Mappa Mundi I
I do plan to come back to the map development in the thread "In Principio," but I've been busy with a class I've just started teaching, and then I impulsively created this map a few days ago in GIMP.
It is intended to be a mappa mundi approximately eleventh century, probably originating in Britain (with a dash of anachronism in style and geographical knowledge). I modeled it mostly after the Anglo-Saxon Cottoniana, but with some of the stylization of other contemporary maps. Mountains were placed with a custom brush; the city markers were created in Inkscape (I know the greenish city background was a mistake). I never got as far as labels before I decided it wasn't coming together the way I planned and I would have to stop and rethink.
I realize there are a lot of problems with this map. I tried unsuccessfully to go two directions at once--authentically medieval in appearance but also detailed, legible, and (to me) aesthetically appealing--and I fell somewhere in the middle. I also started with too low a resolution to get much detail. Still, I thought I'd put it up for comments and recommendations. I haven't decided, for instance, what I would like to do with the cities. I like the idea of distinctive city "miniatures" within the map, but I'm not sure how best that would be accomplished. I'm also not sure about the mountains--I wanted to imitate the "rippling cloth" look of medieval representations of mountains (Ebstorf is a good mapped example), but I wasn't enthusiastic about the usual method of stringing them together with no perspective.
So, any advice?