Edit July 1: I've put the current newest images as of now in the first post. See the latest post later, I won't always be updating this one.
Thank you for all the comments and compliments. I like the texture myself because it gives the image character and visual depth I think.
Anyway, here is something I have been working on. Learned lots of new stuff in Photoshop and started off with Illustrator on the way.
I have decided to take information off the original image, presenting that as a satellite image. I have made a political map to put all the information on, and I have added more cities and population data and economic data (yes those numbers are right) and there is a mini-map showing the location of the archipelago in the world. Suggestions and comments for both are very welcome.
I'll update the starting post of this thread with the newest images too. The satellite style image hasn't been updated much yet. Some tweaks are coming for that one, but I'm still pretty content with how it looks currently.
I'm also going to look into reworking the map into more different styles.
I am curious what you guys think of the political map. How should I improve it further?
Thanks for this great forum and for the nice people here.
The archipelago is located in the pacific. From the western edge of Awenlye to the eastern edge of Sirodcer is 1786 km, horizontally. Land area is 1,151,991 km2, as large as France and Spain combined plus around 100k km2. In 2012 it is inhabited by a modern powerful technocratic society mostly composed of the native people that managed to fend off colonization attempts earlier in history, that thrives on trade, production/exporting and offshore oil deposits. It is close to the equator. Syanall, the capital, is an ancient huge city hewn out of the surrounding mountain walls. Cities used to be part of individual autonomous competing states and cities gained prestige for their beautiful architecture, which was continually improved. In the absence of warfare from other countries, cities flourished into distinct architectural masterpieces. Only citizens get to enjoy said beauty because only citizens may wander the islands freely and those with a hard to get visum are allowed controlled access to the islands. They do this to prevent what they see as pollution of their lands by foreigners. They despise ugly concrete cities and superficial societies. To become a citizen and be worthy of living amongst them in the eyes of the society, one needs to prove him or herself. Similarly, in their late teens, native young adults are sent into the world where they must prove themselves in order to be allowed to return. The Smaeyaugh enjoy the highest standard of education and living in the world.
The resolution is lowered due to the forum's limits. The first is without names and the second is with. It is my second attempt at making a map, using what I learned from this awesome website.
I'm thinking of adding smaller veins for the rivers, but I think the map would become a little too crowded with rivers if I did that.
I'd love to hear what you all think, even if you hate it, and ideas on how to improve on any aspect of it are appreciated a lot. It is intended as a satellite picture style map.
edit: I just realized that you can't read the city names on the low res version of the map. Here is a higher res one: http://www.mediafire.com/?ddftufbmqd2ocz2