I still disagree about deciding plots by dividing the map into a grid. It limits opportunity too much. Lets say you have an interesting feature that lands wrong in the grid and to map it you'd need three plots but you aren't really interest in the rest of that stuff, then all of the sudden it's more of a chore than something fun. Second it locks in the scale of the map, all maps will cover the exact same area without reason. Some maps might be better off covering 200 km's and some might be better covering 500 kms or 800 kms. Allowing people to define their own plots only causes a problem in cases of overlap. Even that doesn't bother me so much due to reasonable expectation that map makers often had discrepancies. It can make things interesting. We might consider some limitations such as maybe having the initial plot choice center around points and limiting the size of area that can be mapped so that they don't overlap, but in that area you can map what you choose you don't have to map the whole thing just what you are interested in doing. Once that map is done the plot point opens up again and someone else can continue keeping in concert with already completed maps.
For example. I choose plot point AB I'm allowed to make a map of anything in an area 1000 km's around that point with a defined area of lets say maximum size of 500 kms square and which can't exceed the boundaries of AB.
In my diagram here some one has chosen the point AB for their map plot. In the area available to them the decided to map a rectangle within the allowed restrictions for that area. Once that is done being mapped point AB opens back up so someone can map in that area again. The guy who chose point CB however didn't want to map the interior of the land just the coast, so he defined his map differently. Once he is done mapping the coast CB will open up again and someone can map that interior if they feel like it, they can even overlap onto his map as long as they retain his information.
Another alternative which I think I mentioned earlier which somewhat addresses this problem is to do world building and final mapping as distinct steps. First, get the information about the world in place without worrying about how it's presented. There would still be the potential for conflict if two people want to edit the same area, but as just doing the data would take less time than doing it and presentation, it would reduce the chance of conflict. Doing cycles for different aspects (Geology, weather, ecology, sociopolitical) would reduce the time any portion is 'locked' further. Then when all the data is there, everyone and anyone can go in and make whatever maps they want without any fear of conflict. The data phase would even be more amenable to the "grid" approach than the final maps. The downside is that at any particular time, only one kind of information is going to be being worked on, and the "making pretty maps" aspect is left until the very end. Also a lot of people on the guild are unused to working in the mode of mapping existing information rather than making up the information to suit their presentation.
Originally Posted by Falconius
It's also possible that the problems of Mercator at small scales could be reduced by going to the full trouble of doing each continent in its own projection, then merging them back into the master Mercator map, and then doing the large scale maps by cropping out of that. It's less work than doing every map in an appropriate projection, but fixes the cases where Mercator gives the worst results.
I'm not sure that interest could be maintained if we did world building in that manner. This is going to be a hobby project for most people not a concentrated effort that I think your suggestion would require. I think that working with a general topography wind and precipitation information as Azelor provided for his map earlier in the thread is enough to go on. That way people can go wild and the map should still work. It would also be significantly faster at filling space with detail. The advantage of your way of course is that every area gets developed at once and you have a more comprehensive overall picture of the world.
Also and this could just be me, but seeing huge differences in the world from one map to the other would be a good thing I think. Like Jack Vance's Dying Earth. In any case it would be more inclined towards the diversity we have in our own world than if every stage was cooperatively built by consensus. Another point is that depending on when it is set mapping is hardly going to be exact until the invention of satellites. If we were mapping an equivalent period to the Dark Ages for instance accuracy of detailed features, distances, and measurements going to be questionable in terms of anyones actual experience of our supposed world on the ground.
I'm quite tired right now but if I understand, you mean that we need to decide goegraphical aspects (mountains, forest, rivers...) , sociological aspects (politic, culture, language) and other things before doing the maps. So the mappers don't actually decide what is on the map but still as some level of liberty on how to place it. That make sense to me.
Originally Posted by Hai-Etlik
(well when I mean that the mappers don't have a word to say, It's not true but they have to do it before the mapping step.)
Originally Posted by Falconius
Depend, we don't actually need 3 pages of descriptions for one country to strat mapping it. Just the informations relevant to the map such as culture, importants cities and things like that and geographical information.
Falconius, we could also use climate or things like this to give more freedome over regional mapping for smaller details : Holdridge life zones - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lastly it should be possible to add some smaller elements without problem since only the larger elements are planned in advance.
And about dividing the map, your method seems a little chaotic. Maybe we could have zones that are less ramdom ? For example, mapping a specific political area. But again, we would have to decide that area prior to mapping it.
Well my goal is in providing as much freedom to the mapper as possible and not locking anything in except very general and obvious topographic features. Pretty much just precipitation (or other more specific bioclimatic projections), coastline, mountain ranges, and major rivers. Basically my preferred method would be the exact opposite of Hai-Etlik's proposed method :) . I like a little chaos, and it give the mappers freedom to keep things interesting. I think overall it may lead to some oddities but that it will also lead to a lot more diversity in the world, with a lot of ideas. It will also help solve a problem I felt the other CWBP seemed to be developing in that they got stuck in one continent. Trying to map the whole world seems unrealistic and unnecessary to me. Mapping diverse amounts of places though seems more useful.
For instance the way I provide for plot choice a mapper could indeed choose to base his map on a political zone and just map it out on his plot. While another mapper may decide he is interested in a particular geographical feature and just map the whole thing if he felt like without much regard to political boarders. All they'd have to keep in mind is the worlds general setting and the basic map information provided (world map).
We need more input from others about how they'd prefer to handle it.
I get your point. For example, mapping a desert is not as important as mapping an empire. There is probably a lot more details about the Empire than there is about the desert. So someone could do the desert as a whole despite is size.
The problem is how to merge the different zone and how do we avoid the overlap ?
Originally Posted by Falconius
Ok so this is a rough plan for the future of the project:
1- Choosing the map
2- Choosing the setting (name + genre + era + important races + magic : yes/no?)
3- Important thematic maps: tectonic plates, major winds, oceanic currents, climate zones, rainfall,
4- Determining important elements of the map: mountains, rivers, desert, forest...
5- Placing major civilizations : cultural group (naming conventionlanguage, political border, cities... I would agree because I guess that political border do not always match cultural border
6- Mapping process (I guess)
The idea is to give guidelines for the mappers but there's many other that are not on the list such as place description.
7- Other thematic maps : economic, faith...
8- Creating templates for descriptions ...
I think that 4 to 6 should rest in the hands of the mappers. I trust the people here to make reasonable assumptions based off of what is happening in #3, so they'd put in the desserts forest etc roughly where they ought to go. We may simply want to do biome classification in step 3 for ease though (or not since it could be pointlessly limiting). Also included in step 3 would have to be very major rivers I'd think or at least an indication.
Originally Posted by Azelor
Could you explain 7 a bit more? I'm not sure what it is referring to.
4-6: I know, it's still the same thing as before but I wonder how it worked in the old project.
Well if we are to build a world, it's seems important to me that the descriptions (for countries, cities, religions...) should have some standardisation for how the information is presented.