Saw this old postcard, and immediately started thinking of where I could use the style, or something close. The fact that the printing was a little rough could play well with my level of sophistication :-).
That's from Flickr, with an attribution/ noncommercial license.
The map for these contests has to be new, but the geography can already exist. As I thought of what river could be postcarded like this, I drifted to the geofiction world I participate in (well, participated - it's stagnant just now). Always the contrarian, I wanted to see how many of the usual river rules - like those posted in the Feb/Mar announcement - that i could break or bend, and yet maintain plausibility & hydrology. Years ago I devised a tropical nonplayer nation in Aurora, named Wondusoland.
Now, the Florida Everglades is not JUST a swamp, it is also known as the River of Grass. There's sufficient directional flow year-round to call the whole thing a river 80 km wide. Well, that suits my exception-to-the-rules premise...
So starting with one of the maps I already had of the area as a reference:
I then figured whether anything needed to be tweaked. I generally try to keep continuity with other players' geographic data, and with anything I've already documented. I don't have any explicit topographic data on the area, so assuming it a bit flatter than that reference map indicates suits my contest purpose. Seems like somewhere I even had mangroves as a feature of the western edge of the depicted landmass, and alligators, and bayous and swamps, so that fit just fine. What to call the thing? Well, the continent is an Africa-analogue, very roughly, so some of the names will be in the local tongues... no conlangs here, just enough borrowed syllables to convey an impression. But the postcard would be for tourists so the title might as well be in English. Voila:
### Latest WIP ###
That's the first thing that's enough of a new map to tag as WIP. No automation here, I traced all the needed outlines from the reference. I'm working at twice this size and reducing for posting.
The river tracks on there look to be mostly Fractal-Terrain generated; they'll all go away for this map. But they serve as an indicator of the general topography - I'll trace what I need, or invent new alignments. It's a postcard - why should it be assumed to be accurate? Probably printed six thousand km away anyway, and published by people whose only tie to the region is profit.