I am new to mapping, in fact i have never mapped
. However I recently started GMing a Rifts campaign and I have found a need for maps. Firstly, I have some...ahem programs (CC3, DD3, City Designer Pro) that help me cheat a bit, although I am still learning my way around those. Basically I will learn as I go with the cities, it is the larger maps I require some help with. Rifts earth is set in a time when Atlantis has risen (or rather phased back from a dimensional pocket) and mankind's influence on earth has fallen significantly. To explain more would to long however in mapping terms we are dealing with a rise in water levels (ice caps the same though) and a return to wilderness. My project for mapping rifts earth will have 3 stages.
Stage 1 Base map: There are many maps in the books that provide a general idea for the new coastlines, Atlantis placement etc. I wish to use these to piece together an outline map. Once satisfied with the outline map, I want to insert mountains, plains, forests tundra etc etc. The end result would hopefully be a visually appealing map of rifts earth devoid of any political markings (devoid of all text etc etc).
Stage 2 Google API: I plan to use the map as a background on Google API. This step would include Layering continent/country names, adding optional territorial layers and adding markers for major cities.
Stage 3 Community: Rifts has a large community with many people who would jump on board when they saw progress, probably mid-stage 1, many of them wouldn't have time to do the mapping but could help in other ways. Every marker would link to a page with a description of it, the community could accomplish this in a timely manner and proceed with greater details such as trade routes, minor cities and towns, ley lines and in-depth faqs about Rifts Earth.
As I go, I will e-mail Palladium updates and try to get them on board to officially support a Rifts Earth interactive atlas. Any advice and/or help would be very much appreciated as I suspect this is a tad over my head
Thank you for your time,