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Thread: The whole world! Not sure which one though...

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      Datoria is offline
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    Wip The whole world! Not sure which one though...

    So I run a lot of role play games and all my homebrew pathfinder games to date have been set in a jungle I call Sinthar. I have a map of Sinthar and one of the towns, but I'm thinking of running a game in a larger country called Ardania. Now I thought it might be a good idea to make a world map before I get carried away, because I'm not so good at judging scale.

    I haven't named the world... but with some help from the Eriond tutorial and some mucking about in photoshop, I've got the basic terrain worked out. I've learned a whole lot, picked up Wilbur for the first time, even had to dip into GIMP which I'm not at all familiar with. Anyway, I'm liking how it looks and have reached a point where I need feedback. I've never tried a project like this, so I'm just being cautious. I think painting the sea, trees and making borders and such will be some next steps, but before I go there, is there anything really weird or off about the map? Or does anyone have some sage advice? I thought I should ask the experts...

    This is the most logical way I could think to lay the map out without distorion. I'll probably break it in four when I go in for more detail later, but any presentation advice is also welcome.


    This should wrap a sphere a bit like a tennis ball.
    Last edited by Datoria; 08-31-2012 at 07:41 PM. Reason: typos, grammer, cotton brain...

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      Redrobes is offline
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    Thats real nice and interesting layout. When you say presentation - do you mean how to display on a computer or are you thinking of making something physical to show the world ? You could go for a KMZ and show it on google earth, or I would think you could do a sphere in several sphere mapped apps out there. For a physical one, aside from getting a real earth globe and recovering the art with your map, you can get some other spheres like an exercise ball and cover that. From a 2D point of view there are a number of options.

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      Datoria is offline
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    Thanks, my eyes are starting to cross from staring at computer screens for so long (work and home, I need some non digital hobbies), so I didn't really explain myself very well. I've made the unwrap to work in Maya, which is the 3D software I'm currently most familar with. I may even use the height map to do some displacement and model the world in 3D at some point. So the second image is the 3D unwrap.

    However, I also want to present the map in 2D, so I was wondering if anyone knew of a good way to present a world map with the unfolded box layout I have above (the first image). The two parts I like best are the poles, so distorting it like how earth is often presented would be a waist :/ In 3D, I would call this layout a box sphere. Is there a term or technique like this in cartography to avoid distorion?

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      Simon33600 is offline
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    Well, my understanding is that you can either preserve distance or shape but not both... And in general, the poles are the regions suffering most, as it was the ones have tended to be the least interested in...

    There are a large number of projection types beyond the classical Mercator and each has its own advantage and drawback:

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


    Personally, I think that you could stick a compass on the first picture you posted and simply use that as your handout map. It does look pretty awesome!

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    Well I'm not yet familiar with 3D mapping, and my knowledge of 2d projections is rather limited as well, though I believe that Simon is right. I tend to agree with Simon's conclusion as well. Lovely work though, it turned out great.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

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      Hai-Etlik is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon33600 View Post
    Well, my understanding is that you can either preserve distance or shape but not both... And in general, the poles are the regions suffering most, as it was the ones have tended to be the least interested in...

    There are a large number of projection types beyond the classical Mercator and each has its own advantage and drawback:

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


    Personally, I think that you could stick a compass on the first picture you posted and simply use that as your handout map. It does look pretty awesome!
    It's area, angles, or distances along great circles through a particular point. (Equivalent, Conformal, and Equidistant respectively in cartography jargon) There are a few other special ones like the Gnomonic projection which maps great circles to straight lines. Stereographic which preserves circles, and Mercator which preserves bearings. (Stereographic and Mercator are both also examples of Conformal projections)

    Conformal projections are sometimes described as preserving "shape" but that's not really correct. (How can you preserve shape if you are distorting areas and distances?) They do approximately preserve shape at large scales (If you "zoom in" on a small area, shapes will be approximately correct).

    A compass would be completely inappropriate on the maps in question. Consider that "North" for instance is the middle of the topmost square. The only projection on which a compass is appropriate for small scale ("Zoomed out") maps like this is Mercator,

    Quote Originally Posted by Datoria View Post
    Thanks, my eyes are starting to cross from staring at computer screens for so long (work and home, I need some non digital hobbies), so I didn't really explain myself very well. I've made the unwrap to work in Maya, which is the 3D software I'm currently most familar with. I may even use the height map to do some displacement and model the world in 3D at some point. So the second image is the 3D unwrap.

    However, I also want to present the map in 2D, so I was wondering if anyone knew of a good way to present a world map with the unfolded box layout I have above (the first image). The two parts I like best are the poles, so distorting it like how earth is often presented would be a waist :/ In 3D, I would call this layout a box sphere. Is there a term or technique like this in cartography to avoid distorion?
    In cartography jargon, your "box sphere" is a collection of 6 different aspects of "gnomonic projection". In cartographic use, other polyhedra are used more commonly, particularly the regular Icosahedron. Even then, polyhedral gnomonic projections like this aren't heavily used as they involve large numbers of inconveniently placed interruptions. More interruptions reduce the distortion within the continuous region of the map, but they are themselves a form of distortion as the surface of a sphere doesn't have discontinuities. Any finite set of discontinuities will never eliminate the distortion in the continuous portions, and as the discontinuities approach infinity, the interrupted map actually approaches an "uninterrupted" projection. (For instance, if you take Interrupted Sinusoidal, and the number of gores (divisions) goes to infinity, the map approaches Equidistant Cylindrical)

    A more typical solution to this problem in cartography is the polar inset. You have your main map in one of the typical equatorial aspects, and then include additional sub-maps (insets) in polar azimuthal projections. For instance, a once common way to present maps was a hemispherical map. Two complete hemispheres in equatorial aspects of Stereographic, and then two polar aspect Stereographic insets: http://www.georgeglazer.com/archives...danckerts.html (some dispensed with the polar aspect and just had the two large equatorial ones) You can add polar aspect insets (or insets in any projection) to any map though. For instance, if you had a reference map in Winkel Tripel (Doesn't preserve anything but gives a good balance for an overview), and wanted to show population density data on an inset, you might use an equal area projection for it, like Mollweide or Hammer. Whereas if you wanted an inset for a large scale zoom of a section of the map, you'd want to use a regional projection appropriate to the extent (Transverse Mercator, conic, azimuthal, etc.)

    Ultimately you have to decide what you need to preserve, and what you are willing to give up to get it based on the specific requirements of your map. Anyone who claims to have a perfect or universal projection (Like the infamous Gall-Peters) lacks even a rudimentary understanding of cartography, or is lying.

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      Datoria is offline
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    Thanks, that's the sort of info I wanted to learn more about cartography It will give me some good reading. I think it will help me a lot that I have a 3D version to look at while I work, because in 3D it is a question of distortion versus seams as well.

    Here's what it looks wrapped to a sphere at the moment.
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/at...1&d=1346677095

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    I think the sphere looks great! I'm exceedingly amateur when it comes to projection on a 3D globe - hence why most of my maps are "flat maps" or sections of continents, a la Middle Earth style. What I would suggest that helped me tremendously with my first world is to spend a few dollars on an inflatable ball and tape on paper cutouts of your continents. It's not pretty to behold, but it's awesome to be able to hold your world in your hands. THE POWER! BWAHAHAHA! But seriously....it will really help your understanding of where the equator runs through and where deserts and rain shadows would be.

    I'm sure many other cartos on here would slap me for saying so, but if you have to sacrifice something, I say let the poles suffer. I figure, it's not like the adventurers will be making any forays into the far polar regions and/or what are the odds that the mappers within that world have survived the expeditions to map those areas anyway. Just sayin.

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      Datoria is offline
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    I understand why the poles are abandoned by a lot of map makers, but the main continent goes from the equator up to the pole and then over to the other side. I was looking at different methods particularly because I want to preserve the poles as they're central to the story I created the world for. I think what I might do is finish it as I'm working now, and then I'll have a sphere which I can experiment with. I'll try some of the methods Hai-Etlik is talking about and see how different my continents look when distorted in different ways It might even give me some great maps I can use in my games that look more like they were created by cartographers who haven't got modern technology versus accurate representations that, for example, powerful wizards might create. This is really helping me develop the project, but once again, I'm getting carried away. First I need to make my rivers make sense and make sure they aren't running up any mountains

    I also have to keep in mind that, as Hai-Etlik also said, a compass would make no sense in a map like this, but the whole point of having a world was so I could make smaller maps with accurate scales. So I suppose I can do those later.

    As you say Realmwright, it would be great to get an actual printed globe out of this by the end I will definitely look into achieving this at some point. How cool would it be to have a physical globe of my fantasy world for my games!

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    The only way I know you could do that would Google Earth. Check around for tuts, this place abounds with genius for that kinda stuff. Best of luck.

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