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Thread: Morphing a Map Over Time

  1. #11
      Ascension is offline
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    If you're going to animate it then flash is the way to go but if all you want to do is show how the borders change over time then just make the physical map and save it then make copies with the various boundary changes, then compile them all together into one large image that shows like 4 maps.
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  2. #12
      Notsonoble is offline
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    I'm not so sure about the flash thing. Gif's 256 color limit for something like this really should be enough, and like Steel General said, flash is a pain, on the developer, and sometimes the user's end. If anything, you can't attach easily viewable flash content here, or many other places for that matter.

    Flash has its uses, but for a non-interactive image... nah.

  3. #13
      nolgroth is offline
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    Should be able to do something with GIMP animation if all you want is an animated GIF. If you just want something that you can control, then do a terrain map as a background and each era is a new layer above it. That way you can turn on and off the layers to demonstrate the era you currently have in mind.

    You could even make it a short movie clip that gets played on the REPEAT setting on your player. Since all you are doing is changing which area of the map is highlighted (with legend text) then it shouldn't be too hard I'd imagine. Of course I have never done anything of the sort, so take my opinion with a truckload of salt.

  4. #14
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notsonoble View Post
    I'm not so sure about the flash thing. Gif's 256 color limit for something like this really should be enough,
    If you want a simple line map with solid fills, sure. Antialiasing really eats up your colors, though, and if you want to do something fancy like Mercator-style faded edge political borders, then you're into gradients, which take still more colors. To say nothing of using a shaded relief map underneath. Gif might be an okay place to start, but I think its limits will come into play very quickly.

    'Tis true that there are some accessibility issues with Flash. The development problems aren't a big deal, though, really. As long you're not creating an interface or doing something fancy like that, it's pretty easy to get along with: vector drawing tools and keyframe animation. Only a bit tougher than learning Inkscape or Illustrator, in my opinion.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist

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  6. #16
      rekaj is offline
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    Wow, this is all so much for me to take in! I have read all the options. I must apologize to say i really don't have any clue where to start. I know some flash and i am a programmer so i can work with javascripting.

    Any suggestions on where to begin making these maps? what might be a good beginner step?

    RobA, i'd also be interested in learning more about how you do it with Javascript/example you might have...


  7. #17
      RobA is offline
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    Here is an example I cobbled up with the china map at wikipedia:

    You will have to wait for all the images to load (I didn't bother with a prefetch).

    I just created thumbnails across the bottom, but those images could be replaced with a timeline set of graphics.

    Alternately, this could be animated with some javascript.

    -Rob A>

  8. #18
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Interesting, didn't realize that could be done with CSS.
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  9. #19
      Sagenlicht is offline
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    hmm to add my two cents, RobA's idea seems a nice way and if you know java it shouldnt be a problem for you.
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