PDA

View Full Version : WIP: Future Earth, my campaign/novel map



Xeviat
12-23-2008, 10:35 AM
Hello all. I'm the founder of the Campaign Builder's Guild (though it's run by Ishmayl and others). I've been working on my setting for many years now, a world I use as a setting my D&D games and my novels in progress. While I am writing a fantasy world, I am approaching its creation from as natural a process as possible.

The world my stories and games take place in is earth in the future; 50 million years in the future to give a rough estimate. I spent a good deal of time researching scientists' future projections of plate tectonics. Since there's no singular accepted path for continental movement (and apparently there are some who discount tectonics entirely; read the expanding earth theories), I was pretty free to move the continents as I felt looked well.

I've already read a good deal of map making tutorials on this site, and they helped me out greatly. RobA's tutorial on using GIMP helped me out especially, giving me a method for randomizing the coastlines to look organic (and even created some nice looking costal islands).

Now that I have an outline map, I'd like to see if I can find some help placing terrains and biomes in an organic fashion. I don't need things to be 100% perfect, but I'd like some guidance if anyone can give it. In addition to my outline map, I have a map with colored bands placed to show general rainfall (dry, semidry, semiwet, and wet). I'm under the impression that the wet areas (dark blue) will tend to be forests (tropical or temperate) generally, with semiwet (light blue) being more sparse. Semidry (green) will be grasslands, and dry (yellow) will be deserts.

Please, offer any help you can, be it advice, guidelines, or (I wish) an edited map with where you think the biomes should be. Thanks for any contributions.

ravells
12-25-2008, 09:05 PM
Are you shooting for a particular kind of style, Xeviat? I like your thought processes in going about the world creation (I just make stuff up and slap it down!).

Xeviat
12-26-2008, 04:06 AM
Ravells, right now I'm not looking for a particular art style, though when I get to it I do want to make two maps: an "in world" map with political boundaries and a hand-drawn look, and a "functional" map for me with layers for altitude, terrain (grasslands, mountain, wetland, desert, forest ...), and political boundaries.

At the moment, I'm more concerned with placing altitude and terrain, because that will help determine rivers which will also help determine political boundaries.

I totally could have made things easier on myself and just created my own world, but where would the fun in that be?

Xeviat
01-01-2009, 03:47 AM
Alright, I finished my altitude map, and included air and ocean currents. I'm trying to set climate zones (wet/dry, warm/cool). Things shouldn't largely be changed from how they currently are; a few continents have turned, but they're largely at the same longitude. If anyone has any observations they can share, please do.

Here's the picture

http://i441.photobucket.com/albums/qq131/Xeviat/terran_alt.jpg

Asharad
01-01-2009, 04:14 AM
I'm sure it's not intentional, but when you turn it upside down, it reminds me of Africa, India, and Australia. I even see Madagascar.

It's a cool world building concept you have going. It's way over my head, so I'll have nothing useful to add. Sorry.

Xeviat
01-01-2009, 05:36 AM
I'm sure it's not intentional, but when you turn it upside down, it reminds me of Africa, India, and Australia. I even see Madagascar.


The world my stories and games take place in is earth in the future; 50 million years in the future to give a rough estimate.

Yup, that's Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia, repositioned. My tectonic movements aren't perfect, but they're fairly close to the various projections I've read. The altitudes are based off of Earth altitudes as well.

Hoel
01-01-2009, 08:25 AM
Looks like a helluva project. I'm not read up on the subject enough to give any input, but I'll follow the thread and give any help I can.

Xeviat
01-01-2009, 09:45 AM
Again, just to reiterate, I'm looking for any advice on placing climate zones (as simple as the combinations of hot/cold and dry/wet) and terrain types (forest, grassland, hills, mountains, wetlands ...). Again, I'm on my way to slowly finishing it, but any advice would be super.

Asharad
01-01-2009, 12:26 PM
Yup, that's Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia, repositioned. My tectonic movements aren't perfect, but they're fairly close to the various projections I've read. The altitudes are based off of Earth altitudes as well.

Oh! Ok then. Two thumbs up!

http://bp3.blogger.com/_hGuTx-bvyk0/R8Li8s85H-I/AAAAAAAAAUA/-DMfRdwbD-I/s400/Borat_Two_thumbs_up_yours.jpg

Xeviat
01-01-2009, 01:44 PM
Oh! Ok then. Two thumbs up!

Heh. I worked on the tectonics sporadically for years, and I realized that I needed to flip the map upside down to hide it. Apparently there's pole shifts, so I can switch which way compasses point and it will switch the map. The only issue is that East and West apparently refer to the sun, and my world the sun will rise in the west and set in the east if I keep the cardinal directions in the same order. Africa is too difficult to mask, though; nothing I could do would do it.

Maybe someone has an idea?

EDG
01-01-2009, 08:40 PM
I'd say just stick to geographic poles - yes, magnetic poles flip every now and then, but maps generally aren't drawn relative to the magnetic poles anyway and the geography still remains the same regardless.

Xeviat
01-01-2009, 11:32 PM
I'd say just stick to geographic poles - yes, magnetic poles flip every now and then, but maps generally aren't drawn relative to the magnetic poles anyway and the geography still remains the same regardless.

Earth still rotates on the same axis, yes, but if polar north was suddenly very close to the south pole, people with compasses might consider that to be up. Several older cultures had west as "up" on their maps, so that the sun would rise up in the sky. So the direction of maps is really a cultural issue, and I contend that it's heavily influenced by compasses.

The poles on my map are the rotational axis. I haven't moved the angle of the axis, so the tropics are in the same spot.

Midgardsormr
01-03-2009, 01:06 PM
Particularly in an instance where someone might be basing their understanding of things on ancient documents and technology that they do not clearly understand. If you found a map that clearly had "N" at the top and a compass that clearly had a "N" on the needle, but you didn't know that the compass was now actually pointing south, this is the sort of thing that would happen.

Xeviat
01-03-2009, 01:08 PM
Particularly in an instance where someone might be basing their understanding of things on ancient documents and technology that they do not clearly understand. If you found a map that clearly had "N" at the top and a compass that clearly had a "N" on the needle, but you didn't know that the compass was now actually pointing south, this is the sort of thing that would happen.

Were you supporting my decision to flip the map upside down, or saying I should have it flipped the normal way?

Midgardsormr
01-03-2009, 01:11 PM
I was agreeing with you that it should be flipped. Or, at least, that it makes sense to be so.

Gamerprinter
01-03-2009, 01:51 PM
Several older cultures had west as "up" on their maps, so that the sun would rise up in the sky. So the direction of maps is really a cultural issue, and I contend that it's heavily influenced by compasses.

Old Arabic maps from the 9th through the 12th centuries had East as the top of the map and map directions were the Winds or the God of the Winds. Levant being east, was the top of the map, and they had exceptional cartographers.

GP

EDG
01-03-2009, 02:24 PM
I guess it depends who you're making the map for. If the map is one that's supposed to be something that people will make and use in the specific setting then I could see why you could have north pointing in other directions other than the top. But if you're making the map as a reference for people outside the setting (i.e. yourself, or us, or the players of a game that the setting is from) then I think it makes more sense to have N at the top because that's what we (as outsiders to the setting) are more familiar with.

But it's your map, so it's up to you ;).

Xeviat
01-03-2009, 04:36 PM
I guess it depends who you're making the map for. If the map is one that's supposed to be something that people will make and use in the specific setting then I could see why you could have north pointing in other directions other than the top. But if you're making the map as a reference for people outside the setting (i.e. yourself, or us, or the players of a game that the setting is from) then I think it makes more sense to have N at the top because that's what we (as outsiders to the setting) are more familiar with.

But why is north "up" if you were flying to Earth via space ship, I'm sure someone could see an up and down due to the plane created by the planets around the sun, or due to the plane of rotation, but nothing other than magnetics differentiates north from south, right?

Additionally, the world being Earth in the future is a model for building it. Within the setting (via my RPG groups or my future novels), no one knows this fact.

Either way, I believe I've got a working model for climate. There will be further differentiation (such as dry seasons in tropical, semi-arid vs. arid, and seasonal differences in the temperate and cold regions), but those aren't immediately necessary for determining terrain.

How's it look?

EDG
01-03-2009, 06:50 PM
But why is north "up" if you were flying to Earth via space ship, I'm sure someone could see an up and down due to the plane created by the planets around the sun, or due to the plane of rotation, but nothing other than magnetics differentiates north from south, right?

I think it's because of astronomical standards. Wiki says this: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prograde_and_retrograde_motion)


The north orbital pole of a celestial body is defined by the right-hand rule: If one curves the fingers of the right hand along the direction of orbital motion, with the thumb extended parallel to the orbital axis, the direction the thumb points is defined to be north. (The International Astronomical Union has defined a different convention for planetary bodies in the solar system. According to this definition, the north pole is the one that points north of the invariable plane.)

Similarly, the north rotational pole of a body is defined by the direction of the thumb if one were to wrap the fingers around the body's equator in the direction it spins.

Magnetism determines the direction of the magnetic poles, but some planets don't have a consistent magnetic field (like Mars) - or any magnetic field at all.

But look at Earth - I can't recall ever seeing popular maps that are drawn with Magnetic North at the top. Or that have a co-ordinate system based on the magnetic axis (otherwise the Magnetic North would be at 90, not 78 N).

Xeviat
01-03-2009, 08:03 PM
So astronomically, north is to the left of the direction of rotation if the direction of rotation is up (looking at my globe, having the direction of the Earth's Rotation arrow pointing up). That means if you look at a planet's "north" pole, all planets rotate counter clockwise? That's handy to know. Either way, for my world's map, up is south. That's how everyone in their world orients their map, so that's how I'll orient the map.

Besides, I want to hide that it's Earth. There will be clues, but it's not the main point of the setting.

Xeviat
01-08-2009, 05:30 PM
Alright. I finished up my biomes. Now I need a bit of advise for putting it all together to make an actual presentable world map. I'm not certain what style I want, but something that will be useful to my players. I still have to place rivers, but I think I should worry about those as I get down to smaller scales, no?

What do you think?

Ascension
01-08-2009, 07:38 PM
That color scheme totally rocks. Hope you don't mind if I, uh, borrow it for a while :)

Hoel
01-08-2009, 07:40 PM
What's up with the white islands? Not done yet or have you something else planned?

Xeviat
01-08-2009, 07:42 PM
Color Scheme was copied from an Animal Planet map of the world biomes, so go ahead and steal ... I mean borrow it.

The islands are white because they were the most recent additions and I hadn't taken the time to add them to the biome and altitude layers. I haven't done it mainly because I'm still not 100% satisfied with the islands.