Cool, just checking...
Need some advice - not just Zann, but cartographers in general. I've placed capital cities and labeled them whether large or medium sized. I placed the few large (over 1.5 million) cities that aren't district capitals, and labeled them. Then I placed the medium cities. I figure that's enough labeled city data for the topo version of the map. Then for the political map I put names on all the medium cities - those in Zanannia anyway. I tried to deprecate the importance of the neighboring nation by not labeling the mediums. <shrug> - I could go either way on that, it's only four more names.
Here's the question - I was planning on placing the myriad small cities, and just not labeling them. After all, that's 60+ named places already - probably plenty at this scale. I figured adding dots for smaller places would let me show population distribution better. But I'm now thinking adding another 3x the existing cities will clutter things too much. Opinions? I put "about the right number" on the two southeastern districts as examples, on the second of these two versions. Smaller dots maybe? Skip the small ones altogether?
Here's how the topo looks with this many big and medium cities. I wouldn't put the small ones on this in any case.
Also, when I've speckled unlabeled small cities on a map before, sometimes I've implied that's all there are, by putting a lower bound on size in the legend. And sometimes I've left it open, with a caveat in the legend something like "only principal small cities shown". I know the whole Zanannian nation is invented, so whatever I say (or Zann says), goes, in general. Somehow the latter choice, explicitly saying "these are by no means all" just seems more realistic. For example most million-population cities will have a halo of smaller municipalities around them. In those cases folks speaking to someone from far away will say they're from, say, Dallas, TX, rather than Plano or Irving, which are decent-sized cities in their own right. Or maybe that's a poor example, since Texans are pretty proud of place :-). Okay, *I* (just 700 miles away) would describe a relative living there as being from Dallas rather than Plano, how about that?
Does one not even bother noting that the biggest cities shown are one flavor or another of "metropolitan area" without regard to city limits and how many incorporated municipalities there are?
Any commentary or criticism in general?
Zann, I used mostly Roman, Italian, French and Esperanto as bases for the city names. You'll see a few English bits too, and I guess Roman whatever-opolis really are Greek origin. Some have actual meanings (Sekurahaveno, Saltuscedro, Fajra-cieux), some are synthetic (put whatever meaning you wish on the repeated Sie/Sipa prefixes), and some are just glued-together pieces of real city names.
You'll notice (hopefully only if you stare) uneven spacing in the names... when using pixel fonts, one may be too tight & two too spread <shrug> ... I erred on the side of legibility.
I guess I've always had the innate assumption that fantasy lands held all sorts of stuff that wasn't on the map; the stuff on the map is what's needed in the book / developed in the setting / etc. So I see no particular need for a note saying "there's more than what you see" -- but that's just my two cents. I'd vote for leaving off the unlabeled dots, but they may be of use to Zann in further developing the world.
I personally think that you shouldn't put the little cities on there. In CS Lewis' Narnia series, he didn't bother putting every single little town on the map, only the ones relative to the story... I think that leaving the small cities off the map will make it easier for me, that way I can place them where I wish....
Also I see your point in the suburb type thing. I actually live in Dallas, so I loved your example... xD
I can't notice anything wrong with the font size, and I love the names! It looks amazing!!
I'm going to call these two finished, unless somebody spots an outright goof.
I have to agree - adding a zillion smaller cities wouldn't do anything but clutter the view. I left the small dot on the key - Zann, if you ever want to add individual smaller places yourself small round dots would do.
I confess I built the district names up out of individually rotated letters... PhotoPlus doesn't have alignment of text along a curve, at least my older version doesn't. But when I looked at the topo map I got to thinking what topo map doesn't at least label mountain ranges. So I dug out my old copy of Serif's DrawPlus. It was a freebie, and curve-text was clunky, but I'd see what it would do. Bzzzzzt : Fail. Freebie it may have been, I had lost the registration key. Grrrr. Well, in the years since I'd downloaded it, maybe Serif had a later version for free (that's their marketing schtick - free older versions, cheap intermediate versions, to entice you to get the full-price later versions. Still way more reasonable than Photoshop, btw, even at full retail. And the older versions aren't crippled - they're still quite useful.) Voila (after a 100 Mb crawling download) something called a DrawPlus Starter Edition. Hmmm.... bells, whistles.... aha. Curves, and alignment of text. And in short order, mountain range names. Some have meanings, Zann, if you care:
Montes Claustra - barrier mountains
Montes Verdisa - green mountains
Montes Sussurro - whispering mountains
Catenamonti Argenti - silver range (or wealthy mtns)
Catenamonti Mediavi - central range
The Lyros are just named after whater Lyrocia District was named for.
None of these show the desert areas, etc, so I'm thinking I'll take a stab at a simple climate map.
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
Thanks for the tip on DrawPlus, jbg! I spent some extra cash on the wacom that came with PSE over the holidays thinking I'd be able to use it for text ---- but there's no kerning, and they made it abnormally space everything!! I'll give DrawPlus a try, since full-blown PS isn't in my budget and I hate using the borrowed computer (that has PS on it) for mapping if I don't absolutely have to.
Hey, just wondering, is it okay if you make a climate map? It'd look great on my factbook...