View Full Version : Need some help

08-17-2008, 12:50 AM
I'm probably gonna get slapped for this, but I need some help with a map I'm making. So far, I've gotten the coastlines, the sea, and the land. That's about it. I have no idea where to go from there, development wise. I have some ideas, but I have no idea how to go about developing them! All I've been doing is sitting at my laptop and staring at some blue and green. Can someone give me an idea to break my 'mapper's block'?

08-17-2008, 12:57 AM
What is the goal of this map? What does it need to depict, and how will it be used? What kind of scale are we looking at? What kind of environment (tundra, tropical)?

The step I usually tackle after coastlines is mountains and elevation. That informs where the rivers will go, which tells me where the cities will probably be. City placement is also determined by the availability of natural resources: are there oyster beds somewhere? Tin or iron to be mined? A forest to provide timber?

08-17-2008, 11:31 AM
Think - backstory. History/purpose. World location/climate.

Why are you even making the map? Just for practice?

-Rob A>

08-17-2008, 11:36 AM
thanks! This'll help me some, I've already got an idea for three towns competing for fish at the lake. What do you mean by scale? Is there a way I can figure that out? And yeah, I'm making this for practice, since I've never done this before :/

08-17-2008, 12:05 PM
The easiest way to set a scale is to think in terms of travel for the "world"

This is helpful:

A horse with a cart can travel 15-20 miles per day easily.
A lightly loaded person can make 12 miles per day walking.
Canoing is 10-20 miles per day depending on river current.
A large sailing ship (like a tall ship) can average 10 miles per hour.

Use these to set the scale... i.e. how long do you want it to get from one area of the map to another?

-Rob A>

08-17-2008, 12:29 PM
Okay, how about 1 inch = 50 miles?

08-17-2008, 12:49 PM
If the scale was 1 inch = 1 mile or less, I see a major city located from the western edge of the lake, to the eastern shore of the island, north up to that little jetty of land sticking out into the water. A major port where all portage facilities are on the island mostly on the channel side.

If the scale is 1 inch = 50 miles, then the island is quite large and distant enough from the continental coast as to serve as the domain of a small sovereignty or a site for pirates to raid coastal communities.

You need more terrain features like mountains/hills, forests, rivers. For habitation, you need roads, cities/towns/villages, bridges, ports and borders.

You have a good place to start so far...