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    Default vector mapping?

    So does vector mapping work well? I was wondering if it would be possible to make maps that would only show things once you have zoomed down far enough for them to pop out. Is this a realistic expectation or am I going the wrong direction? What software should I use?

  2. #2
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    This is my ViewingDale in action on this guilds community world (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qELcbKXdRm8). I think you might also want to look at Fractal Mapper 8 or FM8 as its know which does a similar thing. There is also MapTool the VTT which has long zoom in it too.

    You can use vectors and technically it would do what you are asking but if the intention is to zoom such that a lot of your world is so small that the vector app would not want to show it then you would quickly find that it uses a lot of memory and takes a long time to redraw it even though its not going to display most of it. The apps above are optimized so that it fades out really small stuff and keeps the speed up - known as the management of Level Of Detail or LODs. If it does not do that then its holding the whole worlds worth of detail in memory at once which will get progressively worse with more detail added.

  3. #3

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    Thats really nice, was it a vector map or done in fractal mapper? My intention is not to do anything to the scale that you have. It'll be entirely b&w with hexes. It'll show a continent outline and I'd like to show major locations and smaller items as well. It's really for me so that in a year I can pull up a map hex and look to see what I've stuck in there.

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    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwsasser View Post
    Thats really nice, was it a vector map or done in fractal mapper? My intention is not to do anything to the scale that you have. It'll be entirely b&w with hexes. It'll show a continent outline and I'd like to show major locations and smaller items as well. It's really for me so that in a year I can pull up a map hex and look to see what I've stuck in there.
    No, I write ViewingDale (dot com link in my sig). Its a kind of half 'n half vector/raster app. It uses raster bitmaps for all the icons and mapping - no vector or hand drawing capability, but it displays them at any scale you like so that in most cases you can zoom into it. If you set up the bitmaps so that you add more detail in smaller icons then it zooms in with no loss of resolution. The app manages all the generation and handling of the multi-resolution bit of it. So your left with adding layers of maps into a world at read fantasy world scales instead of pixel scales. So then when you add a cart or a person or whatever, they always appear at the correct scale in relation to all the maps you have added.

    My advice is to try all the free ones like Fractal Mapper 8 trial with the links Mark has posted and if you dont find that suitable then you can look into the non free stuff like mine - actually there is a free trial of ViewingDale on the site too but its quite limited. As GP has mentioned, Xara is free on linux but costs on windows I believe. There is also Inkscape which is the open source free app similar to Adobe's Illustrator. There is CC3 which is non free, mainly vector as well as other odd ball ones too but all of these don't handle the LODs like I mentioned as they are not targeted specifically at the problem of displaying the whole world in one zoomable map.
    Last edited by Redrobes; 03-11-2011 at 07:33 AM.

  5. #5

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    All I want to do is make a b&w outline of a continent that I can zoom down to certain areas with. That way I know where I've placed certain villages, dungeons or whatever. If using illustrator or inkscape is the wrong thing to use, can you guys make some suggestions please?

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  7. #7

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    Technically, vector mapping is all I really do. Most fully featured vector apps can import raster images to alter and manipulate, or use as fills for vector shapes, but in many cases one can't really tell what the map was created in by viewing it. I use Xara Xtreme Pro 4 (Replaced with Xara Designer 6) to create all my maps. Some utilize 3D objects I create and render, cut-out the shapes, borrow shadows and place as map objects on an otherwise vector map. I also do hand-drawn work, digitally scanned, imported to Xara, then creating beveled shapes, feathering and drop shadows beneath the hand work to create a hybrid hand-digital map.

    Vector mapping is more broad and inclusive of images to create something that might otherwise be created in Photoshop or GIMP. Vector apps let me do it faster and less memory intensive on my PC.

    I also use the same app to do page layouts and cover designs for my published material, so I use it for many things, but really because I'm comfortable using it, I run a graphics shop and use the same software in my day job.

    Every map I have posted here since 2007, has been either totally created in Xara, or used to composite the other elements created with other software in Xara. I'm am a vector based cartographer, unlike most on these boards.

    GP
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    Publisher Mark Oliva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwsasser View Post
    So does vector mapping work well? I was wondering if it would be possible to make maps that would only show things once you have zoomed down far enough for them to pop out. Is this a realistic expectation or am I going the wrong direction? What software should I use?
    Fractal Mapper 8 does this quite easily and with whatever number of zoom levels that you wish to define. You can do it in FM8 with raster maps, vector maps or maps that combine both. If you would like to test this at no cost, go to:

    http://www.nbos.com

    ... and download the free trial version of FM8. Then go to ...

    http://www.vintyri.org/vintyri/vccindex.htm

    ... and download our free PDF tutorial, "Raster Mapping with FM8." It will show you how to do it.
    Mark Oliva
    The Vintyri (TM) Project

  9. #9
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Its not that inkscape is the wrong tool just that it has limitations. If your intending to work within them then its good at what it does. It would be able to do coastline and zoom in and you could add extra villages and mark up the map. If your going to add loads and loads of detail at the zoomed in level then you might find that it will slow down more and more. So its a case of what do you want. If you just want country and regional outlines plus markers for the cities / villages then it will be fine. If you want each road in the city and loads of buildings marked up and want many cities then I would consider something else. You could then still use it if instead of keeping it all on one map you zoomed down to the city marker then loaded that city as a new inkscape map all by itself. Then it would not have to deal with all the cities in one go. It sounds to me like it will be just fine and you should try it out. If you think your going to do it with inkscape then ask about here on that as well to see if people have made large zoomable maps with it and what settings you might need. I would think, for example, that you should start with a very large sheet of paper (like A0) when starting the map so that your well within the expected number range of the app when your adding small stuff.

  10. #10

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    I do have quite a few paper maps. I'm trying to make it easier on me by having one document as a "go to." If inkscape is the wrong thing to use, what do you suggest?
    Last edited by mwsasser; 03-14-2011 at 10:41 PM.

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