This is my first map; both posted here and done in GIMP, and also my first post in this forum, although I have lurked here quite a bit. I have been working on it for about a year now and am very excited to finally have it finished. Although I am posting it in the Finished Maps Forum, this is by no means the final product; it is just the first draft I could feel comfortable calling a final product, if that makes sense. With that in mind, I welcome all suggestions for improvement, and particularly would like to encourage everyone to search for typos in the map - towns without names, that sort of thing. However, all feedback is welcome and encouraged. If there is something about my map that you like, please post; likewise if there is something you don't like, post that. Just give me feedback so I can make sure future maps I do are even better. And if you like it, be sure to rate the thread so that others can learn about it.
As I mentioned earlier, although I haven't posted anything, I have lurked a lot through the Guild forums over the past year, and am very grateful to the members of this organization. I heavily utilized the tutorials posted on the Guild, and could not have made this map without them. First of all, major thanks to RobA, to whom I owe a considerable amount. His semi-random land creation method worked out great, and his rotating brush, random density map, and tapered stroke path scripts all were immensely useful. Also, thanks to Ascension. While I eventually diverged from the style he used in his antique atlas style tutorial, it provided me with a great starting point and a lot of inspiration. But thanks as well to the Guild as a whole; during the time I spent lurking WIPs, I learned a great deal about how to think about cartography, information I really couldn't have done without.
A bit of background about the map: I created this map for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign I will be running for some of my friends. The setting is a mix of steam / clock punk technology and low-grade, elemental-based magic, and the corner scenes are intended to convey this. The pictures for the corner scenes were all originally black and white, I edited them to fit the map and then colored them (the exception being the zepplin, which was originally a photograph that I isolated, placed over some cloned sky and ocean, and then colored). The decorative ships I used in the map come from 17th century Dutch Cartographer Joan Blaeu's Atlas Major, and I have uploaded a collection of many of them here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...-s-Atlas-Major.
Now to explain some of the strangeness of the setting: My friend and I created this setting essentially as a way to combine all sorts of anachronisms. The world is on the inside of a hollow sphere with earth radiating outwards from the sphere in every direction (the earth is interspersed with water and magma, and the occasional cavern. This is in part why there are so many inland seas and lakes on the map - the connect down to deep reservoirs of water "outside" of the world, so to speak. In the center of the sphere is another sphere, which we may call the moon, which is solid. It radiates a gravity-like force outwards, thereby keeping people / animals / etc. anchored to the interior of the large sphere. Around the moon orbits a sunlet. It always stays in the same plane relative to the moon. This relates to the map as follows: moon is directly over Yeni Demirshehir, and the plane that the sun orbits on is perpendicular to it (this is no accident - the city was founded here for religious reasons). The entire sphere is thus bisected by the solar plane, creating a natural division of hemispheres for the otherworldly cartographer. Additionally, each of these two hemispheres have natural poles - the points directly under the moon and perpendicular to the solar plane. The directions on the compass rose are arbitrary; they point to four locations equally spaced around the globe which were decided by League geographers (the League of Guilds being the "Viewpoint Civilization" of the map) as navigational references. Though there is no magnetism to draw compasses towards them, they can be triangulated by explorers who know the position of the sun and their own position, or who can find familiar landmarks on land curved "up" from them. I could have named the directions anything; I stuck with North, East, South, and West so as to try and avoid overwhelming my players with too much new terminology and thus increase their immersion.
One final thing: this is a VERY large file; it measures 51 inches by 51 inches. As such, it far exceeds the upload limit for any one file. I therefore am uploading the map in quarters which can be easily recombined in GIMP or Photoshop (the final image should be 3672 by 3672 pixels), and have also attached a link for an image hosting website where you can get a preview of the map. However, I strongly encourage you to go ahead and download the full map; I put a lot of detail work into this map that really can't be appreciated at the lower resolution offered by the image hosting site. EDIT: I should have thought of this earlier, but I'm somewhat new to the whole uploading-images-on-message-boards game. Anyways, instead of the image hosting I was using earlier, I created a full size jpg with major compression (CompAnakron1.jpg, found immediately below). So you can either look at that, or get the full impact by integrating the four corners, which are not compressed.