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Michael Morris
12-11-2008, 02:04 PM
Hello everyone.

I was referred here by Torstan in a post he map concerning my map rebuilding project for my setting. I've been starting with building height maps and using the shaded relief technique in photoshop on one layer, then retaining the vector based contour lines. The goal is to create a GoogleMaps like interface to the campaign setting where the DM and players can look up information on the world through the maps or other context. His exact post on ENWorld was...


That looks really good.

I'd definitely suggest dross-posting to thecartographersguild.com. There are some people over there who have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. There's a thread on importing your maps into google earth software. Equally one of the regulars - Redrobes - has created a panning and zooming map viewer. If nothing else, he'll be able to give you some very detailed advice for your project.

There's also a program called Wilbur that can take a height map such as yours and do the erosion on it to give realistic river flow and eroded mountains. Some people have got some truly startling results with it and the developer keeps up with the forums so if there are problems then they get answered really quickly.

Unfortunately I am a raster art person myself and I hand draw my maps in Gimp so I can't be too much help directly, but definitely introduce yourself over on the Guild. They're a really nice bunch.

The maps he's referring to have been placed in my profile gallery. Now I'm going to go and see if I can track down some of these tools / posts he mentioned.

NeonKnight
12-11-2008, 02:58 PM
welcome to the guild.

Steel General
12-11-2008, 03:43 PM
Welcome Aboard!

torstan
12-11-2008, 03:46 PM
Hi there,

Good to have you over here. I'd have a read through this thread and the posts it links to:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1781&highlight=erosion

Equally, Redrobes intorduction post here has links to his viewingdale software:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1239

Finally, Seerblue used the Google Maps API to do up the thrubmorton fen region of the CWBP here:
http://maps.me-dem.org/InsCarto/GoogleMaps/Gmaps.htm

Go to Thrubmorton Fens and zoom in on Fentor Cross.

Probably worth having a look at this one too:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2182&highlight=google+earth

And certainly worth talking to Redrobes if you want to build it from scratch.

That's all I can dredge up right now, but I'm sure others will chip in with more info soon enough.

torstan
12-11-2008, 03:55 PM
Oh. here's a few more:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1354
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=5097&postcount=13
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2125

and finally (posted today by RobA):
http://econym.googlepages.com/custommap.htm

Redrobes
12-11-2008, 04:17 PM
Hi Michael Morris,

Your name seems familiar somehow. Anyway, there are a few options for creating a map system that allows you to zoom around or link maps together. I write one which I think is easy to use and allows you to zoom into multiple maps at different scales, or link maps together so you can jump between them. It also allows links to pictures, text, docs, web links etc. Downside is that its not free. Theres a link in my sig to ViewingDale.

We have 'community world building project', the CWBP, which is a campaign setting with all of us add to. I have an area within that. We also have our little challenge here every month and one months challenge was to build something for a Virtual Table Top (VTT) map. So I made a church which was required for my CWBP tile.

We started talking about the capabilities of VTT's and mapping tools so there is this thread...

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2182

...where you can download lots of movies showing the capabilities of it and it shows this church in its setting in that tile area in that campaign world etc. Some of the movies show links to the web site or pics etc.

Right, so if you wanted to do it differently then you have some other options but I think they are more difficult but to show impartiality ill describe them.

If you want just one or two maps and zoom around them then you can try MapTool which is free. Its a powerful VTT too but was designed more around battling on one map than compared to mine which is more of a campaign map organiser first with the VTT side taking a little more of a secondary role.

You can use Google Earth. Theres a few tools which will take a set of images and make them into GE style format. The issue is that its a big job to make changes to the maps. You cant just pick up a house, move it and thats it. Same goes for Google Maps too. These are fixed images, broken up into tiles which are served up. Not so easy to make changes to them. I see Torstan has mentioned SeerBlue's web page for looking at some of the CWBP areas using that. He used a tool to generate those images and set it up but I cant remember what it was. Global Mapper maybe ?

You can link html pages together using 'Image Maps'. These are clickable sections on an image which links to other pages / images. Doable but you need an editor and its not a simple pick up and move job again. Its a change underlying Image Map code to do it.

Worldwind is a free similar tool to GoogleEarth. Its been around longer and was developed by Nasa to look at their maps I believe. But again I think its designed around static sets of images rather than stuff you might want to modify quickly.

Theres lots of mapping programs about but I dont think I know any others which allow you do pan from one into another seamlessly or embed one map into another.

Anyway, run through those vids in that thread using VLC if they dont play in whatever media player you use. You can grab a free demo of the app or ill gladly run a special demo if you have a specific question or case that you think might be hard to do.

Michael Morris
12-11-2008, 09:43 PM
Hi Michael Morris,

Your name seems familiar somehow.

My major claim to fame is that I was ENWorld's technical administrator, and over there people kept confusing me with Russell Morrissey, the owner.

ravells
12-14-2008, 12:28 PM
Welcome to our little corner of the web!