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Thread: What size World Map should I begin working with?

  1. #1
      Porklet is offline
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    Default What size World Map should I begin working with?

    First, I am using GIMP, and I am a newbie.

    I want a World Map that I can zoom in on regionally and not have it pixelate so badly. However, I don't want something so large that I can't share it with the community. I am currently working with 2,000 x 2,000 at 100 dpi, but this doesn't quite seem to cut it. Will making the image larger aid with pixelation, or should I simply increase the dpi? What are the limitations on file size and scope for uploading? Should I just create individual regional maps? Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated. I am new to map making and GIMP, and I want to have a clear idea of what I am working with before I begin.

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      jtougas is offline
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    dpi doesn't make any difference as far viewing your map (either on the web or on your computer) It is a setting for print use. If you want to zoom into your map without pixelation the only solution is to make your map larger. 2k x 2k is not overly large and you could go up more to reduce the pixelation issue. As far as uploading to the Guild, I believe that the max file size is 5 Mb. you can always upload a smaller version of your work here and provide a link to the full size version hosted on a photo sharing site (Photobucket, Flickr, etc). Creating individual regional maps is a great solution as well. You can make them manageable in size and still achieve the level of detail you want. I hope this helps and good luck.

    *EDIT* Whoops the max file size is 5 Mb don't know why that didn't show up.
    Last edited by jtougas; 05-25-2011 at 02:59 PM.
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      Porklet is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtougas View Post
    I hope this helps and good luck.
    It does, indeed. Thank you.

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      Ascension is offline
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    You might want to work in a vector program in order to accommodate your scaling/zooming needs. Working in raster means that you have to have a really large image and for a world map that you want to zoom in on you're talking at least 10,000 by 5,000...in my opinion even that is too small, I like to do worlds at least 10,000 by 20,000 for my style. If you have a simple political map style then vector is the way to go but if you want detailed terrain then you need raster. Working in vector can keep the file size down thus less drag on the cpu but vector doesn't have a lot of the bells and whistles that we rely on from raster programs. If you have a robust hardcore gaming rig then it should be able to handle large raster images just fine or with a minimal chug. This is how I set up my pcs...if it's good enough for gaming then it's good enough for mapping. You can test your pc by just making bigger and bigger images and then start running a bunch of filters on things and see how long it chugs.
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      Porklet is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    You might want to work in a vector program in order to accommodate your scaling/zooming needs. Working in raster means that you have to have a really large image and for a world map that you want to zoom in on you're talking at least 10,000 by 5,000...in my opinion even that is too small, I like to do worlds at least 10,000 by 20,000 for my style. If you have a simple political map style then vector is the way to go but if you want detailed terrain then you need raster. Working in vector can keep the file size down thus less drag on the cpu but vector doesn't have a lot of the bells and whistles that we rely on from raster programs. If you have a robust hardcore gaming rig then it should be able to handle large raster images just fine or with a minimal chug. This is how I set up my pcs...if it's good enough for gaming then it's good enough for mapping. You can test your pc by just making bigger and bigger images and then start running a bunch of filters on things and see how long it chugs.
    I do want a vivid terrain-based map, but my PC can barely handle 4,000 x 4,000. It takes over a minute to apply some filters to the map. The PC is a few years old, and it is meant to be used for word processors and the like. I may go with regional maps, but before I do anything else I want to set my world map in stone. All of my ideas always start with a map, and until I make the map I won't be able to put it all together. I don't mind going back to flesh out regions, states, or whatever later. I just didn't want to make a map that was way too big or way too small to serve my purposes as a template, political, climatological, anthropological, eco-systematicalology (spelled wrong hell...it's not even a word), gynecological (well, maybe not the last one), or whatever map. Once I get the space in order then I can start dealing with time. Or something.

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      jtougas is offline
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    If your world building, you will end up with all kinds of maps just by default. A world scaled map won't ever zoom down to the level of cities and towns and not be outrageously massive. If your system won't handle it then map away the more the better I always say plus it's good practice.
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      Porklet is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtougas View Post
    If your world building, you will end up with all kinds of maps just by default. A world scaled map won't ever zoom down to the level of cities and towns and not be outrageously massive. If your system won't handle it then map away the more the better I always say plus it's good practice.
    I think I am going to have to come to grips with the fact that once I start this process I will never ever finish it.

    The realistic style of your Arlion maps is striking. Did you cut your rivers out to show the sea layer below, or is that some sort of optical illusion?

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      Hai-Etlik is offline
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    As Ascension said, you might be better off with a vector graphics program like Inkscape rather than a raster one like The GIMP. At least initially.

    I've created a template for a world map here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...447#post154447

    It's an SVG file for Inkscape, but it can be loaded into other programs, including the GIMP though you will loose the benefits of vector graphics in doing so.

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      Porklet is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hai-Etlik View Post
    As Ascension said, you might be better off with a vector graphics program like Inkscape rather than a raster one like The GIMP. At least initially.

    I've created a template for a world map here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...447#post154447

    It's an SVG file for Inkscape, but it can be loaded into other programs, including the GIMP though you will loose the benefits of vector graphics in doing so.
    Thanks, I'll give Inkscape a whirl.

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      jtougas is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porklet View Post
    I think I am going to have to come to grips with the fact that once I start this process I will never ever finish it.

    The realistic style of your Arlion maps is striking. Did you cut your rivers out to show the sea layer below, or is that some sort of optical illusion?
    I did "clear" the layers above my ocean layer before I added any kind of texture or layer styles. That map was a fusion of GIMP and Wilbur. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    I am the breath of Dragons...The Song of Mountains...The Stories of Rivers....The Heart of Cities.... I am A Cartographer....

    Finished Maps
    Kingdom Of Shendenflar Campaign Setting (WIP)

    Everything I post is free for use and redistribution under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence, except where noted otherwise in the thread.

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