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Thread: Cartographic Terminology

  1. #31
      Ascension is offline
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    Yep, agreed. It really helps to give some flavor to a map when you can do the labels in different languages.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


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  2. #32
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyfir View Post
    Those are just off the top of my head; if you have specific terms you'd like for a middle-eastern-themed map let me know.
    How about the cardinal directions? (North, South, East, West)
    Fort or fortress
    Forest
    Road
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  3. #33
      cyfir is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    How about the cardinal directions? (North, South, East, West)
    Fort or fortress
    Forest
    Road
    North - Shamaal
    South - Janub
    East - Sharq
    West - Gharib

    Fort (as in military installation) - Mu'askr
    Fortress (as in castle/fortification) - Qala'
    Forest - Ghaba
    Road - Tariq

  4. #34
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Fabulous! Thanks for that, and have some rep!
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  5. #35
      PixelFish is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by su_liam View Post
    Honestly, this is more the kind of thing I was hoping to find in this thread. I'd also like to find more foreign terms with definitions, such as gebirge, erg, wadi, etc...
    I learned 'erg' and 'qanat' from Dune incidentally. (Which has a map at the end, and I think it's one of the more confusing maps I've seen in a book. When I was a kid, I kept trying to parse the round outline as the shape of the planet. Eventually I figured it out but the legend didn't really clear things up for me.)


    Types of settlements: (Most of this will be obvious, but may help in determining your dot and font sizes and derivations for naming schemes should you decide to conlang)

    Megalopolis - clusters of very large cities. Real world examples include such megacities as the Bay Area (SF and the surrounding cities such as San Jose, Oakland, Marin) and BosWash (the Boston to Washington DC corridor). They are usually so designated because there is such population density between these cities that they could be seen as one continuous human settlement. Not often found in fantasy environs, but certainly seen all over science fiction.)
    City - a large urban settlement, usually distinguished by size, (although in medieval times, you often needed a major structure like a palace or cathedral to be considered part of a city) and clustered about with suburbs or townships. Common real world suffixes = -Stat, -stadt, (Swedish, German) -ville (French) and citta (Italian) and -polis (greek)
    Town - smaller than a city, bigger than a village -ton, -taun, -tun, -town -stadt (again, because these are interchangeable in German) Sometimes referred to as townships, but depending on state and province, sometimes townships are smaller than towns. Towns still retain most of the urban traits of cities re: food production and population clustering.
    Burgh - districts inside cities that sometimes become independent, see also Burrough, Boro, (Sometimes confused with the Germanic -berg which means mountain or the other -burg which means castle, as in Hamburg)
    Village -smaller than town, bigger than a hamlet. We're starting to get back to agrarian communities, and villages are more likely to practise their own food production. Historically villages might have a church, but not a town hall or the larger apparatus of government. -by is a very common suffix for villages and seems to derive from the Scandanavian countries, but is seen in English speaking areas as well. (Scoresby, Maltby, etc)
    Hamlet - smaller than a village. -ham, -heim, -holm, -home (The word is derived from "home" and its variants. However, tiny hamlets can grow and become big cities, which is why you see some cities with -holm suffix)

    Church territorial units: Often times religious organisations had their own cities (like the Vatican) or ways of dividing up the countryside, should they have enough power. Parishes and tithings are other smaller divisions commonly known as church territories.
    Last edited by PixelFish; 05-23-2009 at 02:41 PM.

  6. #36
      Wordman is offline
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    My fourth grade social studies book had this page with a drawing of a fictional landscape that illustrate the various types of geographical features, with definitions below. It's where I learned the difference between an "isthmus" and an "archipelago". It was one of the more concise visualizations of data I've ever seen. Unfortunately, I can't find a copy of it on line.

    I did find this visual geographical glossary, though.

  7. #37
      Ascension is offline
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    Great find there Wordman, added it to my bookmarks...we should find a way to sticky that somehow.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  8. #38
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Some crosslinking to other threads and resources of interest to anyone searching for toponymy information:

    What's in a Name? Place Names: Topographic Names, Ask Oxford's article on British topographical language.

    Place Name Conventions (local thread)

    Hand Drawn Maps Tips (local thread)

    Less Common Topographical Terms (local thread)
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
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  9. #39
      mearrin69 is offline
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    Never noticed this thread before. Good stuff here. I especially appreciate the terms in other languages...so, I will contribute a few in Chinese Mandarin. Anybody that speaks Chinese well is welcome to correct me.

    North - Bei (like bay in English) 北
    East - Dong (with long o) 东
    South - Nan (like Han Solo) 南
    West - Xi (like she) 西

    Capital - Jing (like wing) 京 - use at the end of a name, e.g. Beijing (northern capital), Dongjing (Tokyo, eastern capital), Nanjing (southern capital).
    Capital - Shoudu (show doo) 首 都
    Province - Sheng 省
    City - Shi (like sure) 市
    City - Chengshi 城 市
    Road - Lu (like Lou Grant) 路


    Sea - Hai (like hi) or Hai Yang 海 洋
    River - He (huh) 河
    Lake - Hu (like who) 湖
    Mountain - Shan (like Shawn said with a Baaastan accent) 山
    Forest - Lin (like Lynne) 林


    Sorry for the silly pronunciation guides...I'm not educated on any official systems for conveying pronunciation!
    M

  10. #40
      Carnifex is offline
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    Found this awesome list:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_landforms

    Great for map ideas.

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