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Thread: Hello from a Cartography Student

  1. #1
      jetfx is offline
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    Post Hello from a Cartography Student

    Hello everybody!

    I've been lurking here for the last few days and I've been struck by the professional quality of the fantasy maps here. Fantasy maps are a dime a dozen, but they aren't usually so amazing and detailed.

    I'm a long time fantasy reader and have played some Dungeons & Dragons, but my real interest is constructing worlds, which may or may not be used for role playing or fiction. The world building is primary to me.

    As you gathered from the title, I'm a cartography student, and am just over half way through my first year of a two year program, after which I will make maps for living. Maps of real places, but I am starting to apply my new skills to making maps of imaginary places.

    My skills are fairly new, and before September I hadn't had any experience with graphics software or mapping software, but now I have some familiarity with a variety of programs and loads of other graphics and mapping software on my machine that have not yet learned how to use, but will over the next year and a bit. Some software I'm familiar with is:
    • ArcGIS
    • Corel Draw Suite
    • AutoCAD
    • PCI Geomatica
    • Adobe Illustrator with MaPublisher plugin


    Anyway, I'm still fairly new to all of this, so I'd like to make use of the community's experience in map making, and in time I'd like to give back to the community with what I know (and will know) as a cartography student. And most importantly, I'd like to look at maps and have others look at my maps!

    And example of some of my school work can be found here.

  2. #2
      torstan is offline
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    Welcome to the guild! It's great to have people who are actually training to do this for a living coming on here. Certainly interested to hear what you have to say about those programs. Nice work on that site too - did I see a little Hearts of Iron being played there?
    Fantasy Map Blog | My food illustration
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  3. #3
      jetfx is offline
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    Actually it's Victoria, which is developed by the same company as Hearts of Iron. Victoria is focused on economics and politics in the 19th century, but I'm a huge fan of both.

    Thanks for the welcome and the reputation boost!

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      Ascension is offline
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    Welcome and show us what ya got when ya get em.
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      Redrobes is offline
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    Welcome, good demo maps on that little link and you have loads more... chewy. And that list of software is cool. We have had a few people here with ArcGIS but noone who I think is particularly (at least publicly) proficient with it. And we have seen some talk of the illustrator plug in but not much actual talk of real experience with it. Then you have AutoCAD where a few members here us it pretty effectively I think some particularly so. Personally I dont know of Geomatica so tell us about it and also let us know your experiences with these bits of software and why you like some of their features.

    edit -- well I have looked at the Geomatica website and I still don't know what it does. I get the feeling that it somehow organizes maps but it sure is a terrible website.
    Last edited by Redrobes; 01-17-2010 at 08:37 PM.

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  7. #7
      jetfx is offline
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    Geomatica is for working with aerial photos, not something you are going to encounter much of when building an imaginary world. However, if you can load a raster image (hand drawn map for example) into the thing and pretend it is an air photo. This would be useful for geographically referencing your raster within a world.

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      Redrobes is offline
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    Does it warp and twist the photos about a bit to make it georef onto something that you know is correct - like you have a survey of an area to use and you tie up real to image based points.

    A lot of us use aerial photos or have a realistic style to our mapping. Most of us here do fantasy maps and some of them would like a whole world with a google earth like interface but for a purely fictitious place with a less restrictive georef accuracy requirement.

    Their web site was very light of demo pics of what it did. Thanks for enlightening us a bit on that.

  9. #9
      jetfx is offline
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    It can warp and twist the photos, depending on how much or how little you want it too. It can go from as simple as georeferencing the four corners to warping it to take terrain elevation into account, which is kind of overkill for an image in this case.

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      NeonKnight is offline
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    Welcome to the Guild!
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