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Thread: My first cartography project: Regional map of Londholor

  1. #1
      Nycidian is offline
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    Wip My first cartography project: Regional map of Londholor

    I am brand new to these forums I just learned about this place about two days ago while I was searching for ideas and references for my first cartography project. I am highly impressed by what I have seen here hopefully I can get some good feedback on my project.

    This following is a regional map of the pathfinder setting I am creating, Londholor. I still have a ridiculous amount of work to do but I think its heading towards what I want. The issues I see right now are:

    • It's a bit too clean looking due to using vector graphics program although I can probably fix this down the road using filters.
    • I'm not entirely happy with my borders, but I'm not sure exactly what is missing from them.
    • I need to work on the map key Its far too plain.
    • I would like to see what people think about my mountains.





    My first cartography project: Regional map of Londholor-periconearexample.png

    Thanks for your time.

    Edit to add next version

    Version #2

    My first cartography project: Regional map of Londholor-periconearexample2.png
    Last edited by Nycidian; 06-27-2014 at 12:50 PM.

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      Freodin is offline
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    That looks like a great start for a first project.
    - if you are going to "grunge up" your clear lines, be sure to keep your layers seperated, so that you can apply different effects to different objects.
    - for the borders, you could try to add some black dotted / dashed lines to emphazise them.
    - in my view, the key is fine. You could try to tone down the background brightness a little bit though... as it is now, it stands out a little too much
    - your style with the mountains is very subtle and unobstrusive. It fits very well with a style of map where the focus is more on political and societal units than geological features.

    Some other things that I think you should adress:
    - as it is now, your coastal "shadow lines" and the texture of your ocean clash horrible. You could try toning down the texture a lot, or, as I would do, replace it with some very subtle wavy texture. Perhaps you should turn down the saturation of the blue colour a notch as well.
    - the rhumb lines (the lines going out from the compass rose) and the curved graticule lines do not work together. They represent different kinds of map projection that contradict each other.
    - personally, I am not a big fan of the pink glow you gave to your sea labels. If you changed your ocean texture or the saturation, you might manage to get rid of the need for such a glow completely. Else, a suble light blue, grey or even just transparency for the ocean texture might be better choices.
    - is that really a "reBublic wall" on the map, or is that just a typo?

  3. #3
      Nycidian is offline
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    First off thanks for the reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    That looks like a great start for a first project.
    - if you are going to "grunge up" your clear lines, be sure to keep your layers seperated, so that you can apply different effects to different objects.
    Yup layers are your friend, so far I have 41 layers and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    - for the borders, you could try to add some black dotted / dashed lines to emphasize them.
    I was thinking more about repeated slanted black lines that fade out like the borders do, basically fancy dotted lines. But more than suggestions on what to do I was wondering if you think I should do something at all? Do you think the effect as is is clearly a border or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    - in my view, the key is fine. You could try to tone down the background brightness a little bit though... as it is now, it stands out a little too much
    To be clear you're talking about the off white and light blue background behind the words?


    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    - as it is now, your coastal "shadow lines" and the texture of your ocean clash horrible. You could try toning down the texture a lot, or, as I would do, replace it with some very subtle wavy texture. Perhaps you should turn down the saturation of the blue colour a notch as well.
    Again to be clear, do you think they clash due to them both being black and overlapping or do you think the shape of the pattern and the shape of the coast lines clash, or some combination of both? I ask because which type of clash will influence how I proceed in fixing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    - the rhumb lines (the lines going out from the compass rose) and the curved graticule lines do not work together. They represent different kinds of map projection that contradict each other.
    I never consciously realized thats what those were for. I added them mostly for looks although on some level I must have connected it as the "curved graticule lines" (Thanks for the names BTW, I never knew) seem to match how my map is projected.

    I'll move the compass to approximately the middle and get rid of all the rhumb lines except for the north south one I think that will match the projection then although I probably will need to change the look of it as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    - personally, I am not a big fan of the pink glow you gave to your sea labels. If you changed your ocean texture or the saturation, you might manage to get rid of the need for such a glow completely. Else, a suble light blue, grey or even just transparency for the ocean texture might be better choices.
    This I'll have to put off until I decide how to deal with the ocean pattern, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    - is that really a "reBublic wall" on the map, or is that just a typo?
    That unfortunately was my dyslexia, its fixed now.



    Thanks again for all the help, and if you could clarify those few points I would greatly appreciate it.
    Last edited by Nycidian; 06-27-2014 at 07:23 AM.

  4. #4
      Freodin is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nycidian View Post
    I was thinking more about repeated slanted black lines that fade out like the borders do, basically fancy dotted lines. But more than suggestions on what to do I was wondering if you think I should do something at all? Do you think the effect as is is clearly a border or not?
    Personally, I would add some more clearly defined (black) borders. But the best way to find out would be to try it and see what you like more.

    To be clear you're talking about the off white and light blue background behind the words?
    Exactly. It is by far the brightest part of the whole map, and I think it draws to much attention. But again: you might just try some variations and chose your favorite.


    Again to be clear, do you think they clash due to them both being black and overlapping or do you think the shape of the pattern and the shape of the coast lines clash, or some combination of both? I ask because which type of clash will influence how I proceed in fixing it.
    Both. Where the lines and the pattern overlap, it almost disolves the lines, reducing the effectiveness of your clear line style. The pattern itself does not really jive with the styles you used for the rest of the map.

    I never consciously realized thats what those were for. I added them mostly for looks although on some level I must have connected it as the "curved graticule lines" (Thanks for the names BTW, I never knew) seem to match how my map is projected.

    I'll move the compass to approximately the middle and get rid of all the rhumb lines except for the north south one I think that will match the projection then although I probably will need to change the look of it as well.
    "Graticule" is the term for a two dimenstional grid. Longitude and latitude are the lines used for geographical means. That your (latitude) lines are curves just hints at a certain kind of projection.
    A grid (or graticule) of longitude and latitude lines provides informations about the geographical position on your maps. Rhumb lines provide informations about direction. Thus in order to have meaningful rhumb lines - or a compass rose - on your map, you need to have a projection that keeps a constant direction all over your map.
    If you want to keep the curved lines, that means that your direction changes over your map - the lines in your case show the direction of "east" and "west". Thus it would not be advisable to add a compass rose to the map. If you want to keep the compass as an element of style, it would be better to get rid of the graticule and keep the rhumb lines... you could even add some more, at different "centers". Look at this thread for some good info.

    That unfortunately was my dyslexia, its fixed now.
    Fixing typos in labels takes up most of the time for my maps... and I don't have dyslexia. I feel with you.

  5. #5
      Nycidian is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post

    That your (latitude) lines are curves just hints at a certain kind of projection.
    I actually did project my map, when I designed it I did so on an Icosahedron unwrapped so I could easily view it in Blender (A 3d graphics program) and make sure everything aligned and had the least amount of distortion those latitude lines are approximately where they would be on a sphere, instead of the funky lines you get from the method I used.

    My first cartography project: Regional map of Londholor-blender_demo.png

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