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Thread: [WIP] Aetherworld Map: Water flows up mountains too, right? Help with Rivers.

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    Guild Apprentice wittyoctopus's Avatar
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    Wip [WIP] Aetherworld Map: Water flows up mountains too, right? Help with Rivers.

    Hello to all. I have been working on the attached map for about four weeks now. Sadly I did not think to read the river tutorial until after I had placed all of my primary rivers and lakes. This map was/is being created using a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop. I've only been working in photoshop for about four months so I'm still learning the ropes, but the tutorials I've found around here have been invaluable in getting me this far.

    I'm fairly pleased with my mountains and hills. All were "hand" drawn using a wacom that West2/Mark Mahaffey so kindly loaned me.

    I could really use some critique of my rivers. I feel like some are O.K. but others are in serious violation of the rules. Therefore, calling all river flow nazis, help me fix my rivers.

    Let me know if I'm being too demanding/needy. I'm new to the forum and to this type of work and don't want to step on any toes right out of the gate.


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    Aetherworld Map

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      Ramah is offline
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    Hey there.

    I really like the look of your map. The palette is right up my street, as is the style. But to be honest, I was really having trouble concentrating on your rivers because the dark brown blurred stroke you have used that seems to denote borders is overpowering. I'd lower the opacity on that by a large amount personally.
    But aside from that yeah, I can see your rivers aren't great. I can see several that stretch from coast to coast and lakes with several outflows.

    With those fixed and those dark brown borders this would be a real looker.
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    Guild Apprentice wittyoctopus's Avatar
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    Raman, thanks for the criticism. I see what you are saying on both accounts, and now that I think about it and after re reading some of the river tutorials I feel silly looking at my rivers, but then again that's why this is still a work in progress. The multiple outflows to the lakes and the rivers running cross continent are probably my two most glaring mistakes. Thanks again for the advice.

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    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Ramah, caught them already, but notice the tag under my name "river police" - pull over, let's see your license and registration.

    Rivers start from a spring, lake, snow cap melt, glacial melt - some inland source. Rivers flow downhill. Sometimes rivers merge with another river, sometimes there are islands within a river, but rivers never split downstream. Rivers end at the sea, or some other body of water that eventually reaches the sea (not always).

    You can have a river that starts inland and ends in a lake inland, however rivers never connect to the sea in two different places. River deltas are an exception to that rule, but that is the cause of very flat, slow muddy parts of the river, where mud deposits change the channel of a river forming multiple channels to the sea.

    Rivers are the most regularly mauled geographic feature by amateur cartographers. Fix your rivers.

    You also have a lake in the southeastern part of the map, that has three or so rivers exiting the lake and going to the sea - that can never happen either. Only a single river should leave the lake and reach the sea.
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 02-07-2012 at 02:55 PM.
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    Guild Apprentice wittyoctopus's Avatar
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    Yes officer, *hangs head in shame*. I think I left my license and registration at the house.

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      Hai-Etlik is offline
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    You didn't actually ask about this, but the shape of your planet is even more impossible than your rivers.

    First, your latitudes go past 90° in both directions. Now, there is sort of a way of interpreting it, as going on pas the pole and down the other side. So 100° N 60° E would end up at 80° N 120° W. Obviously, we don't generally make maps like this though and your map doesn't show the rotated copy of the map this would produce so it can't be a sphere. Maybe a torus would work?

    You have drawn meridians and parallels as equally spaced straight lines which would normally mean you are using a Plate Carree projection, except the numbering on them is different. So it's an Equidistant Cylindrical projection but the meridians are actually more spaced out than the parallels, so the projection surface off in space (nonsecant) rather than touching the surface (tangent) or cutting through it (secant) as is normally the case. This is never used in practice because it just adds distortion, the places where the projection touches/cuts the surface are where distortion is minimized, and the further apart they are, the more distortion there is.

    If we assume that it is in some form of equidistant cylindrical projection, and that the labeling is off. Then it doesn't display the horizontal distortion that the projection would produce. Also, a compass rose isn't appropriate for such projections as they do not preserve compass bearings. It'd probably work better if you re-interpreted it as being in Mercator projection by just swapping out the graticules. The only real problem there is that you might not reach the climates you are after unless you posit that the overall climate is cooler and so cold climates extend further south.

    If you want a Mercator graticule, you can get one here: http://hai-etlik.deviantart.com/art/...ines-176848667 or if you prefer rhumb lines http://hai-etlik.deviantart.com/art/...ines-176848667 they would also be appropriate for a Mercator map.

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    Guild Apprentice wittyoctopus's Avatar
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    Wow, Hai-Etlik, that is excellent advice. I guess my map is definitely showing my amateur roots. Especially since I had to go as far as to wikipedia some of your references just to have an idea about what exactly you were saying. You are exactly correct though, I'm way off with what I've got now. Definitely going to go with the Mercator projection, I think that makes the most sense. I had already considered that this "planet" was going to need to have a generally colder climate, I'm just impressed that you could see that that was the case. Thanks again for the excellent advice, and to anyone else who happens to stumble across this WIP and you see something that could use some fixing, even if I didn't ask about it, please feel free to point it out. Obviously, as my map so glaringly points out, I'm really new at this.

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      Hai-Etlik is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by wittyoctopus View Post
    Wow, Hai-Etlik, that is excellent advice. I guess my map is definitely showing my amateur roots. Especially since I had to go as far as to wikipedia some of your references just to have an idea about what exactly you were saying. You are exactly correct though, I'm way off with what I've got now. Definitely going to go with the Mercator projection, I think that makes the most sense. I had already considered that this "planet" was going to need to have a generally colder climate, I'm just impressed that you could see that that was the case. Thanks again for the excellent advice, and to anyone else who happens to stumble across this WIP and you see something that could use some fixing, even if I didn't ask about it, please feel free to point it out. Obviously, as my map so glaringly points out, I'm really new at this.
    Well, this stuff isn't really glaring to anyone who isn't an actual geographer/cartographer of some sort. Most people in the guild don't pay attention to it. There are a few of us who have some sort of background in real geography/cartography/GIS and we sometime pop up to make some arcane and incomprehensible suggestion about projections, ellipsoids, and graticules.

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    Guild Apprentice wittyoctopus's Avatar
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    Fair enough, but if I'm going to put my time and energy into a project like this I would prefer that it make some sort of logical sense. Hence my desire to get the rivers at least somewhat correct, and now to fix the graticules. So with that said please continue to throw your "arcane" comments in my direction.

  10. #10
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    So as far as river rules are concerned they could be summed up in the words of Sheldon Cooper. "Gravity thou art a heartless bitch."

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