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Krillsack McBartleby
05-26-2014, 07:07 PM
I'm making an RPG for my group based around the X-COM universe. For the Geoscape portion, I need a high resolution printable map of Earth. I've made some maps for RPGs before, but always by hand and never of the actual Earth (on a world scale, anyway), so I'm quite new to this cartography business.

In short, I need a program that can help me make a high resolution map that has a grid over it. Each grid square must be the same size and (here's the part I was having problems with) must contain the same surface area worth of Earth. This is for aircraft, so I'm not worried about rough travel or landmasses.

There will obviously be issues with poles and probably other things I don't even know about, but any help on this whole thing would be appreciated.

Even if it's telling me my method sucks and proposing something better.

Thanks for tolerating the new guy,
Krillsack

Meshon
05-26-2014, 08:43 PM
Well, welcome to the guild! A game in the X-COM universe? Sounds fantastic! I've long been wondering how to make something like that go. For the world map you could try Google Earth, though you might have to do some research to see if there's a way to put a grid of some sort on it.

Would love to hear a report about how it's going!

cheers,
Meshon

Hai-Etlik
05-26-2014, 11:50 PM
Could you describe what you are trying to accomplish more clearly and at a higher level. You've provided a bunch of rather strange requirements and I'm not sure you've correctly determined the properties that would actually help you. I don't see how an equal area map would be particularly useful for a task involving aircraft (except for very obscure things like geostatistical analysis of air accidents) or how a square grid over an equal area projection would be particularly useful.

Krillsack McBartleby
05-27-2014, 01:52 AM
Thanks a ton for the replies. To be honest, I really don't know much about what I'm doing (if you didn't catch on to that...), so I'll just lay out my goals.

Basically, I have a list of craft and their speeds are listed in knots (from 760 at the lowest to 5400 at the highest) and I need to convert these to turn based-ish movement (each turn is one hour). I converted the knots to miles per hour. This was half because I (probably mis)read that knots are based on only on latitude degrees and half because miles per hour are easier units for my group. If it'll be easier to make a grid based on knots, that would be fantastic, actually, but I'm not sure how to handle that. Anyway, I then wanted an equal area map so I could convert each aircraft's speed into an easier "move" stat.

My goal was, when I attained a map, to make each tile roughly half the distance the slowest unit could move in one hour (so its move stat would be 2). Every other craft's move would then be rounded to a number based on its speed (making the fastest craft have a move of ~14). This is why I thought I needed an equal area map.

Did I make enough sense or should I attempt to explain further?

Thanks again for your time,
Krillsack

Hai-Etlik
05-27-2014, 02:34 PM
In that case you would probably be best served by an icosahedral projection with a hex grid over it. Such maps are not uncommon in gaming. GURPS Space, Traveller, and Battletech all use them IIRC. There are equal area ways of doing this that are used in geostatistics (Icosahedron Snyder Equal Area) but for your purposes, something simpler like Gnomonic Icosahedral should be good enough. A hex grid would probably work reasonably well on the Dymaxion projection as well.