So Im not at all a newbie when it comes to drawing maps- Ive been doing it for at least 7 years. Ive always be a enthusiast, the whole "creating your own world" would entice me for hours. Im excited to now have a site full of fellows who will actually appreciate more than just saying "Oh, thats...cool?" Ha.
From looking around Ive noticed that many people use computers to post/edit their maps- what program do people use for that? Is there some other way to post it (scanning?) without taking a picture of it? Pictures wont do them justice. Thanks for the help, and glad to be on!
Sometimes a photo is better than scanning, it depends on the medium and the size of the piece... usually takes a bit of post-editing to brighten and add the real-to-life vibrance back into it. I use Photoshop, I believe the cs2 version is now free for download. Scanning may require a different type of post-editing but....
Oh yeah, Hi! (by the way) Bit carried off there, huh? =) Welcome to the site!
Welcome to the Guild Nathan! Always a treat to see maps done in more traditional mediums. Look forward to seeing yours. I'm not too familiar with the best means of presentation however I'm afraid.
If you do take a photo, there are ways to optimize the process so you get a good result. Look up artwork photography on Google, and you'll get some good ideas. The key is to light it very evenly with soft white light and orient the camera perpendicular to the piece. I've had some success using a pair of desk lamps with daylight-emulating bulbs shining on white posterboard that reflects the light onto the art. I have a small easel that lets me prop the work up so that I can take the picture from a tripod. Obviously, you'll need a something other than a typical cell phone camera, but 90% of the quality in a photo comes from properly lighting it.
Scanners capable of up to 11"x17" are fairly common. Many print shops also have larger format scanners. Or if you have a scanner that doesn't have a deep lip at the edge, you can scan in segments. That's what I typically do if I'm scanning hand-drawn work.
As far as software goes, I use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and occasionally ProFantasy's Campaign Cartographer 3. Although I haven't done any actual map work in ages, unless you count a rough 3d model of downtown New Orleans that I made for work. That wasn't really made for use as a map, though. There are free, open source alternatives to PS and Illustrator called Gimp and Inkscape, respectively. Gimp is particularly popular here.