View Full Version : WIP Semi-Realistic Conworld

06-25-2014, 10:03 AM
Hello, all! I have been lurking for quite a while, admiring the works of Pixie, Akubra, Ascanius, Groovey, etc. After taking inspiration from their maps and applying what I've learned from my own previous attempts, I decided that I would create an account and post my latest endeavor in cartography. The image below shows the temporary names of all the main landmasses and bodies of water within my conworld (This is simply for convenience).


This map shows the major tectonic plates, numbered 1-10, and their boundaries. Red represents a divergent boundary, green a transform, blue a convergent, and the purple with circles denotes subduction (I was too lazy to make them triangles :P ).


This one shows areas of high and low pressure, as well as global winds, for July (northern summer). It should be noted that my planet rotates from east to west, the opposite of Earth, so the highest pressure gradient would be found on the west coast, and not the east. Yellow is low pressure, purple is high. July is on the left, January on the right.

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These would be the oceanís surface currents. Red is warm, blue is cold. I'm not too really sure about the area around the Northern Sea - It just doesn't seem quite right.


With the previous information, I was able to create maps of relative rainfall. White is drier, blue is wetter. July is to the left, January to the right:

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Finally, with all of the above data, I made a map showing approximately where the climate zones would go. Keep in mind my planet's rotation. Also, I was planning to have some pretty large plateaus around the parts of Orientalia that are to the north and east of the mountains due to the Himalaya-esque tectonics occurring in that area.


SoÖ does it seem plausible? Any obvious errors? Iím aiming for realism, and any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated! :)

06-25-2014, 11:07 AM
The only thing I can think of to say is hot damn. That's a lot of thought to go into a map. I know you're going for realism but I can't even imagine thinking a map out this thoroughly. It all looks really well, though I can't comment on any errors. Not educated enough in this stuff to spot them =P Keep it up, though!

06-25-2014, 11:30 AM
Great start, Meaux, and welcome on board.

Although fairly simple in comparison to Earth's (or to some of our attempts around here), your tectonic map seems very plausible. There was a large continent in the middle, one smaller at the north pole and another towards the east end of the map, then the main continent at the middle split in half, that movement created the "interior ocean" and also caused other movements, including, later on, the opening of the "northern sea". All is good so far.

Currents and wind directions.. hmm, a couple of things I gotta point out:
- currents: i think you should add an east-west current on both oceans between 35ļ and 45ļ N, and then the polar current west-east. This would also help with figuring the currents at the Northern Sea.
- high/low pressure: (let me ask, do you have a good reason to force rotation in the opposite direction of Earth's?) - all your low pressure centers seem to be rotating in the wrong direction, you might want to check them.

So, with these observations, I gather you may be changing something in rain patterns and climates, but let me say right away that as they stand they seem very good.

If anything, my overall impression is that you've made it too homogeneous and simplified, but I'm a little detail-obsessed :D about this stuff.

06-29-2014, 10:01 AM
Thank both of you for the feedback! After a few un-creative days, Iíve finally managed to get around to updating this map. Itís changed quite a bit; some continents have been shrunken, others enlarged, some taken from my previous works, and some new altogether. The color scheme has also been made a bit easier on the eyes. :P

I see what you mean, Pixie. I searched for detailed maps of Earthís tectonic plates and found that my conworld was nothing compared to microplate-ridden SE Asia, so Iíve worked to increase the number of plates. Hopefully I havenít messed it up too badlyÖ ;)

As for the currents, I followed your advice. The northern area still looks a bit funky to me, but at least itís better than before. One issue added with these new changes, though, is the current that runs through the middle of the two western continents. Is it fine as-is, should I remove it, or should I do something else entirelyÖ? Also, the currents may seem to ignore island chains in a few spots, but thatís just because I made the mistake of adding the islands in after everything else. :(

Iíll be sure to fix those low pressure zones in the future. I wanted my planet to rotate in the other direction because I wanted the central continent to be dryer, with few rainforests, but also because I felt as though this is something that conworld-ers donít mess with as often as they should. If you pick a planet from a random solar system in the universe, the chances are 50/50 one way or the other (unless there are variables that I am unaware of Ė Iím no astronomer, after all).

So, without further a-do, here are the new maps:
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Dark brown indicates mountains that are being actively formed, while light brown indicates older ranges. Pressure, rainfall, and climate zones will have to wait for now.

Once again, thank you, Pixie, for all your help!

06-30-2014, 05:16 PM
Well all I can say is I am impressed by the work. I am new here and haven't looked into the other people who did this. I won't even try to get into this, though I will look at others doing it. I suspect if I started now at 55 to try to work out that kind of detail I would die of old age before I get past the map planning stage for my novel. ;) Still I really admire the work here on the forum and those dedicated to the craft.

07-01-2014, 03:14 AM
Hey there Meaux. I took a look at your map and like what you have so far.

There are a few things that caught my attention though.
- the divergent boundary between plate's 16, 18, and 9 is odd in the way it juts in towards 18 and 9. New crust is formed at an equal rate on both sides of a divergent boundary like the way you did between plates 8 and 9. It's odd for the divergent boundary to suddenly cut in towards a continent like that.
- it looks like the transform boundary between 16 and 23 should be divergent due to the plates rotating away from each other.
- the only other thing I see right now is that less than half, 6 or 7, of your plates are oceanic crust with the majority being continental crust. You may want to increase the number of oceanic plates considering it is the main source of crust creation

07-01-2014, 07:14 AM
Hi again

About the direction of rotation, the reason why so few people decide to follow that path is because it really doesn't matter. Pick up a map of Earth, rotate it 180ļ so you turn the north pole into the south pole and Earth's rotation (on that map) will be right to left instead of left to right. Arabic middle ages cartographers, for example, used to map South at the top, so a map of Earth with currents/winds done by them would have exactly the same patters as you are making it. In my humble opinion you are just adding a layer of complexity without any gains, but do with this opinion whatever you like ;)

Having said that. Your currents are nearly perfect. My only point is that a current needs to have a counter current. Even those narrow passages (like the north sea) in your map are 300/500 km wide and that's wide enough.

As for the tectonics. I think you added too much, too furiously, Meaux. I don't spot anything outrageous, but all the points ascanius raised are fair and worth a deeper look. Also, overall, the lines of your boundaries are very awkward - subduction happens in continuously curved lines, divergent boundaries are long curves, almost straight (or in stair-shape if you want that level of detail), etc. Have another look at maps showing the Earth's plates to see what I mean. That would add a completely different degree of plausibility.

07-01-2014, 10:09 AM
Nice maps , any tips on how you do draw those smooth arrows?