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ExMachina
09-22-2009, 10:14 PM
:compass: Map Name: Hestia (specifically the northeastern portion)

This will be my third post so might as well jump into all the fun at this point. :) After a few trial and error maps using a variety of tutorials on this site, I've gotten a map that's well on its way to being a final product. The initial purpose was just to put some names and geography to a fantasy novel I'm cooking up in my head, however at this point it has become a work of art in itself. Nothing I'm showing right now is set in stone, hence why feedback will be so valuable from the many cartography masters that litter this hidden gem of a website. ;)

:compass: Description:
This northeastern portion of Hestia has pronounced Greco-Roman overtones with the focus being on the large central nation of Araratia, which culturally and politically will be akin to the Roman Empire (not without creative license however ;)). The bordering nations of Assuria and Sarmacia will not follow this model and will serve to bring in cultural diversity to this portion of the continent and act as a buffer for the nations that lie beyond them. Illion and Eretia will be loosely rooted in ancient Greek tradition.

The style of the map is antique and hand-drawn and has been produced exclusively in Photoshop. I'm pretty sure the one river flows properly (I hope so!) and I've stuck to a maximum of three fonts. As of now only major features and cities have been labeled but the ultimate goal is to have a very richly labeled map. One of the problems I'm trying to overcome is creating political boundaries, if anyone has suggestions please offer them.

Please comment on anything and everything. Don't be afraid to bring the hammer down just because I'm new here. :)

:compass: Hestia as of 9/22/09,
http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/7678/wipmap.th.jpg (http://img12.imageshack.us/i/wipmap.jpg/)

Coyotemax
09-22-2009, 10:25 PM
The only real concern I can see is the river leaving the lake. Someone from the river police can correct me, but that seems geologically unlikely as it is. From what I recall, lakes tend to have one outflow, but can have multiple inflows.

The split at the end of the river looks like it's making a delta, which looks fine to me (hides from the river police just in case)

Other than that, it all looks fine to me. Things are very clearly labelled or represented, it's not cluttered or overdone, and the style is very nice! *rep*

Ascension
09-22-2009, 11:11 PM
Yeah, that river has a problem, nothing major. The delta part looks fine but further up the river there is a split...that's a no-no. It splits and goes to two separate places. So what I would do is to chop the northern part off from the main river and instead have it sort of curl up to the north into Araratia. The double outflow from the lake is a technical violation but I'm not real picky about that...just put a swamp there :) Someone else might know more about that than I do, though. Otherwise it looks pretty good.

Coyotemax
09-22-2009, 11:27 PM
Woah, I didn't even see the major split! and that's why i'm not one of the river police :P

craggles
09-23-2009, 06:18 AM
Technically, it may have a problem with the rivers as noted above - I have absolutely no idea on what is geographically feasible and what's not.

I do, however, know the style looks great! I would very much like to see more of your work! :)

Steel General
09-23-2009, 07:39 AM
I like the map so far.

The river violations have already been covered so no need to say more than, 'keep up the good work'. :)

Ghostman
09-23-2009, 09:37 AM
It looks weird how the grid only shows up over the sea. Big parts of the map appear empty now, but perhaps that'll improve once you add more labels.

The symbols for the Forlorn Steppe seem out of place; they give the impression of big rocky hills. Real steppes are mostly flat or gently sloping grasslands. Better symbols to represent this type of terrain would be bushes, patches of grass, very low & smooth hills, and galloping horses.

ExMachina
09-23-2009, 11:56 AM
I suppose then I do not fully understand how rivers function. :(

The way I envisioned it, the river flows out of Lake Orpheus (perhaps from a glacier), flowing from a higher point (up in the Ironside Hills) to the lower points of the coastal plains. Other then that I thought major rivers split all the time? I suppose I just don't understand the exact geographical reason, though my model here was the Rhone. :?:

Thank you for all your comments, I'm still plugging away. :)

And thank you to Ghostman for pointing out my ghastly inaccurate steppe symbols. :P

Steel General
09-23-2009, 12:09 PM
I found the easiest way to think of it is as a tree. The smaller, higher 'branches' starting in the mountains/hills/etc. then merging into larger 'branches' and eventually into the 'trunk' before reaching the sea/ocean.

Rivers rarely split, if they do it's only for a short time or in deltas (Ex: Nile or Mississippi) - there maybe some other wyas for it to happen but I'm not a geologist :)

ExMachina
09-23-2009, 12:37 PM
I found the easiest way to think of it is as a tree. The smaller, higher 'branches' starting in the mountains/hills/etc. then merging into larger 'branches' and eventually into the 'trunk' before reaching the sea/ocean.

Rivers rarely split, if they do it's only for a short time or in deltas (Ex: Nile or Mississippi) - there maybe some other wyas for it to happen but I'm not a geologist :)

I see, that makes sense...so the flow isn't the problem but the large split is? Suppose there were a mountain range or some other imposing geological feature where the river splits, would that be substantial reason to cause a divergence in two different directions?

I want to maintain realism, however I very much like the shape the rivers give to Sarmacia. :P

Steel General
09-23-2009, 02:46 PM
Most likely it would follow the "path of least resistance" (and downward elevation) and stay in a single course (again I'm far from an expert).

An easy fix would be to have some mountains in the lower left and have one of the 'branches' start from there.

Ultimately, if you have a story related reason for having the river the way it is, then don't worry about it.

Also, a lake will almost never have 2 outlets, eventually as the water level changes one of the outlets will become dominant and the other(s) will dry up.

Ascension
09-23-2009, 06:46 PM
A river is not going to split to go around some mountains, it's going to stay together and go one way or the other but not both. The only reason that it would do so is in the first few days after some cataclysmic event like an earthquake...but then one channel will become dominant (because it either has a steeper slope or softer dirt to plow through) and the other will go the way of the dodo. So if you want two rivers there, have two rivers. Just don't split one river into two rivers...have two separate rivers. Raistlin can write his name in the stars but even he never tried to keep a river perpetually split.

ExMachina
09-24-2009, 11:31 AM
I think I've solved the river problem...I removed the dual outflow from the lake and took the split and turned it into two separate rivers. Hopefully this is more accurate. :)

I cut back the number of fonts from 3 to 2 as well, I think it brings a little more continuity to the map and minimizes distractions. I've added a bunch more features and labels but I'm still far from completing that part of the map...the most important features I've tried to simulate are farm fields (Fields of Laertes, Parnes Grange, etc.) and a plateau.

Please tell me what you think. :)

:compass: Hestia as of 9/24/09,
http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/5242/wiphestia2.th.jpg (http://img245.imageshack.us/i/wiphestia2.jpg/)

Ramah
09-24-2009, 11:47 AM
Very nice looking map. Nice colours and I love the fonts and the labelling.

It's a little hard to see the details that you mention. I can see the fields but at this resolution they look like a blur in the middle of tiny trees. I can't find the plateau that you mention though.

ExMachina
09-24-2009, 11:56 AM
Very nice looking map. Nice colours and I love the fonts and the labelling.

It's a little hard to see the details that you mention. I can see the fields but at this resolution they look like a blur in the middle of tiny trees. I can't find the plateau that you mention though.

The fields are actually supposed to be just a darker blur. :P The defining feature I used to describe them were the thin tree lines that divide each field from the next. :) The plateau is just above the Tethyian Sea label...essentially I tried to make the illusion that is was higher up but I don't think it quite worked.

Steel General
09-24-2009, 12:09 PM
The rivers look good, except you still have a split at the end of the longer one. If this is some sort of delta that would be OK otherwise I believe it is "illegal".

Not a big deal really, just wanted to point it out.

Gidde
09-24-2009, 01:53 PM
This is looking really good, but I have to jump on the river bandwagon. If you put some tapers onto them you'd have a really fantastic map here. Also, it does look like that's a delta, but if so, you may want to think about fanning it out some more, since deltas usually don't just split into 2 forks. Those 2 forks could be the boundaries of your delta, which would then split into a ton of little rivulets (wikipedia's alluvial fan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alluvial_fan) page has a great example, even though a delta and an alluvial fan aren't really the same thing).

Other than that, I really like the style you've got going here.

Ascension
09-24-2009, 09:12 PM
Tapering rivers would be a good idea, also thick and thin parts but don't overwhelm yourself if you don't want to. The only thing that really caught my eye was what almost eluded my eye...the mountains could be just a tad darker to make them stand out more from the trees. Otherwise, good stuff.

ExMachina
09-24-2009, 10:12 PM
Good catch on the mountains, thank you. ;) I'm testing some different opacity levels that look a lot better so far.

The split of the river into the "delta" is a mistake, I meant to edit it out when I fixed the other river problems. :P

Right now I'm working on fleshing out the map, trying to think of some creative things to do with the vast empty space I still have. :?:

ExMachina
09-28-2009, 12:24 AM
I'm still adding various labels and other things to the map, I didn't quite realize how large it was until I started adding the details. :?

Please take a look and tell me what you think. :) I would welcome any suggestions.

:compass: Hestia as of 9/27/09,
http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/5405/wiphestia3.th.jpg (http://img148.imageshack.us/i/wiphestia3.jpg/)

Steel General
09-28-2009, 08:22 AM
Coming along nicely.

One thing that caught my eye is that one of the city symbols/icons you're using looks like a lower case 'o'. No big deal really, but you might consider changing it a bit.