New Planet Unnamed - Realistic Sci Fi Universe
Greetings fellow Guild Peoples
I have been a long time artistic cartographer, from a very early age. I have built several worlds and used some of the techniques listed by other members. (will post pictures later)
I am currently trying to create a realistic planet to go with a story line ive had for years, as many of us have. I however keep having a problem, I cant quite get the right continent I want for my main story setting. Have any of you had similar difficulties?
Basically I am trying to make an Austrialian sized continent with weather/terrain like New Zeland. I am having difficulties because of placement on the map and placing mountains, while keeping the entire continent with decent rainfall (I reeely want this to be as realistic as possible)
The setting is this
Earth type planet with lower than average tectonic/volcanic activity, high mineral surface content, (possibly with rings) and visible craters.
85% water, mountains relativly eroded with some exceptions
very small continents nothing bigger than australia, only 2 are the size of australia, the rest are smaller islands - size of new zeland and england are common
Last edited by arsheesh; 04-07-2013 at 12:50 AM.
Reason: Requested Title Change
Cool landmasses! I suppose it depends on what type of technology you intend your world's cultures to have 200 years in the future, and what materials are available to them. But there have been a number of sci fi maps posted on this site and elsewhere. You might do a search.
If you want a realistic planet, you have to think about it being a sphere. That map you described as "the whole planet", doesn't look anything like a map of a whole sphere. What it should look like, depends on the particular projection you use, but whatever projection you use, a map of a full globe is going to show some sort of distortion (because you are distorting a sphere into a plane)
When you make a regional map of a globe, you can't just zoom in on a global map, you have to use a suitable projection for the extent and intent of the particular maps, and a global extent and a continental extent, require different projections. If you look at the graticule on the Korrachan map, it's fan shaped, which means it's in a conic projection which makes sense for a map at that scale.
Your coastlines also look a bit too consistently squiggly. If you look At earth, the coastline is, overall, a lot less squiggly than that, and the size and frequency varies considerably. So you have extremely squiggly places like Norway, or British Columbia, and fairly smooth areas like the Gulf of Guinea
Actually, Hai-Etlik makes a good point there. If you're planet doesn't have as much tectonic movement, that might make your coastlines smoother even than Earth's. Maybe. I could be wrong.
All good points, but might I also suggest looking at heavy rainfall and stormy regions, southern asia, vietnam, malaysia lots of squiggly due to runnoff. This planet has far more storms than earth, and more axial tilt. In addition earth continents sit as more plateaus sitting on top of the continental shelves, with mountains, think of this planet as having not very large plateaus, yet very large continental shelves, with mountains sticking up, and being eroded. or imagine earth with about 100m more ocean level and then you have lots of squiggly. But yea too much will look odd, so ill have areas near the deserts and arid regions have more smooth edges.
Also, this is just the beginning layout stage, I plan on using one of those gratuitices thingies I was looking at my atlas this morning, and I think ill use the same one that one uses for the main map of earth.
Last edited by ranger; 04-07-2013 at 08:30 PM.
So, that's really going to depend on how the major tectonic events lifted crust up. was there enough continental drift to actually create mountain building events? or are we looking at a no-plates scenario where all of the higher regions were formed by volcanic activity? In terms of coastline, rather than tectonic events, we can also have periods of interglaciation causing deep rifts in existing rock (think Norway and BC, for instance ). Also - does it have a moon? Tidal influences could matter, depending on the gravitational pulls involved (a 10-meter daily tide would do a LOT of weathering). Given how much water there is, there will be a lot of rainfall all over the place, and while you'll still have to deal with rain shadows, I'd more worry about hurricanes slamming into coastal areas on a regular basis.
Originally Posted by Chashio
Since the world is about 80% covered in water, the orbital eccentricity and planetary inclination will matter from a seasonal perspective, as well as the distance of this planet from its star, will matter a great deal when it comes to the types of weather that it has - as a rule, further out is colder, but with such extreme oceans, it could conceivably be further out and still have a decent temperature.
Also, Having high mineral content at the surface without tectonic activity is going to be tough, since unless they are forcibly thrust up through volcanic or mountain building events, heavy minerals are going to sink.
I think to help out here, we need some story details.
Last edited by Schyzm; 04-07-2013 at 08:30 PM.
Earth sided planet
more axial tilt, temperature spread more evenly, slightly cooler than earth, causing more temperate climate
It has tectonics just they dont move often, they caused most of the smaller islands from upheval, the larger continents are just higher areas in the middle of rather large plates and continental shelves
in addition, im going on the assumption that we have here on earth on where most of our metals are actually from
The Earth's most precious metals arrived on meteorites (Wired UK)
this solar system has far more asteroids than sol system, bombarding the planet with very heavy asteroids in the recent past, more recent times last million years or so has seen a decrease due to gravational influence of nearby gas giants sweeping up most of the non standard orbits of asteroids, while the system has 3 fairly dense asteroid belts and 4 gas giants of similar size to jupiter, one in the inner system, and the other 3 in the outer system
this planet is slightly farther out in orbit of its habital zone causing the slight decrease in temperature, with the oceans keeping the temperature stabilized, it has large portions that are relativly shallow oceans allowing them to be warmer over a greater area, but its circulation patterns keeping the oceans from being much warmer than the tropical areas of the earth waters. This warm water causes alot more moisture in the air, thus releasing it on the land, yet 2 deserts sill exist on the planet due to hadley cells, and cooler water convergence
attached map to show rough biomes and rough tectonics
also I am toying with the idea of 2 moons
Last edited by ranger; 04-07-2013 at 10:46 PM.
The degree of squiggle is really the least concern I have. The consistency of it is more of an issue. It's just too regular. That could be explained as a stylistic choice by a cartographer who lacked precise geometry for the coastline, that has been done with real historical maps, but it doesn't make sense for the "real" geometry of the coast.
Originally Posted by ranger
The biggest issue though is the arrangement of the world map and projections. If you want a realistic map, this is something you should really get figured out before you draw anything. In your case, as your world map is rectangular, I'll assume it's meant to be in some sort of Cylindrical projection, and presumably a Normal one (the equator is a striaght horizontal line on the map).
The "parallels" of a graticule are circles around the poles. The closer to the pole you get, the smaller the circle. Of them, only the equator is a "great circle" (The equivalent of a straight line in spherical geometry). On a normal cylindrical map, all the parallels are lines that run the width of the map. You can pick a particular pair of parallels to be "true" (the standard parallels) but any parallel outside them (close to the poles) will be stretched out and anything between them (closer to the equator) will be squashed.
The poles are likewise shown as lines the width of the map, but in real life they are single points without length. So the distortion is effectively infinite at the poles. A coastline enclosing a pole should span across the map and not touch the top/bottom. If the coastline runs exactly through the pole, it would appear as coming straight out from the top/bottom at precisely opposite meridians.
Assuming your original map was normal equidistant cylindrical and covered the entire globe, here it is in the same projection with the equator as the standard parallel and Earth's coastline superimposed. Note how Antarctica's coastline wraps around without touching the south pole. Also note how the shapes of the Earth coastlines are 'stretched' or 'smeared' out east-west the closer you get to the poles, any map in this projection should show that same stretching.
To get an idea of what the poles actually look like, here they are in stereographic projections.
There also also projections that can ensure everything is the correct size (at the expense of distorting shapes). This is an area preserving projection called Mollweide.
Here's a stereographic projection centred on the area you are focused on. Stereographic is a "shape preserving" projection which gets angles right, but distorts area more. As it's confined to an area near the centre of the projection, the amount of distortion is fairly small and greatest in the corners.
Finally, this is what your planet looks like from space (Orbital radius 6.6 times the radius of the planet, which would be a synchronous orbit for Earth)
Of course, all of those depend on assuming the original map was in that particular projection, but it's going to come out a bit wonky looking no matter what you assume there unless you work whatever the correct distortion for that projection is into it.