I may be in the wrong place but am trying to find help creating my own maps in GIMP. I need to create realistic location maps for my senior thesis in Geology. The Professor has decided we are not allowed to copy other maps from other papers and cite them. :( I love being a guinea pig. I'm not the most proficient computer user to say the least and I only have 2 weeks to complete a draft through the methods section. Unfortunately, this includes my maps from geologic setting and current location of study samples. He also wants all figures (such as cross-sections and tables) to be original work. Any help will be useful. I do not know how to use Gimp but I have it installed and am playing around with it to get used to what it does.
Wow. I hope he at least judges based on the content rather than the execution! I can imagine just how... popular that dictate is going to be. That said, impeccable execution can only help. Realistically, how much time have you got over that two weeks, and how complex a situation are you trying to portray?
I take it you're well versed in geologic maps as a user? If you have in mind exactly what you want, "just" getting it down on paper or a screen is doable. Especially things like cross-sections. By the way, is your finished product to be paper or electrons? How capable is your computer? What form is your data in, and what kind of map output do you need? You may not be able to xerox existing maps, but if you show us what you're aiming at, we can advise. While most of us are fantasy mappers, manymanymany of us are general map geeks, and there are a few real geologists, mariners, geographers, and surveyors here.
Originally Posted by jbgibson
It needs to be as professional as possible. He is a very harsh grader. I work but only part-time so I can spend a little time on this. I need to create a map showing the Coastal Plain and the general vicinity of its boarders with scale. I also need insets for the Virginia Coastal Plain and the Tunstall, Va area. Then an inset for the area where the drill sites are. I will then need to make 2 tables which I have done non-proffesionally for my proposal to do the research (which was graded and returned). All of his comments were about the figures. Too many scanned figures, make your own. They should be close to the size of a standard sheet of paper or at least 1/2 and the paper will be submitted both electronically and in paper form. As far as the capability of my computer, I am bot sure. It is a Lenovo Think Pad with only a year of use on motherboard.
The capability of your computer is going to create the limit on your map file size. How much RAM do you have? You can get crisper, sharper effects by working at as large a size as your machine can handle, then reducing it when done. That awkward 15 pixel wiggle becomes two pixels and inconsequential. Do you have access to a tablet for input, or will it be a mouse you use? Ever even tried a pen & tablet? If not this might not be enough time to get used to one, which is a shame - folks hereabouts swear by 'em for speed and accuracy.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I picture geologic maps as having somewhat simple polygons, and flat colors or swaths of patterns as fill, albeit with strike/ dip/ fault symbology. That'll tax a computer a bit less than gradients of color and photo realism / satellite views. I'm worried about the originality expectation. Is this intended as exact location of features, or as schematic representation of relationships? Suppose you can use something like OpenStreetMap for the basic land/ river/ city shapes? Or will you have to "trace" even that with your own linework? That's permissible with OpenStreetMap btw - no copyright specifically so anyone can use the data in any way desired.
Do you feel like you're getting a handle on The Gimp?
If what's due next is a draft, reckon the maps can be draft quality? Digital mapping lets you revise and improve ad infinitum.
I'm pretty sure I have plenty of RAM. No access to to a tablet and I only use the touch pad on my laptop for control (no mouse). Never tried pen & tablet and time is becoming an issue. as far as the maps go, I will need one or two with exact location and one or two with schematic representation. I am going to pin down the professor tomorrow to find out exactly how "original" these maps need to be. He can't expect graphic art perfection from a science major ;)
Gimp is not coming along as well as I'd like but I am starting to understand it a bit more. I suppose it's okay to just grab a shell of what I need and fill it in? This is just getting aggravating...hahaha...will be glad when May comes around :)