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Thread: Ewlah - a continental map

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    Rik
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    Wip Ewlah - a continental map

    Hello, fellow map lovers.

    1. You won't remember me; I've not posted on these forums for years, though I do pop beck in every now and then to check out other people's work.

    2. I've had a fair amount of spare time over the past year, so I've been re-working my main map to make it look a bit more professional. It's still a work-in-progress, so comments and critiques are very welcome -- for instance, the rivers need some tributary trimming, but should I trace main rivers deep into the mountains?

    (Warning: map file is around 2.6Mb -- click with care)

    3. I'm also developing a website to go with the map - it's very much at the late-alpha stage ... The Lands of Ewlah. Feedback on the website would be very useful to me.

    Best wishes,
    Rik.

    Ewlah - a continental map-bigmap.jpg
    Pasch, Diamond, Vellum and 2 others like this.

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      jbgibson is offline
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    Wow. That's gorgeous. About the only suggestion I could offer might be to fade your border linework right under labels.

    Hmmm - maybe instead of removing rivers, just emphasize the main ones with another pixel or so of width?

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      Hai-Etlik is offline
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    The mountains are rather odd. The "spine down the middle" structure makes sense for islands, but not continents. Continents have mountains along boundaries, either coastlines (Like the Andes), or boundaries between "lumps" (like the Himalayas between Eurasia and India)

    Using the projection indicated by the graticule over that extent would lead to significant and very noticeable distortion (everything at the top of your map would be stretched out east-west by a factor of 2), which your features don't show, and that means that the features themselves are distorted the opposite way (pinched in east-west) to compensate. No real life cartographer would use this projection for this map. They would probably use a Transverse Cylindrical projection (Most likely Transverse Mercator), or maybe something more exotic like a Two Point Equidistant (Often used for Asia), or Chamberlain Trimetric (Often used for Africa). As it doesn't extend too far south of the equator, a conic projection like Lambert Conformal Conic could also be used although I think that would be pushing it. Unless you've committed to things being where that graticule says they are, say be working this into a larger global map, you could most easily solve this by just changing the graticule and leaving the features alone.

    "Meridian" is a term for any great circle through the poles, not just the one we choose to use as the basis for a coordinate system. That basis one is the "Prime Meridian" and in modern cartography we largely agree to use the meridian through Greenwich Observatory. You seem to have dropped yours in the middle of the map and it doesn't seem to run through any major cities. The only really practical concerns are established usage and the discontinuity on the far side which means it's desirable to have it avoid populated land. Otherwise it tends to amount to running it through something important like a capital or religious site. If you haven't already, you might want to think about where it should be and why. Picking this to fit your particular map extent can lead to it looking artificial. It's also not that common to highlight the prime meridian the way we highlight the equator, and even the equator tends not to be emphasized so much on maps with restricted extents compared to global maps.

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      Lyandra is offline
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    Well, I think your map looks really great. The amount of detail is stunning. Don't let Hai-Etlik's constructive criticism overwhelm you, just make the best of it without having to change the whole map. ^^ It's fantasy cartography after all (we can always come up with an otherworldly explanation for the weirdness of those odd terrain features^^) and there are a few of us here who can actually call themselves professional cartographers. There is always a second version to consider as well... We have to remember that it's knowledge about real life cartography among other things that makes us better at what we do here. Don't be afraid to try mapping your world again. After all we all learn from our mistakes. After what you've learned from Hai-Etlik I'm sure your next map would be truly awesome.

    I had a look at your website and it seems that you have a major world building project going on. I admire you for your perseverance. Keep at it and may your maps look more realistic in the future! (If that is your wish of course^^)

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    Rik
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    Hi, Hai-Etlik. Many thanks for the detailed feedback. I do understand your concerns, and will try to respond to them.

    You're right that the current map doesn't show the real shape of the continent. I had a software program on my old computer (can't remember the name of it now) which could convert this sort of map into various projections. The continent is, as you say, a lot slimmer at the top:

    Ewlah - a continental map-google-ewlah.png

    I try to explain the mountains by claiming that Ewlah is a relatively new continent formed from a number of colliding microcontinents and island arc chains -- sometimes I almost believe this fiction myself, though the truth is that I first drew the map almost 4 decades ago, complete with very unrealistic orogeny. It does lead to some head-scratching mountain formations, but I kinda like them ...

    The prime meridian shown in this map runs through an observatory on top of a mountain in Pesan Aframig, and also (by chance) passes through the middle of a town in the Land of Raman, not too distant from the second largest city on the continent. Previously I had the meridian running through the southern-most tip of the largest continent, which had the unfortunate effect of putting the dateline through the middle of Ewlah, so I count this as an improvement. I take your point about the heaviness of the lines on the map - easily changed as they're on their own layer.

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      Lyandra is offline
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    Nice explanations for the oddities. May I ask in what program have you made this map? Despite their unrealistic placing I really like the look of the mountains. Rivers look great too.

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    Rik
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyandra View Post
    Nice explanations for the oddities. May I ask in what program have you made this map? Despite their unrealistic placing I really like the look of the mountains. Rivers look great too.
    Thank you!

    I used The Gimp to make this map.

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      Lyandra is offline
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    That is impressive!

    How have you achieved the relief look of the mountains though? Have you drawn rivers by hand or have you generated them somehow? I'm really curious about your technique Would you share it with us?

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    Rik
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyandra View Post
    That is impressive!

    How have you achieved the relief look of the mountains though? Have you drawn rivers by hand or have you generated them somehow? I'm really curious about your technique Would you share it with us?
    Basically, because I'm crap at artistic stuff, I cheated.

    Most of my time on this iteration of the map has been spent on developing a detailed greyscale elevation map thingy of the continent - after which it was dead easy to use a mixture of emboss and blur functions to generate the mountains. Then I added some layers to make the map more colourful.

    I've drawn all the rivers by hand, using the elevation map thingy as a guide to ensure water only flows downhill. I admit to getting a bit carried away with the tributaries; I'm planning to cull a lot of them at some point ...

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      bartmoss is offline
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    Nice update to this map. Believe it or not, I have an older version saved in my "inspiration" folder, locally on my PC.

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