I'm getting ready to submit a novel manuscript for publishing, and being something of a map-o-phile, I have five regional maps to go with it. There are five parts to the novel, and each has its own map (one has two). I'm tying it into the Rifts RPG intellectual property, and the premise for this region is that a massive nuclear exchange wiped humanity off the surface of the Middle East some 300 years ago.

I got GIMP and Inkspace over the weekend, and I'm far more satisfied with the results than I was with my earlier efforts (which I won't post out of shame).

These are the current versions. The most recent update is the part 2 map that details Sinai, Aqaba, and southern Israel.

This is the cover draft (not fitted to an actual standard book size, but I'll deal with that later). It's the only color map I've done, and gives a large-scale perspective. Click image for larger version. 

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This is the Part 1 map. I did this in Photoshop a few months ago, and did all the contouring free-hand. It was one of my earlier experiments, and I intend to revise it.
Click image for larger version. 

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I revised the Part 2 map yesterday, and I'm fairly pleased with the results. This was another experiment in elevation, but this time I did zero contouring by hand. Instead, I drew a a bunch of single-pixel guidelines by pencil and ran some filters to produce some hills and ridges. I also made my own compass rose (which makes me feel like a real cartographer) in Inkspace for this one. Click image for larger version. 

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Parts 3-5 share the same regional map, though new locations get added with each part. This map is next on the chopping block for revision.Click image for larger version. 

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Part 5 also has a city map. This was a revision of an earlier draft that was comically awful. I tried to use tile textures to circumvent drawing buildings... *shudder*. This map was a bit of a hybrid. I used a filter in Photoshop Elements in combination with the embossing of GIMP to do the river valley. It's what gave me the idea that I explored with the Part 2 map. I made the skull logo in Inkspace. It's meant to represent a dragon pharaoh who loves necromancy and wants to destroy the world (Now you just have to buy the novel, right?)Click image for larger version. 

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Thoughts? Reactions? Suggestions? Critiques? Mockery? I welcome it all.