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Thread: Mapping cliches

  1. #71
      Falconius is offline
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    Looking at this wonderful map over on Cartographers Choice: Central Alemnia by Daelin I have noticed that there are a few maps that do the land through the centre thing from top to bottom. I can't think of any that have the land running horizontally through the centre and water top and bottom. My suspicion is screen and paper orientation making it visually convenient to to it that way. i.e. side to side is usually wider.

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      jkat718 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post
    I just had a thought about maps being off to the right - I think it's less of a cliche and more about more people being right handed and maybe that's why. Being right handed people start drawing to right side of the page. Just a thought.
    Interesting theory. I think it could be at least partially true. Although, if you think about it in terms of ink-on-parchment, drawing from the right would just get your arm dirty and your ink smudged.

  3. #73
      J.Edward is offline
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    jkat718, yeah, I didn't word that properly. My meaning was how a right handed person works from left to right, drawing to the right. So a coastline sketch might easily/often start left and the landmass and details would be on the right.

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      NedS298 is offline
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    I think a lot of it actually has to do with composition. That artistic principle is probably what defines people's opinion of whether a continent looks "good" or not, unless it's just completely improbable (haha). In a similar way, it affects where the viewer thinks the landmass should be placed. Since all of us Westerners read from left to right and top to bottom, and the majority of us are right-handed, having a landmass on the right might feel "right" (pun not intended) and, therefore, seem like a better composition, as good composition is not set in stone - it's merely a perceived thing. Of course, much of it has to do with balance as well. That's me having a go at explaining it, but I think that people equating their continents to Europe is the best bet for explaining the origin of the cliche, as others said. Feel free to disagree, or prove me wrong (right if I'm lucky)
    @-max- sorry! I thought it was on there, I'll have a look around the forum for where I saw this mysterious Valendhor though...

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      Falconius is offline
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    Well at least 1/4 of continental maps displaying coast line are guaranteed to have the land mass on the right so I don't really think its that much of a cliché. Perhaps a better way to put the cliché is what you don't see much of, things like coastlines on the top. Then saying things like well there isn't that much human habitation on the north coasts of our continents on Earth. We have the top of Africa (relatively uninhabited) and sort of the top of Australia (but it is relatively small/uninhabited) and maybe the top of South America (Although that is arguable since its more diagonal-ly than straight across)

  6. #76
      TimPaul is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkat718 View Post
    Interesting theory. I think it could be at least partially true. Although, if you think about it in terms of ink-on-parchment, drawing from the right would just get your arm dirty and your ink smudged.
    however, people think left to right on the page, in this country.

  7. #77
      J.Edward is offline
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    Ned - I didn't even think about the reading left to right and top to bottom. That seems particularly relevant now that you've said it.
    I really need to keep an eye on where I start on a blank page.

  8. #78
      NedS298 is offline
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    It's just an assumption, nothing's for certain - though it does make a lot of sense.

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