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wartysoybean
09-21-2009, 12:16 AM
Hello cartographers, I am a long-retired AD&D-er that recently stumbled across a sketchpad of some of my fantasy art and maps from my younger years. One map in particular jumped out at me as being surprisingly well drawn (for me) and with lots of fun and suggestive place names. Since I just recently got a laptop, I figured I'd look around for what free software I could download to make a digital copy. I got GIMP, which looks perfectly suited for my needs, and then sought an online tutorial and ran across this fine forum.

The first thing I saw on this site was Tear's map of Westeros (sp?). Wow. WOW!!!!! I read A Game of Thrones when it had just come out, and that map brought back so much. Let's just say that piece is good advertising for you guys. I've since searched around a bit and there are just so many good ideas in the maps created here; I'm particularly impressed with the diversity of styles demonstrated!

Anyway, I hope I'm able to put a bit of time into this. I'm working on a thesis so my progress will probably be pretty slow, but thanks so much for sharing such expertise and beauty!

I'll finish by saying what I look for in a map: (I'm sure I'm not the first to consider these)
Aesthetic beauty - good color balance, use of space, consistency...

Practical use - easy to understand, correct level of detail, useful information...

Imagination - this is the key for me: my favorite maps are the ones that tell the viewer a story, but only by using his or her imagination. Rather than explaining everything in a caption, write a backstory in the sum total of the geography, labels, placement of settlements and roads, even the state and style of the map itself. If a map makes me wonder "why would that be named that?" or "why is there a road/town there?" it's a success, and if it leaves hints for the answers, all the better!

Ascension
09-21-2009, 12:44 AM
Welcome aboard. Hope we get to see a map when you get the time.

Steel General
09-21-2009, 06:43 AM
Welcome Aboard!

NeonKnight
09-21-2009, 11:19 AM
Welcome to the Guild!