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Thread: Need help/tips on a world map

  1. #1

    Default Need help/tips on a world map

    Greetings all,
    Just finished the rough sketch of a world-size map i started this evening, looking to expand on the continental map i drew (quite some time now) and the shape of which i still like (the landmass on the right side of the map). Anyway, thats how it looks so far. The size of it (4000x2000 px) wont allow to go into much detail, but for a general preview of that world it might me enough. An here i'm stuck: need help/suggestion on fonts! Tried the one i've got installed on my PC, none seems to fit. Tips pls

    As you can see from the first step of this drawing (ive attached some small ones to get an idea of the progression of it), i started with some random contours, but the i've given it some thought on tectonics (very rough - not represented here), which allows for some ok-ish mountain ranges (mountains look terrible, as i hadn't have the patience to make some proper templates). Any ideas on how to improve those? And maybe the other parts (rivers etc)? I'm a terrible lazy person, can't bet i'll diligently continue from here, but as far as it goes, i kinda like it. Point is, your suggestions won't go unnoticed

    PS Not very coherent i know, its 2 am here... sorry.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Going on means going far; going far means returning - Lao Zi

  2. #2
    Guild Journeyer
    Join Date
    Jun 2011


    I like the name Bentik Ocean :-)

    I might have tried for a clear pair of matching coastlines.

    I think if the map was reprojected to show a south polar view, the Frost Sea and Seolis Ocean are going to be basically the same ocean.

  3. #3


    Just noticed the 'rivers' layer was underneath the 'lowland' one, and stuff looked weird close to sea. Made the correction, this is the good JPG then.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	testmap.jpg 
Views:	146 
Size:	1.33 MB 
ID:	37128  
    Going on means going far; going far means returning - Lao Zi

  4. #4
    Guild Expert Hai-Etlik's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    48° 28′ N 123° 8′ W
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    Well, you have the rather common "Cylindrical Map" problem. Your map would work well on a cylinder, but not on a globe. Any flat map of a globe is going to have distortion, and the more of the globe you cover, the worse it gets. The particular distortion depends on the projection, which in your case is Normal Equidistant Cylindrical (aka, Equidistant Rectangular, Equirectangular, or Platee Carre)

    This is a simple projection to understand, but has many problems in practice, including very significant distortion. The closer to the poles you get, the more things should look "stretched out" horizontally. Consider that the entire northern edge of your map represents jut the single point at the north pole, and likewise for the bottom edge and the south pole. If you were to project this map onto a sphere, the higher latitudes would all look "pinched" in toward the poles. Also the compass rose is inappropriate for a small scale (think "zoomed out") map in this projection as directions are not preserved.

    There isn't really a quick and easy fix for this comparable to moving a river. In some cases you can just change the graticule and pretend it was in another projection all along without changing the shapes, but that doesn't really work for full global maps. It's a good idea to think this out before you start drawing, where is your map on the globe and how big is it, and which properties need to be preserved, from these you can figure out a projection appropriate for the map and search for a pre-generated graticule (I've made a few) or learn to use GIS software to make your own. Then you can use that as a guide.

    For large scale maps (a middle sized modern country at most) the distortion is small enough that you can safely ignore projections entirely, for the purposes of fictional cartography (It's still vitally important to real life cartography)

    Also, the pattern on your neatline (border) should match up with your graticule (The grid), you've done this for the north, west, and south, but not the east.

  5. #5
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    But on the flip side, that's how the pros do it and we're just amateurs. Looks good to me.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)

    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  6. #6
    Guild Adept Aenigma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Visby, Gotland, Sweden


    I must say, I really like the shapes of the continents. It's not something easy to do, and you've done it well
    Yesterday today was tomorrow.
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