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WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 12:54 PM
I'm new here and I've been looking through this City maps section and although there are some very beautiful maps here (lots of them in fact) there are very few that seem to be useful for actual detailed campaign usage (such as a module based in the city).

I'm interested in working with city maps that one can read all the street names and identify individual buildings.

Anyone working with this kind of project here?

Steel General
02-11-2009, 01:00 PM
In my time here I can't recall coming across anything quite that detailed. Now that doesn't mean there isn't any though - maybe one of the more elder members know of one.

I am currently working on a fairly large and detailed city for this month's challenge (here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4202)), though it's a long way from finished and I wasn't planning on adding street names but I don't think it would be to hard to add them after the fact.

WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 01:10 PM
In my time here I can't recall coming across anything quite that detailed. Now that doesn't mean there isn't any though - maybe one of the more elder members know of one.

I am currently working on a fairly large and detailed city for this month's challenge (here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4202)), though it's a long way from finished and I wasn't planning on adding street names but I don't think it would be to hard to add them after the fact.
That's a fine looking city-WIP you've got there.

One thing that I've had to deal with is the issue of scale. To have the detail I want, the city has to be very small. That seems to be very 'unusual' for most campaign city maps I've seen, but not at all unusual for historically realistic 'medieval' cities that were more often than not, no more than 5-10k pop and usually even less than that. Big 100k plus cities in the medieval era were extraordinarily rare.

Steel General
02-11-2009, 01:13 PM
That's a fine looking city-WIP you've got there.

One thing that I've had to deal with is the issue of scale. To have the detail I want, the city has to be very small. That seems to be very 'unusual' for most campaign city maps I've seen, but not at all unusual for historically realistic 'medieval' cities that were more often than not, no more than 5-10k pop and usually even less than that. Big 100k plus cities in the medieval era were extraordinarily rare.

Thanks... Then mine might be a bit big for what you are wanting, I was imagining it would be upwards of a 50K population, maybe more.

Feralspirit
02-11-2009, 02:16 PM
Hey White Rabbit, running on time today, I hope. ;)

Stern's Bridge, while unfinished, was aiming for a population of 2500 to 3000. This is including about 300 people living in off screen farms. True, I haven't labeled any streets, and might not. The scale I'm working on would make any text on the streets unreadably small (I've only named a few, to be honest, and the only one hinted at on paper is west main, what's more, I don't even know how to let text follow a curve with GIMP yet, can someone answer that, I'll post it again in my thread). There are many fine city maps, many photo-realistic (a quality I envy, and will work on going forward), if that's what you're looking for. If you are looking for something specifically 5-10k, I'm not sure where to point you. A lot of villages or large scale cities. If you are looking for some kind of package-deal that you can pick up and play with little to no prep, I'm not even sure you're in the right place. There are, however, many fine and instructional tutorials to assist you in building a city that would fit your needs, and the needs of your game. Good luck, and happy mapping!

Sigurd
02-11-2009, 03:25 PM
There are two issues with very detailed city maps.

1. They are generally a lot of work :).

2. The detail is best made in conjunction (before, after, during) the creation of a story. It is often a better strategy to leave sections vague and then tighten them up when there is something going to happen there.

Part of this is technical - the screen shows so much detail at once so multiple maps at different zoom levels give you clearer images. And part of this is psychological - if I envision any major city I know, details might be directions (ie Joes house is north of the river) but they are never spacial there's too much detail (ie Joes house is 3.5 kilometers from the river but only 2.3kilometers from the little tree with the withered branch on the northern side, about halfway up the trunk below the crown but above the paintmark from mardi gras '87). I think a less defined city with plausible neighborhood maps is the more real one for story telling.

Different scales have different things to tell you. Whole city maps tell you regions, physical characteristics, and maybe roads. These should inform your choice for neighborhood and more detail. The neighborhood maps are don't retell the broad city information and they are free to concentrate on smaller buildings, factions etc....

This is not to say that in a truly mature project detail couldn't be shared and reinforced wherever possible. But maturity takes a while and a lot of concentration.

Even a picture of the real world has to settle on a single level of magnification. If you try to view all the magnification levels at once its just a blur.

If you want drill down detail, look into something like Viewing Dale. I think that's the sort of thing viewer can understand. As it zooms in it redraws what you are looking at for more clarity. Necessarily, what you are not looking at mostly falls away.


Scale and what can be shown is one of the issues I'm curious in.


To assemble something for a module, without making your own, you're probably best to find building maps you want and locate them on bigger maps with a star or a label. Unless you are using the city Castle or the high temple it might not be represented on a city scale map.


Sigurd

WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 03:28 PM
Hey White Rabbit, running on time today, I hope. ;)

Stern's Bridge, while unfinished, was aiming for a population of 2500 to 3000. This is including about 300 people living in off screen farms. True, I haven't labeled any streets, and might not. The scale I'm working on would make any text on the streets unreadably small (I've only named a few, to be honest, and the only one hinted at on paper is west main, what's more, I don't even know how to let text follow a curve with GIMP yet, can someone answer that, I'll post it again in my thread). There are many fine city maps, many photo-realistic (a quality I envy, and will work on going forward), if that's what you're looking for. If you are looking for something specifically 5-10k, I'm not sure where to point you. A lot of villages or large scale cities. If you are looking for some kind of package-deal that you can pick up and play with little to no prep, I'm not even sure you're in the right place. There are, however, many fine and instructional tutorials to assist you in building a city that would fit your needs, and the needs of your game. Good luck, and happy mapping!
I'm not looking to use some other's work - just curious if anyone else is interested in the idea of detailed city-design.

I've already spent a couple years of research and practice on my map program in order to create this type of map. I'll post some examples.

And the only reason I'm working with 5-10k pop size is because I want my map to be printable on 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Any larger and I just can't make the details work on that size limit (I'm using 320 feet to the inch).

I'm not so much into 'photo-realism' as that tends to make beautiful maps onscreen that print out like crap. For gaming purposes, I want my maps to print out nice and pretty!

WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 03:32 PM
Btw, if anyone needs any historically accurate information about medieval towns and cities, I've spent years studying the topic and can usually point to good reference material for just about anything.

I'm also into medieval economics, but I'll spare you that!

WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 03:37 PM
There are two issues with very detailed city maps.

1. They are generally a lot of work :).

2. The detail is best made in conjunction (before, after, during) the creation of a story. It is often a better strategy to leave sections vague and then tighten them up when there is something going to happen there.

Part of this is technical - the screen shows so much detail at once so multiple maps at different zoom levels give you clearer images. And part of this is psychological - if I envision any major city I know, details might be directions (ie Joes house is north of the river) but they are never spacial there's too much detail (ie Joes house is 3.5 kilometers from the river but only 2.3kilometers from the little tree with the withered branch on the northern side, about halfway up the trunk below the crown but above the paintmark from mardi gras '87). I think a less defined city with plausible neighborhood maps is the more real one for story telling.

Different scales have different things to tell you. Whole city maps tell you regions, physical characteristics, and maybe roads. These should inform your choice for neighborhood and more detail. The neighborhood maps are don't retell the broad city information and they are free to concentrate on smaller buildings, factions etc....

This is not to say that in a truly mature project detail couldn't be shared and reinforced wherever possible. But maturity takes a while and a lot of concentration.

Even a picture of the real world has to settle on a single level of magnification. If you try to view all the magnification levels at once its just a blur.

If you want drill down detail, look into something like Viewing Dale. I think that's the sort of thing viewer can understand. As it zooms in it redraws what you are looking at for more clarity. Necessarily, what you are not looking at mostly falls away.


Scale and what can be shown is one of the issues I'm curious in.


To assemble something for a module, without making your own, you're probably best to find building maps you want and locate them on bigger maps with a star or a label. Unless you are using the city Castle or the high temple it might not be represented on a city scale map.


Sigurd
Yes, clearly you've spent some time thinking about city-maps!!!

Indeed, I'm not young'un - I've been DMing for a couple of decades and I've already been down most of these roads (so to speak).

Earlier generations of my city-mapping were focused exactly as you said - with different scales for different views of the city (meta-view and local-views). This is the ONLY way to deal with large cities.

That's why I've switched to small cities (5-10k pop). This is both more historically accurate AND easier to work with since I can eliminate the 'meta' scale and do the whole town at the micro-scale.

As I noted in a post above, I want my maps to print out complete on 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper so they can actually be used for a city-level campaign (involving Thieves and gangs).

Feralspirit
02-11-2009, 03:43 PM
Aha, I actually believe my docks are too large in Stern's Bridge (50' long, 20' wide). My intention was to make this town the furthest upstream navigatable point. Do you have anything or can you point me towards medeival river craft (dimensions and whatnot)?

WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 03:50 PM
Aha, I actually believe my docks are too large in Stern's Bridge (50' long, 20' wide). My intention was to make this town the furthest upstream navigatable point. Do you have anything or can you point me towards medeival river craft (dimensions and whatnot)?
Yes, I'm sure I do have some info on that... but alas, I'm surfin' on the boss's nickel right now so when I get home and access my own links/sources, I'll post something for you. :)

Ascension
02-11-2009, 04:46 PM
Medieval economics is quite important to how many of us build our worlds and regions and towns. There are numerous questions that we all have opinions and theories on but no real facts (how many farms do we need to support a city of "x" size, what's the ratio of noble to commoner in a city of "x" size). So any tips/links you can add would be of true value. Welcome by the way, and knock knock.

Nomadic
02-11-2009, 04:54 PM
The medieval demographics made easy (http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm) is a great place to start. For example right off the bat I can answer your farm question. Good arable land can support about 180 people per acre. Average medieval city density is between 60-100 people per acre so your farmland should be larger than your city by 2-3 times.

Ascension
02-11-2009, 05:23 PM
Shh, I know, I'm just trying to sound encouraging :)

Nytmare
02-11-2009, 05:37 PM
When did the convention of street names really come about?

I had always assumed that streets were referred to by where they went, with the possibility that one road might have several different "names" depending on who owned it, who used it, and which way they were going on it; and that true, organized street names didn't really exist pre industrial revolution.

WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 06:17 PM
Aha, I actually believe my docks are too large in Stern's Bridge (50' long, 20' wide). My intention was to make this town the furthest upstream navigatable point. Do you have anything or can you point me towards medeival river craft (dimensions and whatnot)?
The Wikipedia pages for "coracle" and "punt" should give you good information about the size/type of rivercraft that was mostly in use on medieval rivers of western Europe.

WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 06:21 PM
Medieval economics is quite important to how many of us build our worlds and regions and towns. There are numerous questions that we all have opinions and theories on but no real facts (how many farms do we need to support a city of "x" size, what's the ratio of noble to commoner in a city of "x" size). So any tips/links you can add would be of true value. Welcome by the way, and knock knock.


The medieval demographics made easy (http://www.io.com/~sjohn/demog.htm) is a great place to start. For example right off the bat I can answer your farm question. Good arable land can support about 180 people per acre. Average medieval city density is between 60-100 people per acre so your farmland should be larger than your city by 2-3 times.
Indeed, that's precisely the source I would offer for that question.

As a scholar of medieval economics, I can vouch for most of the info from that source for being quite accurate. I actually created my own formula for populating a local economy, sizes and densities of towns/cities, etc. and the formula I created is almost identical to the one given at that link-source! (medieval demographics is a specialty interest of mine).

WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 06:25 PM
Btw, the average size of a medieval village with a population of roughly 300 people would be about 3-4 square miles in total area (fields, meadows, forest).

WhiteRabbit
02-11-2009, 06:29 PM
When did the convention of street names really come about?

I had always assumed that streets were referred to by where they went, with the possibility that one road might have several different "names" depending on who owned it, who used it, and which way they were going on it; and that true, organized street names didn't really exist pre industrial revolution.
Yes, the Romans named streets based on 'where they went'.

And although I don't know when the naming of streets began, I can certainly attest to the fact that 11th century Norman London had street names. Many old medieval street names in towns reflect the 'usage' of the street (cobbler's row, wood street, church street, castle street, bridge street, canal street, even "Jew Lane" is fairly common).

But you are correct that these names were rarely 'formalized' and in some cases, a single street or road could have more than one name - depending on who you asked. Official names for all streets usually begins with the Industrial revolution period.

woekan
02-11-2009, 06:37 PM
When did the convention of street names really come about?

I had always assumed that streets were referred to by where they went, with the possibility that one road might have several different "names" depending on who owned it, who used it, and which way they were going on it; and that true, organized street names didn't really exist pre industrial revolution.

I'm not sure about the middle ages, but i know a few facts about Roman cities.

The Romans had official street names, they even had street signs. The problem was that 90% of the people didn't know how to read or write :)

They did have a chess block building pattern and at most of the cross roads there was a water well. Next to most water well's was a statue.
Both plebians and patricians used these statues for directions more often than the official street names. "Hey let's go to the bathhouse at the three lions." or "Lets meet at the forum, on the corner of the Greek nymph!"

Most people living in the middle ages didn't know how to read and write either, so i suspect something similar would occur. I know a few street names from old towns here in holland, and most of them have a street called Molenweg (mill road), kerkweg (church road), damstraat (damstreet).

Nomadic
02-11-2009, 07:10 PM
Btw, the average size of a medieval village with a population of roughly 300 people would be about 3-4 square miles in total area (fields, meadows, forest).

This is actually a rather amusing fact too since the density between urban and rural was so extremely different. Back then a city that large was probably a metropolis.

Redrobes
02-11-2009, 07:20 PM
Btw, if anyone needs any historically accurate information about medieval towns and cities, I've spent years studying the topic and can usually point to good reference material for just about anything.

I'm also into medieval economics, but I'll spare you that!Some refs would be great. An old idea I have had is to make a prog that 'injects' people into an area and model what they do and try to find some algo to increase their aims - usually wealth but possibly enlightenment, knowledge bard songs or flip side they might want as much killing, sacrifice or raw power or whatever. So these people move about and farm, build, pillage etc like a sim city kinda thing but the idea is to a) get a map out of it of the area they are in and b) get a population census with all the names, ages and stats of the people (and monsters) in it. So medieval economics sounds like the sort of thing that would be needed to do the constraint modeling. I know it would be a monster program but it would be very interesting to write and run it.

Redrobes
02-11-2009, 07:34 PM
Yes, the Romans named streets based on 'where they went'.I used to live in a town which was mid way between two cities. Because there was a road from city A that went in the direction of city B up to this town, it meant that the road name was called B-Road.

From my point mid way between the two tho, it meant that the road to city A from our end was still called B-Road and the road to city B was called A-Road.

Confused the hell out of everyone in that town for successive generations.

Ascension
02-11-2009, 09:17 PM
If you ever get that going, it might be fun to just start with some terrain and see where people build their houses and other buildings. Not sure how to make the "people" know that they're walking up or down a hill or in a forest or in a lake though.

Aval Penworth
02-02-2010, 09:42 AM
Yeah, I'm interested in information like that. Whatcha got to share?