nice map and colours though on something that scale I don't think Rhumb lines makes much sense. graticules would be better on a world map.
This is a world that I have been attempting to draw for a couple of years now. No idea if this will be the final shape of it, but so far I like it and am really thinking this may be 'it'. I'm hesitant to post it here, mostly because I have no idea if I'll finish (here's hoping!), but I want to see what other people think.
That image is at 33% original size, I like working BIG I really like the ocean colors I've done and land colors. I plan on adding country/city/etc. names and maybe heraldry and other stuff.
What I'm really worried about is the mountains. What they look like and where they're placed. I'm not completely finished with them but I think I have most of the mountains in there. I was trying to go for a realistic look, but I'm not sure about them. I'm also wondering if the 'green' and 'dry' areas on the continents make sense.
Thoughts are welcome!
I'm not really familiar with the terms rhumb lines and graticules. After a quick google search I'm guessing the rhumb lines is from the compass I have, and graticules would be the grid thing? I'm partial to the rhumb lines but I think I see what you mean. I'll try it out
I believe it may have something to do with the projection you are using for your world map which makes the rhumb lines inappropriate. While I like the way rhumb lines look, I think they work better for more regional maps.
Whatever lines you decide to go with though, I would suggest lowering the opacity of them so they are more subtle. I think the stark white lines are a bit too distracting to the rest of the map (which looks great).
Hi BookOwl. Thanks for posting your map. I like the colors of ocean, ice, green and arid areas. I like the icebergs breaking away. The mountain ranges, I like the placement, but yes they look strange, veiny, linear, and kind of low looking. The mtns on some of the green islands actually look better to me.
What type of "map projection" are you using? I've learned it could be important to know with a global map. The top and bottom of your map are probably very stretched out because of map projection, so, the land near the top and bottom is "actually" a different size (smaller) than what is depicted. The compass lines are confusing, making it seem like the equater is very far south (where your worldwide horizontal line is), where a graticule (global grid of latitude and longitude) would help to show the map projection and how the projection is affecting the angles, area, or shapes. Also just remember with the wrap-around, your top-left and top-right areas are nearly touching ("I can see Russia from here!"). Good luck with your map progress!
Larb- I tried out some graticule lines and do believe it looks better than the rhumb lines. And thanks for the suggestion to turn down the opacity of the lines, looks way better, I think
Gold- I have very little idea of what a map projection is. I guess I was trying to use whatever projection is used for rectangular maps of earth.
I do understand that the top and bottom of the map is stretched. Is there some other way I should draw it or something?
And thanks for pointing out about the top corners nearly touching on a globe. I might put a bit more ocean between them
Here's an updated image with graticule lines instead of rhumb! Opacity turned way down, is this the way graticule lines should look?
I'm going to try some experimenting with the mountains and try to get them to look more like mountains
I think it might be Equirectangular map projection. If it is equirectangular then you can import it to GProjector (free program from NASA folks) which I learned about from Hai-Etlik here on Cartographer's Guild, along with half of this info I'm attempting to share. With GProjector you can see your map rendered in many different map projections -- very fun. If it is not equirectangular and turns out to be Mercator projection, or something else I didn't spot, then your graticule would need some changes probably. The 2 pictures on Wikipedia for Equirectangular Projection are helpful.
I think you would enjoy learning basics of map projections anyway. It is a factor in your world mapping and will help you as a world mapper. The reason for map projections is you are mapping the surface of a sphere (a globe), onto a flat rectangle. Imagine cutting open a basketball and trying to flatten it out on the ground. Because of the curves of the Earth, it comes out strangely on flat paper, the strangeness can be called distortion. Different types of map projections have different types of distortion (area, distance, angle, shape). The 2nd pic on the wiki link above shows the distortion on equirectangular maps. Just recently I learned about all this from links and posts mostly from Cartographer's Guild. It might affect your graticule spacing, or you may have nailed it (that looks like equirectangular graticule if I'm not mistaken). Google Earth, G Projector, and Fractal Terrains 3, all make graticules automatically with choosing various settings and options.
Last edited by Gold; 03-06-2013 at 11:56 PM. Reason: adding links
Really, projections are something you need to think about before you start drawing the map. They ALL cause some form of distortion and you have to understand that distortion and draw it into the map, otherwise what you've done is distorted the features themselves in order to compensate.
Think about what it means to put a globe on a rectangle. In your case, the equator and lines running straight north-south are "true" but other lines are distorted. If you walk along the 45th parallel on a globe, it will be about 70% of the length of the equator, but on your map, it's exactly the same length. The 75th parallel is only 25% as long as the equator, and at the poles, you have single points without length, but on your map they are infinitely stretched out to become lines as long as the equator. So as you get closer to the poles, everything gets stretched out east-west on a cylindrical map. Equidistant Cylindrical leaves north-south distance alone, so shapes on the map should be progressively more and more stretched out sideways as you near the poles. If they shapes aren't stretched on the map, then it means that the the real shapes are "pinched" in toward the poles.
Other projections try to compensate. Mercator adds a north-south stretch equal to the east-west stretch, which keeps shapes/angles correct. It also drastically distorts areas, and pushes the infinitely stretched poles infinitely far away. It was created for marine navigation as it preserves compass bearings, which makes it the only projection where you can have a whole world, and put a compass rose on it (compass roses are not decorative, they are there to indicate that the map preserves bearings)
The other main cylindrical projection is the Equal Area Cylindrical projection which does the opposite of Mercator, squashing north-south where it stretched east-west so it balances out and keeps the area the same, but distorts the shape even more. Gall-Peters and Hobo-Dyer are both particular cases of this projection. It's ugly, hard to read, and generally no good far anything. There are non-cylindrical Equal Area projections that are far superior like Mollweide and Aittoff. Equal area maps are generally used for thematic maps that display data like population or weather, not for reference or navigation maps.
There are loads of other non-cylindrical projections including Azimuthal, Conic, Pseudocylindrical, and Hybrid projections. Modern world maps tend to use Hybrid projections like Robinson and Winkel Tripel, which both have sort of oblong shapes.
NASA has released a free program called "G.Projector" which can take Equidistant cylindrical maps and reproject them. Doing so will make the distortion you've drawn into your land quite obvious though.
Here are views of the north and south poles from space: "Vertical Perspective" in G.Projector.
Gold- Yes I believe it is equirectangular, two times as wide as it is tall right? I think I'm starting to understand, just a little, about projections. I never really thought about it before. And thanks for the links, I'm going to check those out.
Hai-Etlik- Wow, a lot of info there. I had no idea this stuff was so important. Thanks for explaining the parallels like that, I completely understand now. And thanks for explaining some of the projections, I understand a bit better now. I just downloaded G.Projector and as far as I'm concerned, that program is amazing! I apologize if this is something you already explained somewhere in there, but how do I fix the distortion in my map? I see the distortion pretty clearly in the image you uploaded, but is there anyway to fix it?
Thanks for all the info! (Which I will now think about and google to learn more )
I think its just a matter of going back to the base image, trying to alter it, uploading it back to g. projector, seeing it, altering it again etc. etc. until your'e happy! At least that's what i do.
If there's an easier way I'd love to know!