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alaskanflyboy
05-20-2009, 02:08 PM
I'm assuming this is the correct place for this post. I've been working on a sci-fi setting with nations a bit different from what they are today, and find myself curious how one might go about creating political maps involving Earth with the least pain. I've thought about using some of Wikipedia's .svg files, but it seems there is no way to get rid of existing borders much less place new ones. I'd do it by hand, but I dread trying to trace along coastlines. So, any ideas or tips?

Valarian
05-20-2009, 02:17 PM
From your profile, you've got Campaign Cartographer. There used to be an Earth map in the sample maps provided with the software. There's also a map of Earth in the map library on the Profantasy website.

http://www.profantasy.com/library/default.asp?Keyword=earth&PP=9&Start=1&Image=7

Albrechtw4
05-20-2009, 06:50 PM
Check out http://www.aquarius.geomar.de/omc/make_map.html

alaskanflyboy
05-21-2009, 12:37 AM
Valarian's post is closer to what I'm trying to accomplish. The java program you pointed out, Albrecht, is neat and all, but I don't need a program that works with existing countries. Essentially, I'm wanting to make this map that I've sketched out over a world map and colored in with highlighters. The nation names have changed in the project, but the borders haven't.

Valarian
05-21-2009, 03:31 AM
Well then, download the CC2 map from the Profantasy library. Add in a few coloured polys, a few labels. Add in a sheet effect (transparency) to the coloured polys and you're done. Easy.

alaskanflyboy
05-21-2009, 11:28 AM
Well then, download the CC2 map from the Profantasy library. Add in a few coloured polys, a few labels. Add in a sheet effect (transparency) to the coloured polys and you're done. Easy.

I'll still have to be rather exacting along the coastlines with that method, correct? Or is there a magic wand type tool I've never been aware of. The only way I've been able to try and do that is to zoom in close and use the snap commands repeatedly which gets tedious and frustrating after a while.

Valarian
05-21-2009, 02:17 PM
There's a trace option when you create the poly in CC3. I think it's press 'T' when you've selected the poly widget.

Wordman
05-22-2009, 02:17 PM
Use vector tools. You will be much happier for political maps. For example, a vector tool with a decent .svg import would let you alter borders. I built a similar world map for Shadowrun (http://rpg.divnull.com/sixthworld/) a long time ago. After cursing Photoshop for months, I had a finished product within several days after switching to Freehand.

alaskanflyboy
05-24-2009, 05:06 AM
Oh. I do plan on using vector formats, I'm just trying to find the least painful method to go about it. I'll likely use CC3, or else Adobe Illustrator. My goal in the end is to create atlas style political maps.

PixelFish
05-24-2009, 03:55 PM
Adobe Illustrator has a trace shapes tool which might be useful. (It gets awfully messy if you use it on sketches, but for maps that are already crisp and clean and you are more trying to get contours, it might work. (Or you can use it to trace a large section of drawn borders, and then use the traced bit to subtract shapes from, and re-add them back together.)

...

Er. I'm still pretty new, so I don't know what the rules are about world building feedback versus the strict cartographic stuff, so please let me know if this is not kosher, but since part of the study of geography includes that of political borders, I'm gonna message you some personal feedback, take it for what you will. (Otherwise, are there rules about tangential feedback? )

Wordman
05-26-2009, 02:47 PM
Oh. I do plan on using vector formats, I'm just trying to find the least painful method to go about it. I'll likely use CC3, or else Adobe Illustrator. My goal in the end is to create atlas style political maps.
If you have the budget, you might just want to start with those by buying a base map. I've used these guys (http://www.mapresources.com/royalty-free-map.html) in the past, though since then they have changed the terms of their license.

alaskanflyboy
05-26-2009, 03:40 PM
If you have the budget, you might just want to start with those by buying a base map. I've used these guys (http://www.mapresources.com/royalty-free-map.html) in the past, though since then they have changed the terms of their license.

Yeah. Those are a little out of my price range, but they're nice.