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rekaj
12-08-2008, 09:28 PM
First post ever!

I wish i knew a better way to describe this....

What do you call the type of map that shows changes to an Empire over time?... for example, with the Roman empire, the map might start with the city of Rome at a certain date, then expand to all of Italy later, then end with the furthest extent of Rome at a later year.

I feel like there has to be a name for this type of time based morphing map.

Here is an example....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Territories_of_Dynasties_in_China.gif

rekaj

Gamerprinter
12-08-2008, 09:36 PM
Good question, I don't really know the answer, though I'm sure there is one and one of our more scholarly members might be aware. A map chronicle, perhaps?

Welcome to the Guild! You should probably post an intro in the Intro Forum, just above this one.

Have some Rep (reputation) for asking a map question I couldn't answer! :P

Again, welcome.

GP

Midgardsormr
12-08-2008, 11:10 PM
Nice new badge there, GP!

I'm not sure if that kind of map has a specific name. Perhaps we should give it one ourselves. Political time lapse map? Imperial expansimation? (That's expansion crossed with animation.)

Ooh! Then we could turn it into a verb: I like the way you expansimated that map. And we could have a new specialty among cartographers: "What do I do for a living? I'm an expansimator."

Steel General
12-09-2008, 07:35 AM
Ooh! Then we could turn it into a verb: I like the way you expansimated that map. And we could have a new specialty among cartographers: "What do I do for a living? I'm an expansimator."

LOL! I'd have spit out my drink if I had one when I read that.

'Political Time-Lapse Map' is good, how about expanding it to "Geo-Political Time-Lapse Mapping", though I really do like Expansimated. :D

Gamerprinter
12-09-2008, 10:50 AM
Nice new badge there, GP!

Yeah, but it seems like a cross between the "Being Geologically Correct Award and the Anal Retentive Award"! Still it is shiny!

GP

Ascension
12-09-2008, 04:41 PM
Ooo, gotta get me one of those.

RobA
12-09-2008, 06:28 PM
Ooo, gotta get me one of those.

I'm deputizing.....

-Rob A>

rekaj
12-09-2008, 11:57 PM
Well, i guess let's coin one...or at least pending existence of a real name.

If i may,
From henceforth, barring rejection by forum....This type of map shall be called a Geo-Political Time-Lapse Map with a nickname of GPTL map or...expansimator :)

My next question is...Does anyone know a map person/user whom I should ask to get more information about making advanced GPTL maps? (a beginner's gotta start somewhere)

Midgardsormr
12-10-2008, 02:00 AM
I think selecting a name makes you the resident expert. I'm thinking the best tool for an expansimation would be Flash. You could do animated gifs, like the one you presented, but you'll have far more options in Flash, plus you'll get to use more colors (gifs being limited to 256 colors in each frame).

Steel General
12-10-2008, 06:10 AM
I agree Midgard, FLASH would probably be best. I did a small bit of FLASH development a few years ago. Cool stuff, but way to time consuming for my liking.

Ascension
12-10-2008, 06:05 PM
If you're going to animate it then flash is the way to go but if all you want to do is show how the borders change over time then just make the physical map and save it then make copies with the various boundary changes, then compile them all together into one large image that shows like 4 maps.

Notsonoble
12-10-2008, 07:56 PM
I'm not so sure about the flash thing. Gif's 256 color limit for something like this really should be enough, and like Steel General said, flash is a pain, on the developer, and sometimes the user's end. If anything, you can't attach easily viewable flash content here, or many other places for that matter.

Flash has its uses, but for a non-interactive image... nah.

nolgroth
12-10-2008, 10:05 PM
Should be able to do something with GIMP animation if all you want is an animated GIF. If you just want something that you can control, then do a terrain map as a background and each era is a new layer above it. That way you can turn on and off the layers to demonstrate the era you currently have in mind.

You could even make it a short movie clip that gets played on the REPEAT setting on your player. Since all you are doing is changing which area of the map is highlighted (with legend text) then it shouldn't be too hard I'd imagine. Of course I have never done anything of the sort, so take my opinion with a truckload of salt. :)

Midgardsormr
12-10-2008, 11:44 PM
I'm not so sure about the flash thing. Gif's 256 color limit for something like this really should be enough,

If you want a simple line map with solid fills, sure. Antialiasing really eats up your colors, though, and if you want to do something fancy like Mercator-style faded edge political borders, then you're into gradients, which take still more colors. To say nothing of using a shaded relief map underneath. Gif might be an okay place to start, but I think its limits will come into play very quickly.

'Tis true that there are some accessibility issues with Flash. The development problems aren't a big deal, though, really. As long you're not creating an interface or doing something fancy like that, it's pretty easy to get along with: vector drawing tools and keyframe animation. Only a bit tougher than learning Inkscape or Illustrator, in my opinion.

RobA
12-11-2008, 09:27 AM
It is also possible to do image overlays using css and javascript.

-Rob A>

rekaj
12-11-2008, 09:18 PM
Wow, this is all so much for me to take in! I have read all the options. I must apologize to say i really don't have any clue where to start. I know some flash and i am a programmer so i can work with javascripting.

Any suggestions on where to begin making these maps? what might be a good beginner step?

RobA, i'd also be interested in learning more about how you do it with Javascript/example you might have...

rekaj

RobA
12-12-2008, 12:39 PM
Here is an example I cobbled up with the china map at wikipedia:

http://ffaat.pointclark.net/test/mapdemo.html

You will have to wait for all the images to load (I didn't bother with a prefetch).

I just created thumbnails across the bottom, but those images could be replaced with a timeline set of graphics.

Alternately, this could be animated with some javascript.

-Rob A>

Steel General
12-12-2008, 02:46 PM
Interesting, didn't realize that could be done with CSS.

Sagenlicht
12-12-2008, 06:33 PM
hmm to add my two cents, RobA's idea seems a nice way and if you know java it shouldnt be a problem for you.