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Thread: Alternate history of North America

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      Jerian is offline
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    Link Alternate history of North America

    Completed this project two weeks ago, haven't touched it since (because I was away on vacation). I'd love to get as much criticism as possible on it, because I want to improve on the ideas.

    http://adamroulston.ca/nnamerica/
    Basically:
    Alternate history of North America, in which USA wins the war of 1812. Contains a master map, six countries each with flag and description. 1300 words.

    I look forward to feedback.

    -Jerian

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      - Max - is offline
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    Hi Jerian. The general map outline is very poor quality and too much pixellated and the elements you added on flags aswell. You should work on this to make your work more neat.

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      jbgibson is offline
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    Interesting. In the Quebec write up you mean referendum, not memorandum. Not sure "importing iron ore cheaply" and "from Cascadia" belong in the same sentence -- that's a looong way from Nova Scotia! You've colored the Caribbean Confederate - did you mean to have it RNA?

    An I missing ways to get to individual country maps?

    Max is right - while the map Is functional, the whole presentation would more appealing if you had used a higher resolution base map.

    You enjoy the what-if Worldbuilding - why don't you go ahead and do flags and descriptions for the other bits depicted? I'm sure there has been *some* kind of tension with Russia over Alaska -/ how much pressure have Cascadia and Nunavut faced?

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      Jerian is offline
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    Cool, thanks for the advice. I'll rewrite the bit on Nova Scotia importing iron, that does seem a bit queer.

    The Caribbean was invaded by USA soon after 1812, and so when the Confederate Republic seceded, they took the Caribbean with them.

    Individual country maps do not yet exist, however that is a good idea. I'll make some later.

    I was rushed to get the base map down, I didn't find a good stock image. I'll consider redoing it.

    I only focused on this individual region because it's where the majority of my historic knowledge lies. I'd have to do research on Russian Alaskan settling before I can elaborate on it.

    Thanks for the advice, I'll look into it.

    -Jerian

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      Hai-Etlik is offline
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    If you want a better Base Map, try this: http://draconic.ca/~smithkm/northam.png

    I slapped it together in QGIS using data from Natural Earth. It's a stereographic projection centred at N 45° W 100° (Go south from Lake Manitoba to the border between North and South Dakota)

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      Jerian is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hai-Etlik View Post
    If you want a better Base Map, try this: http://draconic.ca/~smithkm/northam.png

    I slapped it together in QGIS using data from Natural Earth. It's a stereographic projection centred at N 45° W 100° (Go south from Lake Manitoba to the border between North and South Dakota)
    That is a good one. It has some things I like, others I don't.

    I'm not really too fond of the curvature, I generally like straightened maps (even if they are more stretched). The rivers are unnecessary, and would just clutter it up. I love the inclusion of state/province borders, it would make alignment significantly easier, however, I'd have to cut out quite a few of them.

    It would take a lot of work to catch up on, but I think I could make a much better map with this stock image.

    Thanks, I'll save it.

    -Jerian

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      Hai-Etlik is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerian View Post
    That is a good one. It has some things I like, others I don't.

    I'm not really too fond of the curvature, I generally like straightened maps (even if they are more stretched). The rivers are unnecessary, and would just clutter it up. I love the inclusion of state/province borders, it would make alignment significantly easier, however, I'd have to cut out quite a few of them.

    It would take a lot of work to catch up on, but I think I could make a much better map with this stock image.
    The "straightened" maps you are thinking of (All meridians and parallels are straight lines) are technically called "Normal Cylindrical". "Cylindrical" means you can think of the map as being wrapped around the Earth in a cylinder, "Normal" means the cylinder is wrapped around the axis of the Earth. The Mercator, Plate Carree, and Gall-Peters projections are all Normal Cylindrical projections. The problem with such projections is that they have infinite distortion at the poles and their distortion varies quite rapidly with latitude and the rate that the distortion occurs increases as you near the poles. This makes such projections really bad for maps that cover areas near the poles. In fact they are generally discouraged in modern mapping except where they are needed for their technical simplicity or for very specific properties like Mercator's 'zoomability' making it the common choice for web maps like Google Maps.

    Really, the world is curved. The 49th parallel is a circle (And not a "great circle" which is the spherical equivalent of a straight line) So any projection suitable for a regional map of North America is going to show it as being curved. The meridians could be straightened out by using a conic projection (The map wraps around the Earth in a cone) rather than an azimuthal one as I've hone here (The map touches the Earth flat at a single point)

    River data is probably something you should pay attention to in an alternate history, even if you don't include it in a final map. Rivers are one of the major features used for borders. The boundaries of watersheds are another. You might want to try playing with the data from Natural Earth directly. It requires specialized GIS software rather than graphics software but such software is available for free (Look up QuantumGIS). There's also watershed data available here: CEC - Atlas: Watersheds

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      Nathan is offline
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    As you present an alternative history, I think you should change the border between Québec and Nova Scotia (Labrador). The one you present is the same as today and I think it's a result of events made later than 1812.

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