going on for a while (like millions of years, as always).. one of the continental plates is being pushed up, this means it will rise even further in the region, which in turns moves the border between that plate and the oceanic crust away from that triple point.
- over time I reckon this generates a "tongue" of up-moving plate breaking the triple point into two separate ridges, or at least, the tongue spreads as far as a point where two of the plates no longer collide head on but slide in opposite directions (transform faults)

I loved this bit of "what if", as I said, use it as you want it. I would get a bit of plasticine and try to figure it out. But feel free to ignore it ;)

Thanks, that's awesome! I couldn't quite work out how the junction should work (like you said, nothing like it on Earth to compare to), so I'll be following this pretty closely :D

Raptori
03-20-2014, 08:35 PM
Altering and then re-altering the colours is a pain when I can't use my tablet (must steal that back from my partner asap), so I've decided to make a smaller map focusing on one region to keep myself motivated, and maybe test a few techniques since I haven't actually really made a map yet. Style inspiration: Atlas Elyden (the Korachan one in particular) by vorropohaiah (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/26175-atlas-elyden-2.html#post237817) and Central Uralien by - Max - (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/26566-central-uralien.html#post241124) ...yeah I doubt I'll get it to look that good.

I used G.Projector to create a projection of the area I wanted to map (any better programs for that? the max file size is too low...), exported it both with and without graticules, then traced the coast and graticules in Illustrator. The graticules look wrong to me, and I was wondering if that's just my eyes being weird, or something actually wrong with the map. Feedback on that would be much appreciated!

I touched it up a bit in Photoshop so it's not just a bunch of lines, but it's naturally a bit rough at the moment since that's all that I've done so far :)

### Latest WIP ###
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Lingon
03-21-2014, 05:45 PM
That's cool! Interesting effect on the coastline, and I like the gray. And there are worse sources of inspiration :)

Ilanthar
03-22-2014, 11:32 AM
Are you planning to change your entire world in this style? Or is it an additionnal map of a different kind? I'm just curious :)

It looks good anyway!

- Max -
03-22-2014, 12:16 PM
Seems you're off to a good start. The effect on the coastline could be interesting though on some parts it looks a bit too dirty.

Raptori
03-22-2014, 02:12 PM
That's cool! Interesting effect on the coastline, and I like the gray. And there are worse sources of inspiration :)

Thanks! I'm actually going to change it to a tan colour, since the paper they'd use would be hemp based. :)


Are you planning to change your entire world in this style? Or is it an additionnal map of a different kind? I'm just curious :)

It looks good anyway!

It's an additional map, this one is supposed to be in-world - one of the main characters' mother is a cartographer in the current outline, so it'd be one she made :D

The main map I've been working on so far is more to help me plan the history and to give me a better feel for the climate and biomes in different areas. I'm gonna make this new map first though since I've got some specific ideas for one of the civilisations in this area. I'll position the cities first, then the rivers, then the mountains, rather than the other way round. For the rest of the map I'd do it the right way round and then develop the cultures afterwards, but in this case I already know what I want to be there :)


Seems you're off to a good start. The effect on the coastline could be interesting though on some parts it looks a bit too dirty.

Funnily enough I had just been fixing that! :D


New version below, this time with a Lambert Conformal Conic projection, which fixes the main problem I had with the first version. I also changed the graticules to every 6 degrees, both because they look better that way and because the culture the map would be intended for uses a base 12 number system. The style is a little bit closer to where I want it - nicer coast both in terms of lines and effect, slightly improved paper texture, and colour closer to that of hemp paper. For some reason it looks bright yellow on my smaller monitor and completely desaturated greyscale on my main monitor. Might be a good idea to calibrate them somehow... which does it look like to everyone else?!

62535

Thanks for the comments, really appreciate the help! :D

- Max -
03-22-2014, 04:21 PM
Looks good, though I'm not convinced by the poor quality of the background texture :/

Raptori
03-22-2014, 04:41 PM
It's the highest resolution one I could find with the right kind of texture... any ideas where I could find a better one? Everything I've found so far is even smaller than that one :(

Ideally I'd want a HUGE texture image, since pixellated stuff really bugs the hell out of me.


Edit: found one that's big enough, but not as rough as I'd ideally want. The pixellation is gone, but it does look a bit oddly smooth to me :/
62538

- Max -
03-22-2014, 05:20 PM
What size are you looking for?

Raptori
03-22-2014, 05:23 PM
As big as possible to be honest, that particular map is A3 at 300dpi, so 4961 x 3508 pixels, but even bigger than that would be better (I like working at A1 size, so double that width and height for how big the perfect one for me would be) :P

I haven't done anything at print resolution on Photoshop for a loooong time, so I've lost all of my old image libraries, never transferred them from my old PC :(


Edit: just spent a little time messing around with Photoshop brushes to see what I could come up with for mountains, rivers and other stuff like deserts and swamps, and then added a couple of labels in too. Annoyingly, the font doesn't stay on one line properly when it's rotated, not sure what to do about that... maybe I'll have to do the labels in Illustrator/InDesign or something instead :/

62542

Ilanthar
03-23-2014, 10:32 AM
By Raptori
It's the highest resolution one I could find with the right kind of texture... any ideas where I could find a better one? Everything I've found so far is even smaller than that one

I had the same problem so often! Lately, I resolve this by this rather simple method : taking a texture of, let's say 2000x2000 px, copy it to the wanted size, side by side, then using cloning/smudge tools to make a big one texture by making the repeated pattern disappear/change.

I hope to be of some help.

Raptori
03-23-2014, 10:34 AM
I had the same problem so often! Lately, I resolve this by this rather simple method : taking a texture of, let's say 2000x2000 px, copy it to the wanted size, side by side, then using cloning/smudge tools to make a big one texture by making the repeated pattern disappear/change.

I hope to be of some help.

Yeah that's what I've done on the current one - the other texture wouldn't have worked because it wasn't very even, so I'd have been really bugged by the repetition of some of the main bits :P

Raptori
03-23-2014, 09:24 PM
/sigh...

Saving regularly doesn't do much good if you save and close Photoshop just after flattening the whole damn thing. Luckily I hadn't done anything more since the tests a couple of posts back (plus the coastlines are a separate vector file), so I only lost a couple of hours work.

Still a hit to the motivation though :(

Viking
03-23-2014, 09:31 PM
/sigh...

Saving regularly doesn't do much good if you save and close Photoshop just after flattening the whole damn thing. Luckily I hadn't done anything more since the tests a couple of posts back (plus the coastlines are a separate vector file), so I only lost a couple of hours work.

Still a hit to the motivation though :(

Oh man! I feel your pain!!! >.< That is why it is a good idea to have a duplicate psd file sometimes. Also, when I flatten a map, I will open a copy of it in photoshop as there is a specific button on the layer or history window (I forget which) that lets you do that. That way I reduce the chance of saving over a flattened image. If you want to be more safe, you can cycle through multiple psd files overwriting the last one or just save a new psd file each save, although that is extreme. I have seen it done for extremely time tight projects or for programs with unstable save files.

madcowchef
03-23-2014, 10:20 PM
That is a shot straight to the heart of motivation and enjoyment. You have my sympathy. This is how I end up with files several gigs in size for fear of ever merging layers.

Caenwyr
03-24-2014, 03:05 AM
Ouch man, my sympathy. Having experienced things like this quite some times too many myself, I know exactly how frustrating that feels. What I do nowadays to prevent that from happening: every time I want to flatten some layers, I save my PSD file under a new name. That way whenever I want to go back to parts of the map I flattened, I just have to reopen an older PSD. and when the project's finished, I delete everything but the last version.

In fact, now that I think of it, maybe it's not a bad idea to copy the layers to be merged to a new PSD file. That way, if you give it the same name as the resulting merged layer, you can always find it without any hassle. And the total size of that folder would be only marginally larger than when you kept all layers unmerged on one humongous PSD.

Oh well, good ideas always come when it's too late. I hope you'll manage to find back your motivation, Raptori! A map like this deserves to be finished ;).

Raptori
03-24-2014, 07:42 AM
I think it's just been so long since I've worked in PS that I've forgotten some good habits, since you don't get this kind of issue so much in Illustrator. Makes me wish there was an automatic rolling save feature, would help a lot. I'd never spotted the "Create new document from current state" button, which looks like a great solution for this, so thanks for that! :)

Fortunately I really hadn't done that much in PS, and all the important work was still there in AI files - if I'd had to start again it'd have taken a while to get back in to it, but since it's so little work I've almost got back to the same point already. I can't remember what settings I had used to get that effect on the coastlines - I know which layer styles and filters, just not the numbers - and after a while fiddling I can't get the exact same look. I managed to get something that's good enough, though I'm not sure if I like it as much.

Original / New
6257362574

The new one doesn't have a texture, but other than that the only difference is the style of the coast. Should I just leave it as is or try to get it closer to the original? :/

The only bit missing now is the label styles, which will only take 5 minutes when I get round to them, then I can carry on from where I got to. So happy that it happened now and not after spending ages on it!

Thanks for the support everyone, I'll have to be more careful from now on!

Raptori
03-24-2014, 06:21 PM
Has anyone else read this map projection guide website (http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/TOC/cartTOC.html)? I'm just going through it now and it's incredibly helpful. It does a great job at explaining the different aspects of map projections, which makes it really easy to work out which would be most useful in which situation.

As such, I'm going to change my projection from Lambert Conformal Conic to Azimuthal Equidistant centered on one of the capital cities I'm working into the map. The reason for this is that this projection preserves distances and directions radiating from the central point - if you got out a ruler and measured from the capital city to anywhere on the map, you'd be able to accurately measure the distance and direction in which you should travel. I'm thinking a series of such maps for major trading ports in each area of the world would be a great set of maps for traders to use :)

Raptori
03-25-2014, 02:46 AM
Hmm. Could definitely do with some opinions on whether the new graticule is too intrusive or not. I've put both the polar graticule (6 degree intervals, similar to the previous version), and another one centred on the capital city. The additional one has parallels every 100 miles, since that's roughly a day's travel for the slowest ocean-going ships. I've made them both relatively faint, but they're clearly visible at full size. Is it too much or can I leave them both in?

Other things present in this version: different projection with styling roughly as per previous version, mountain test, river test, plus a few different test labels. Just now I've put the sea/ocean labels in front of the graticules so they're more legible, can't be bothered re-uploading though. Any feedback would be welcome! :)

Does anyone know how to stop PS from making the letters in angled text jitter up and down like this?

Full map - small (2000px wide).
62595

Detail - full size cropped to the bit with the samples.
62596

Full map - large (~5000px wide).
62597

madcowchef
03-25-2014, 03:07 AM
The links are no worky for me.

Raptori
03-25-2014, 03:18 AM
How weird. Hopefully these work:

62598
62599
62600

- Max -
03-25-2014, 08:05 AM
I don't really understand the double graticules here.

Raptori
03-25-2014, 04:39 PM
Okay, a bit more explanation and two more images to hopefully make it clearer:

Centered Graticule
The reason for using the Azimuthial Equidistant projection for this map is that distances measured from (or through) the focal point are always consistent (with no distortion), and always show the most direct route possible. This means that you can take a ruler and line up the focal point and any other point on the map, and know the exact distance between those two points. In many situations this property isn't that useful, but I think it makes sense for a map centred on a major trading city - it would allow people to easily find the fastest routes to various trading partners across a wide area.

While that use case would work without any graticule for guidance, I thought it would make sense for one to be added in the right place. This graticule is centred on the trading city. Travelling along the radiating lines to any point is the shortest distance possible. I've added parallels every 100 miles, since the slowest trading ships (equivalent to East Indiamen) would cover that on an average day. For those ships, each concentric circle marks a day's travel, which would also be a really useful piece of information imo.

62622

Polar Graticule
However, only having that centered graticule would render the map completely useless for finding bearings when you're anywhere other than the focal point. The shortest routes shown by the centred graticule do not follow consistent bearings, so while you'd be travelling in a straight line your compass heading would change. The polar graticule is essential for the purpose of finding a bearing at any location other than the focal point, so logically it would need to be included.

62620

If it doesn't make sense I've got no problem changing it though :)

Raptori
03-27-2014, 09:29 PM
I guess everyone is either ambivalent towards the graticules or they're too confused to comment. I think I'll just pretend that everyone thought it was a great idea :)

I really should be doing work, but it's so hard to get motivated when I can play with this instead :|

Update
I've added a good portion of the terrain on the main continent, including the plateau in the center (top of the map), and the edge of the southern desert(top left). I've also added one river system, a city near the mouth of that river and labeled both of them and some of the mountain ranges.

62680

In addition to the above (and some other topographical labels), I've tentatively named the main country "Aestura" and one of the capital cities "Sinoastio". For all the names, I ran latin words through a customised phonetic filter (using this (http://www.zompist.com/sca2.html)), since I wanted it to sound somewhere between latin and it's children. I'm fairly happy with the results, though it'll probably change a fair bit in the future, and any feedback is welcome as always. For example, Aestura is a contraction of "summer" and "grain field", while Sinoastio is a contraction of "river mouth" and "bay".

I've also added a border to the map. The markers need a bit of explanation, which I've put in a spoiler below since it's unusual but not really that interesting... I've also increased the image size to A1 at 300dpi, making it over 10,000 by 7,000 pixels. I may come to regret that decision. I haven't re-processed the coastlines' waves yet, since that'll probably crash my computer at this size.

This civilisation writes (and conceptualises) numbers in base 12, rather than base 10. As an example, this means that the number 123 written in their language would actually be 3 + 2*12 + 1*12*12 = 3 + 24 + 144 = 171 instead of 3 + 2*10 + 1*10*10 = 123. Base 12 is more useful in many situations than base 10 because it allows for much more flexible use of fractions. I should probably come up with a way to differentiate the letter forms for numbers, since both would exist in the world, but I've not got to that yet - advice on that would be appreciated!

Base 12 is also applied to the number of degrees in a circle. Instead of dividing it into a scale totalling 360, split into 60', split into 60", it's divided into 12, split into 12', split into 12". I've used a superscript instead of to mark Aesturan degrees, though it's not very clear and would ideally not be needed at all if I can work out a way to differentiate the number forms instead. That means that 1 = 30, and 1' = 2.5 (which are the measurements marked on the map). Smaller measurements than the " would be measured in either fractions of a minute or miles.

Medium Resolution (5000px x 3595px)
62681

Low Resolution (2000px x 1438px)
62682

I'm not 100% happy with the river at the moment, it feels a bit intrusive. Admittedly that's what I wanted - where they're a significant barrier to people I want them to be noticeable - I'm just not sure if it works yet. I guess that'll become obvious once more stuff has been added...

- Max -
03-28-2014, 05:45 AM
I still think that the double graticules is a bit odd and confusing on the map ;) I Like your reliefs though when zoomed in, the effect/texture looks a bit too digital maybe.

Raptori
03-28-2014, 07:00 AM
Lol okay, I'll take it out :D

This look okay to you?

Low Resolution
62692

Medium Resolution
62693

All I've done is hide the second graticule (except for a tiny bit of it around the centre to indicate the centre of the map) and reduce the texture :)

- Max -
03-28-2014, 07:38 AM
Hmm so I think it comes from the effect you use to make the relief rather than the texture :/ Anyway it's personnal taste so if you like it go with it! :)

Caenwyr
03-28-2014, 08:03 AM
I very much like your mountains! Care to share your technique? They're both minimalistic AND freakin' hot!

Raptori
03-28-2014, 01:06 PM
Hmm so I think it comes from the effect you use to make the relief rather than the texture :/ Anyway it's personnal taste so if you like it go with it! :)

Haha okay, I'd probably have to remake them completely to fix that then, think I'll just leave it :D


I very much like your mountains! Care to share your technique? They're both minimalistic AND freakin' hot!

Thanks! It's dead simple really, I did it using Photoshop's layer styles but it could probably be done in GIMP/Paint.net too.

Step 1
The first step is to create a new layer - which I imaginatively named "Mountains" - and apply a Colour Overlay layer style that matches the background of the page behind the mountains. Mine is an off-white grey, #eeeeee.

62701

Step 2
The next step is to add some layer styles, which combine to create the effect. The screenshots show the settings I used, changing them will give slightly different results so playing around with them can be pretty fun.

Bevel and Emboss
The bevel and emboss settings control the height of the mountain (Depth and Size), the angle of the light, and the harshness of the highlights and shadows.

62702

Contour
The contour controls how harsh the peaks of the mountains are. I've set this to a low percentage, since that creates harsher peaks.

62703

Texture
The texture makes the peaks slightly less harsh, and makes them feel a little more like they're painted on a page. It's good to mess around with these, different patterns and depths give loads of different effects.

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Step 3
The final step is to use the brush tool and paint the mountains. I've used one of the presets bundled with this (awesome) brush set (http://vesner.deviantart.com/art/lazy-brush-set-348986577) - the one shown in the image below. The key things you want from your brush are a bit of a texture and fairly soft edges, I just found that this particular brush worked really well. The colour you use is irrelevant due to the colour overlay, I use black so it stands out when I want to look at the layer without the styles.

62705

Low Altitudes
I painted in two stages, starting with lower altitudes. For this, I set my brush to something like 15% opacity, and then just painted over and over until it looked right. I paint with the layer effects on so I can see the result, but I've also included screenshots of what the layer looks like without them so you can compare the results.

6270662707

High Altitudes
The second stage is the higher altitudes, which bring a bit more scale to the mountains. I just increase the opacity, to something like 50%, and paint over the top of the existing stuff.

6270862709

Lingon
03-28-2014, 02:20 PM
This is coming along really nicely, the mountains are very cool! For me, the double graticules weren't confusing, I quite like the idea actually, but there is/was a problem with them. If you're using an azimuthal projection, the meridians are only straight lines if the projection is centered on a pole. If it's centered anywhere else, they become curved. The secondary graticule would be drawn like you did it though, if the projection is centered on Sinoastio. If you bring it back, I'd suggest to make them different somehow; lineweight, transparency, color, something to make them easy to tell appart.

The river is nicely made, I like how it gets fainter, but there's a discontinuity in detail level for me; you show tons of tiny tributaries, but the curves of the river are very simplified. I think it needs to be more squiggly :)

The labeling is really good, I might add. I always have trouble with that. It's very clean and nice. Though the floating Aestura label looks quite out of place, when no other labels float.

Diamond
03-28-2014, 02:46 PM
This is looking very very nice, man. I like that mountain technique; it's very similar to the one I use sometimes. I didn't really have a problem with the double graticule, but it honestly looks fine to me either way.

Raptori
03-28-2014, 06:27 PM
Yeah the mountains are really simple - just a slight tweak to some of the styles a load of people use - but I think they work well on this :)

The polar graticule isn't straight actually, it's traced directly from a G.Projector image centred on the city. I've added a line to the screenshot below so you can see the difference - the curve isn't very obvious unless there's a straight line next to it :)

62721

I actually tried to put a bit of contrast between the two graticules, but they were both so light that it didn't really work in the end. The polar one was half the width and half the opacity of the other one, but it was hard to tell to be honest. When I made one of them dark enough for the contrast to be visible, the light one was barely noticeable and the dark one took too much precedence over the map for my liking. I'll leave it off for now, then after I've added most of the labels and stuff I'll try to find a way to put it back in without affecting the rest of the map.

Very good point on the shape of the river Lingon, just had a look at some satellite photos of rivers and it's very different to what really happens. I think I'll wait to use my tablet for that, I can finally have it back when the new monitor arrives in a week or so :D

I'm treating the labelling as if it's part of an infographic, since that's effectively what a map is, right? The more important the item is for the users of the map, the darker and larger the text should be. You're right about the Aestura label, I was thinking it'd look better once several other country names had been added, but now that you mention it I realised that actually it made no sense to make those so dark when the map is supposedly for traders. Cities, coasts and rivers are the most important elements for that use case, so I've removed the shadow and lightened the text :)

Thanks for the comments everyone, really helps me work out what I actually want the map to do. I guess the next step is to come up with some more names for things!

Pixie
03-28-2014, 09:32 PM
I think I will use this exact technique for mountains, at some point. Many thanks for it, Raptori.

As for the map, it is looking great (but I agree with Lingon about that river, it should be more random).

Waiting on a richly labeled map now. Good luck with name-making ;)

Ilanthar
03-31-2014, 09:43 AM
Very cool mountains! Thanks for sharing your method. Honestly, your fantasy world is more and more interesting! I would love to see a continent at this stage.

I probably just don't remember (sorry for that :?), but you intend to do political or atlas kind of maps, right?

Raptori
03-31-2014, 12:07 PM
I think I will use this exact technique for mountains, at some point. Many thanks for it, Raptori.

As for the map, it is looking great (but I agree with Lingon about that river, it should be more random).

Waiting on a richly labeled map now. Good luck with name-making ;)

Cool, it'll be nice to see what you do with it! :)

Lol it's taking me forever to come up with names for places... I think I've only done about 20 more so far, which barely covers one tiny area of the map - the bay around that main city. I'll be a bit busy for the next few weeks with other stuff so I won't have much time to work on this as well, so it'll probably be some time before the next update :(


Very cool mountains! Thanks for sharing your method. Honestly, your fantasy world is more and more interesting! I would love to see a continent at this stage.

I probably just don't remember (sorry for that :?), but you intend to do political or atlas kind of maps, right?

Thanks! Not 100% sure about what maps I'll be making to be honest. The initial map (the one from a few pages ago that I've paused for the moment) was really just me setting up the geography of the world so it makes sense, and providing something to use on Google Earth for measurements. The new map is there to add some of the geographical detail I'll need for one of the key areas, though I'm having fun trying to make it look nice at the same time! Most of the time I've had free to spend on this so far has gone into working out the background story so I can start to work out a series of plots, the map-making is both for clarity and for fun :)

Raptori
04-05-2014, 06:05 PM
Haven't spent a single minute on this since I last posted, but I realised I hadn't posted a picture of the labeling so far. There are a few labels that are off the edge of the cropped area, but the image below shows the majority of the ones I've added. The faint lines are rough guidelines for some rivers I'll add in at some point. Large circle = city (which are either a city state or a state capital), medium circle = town, dot = important village.

I'm not sure how dense I should make the labeling... So far I've been only adding locations that would be of interest to a trader, to reflect the purpose of the map, but when comparing the settlement density to the scale there it looks very sparsely populated. Should I carry on marking only important locations, at this kind of density, or should I try to cram in more detail (and give myself a further mountain of naming!)?

62980

Diamond
04-06-2014, 01:14 PM
That's looking pretty good! If it were me, I think I'd leave the settlement density where you've got it, but add in things like roads, important sites (mountain peaks, shrines, fortresses, ruins, etc) to help fill things out. That way you get a lot of world-detail/depth, and you don't have to go into quite so much naming detail.

As far as the labels themselves, I can't say I'm a huge fan of the way you've got them overlapping the coasts. In some places you clearly have to, like with Porto Saxeo, but with others, like Paculeto, why not just move them up or down a few pixels?

JefBT
04-07-2014, 08:59 AM
The heightmap fascinate me. *o*

Raptori
04-07-2014, 05:33 PM
That's looking pretty good! If it were me, I think I'd leave the settlement density where you've got it, but add in things like roads, important sites (mountain peaks, shrines, fortresses, ruins, etc) to help fill things out. That way you get a lot of world-detail/depth, and you don't have to go into quite so much naming detail.

Thanks, I'll carry on as is then :)


As far as the labels themselves, I can't say I'm a huge fan of the way you've got them overlapping the coasts. In some places you clearly have to, like with Porto Saxeo, but with others, like Paculeto, why not just move them up or down a few pixels?

Good point. At the moment I just have them all centred on the meridian of the location without thinking about anything underneath. I'll definitely go back and fix that as much as possible :)