View Full Version : The Five Cardinal Directions

03-04-2014, 11:17 AM
I was reading the thread about not using the north up assumption and it occurred to me that it might be on the way to a good idea for a challenge idea. But why stop there? Not only does north not need to be up, but there need not be a north at all. I propose a challenge wherein your map must use an alternate coordinate system that can't just be a renaming or reorientation of the four point system. Not only does it need to be plotted as such, but the labels need to be reflective of they system to carry the theme through. Fun or too open ended?

04-06-2014, 06:16 PM
You could count me in on that one ...

04-07-2014, 12:41 PM
It certainly piques my interest. I'm assuming that despite the name, it's not necessary to use five (or any particular number) of cardinal directions so long as the final product is not NESW or an obvious alteration of it.

Related sub question...how do you envision this affecting the mapping itself? For example, just because most maps are laid out with an essentially Cartesian coordinate system in mind, it doesn't mean that they automatically refer to such coordinates in practice. Most of the city maps posted here would be the same regardless what orientation system you're using since there isn't much mention of the four cardinal directions made in the first place.

I don't know if I'm making my question clear or not.

04-07-2014, 01:44 PM
No that's a perfectly fair question. In the way of laying out the landmasses and rivers I think th answer is it wouldn't effect them. But if you're using portlano lines to navigate coasts, doing a none quadrant based map projection, doing the labeling (plenty of locations that include a cardinal direction in the name), and possibly even not using a rectangular base for the map. And part of the challenge of course is to make the theme play through. Its true that you could just relabel a map and throw a seven pointed compass rose on it, but I don't think that would impress the judges.

04-19-2014, 02:51 PM
I should do this; I have a world that's permeated by a six element system, the months, the weeks, the days, the hours, the seasons, city streets, buildings... everything is in groups of 2, 6, or 12. I have no doubt they would map their world out in hexagons. But squares are just so EASY to draw. Still, it's an interesting challenge. If it happened, I think I might have a go at it.