I'm new to the guild, and to cartography in general. I don't have much in the way of tools, so I mostly do stuff by hand or using paint.
One of the things I've wanted to do is expand a map one of my friends created, which can be seen here. Almost the entire map is one giant forest, and it completely lacks any rivers. That, and it's a little small. So I was gonna try to add in some plains, swamps, tundra, etc. and some rivers to make it a bit more complete. Only problem is I don't have a very good idea of what I'm doing. :P
I'm sure you will get lots of help here.
The map you linked to looks pretty good to me. It has a nice balance of forest/hill mountain and swamp, as well as towns and roads.
Where were you thinking of adding these extra features? It looks quite gull already. I agree it is a bit small. Most of the writing is almost illegible.
What is the purpose of your revision? If you can be a bit more specific we might have a few more suggestions.
Also, doing stuff by hand or using paint (real paint, like oil or watercolours, or MS paint software?) is fine. I've even seen a pretty nice map made using Excel, using mostly cell fill and borders (please don't ask why).
Well, the current map has like 8 regions of forest, 4 regions of plains, 6 regions of mountains, 1 swamp, 1 hills, 1 jungle, 1 cold region, 2 deserts, and a number of islands. If I were to make changes, I'd add more land on the sides (expand the "veil of mist" a bit), make the swamp and jungle and such bigger, expand the cold area to the north, add some rivers, and probably turn parts of the forest into plains. The end product probably wouldn't look much like the original map, actually.
I've drawn some of it by hand, but I don't have a scanner to upload it to my computer. I've trying to figure out how to draw it with paint, but I'm not as experienced with that program. When I have something worked out, I'll be sure to post it up.
If you want to try your hand at something a bit more robust you could download and install GIMP. It is very full featured like PhotoShop, but several people on this board use it and there are already several tutorials up for mapping with it. Oh, and best of all it is FREE! Obviously the learning curve would be somewhat steep considering your experience, but if you are willing to try to learn I think it would be a great direction for you to go in.
You can then import the existing map on its own layer and then draw right over the top of it as you see fit without changing the underlying map.
Do you think that might be something that would work for you?
First of all, welcome. Second, listen to RobA & RPMiller--those guys definitely know what they're talking about :)
IMHO, Paint is not going to yield much better results than what you have here; I think RobA's right: think about your ultimate goal. If you just want to tweak a little, this would be fine.
ON the other hand, RP's right that the GIMP is a great way to go--IF you plan to play with more maps than just this & IF it sounds like fun to learn a serious graphics program. I myself have & mainly use Adobe Photoshop, and it's a never ending learning experience, which attracts me, despite the major learning curve!
Now, if you don't plan to do much with maps/graphics, then you could also consider software specifically for mapping, which should allow you to improve this map with ease--albeit with less flexibility than a more general graphics program (Campaign Cartographer 3 may be the best for this type of map; it's pretty easy, fairly flexible, and with strong community support; there's even a free demo for it here.)
Once again, welcome to the Guild, & keep us updated on your progress!