Hullo, new poster here.
Ok, now that that's over with, on to business.
I don't often do original maps (the last one was years and years ago), but lately I've been toying around (a LOT) with either alternative history maps, or a certain traced fanart-map from a manga.
Recently I've finished a rather lengthy writing exercise I set out to myself (do not worry, I survived with my life intact), and now that I'm done with it, I've decided to concentrate on the rest of the conworld in question.
I wanted a world with two polar continents, and the story (generic fantasy) took place on the southern one (just for the tweeeest of having all the cold happen in the south ... I'll get me coat.)
I racked my brain with tectonics (when will someone save us from the tectonics? who is heroic enough to create Fractal Tectonics Generator?), then gave up half-way and made it rather half-assed.
Drawn by hand, roughly in equirectangular, then scanned.
I use: GIMP, Inkscape and map projection software like G.projector (this time), or Flex-projector.
1. GIMP to normalise the map into binary black and white, I also used a tutorial from here to make some rougher coast-lines (with the rougher coast-lines on a layer above the original, smooth one: then I just Erased away random areas from the top-layer to get a haphazarded and less uniform roughness-look), etc.
2. G.Projector to turn the resulting equirectangular map into a projection. I would rather use Flex-projector here, but I wanted to do a medieval-looking map, inspired by this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:World_Map_1689.JPG, and Flex-projector doesn't do Azimuthal equidistant.
3. Inkscape to import and trace various versions (without grids etc.) of the map output by G.Projector. I add coloured borders, do the layout, text, any drawings, etc, here; the bulk of the work.
4. Post-processing in GIMP: Cartoon effect to smudge it, paperyness, yellowing and so forth.
Tadaa! It's a... Work in progress..! Yayyy..?
I realise now that I've used a different projection (Azimuthal equidistant) from the original 17th century map (which is prolly Stereographical, at least by eye-measure), so I might have to redo these. No biggie, though.