If you want to keep everything in a single projection, then Mercator is far and away the least bad option. That's why it's used for things like Google Maps and OpenStreetMap. It's reasonable at both large and very small scales. It isn't that good in between (Continents, large countries like Canada), but it's no worse than any alternative choice in that regard.
My personal preference would be to design the world first (Geology, climate, ecology, history, linguistics, etc), and then when it's designed, present it as maps. Done this way we'd be able to use appropriate projections for each map, and where they overlap, they would be drawing from the same source data and so should be consistent. So instead of stating with the smallest scale, designing everything, then subdividing doling out the divisions, and letting each mapper add/refine the details of everything within their segment, It would be starting with the most basic aspects like tectonics, and we'd get that nailed down at all scales then figure out climate, then ecology, and so on. Then when all the layers of information are done, we can make maps. Of course I admit a lot of people would find this approach less fun as the 'making pretty maps' part is delayed until the very end, and not everyone is interested in all the different things that would need to be dealt with.
Ok so we will keep fancy projections for later.
But isn't Mercator worst than Equirectangular projection since there is more distortion ?
What software is best to start the map and for the climates? They used fractal terrain the last time if I'm correct.
The best way to think of it is that all reasonable projections distort the same amount, they just distort different things in different places. It's really more a matter of what they preserver rather than distorting. Mercator preserves bearings, and angles in general (it's "Conformal") . Equirectangular preserves the cardinal directions (but not other bearings), and distances north-south (but not distances in other directions).
Originally Posted by Azelor
Conformal projections like Mercator can be zoomed in on, and things will be approximately the right shape. Hence the use in web maps. It does make things the wrong size but if you know the latitude you've zoomed in on, you can just alter the scale and get everything looking pretty good, although the bigger the area you look at, the more the scale will vary. A map of Canada in Mercator looks fairly wonky as the arctic islands are WAY to big compared to the mainland. Equirectangular will result in everything being stretched out east west. You can pull the same scaling trick as with Mercator (only scaling east-west though) to squash it back, but you'll still get variation in stretching/squashing with latitude within the map. This is more obvious and unpleasant looking than the all directions scaling of Mercator.
Mercator is useful for zoomable maps, for navigating along paths of constant bearing (Following a compass), and for dealing with the shapes of things over a global scale. Equirectangular is mathematically simple, and that's about all it has going for it as it is otherwise ugly and doesn't preserve anything particularly useful that other projections don't do better; it's mostly useful as an intermediary that's easy to transform, not for finished maps.
You made a good explanation Hai-Etlik, thanks for the clarification.
So anyway, what kind of landmass people would like too map?
1 massive continent with small islands surrounding it
Archipelago with scattered islands
earth-like continents or something similar
or something else...
I have a thing for super-continents, so that'd be my vote And it could have a really big archipelago somewhere too; doesn't have to be one or the other. How about two massive continents, fairly close to each other, with an archipelago in between?
Of course, maybe I shouldn't be speaking to loudly as I hardly even know what the CWBP is, or if I'll be able to participate… but those where my thoughts
Re: Cooperative project revival
What about using software that maps thingsto a sphere for the core world map? The one I'm familiar with us Fractal Terrains by Profantasy, but I know there's others out there. The advatage to this that the main world map would have no distortions, and we could project it out in many different formats.
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Yes I was considering using FT for the main map since it's easy to crate worlds with this including altitude, temperature and precipitations. And it's possible to change projection without any effort. Then export the map in jpeg in another program for the next step.
And by the way, with fractal terrain , is it possible to smooth the terrain at a specific place?
There is a roughness painting tool and it also allows for selections where you can adjust the roughness, if that helps.
Tutorial for Cartographer’s Guild was done in direct response to the last community project world.
what do you think of this ?
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