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Majortopio
01-03-2010, 11:50 AM
Well, after working extensively on my last map, I began getting doubtful about how useable it would be. Too many problems kept cropping up. And after I saw the WIP map Anul by Rajorke, I got inspired to make a map modeled after Tear's tutorial - the style intrigued me very much. So this map is heavily inspired by the Anul map and Tear's general style in his tutorial.

So it's going to be a world map, and the scale is 1px = 1km so it's very big (15000px wide - smaller than earth, but more than big enough for me). When I tried to save the file with all continents and one mountain range, it was unable to save because the size exceeded 2gb. So I'm breaking it down in continents/landmasses and working on one at a time.

I'm pretty happy with it so far, but I'm just worried I'm cramming too much into one spot. The desert suddenly seems very out of place for me, as I was thinking that the Sprawling Plains would be southern European oriented (Spain, southern Italy), climate-wise, and the Highlands of the Spear Scandinavian-oriented.

All names are placeholder, more like labels showing what general feel I want that particular region to have.

CC is appreciated as usual. Very scaled map of landmasses and regional map of the northern part of the western continent (which is what I am currently working on) is attached.

Majortopio
01-03-2010, 03:04 PM
Alright, quick update. A fix before any CC - not a good sign for the quality of the map I'm afraid haha.

I decided to remove that misplaced desert - I instead lengthened the Highlands of the Spear and put in a large plateau (I'm no geology expert - please say if this is impossible).

New image is here (couldn't get the attachment module to work): http://www.lilnik.com/landmass1.jpg

Redrobes
01-03-2010, 03:16 PM
Really lovin this. The shape of the overall world is very nice with lots of different types of landmass to make for interesting adventuring. The starting map for the local area is also very cool. The reason it didnt upload is that there is about a 5K pix limit on the image size. If you scaled by 1/2 and reposted then it would upload ok I think.

Majortopio
01-03-2010, 03:50 PM
Really lovin this. The shape of the overall world is very nice with lots of different types of landmass to make for interesting adventuring. The starting map for the local area is also very cool. The reason it didnt upload is that there is about a 5K pix limit on the image size. If you scaled by 1/2 and reposted then it would upload ok I think.

Thanks! Appreciate it :D

yeah, that was what I was going for, lot's of variety for infinite possibilities. I like having all options open to me :D

Ooh okay, that would explain it. Thanks :).

altasilvapuer
01-03-2010, 04:36 PM
If you're worried about realistic or at least semi-realistic of your deserts, etc, it might be worthwhile to sketch out the climatological patterns on the world map. There are a number of world-builders here who have done just that over the past year or so, that I've watched. Karro and Korba's maps are the ones that influenced my first one, however.

Karro's world: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2463
Korba's Calen Ndor: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4812

There was also another that popped up recently which generated some amazingly useful discussion on oceanic currents, but I'll have to dig for it, as I don't have it bookmarked.

EDIT: Okay, I went and poked around for a few minutes and actually found two of the other worldbuilding endeavours that have been undertaken recently:
Laime's world: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=6539 The discussions here are good for examples of both tectonics and ocean currents.
Gidde's world: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5508 The discussions here are especially good for ocean currents, and the difference between surface currents and the thermohaline system.

Both of these later posts are good for expanding your understanding of the groundwork, but I feel like Karro and Korba offer good examples of converting that groundwork into actual climate/biome zones. Additionally, in my signature my own endeavour on the subject, with which I tried to be thoroughly detailed.

If you've got specific questions, feel free to hit us with them and we'll answer what we can.

-asp

Majortopio
01-03-2010, 05:26 PM
If you're worried about realistic or at least semi-realistic of your deserts, etc, it might be worthwhile to sketch out the climatological patterns on the world map. There are a number of world-builders here who have done just that over the past year or so, that I've watched. Karro and Korba's maps are the ones that influenced my first one, however.

Karro's world: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2463
Korba's Calen Ndor: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4812

There was also another that popped up recently which generated some amazingly useful discussion on oceanic currents, but I'll have to dig for it, as I don't have it bookmarked.

EDIT: Okay, I went and poked around for a few minutes and actually found two of the other worldbuilding endeavours that have been undertaken recently:
Laime's world: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=6539 The discussions here are good for examples of both tectonics and ocean currents.
Gidde's world: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5508 The discussions here are especially good for ocean currents, and the difference between surface currents and the thermohaline system.

Both of these later posts are good for expanding your understanding of the groundwork, but I feel like Karro and Korba offer good examples of converting that groundwork into actual climate/biome zones. Additionally, in my signature my own endeavour on the subject, with which I tried to be thoroughly detailed.

If you've got specific questions, feel free to hit us with them and we'll answer what we can.

-asp

Ah! Thank you for that treasure trove of information, I greatly appreciate it. While I'm not aiming for total realism, it's always nice to have that information in the back of your head so things don't go completely wrong.

I think that I'll make a rough ocean current map before I continue on, just for safety. I'm not overly worried about tectonics and the like, as I place my mountains where I feel they are necessary :P

Thank you once again for all the useful links!

Majortopio
01-03-2010, 06:13 PM
So I took a stab at ocean temperatures, and it fits pretty well so far with what I have and what I have been planning. The only hard part was getting the southernmost continent right, I was planning on that being some sort of "tropical paradise" so I don't know if I took too much creative liberty with the temperatures down there - from what I've seen around the forum and on real world maps that should be entirely possible with ocean flow etc etc.

But I really don't know if it's correct in any way - so please point out mistakes if you see any!

EDIT: I made some revisions this morning, to make it fit more with the real world - as in which climates I had in mind for which places. So far it's looking pretty good, imo, but I still have no idea if it's all correct. Updated version: http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r56/Majortopio/temps.jpg

altasilvapuer
01-04-2010, 10:30 AM
Glancing over this, it looks pretty much right to me. I see a couple minor things on the northern bound of your red band, but they're not really bad enough to mention unless you're really hardcore about realism, which you've established you aren't. Overall, it looks good to me.

If you just want a general idea where the various biomes would probably be, then I'd just drop some quick mountains so you know where they are, do a rough idea of the preciptation (that's the dark green-tan scale on most of the linked maps, if we didn't label them clearly; I forget) and then you'll be able to figure out biomes based on the temperature and dryness of each place.

Love to see more!

-asp

Majortopio
01-04-2010, 10:57 AM
Glancing over this, it looks pretty much right to me. I see a couple minor things on the northern bound of your red band, but they're not really bad enough to mention unless you're really hardcore about realism, which you've established you aren't. Overall, it looks good to me.

If you just want a general idea where the various biomes would probably be, then I'd just drop some quick mountains so you know where they are, do a rough idea of the preciptation (that's the dark green-tan scale on most of the linked maps, if we didn't label them clearly; I forget) and then you'll be able to figure out biomes based on the temperature and dryness of each place.

Love to see more!

-asp

Alright - thanks for that. Needed confirmation that I did in fact do it correctly (you did see the edit update, right?) :P

That's a good idea, will prevent a lot of clutter and random placements later on. Definitely the next step.

Majortopio
01-04-2010, 02:52 PM
Alright, so I've made a rainfall/precipitation (whatever it is) map for the two largest continents, I don't want to continue until I know I'm doing it right, because it's very time consuming.

So basically darkest green is highest, tan is lowest. So if I've understood this correctly; forests (re jungles) tend to spring up where precipitation is the highest. So I've taken to that to mean that the two next levels (the two next lighter shades of green) is where grasslands/plains tend to be. Deserts are, of course, where the tannest areas are (that + the arctic parts of the continents), and very dry places are the level above that. Tell me if this is all wrong :P.

Some VERY rough mountain sketches are there too. The actual mountains will no doubt be less "straight" and there are of course more smaller mountain ranges.

philipstephen
01-04-2010, 04:43 PM
i am very impressed with the thought and detail you are giving this map... my scientific knowledge is not enough to be helpful on feedback... but it looks brilliant to me.

phil

Majortopio
01-04-2010, 05:53 PM
i am very impressed with the thought and detail you are giving this map... my scientific knowledge is not enough to be helpful on feedback... but it looks brilliant to me.

phil

Thanks! Really appreciate those comments :)

A few slight updates to the precipitation map, namely some more arid areas and very wet areas added on the eastern continent, to fit more with what I had in mind AND to create a more realistic feel, at least in my opinion. Also touched a few things up here and there.

altasilvapuer
01-05-2010, 11:21 AM
My reading of the temperature map was actually from both, but I commented mostly from the edit.
And I've done the same with the precipitation maps, if you were curious:

Most of the map looks good, but the bands around the equator may be backwards. It's hard to tell, as it's going to depend on where the tropic lines are. (They'll be at a latitude equal to that of your planet's axial tilt. For Earth, this is about 23.5)

Typically, you'll see bands of precipitation with the lowest precipitation being most often along those tropic lines (The Sahara, et al), and with high precipitation to either side. These lines are going to be pushed and bent around just like the ocean temperatures, though, due to the prevailing winds. Rain also tends to be stopped by mountains, which can cause deserts on the other side of them if there is not a prevailing wind that carries precipitation from the other side, as well.

Taking a single example from your map, I'll look at the main body of the Western Continent, leaving off the peninsulae and the land connected by the isthmus. Assuming the world rotates as Earth does (i.e. not retrograde), the winds are going to blow more or less from east to west at the Equator, because of Earth's rotation. On the eastern side of that continent, the winds are going to be coming off an ocean - one of your warmest oceans at that. Since warm air holds a whole lot more moisture, I would actually expect high precipitation on that big plain-area.

If you're curious and/or interested, this is the reason for the banding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Earth_Global_Circulation.jpg
And the direction of the prevailing winds has to do with the coriolis effect on those cells.

Looking back over this thread, I see that none of us have mentioned the Climate Cookbook, which is indispensible for this sort of work. In my opinion, it's worth at least a skim, even if you don't use the majority of the information there, as it explains all of this much better than I have.
http://www.cix.co.uk/~morven/worldkit/climate.html


Either way, you're doing great work, and if you chose not to follow science strictly, and stuck with your current climate maps, you've got the groundwork laid for quite an amazing map, here. If you want to figure out specifics on climate, then go on to the biome stage once you're comfortable with the precipitation stage. A lot of it depends on seasonal variations, and requires July and January maps of changes in temperature and precipitation, but ultimately that's only useful if you're curious.

I've found that in texturing the map, all you really need to know is what's tropical, temperate, arctic, and the sections in between (your temperature map), and what's wet vs. dry (your precipitation map). So it's quite possible and plausible to skip biomes and move on to actually making the maps from here.

-asp

Majortopio
01-05-2010, 11:46 AM
My reading of the temperature map was actually from both, but I commented mostly from the edit.
And I've done the same with the precipitation maps, if you were curious:

Most of the map looks good, but the bands around the equator may be backwards. It's hard to tell, as it's going to depend on where the tropic lines are. (They'll be at a latitude equal to that of your planet's axial tilt. For Earth, this is about 23.5)

Typically, you'll see bands of precipitation with the lowest precipitation being most often along those tropic lines (The Sahara, et al), and with high precipitation to either side. These lines are going to be pushed and bent around just like the ocean temperatures, though, due to the prevailing winds. Rain also tends to be stopped by mountains, which can cause deserts on the other side of them if there is not a prevailing wind that carries precipitation from the other side, as well.

Taking a single example from your map, I'll look at the main body of the Western Continent, leaving off the peninsulae and the land connected by the isthmus. Assuming the world rotates as Earth does (i.e. not retrograde), the winds are going to blow more or less from east to west at the Equator, because of Earth's rotation. On the eastern side of that continent, the winds are going to be coming off an ocean - one of your warmest oceans at that. Since warm air holds a whole lot more moisture, I would actually expect high precipitation on that big plain-area.

If you're curious and/or interested, this is the reason for the banding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Earth_Global_Circulation.jpg
And the direction of the prevailing winds has to do with the coriolis effect on those cells.

Looking back over this thread, I see that none of us have mentioned the Climate Cookbook, which is indispensible for this sort of work. In my opinion, it's worth at least a skim, even if you don't use the majority of the information there, as it explains all of this much better than I have.
http://www.cix.co.uk/~morven/worldkit/climate.html


Either way, you're doing great work, and if you chose not to follow science strictly, and stuck with your current climate maps, you've got the groundwork laid for quite an amazing map, here. If you want to figure out specifics on climate, then go on to the biome stage once you're comfortable with the precipitation stage. A lot of it depends on seasonal variations, and requires July and January maps of changes in temperature and precipitation, but ultimately that's only useful if you're curious.

I've found that in texturing the map, all you really need to know is what's tropical, temperate, arctic, and the sections in between (your temperature map), and what's wet vs. dry (your precipitation map). So it's quite possible and plausible to skip biomes and move on to actually making the maps from here.

-asp

Damn, I put that large arid area (was planning most of it to be a desert) there as an obstacle between the plains of the north of the Western Continent and the forests in the south of it. Would it be too contradictory to the rules of science to place that desert there? I could always come up with some backstory for it, which would be quite interesting, if not very scientific :P. I suppose that I could also place some mountains close to the coastline, maybe a bit random placing but I'm sure I could get it to fit somehow.

Thank you 10000x over for that link, seems to be the perfect reference for this :D

And while I might not be the best follower of scientific rules, I really appreciate the scientific insight on everything, as I want this world to be in the very least somewhat plausible.

Also, I worked on the precipitation map a little in school, and actually created another arid area on the other side of the mountains on the Western Continent, which actually follows the rules. I did this because, once again, I want an obstacle that can't easily be avoided by travelers going from north to south and vice versa.

EDIT:

On the topic of banding, I do actually see a few bands (they are VERY variating & bendy and don't follow through all the way), which I made consciously/sub-consciously. This might not be enough though, they might have to follow all the way through, plus the low precipitation band is not surrounded by high. I made a quick sketch here (red is medium, yellow is low, purple is high): http://www.lilnik.com/bands.jpg

altasilvapuer
01-06-2010, 08:05 AM
I'm not completely sure, but in theory massive deforestation could create something like that desert there, I believe. It would probably have to be pretty large-scale, though, or the forest would just grow back. You might get something like a dry savanna that way, rather than a full desert, but I'm not sure on that.

As for the banding, if you're curious:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=55142&postcount=6
Korba was quite a bit more clear with the banding than I was. I did the regular banding step, and then did my best to modify it based on air/water currents, but only posted the modified ones.

As it is, your map doesn't follow the rules of science precisely, but if you look at the map, it doesn't look wrong until you start comparing each section to said rules. And by that, I mean that if you want it hardcore science, you'll probably need to change a bit. If you just want a general science-inspired placing of things, then you're doing great as you are.


Repped, by the way, for all the indepth work, so far, because I don't think I've repped you, yet.
-asp

Majortopio
01-06-2010, 08:55 AM
I'm not completely sure, but in theory massive deforestation could create something like that desert there, I believe. It would probably have to be pretty large-scale, though, or the forest would just grow back. You might get something like a dry savanna that way, rather than a full desert, but I'm not sure on that.

As for the banding, if you're curious:
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=55142&postcount=6
Korba was quite a bit more clear with the banding than I was. I did the regular banding step, and then did my best to modify it based on air/water currents, but only posted the modified ones.

As it is, your map doesn't follow the rules of science precisely, but if you look at the map, it doesn't look wrong until you start comparing each section to said rules. And by that, I mean that if you want it hardcore science, you'll probably need to change a bit. If you just want a general science-inspired placing of things, then you're doing great as you are.


Repped, by the way, for all the indepth work, so far, because I don't think I've repped you, yet.
-asp

I'm sure that, aided by a little magic, creation of a desert would be possible then; thank you for that highly satisfying scientific explanation haha. It is a pretty large area, so it should fit that criteria. It fits perfectly as well, too, since there are large forest areas to the south of it, so a very interesting backstory could be created by that.

I'm quite satisfied with a good science-inspired placing of things :P That's good to know, very relieving. I would've hated to find out it was completely wrong and have to remake everything. After all these scientific endeavors, I think I'll focus on the actual map for a little while, see how it develops and if I need to change anything in the precipitation/temperature maps.

Thanks for the rep! I really appreciate it, as well as your advice on everything so far. I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions and problems as the map develops, so here's to hoping you stick by the thread :P haha.

An update with the middle of the western continent worked on is coming soon, just to show what progress I'm making on the actual map after the temp & prec reference maps.

(Repped back, btw.)

Majortopio
01-06-2010, 05:55 PM
Okay, so here's the update. Nothing in the northern part of the continent has been worked on since the last update, this is all the southern part.

The large forests to the south are pretty much complete, I will probably make some elevation in it.

I've drawn up the larger mountains as well, there will of course be smaller mountain ranges here and there. More highlands will be surrounding the mountains that are there as well, but I was too lazy to add them this time around. Next update.

The grassy/foresty part in the middle of the desert is something I've thought up that could go well with the setting, and the origins of that desert (which I believed we decided deforestation was a plausible enough reason). The slight grasslands in the eastern part of the desert are there because of the same reason.

CC is, as always, appreciated.