Hi. I've been working on a map of the fictional locales in northeastern Massachusetts featured in HP Lovecraft's stories. It's pretty close to completion and I wanted to get some feedback from a cartographic perspective.
Some things to consider:
The main point I'm concerned with at this point is how much more detail to put in. It's really easy to go overboard and dump everything into a map and make it completely unusable. So, should I put things in like the names of the counties in the state map? Names of the rivers on the main map? Landmarks, like Miskatonic U. and the Witch House (which are on the map, just not labeled), on the Arkham map? How much is too much?
Also what about the fonts. I like the Gothic one for the cities on the main map, but is it too much? It's hard to balance the character of the font with legibility. I know what the towns all are, but would someone unfamiliar with the mythos be able to look at the map and read it?
The frames around the insets: are they too flashy and do they take away from the rest of the map? Should I get rid of them for something simpler? I think they look alright, but I feel that the main map needs one around it as well. But then I'll have frames inside frames, and that looks kinda wonky.
Any other general suggestions: placement of the text, colors, things I haven't even thought of. Thanks
I got the idea for the map from, well, reading Lovecraft. I did a search for Lovecraft maps and found one which pretty much matches the main map and the state map (probably from the Call of Cthulhu rollplaying game). I traced it using a tablet into Illustrator, making a few changes. I also found a street map of Arkham that Lovecraft had drawn, and drew that in as well.
PS Man, the colors look weird in the attachment. They don't look anything like that when I view it on my machine. I'll work on that. It's also really small. That's what I get for working with vector images. I'll post a better image soon, but for now you get the idea.
The main thing to consider is who is going to be using the map. If just you then do it however you like but if it is meant for others then legibility is the main thing. The next thing to consider is what information is important? If a certain river is mentioned then put it in, if he talks about a certain tree then show where that is. If you want it to look like an atlas then you have to put in everything because those are made to show everything because they don't know what each individual is looking for...I like to look for campsites but others just want to know where the airports are. That much info is probably overkill for this but you'll want to put in as much as is necessary...if certain places are not mentioned then don't bother with em.
I uploaded a much larger image.
Cool map - I've read a lot of Lovecraft's work and it's nice to see the Lovecraftian places integrated into a real-world map. In terms of font, color, and overall atmosphere, I would suggest that you turn to the late 19th Century and early 20th Century for inspiration. Here's a start:
I'm usually favor more information rather than less, and in this case I think that labeling the Miskatonic River and Miskatonic University is crucial. The other things like county names are less important, since they were less prominent in Lovecraft's stories, but it's still not a bad idea to add these labels if they don't make things too crowded.
I love the map even tho the colors make my eyes bleed. Its like looking at the screen of an old Atari style video game.
Yeah, I don't know what is up with the colors. When I look at the image on my hard drive, the colors are much more muted and natural looking. I tried downloading the image from this site, and the colors go back to normal. Perhaps the site uses some sort of compression which only approximates colors? Then when you save the image, you get the whole file, no compression. Does anyone know?
It's either the gamma on your monitor or the software settings. There are many threads covering this topic, just do a search for gamma correction here and you'll find all sorts of info.