Here is some info on how Castles and such evolved:
Well, heres my first post...
I'm wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of any good historical cartography resources? I am currently working on a medieval Campaign Setting that could do with some grounding in reality. I'm thinking about town layouts, fortifications and how they evolve - among other things.
Also, I'm keen to find some data that can be imported into Fractal Terrains to create accurate maps of Earth and Mars? If anyone knows where I can find this I'd much appreciate it.
Until then, I'll keep looking
I will be posting maps soon, promise
I am not a fractal terrains guy myself but the guy who writes it also writes Wilbur which is a terrain editor - its free and from here...
What you will need is some digital elevation models - DEMs. The best source for these is the USGS site and they have a nice DEM server here...
So between the two I think you can get the area you want, convert it and import it into FT.
Mars is a little more tricky. Firstly there is GoogleMars
and I am sure that NASA has some topo data for it. Getting the google data into a height map grayscale might be a little tricky - you need to do a gradient remap. I know Image Magick can do that job but I don't know how to do it myself. I have seen the tut here tho...
For accurate maps of the earth then the NASA's blue marble is a doozy but its very very large at the full res as a TIFF at 52000x26000 - beautiful tho.
For castles the wiki is a good source. Also for some old maps and pics
this one is a good start but I am sure there are a lot more. The pics from this site are usually public domain tho as they are often out of copyright.
Of course, there's Medieval Demographics Made Easy by S. John Ross and all the associated calculators others have made to go along with it:
And also this thread started by Pyrandon has some good advice for building towns and cities:
Your best advice for city-building/drawing
Bryan Ray, visual effects artist