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Thread: [WIP] (Unnamed) World Map

  1. #1

    Post [WIP] (Unnamed) World Map

    This is my (more or less) first serious attempt at creating a world. My main motivation for this is to create a world that is somewhat plausible but also interesting enough for a good fantasy setting. So far I have only detailed the coasts. My next step is to create a map showing the tectonic plates (I already know where I want the mountains, so I'll be working backwards on the plates). Eventually, I would like to have an elevation map, a climate map, as well as a more artistic general world map.

    I would also like to create a basic map showing the mountain and river placement (in black and white, or any simple colours) that is effective yet simple. I haven't figured out a good way to show the mountains yet (for example, simple shading in grey will do, as long as it looks clean and clear) - if anyone has any tips they'd be very welcome.

    I'm using Inkscape and GIMP.

    Any comments or criticisms on my landmasses and coastlines would be appreciated.


    Attachment 59060
    Last edited by davoush; 11-16-2013 at 08:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Guild Artisan Domino44's Avatar
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    Sep 2013


    I like the shape of your landmasses, I love how it looks broken up! I think the really hard thing to do is get the right feel for climate in this map and I hope that you can find a way to do that. Will you have a backstory for this map or are you creating it just for the sake of creating it?

  3. #3
    Community Leader Guild Donor Ilanthar's Avatar
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    May 2010


    I second Domino44, I really like your land shapes.
    Last edited by Ilanthar; 11-16-2013 at 09:37 AM.

  4. #4


    Thanks. I don't have any particular backstory at the minute, but I do intend on giving it one at some point. Right now I'm mostly interested in working out the geography and climates.

    I have a question about scale and projections. Basically, I drew my map on A4 paper by hand with an equirectangular grid and traced it onto inkscape, so the current image dimensions should be more or less A4, however I'd like the dimensions to fill a computer screen a bit better than it currently does, while still maintaining the equirectangular projection. Also, is there a way to make an equirectangular grid for Inkscape or GIMP (preferably in increments of 10 degrees)? Sorry if my question seems terribly convoluted as the solution is probably simple!

  5. #5
    Guild Member Facebook Connected madbird-valiant's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    South Australia


    Great landmasses, I third that.

    If you import the image into G. Projection, NASA's map making thing, and set it to equirectangular it will put the grid in automatically. It may warp the landmasses a bit, though.

  6. #6
    Guild Expert Guild Supporter Lingon's Avatar
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    Dec 2012


    Really great shapes there, I'm looking forward to watching this develop.

    If you want it to be an equirectangular map, you'll have to add some ocean on either side – it must have 1:2 proportions, or there will be a gap when "folded" into a sphere. After doing that, you can import it into G.Projector and get the grid, and also see if you find another projection to use. Equirectangular is not a very common projection, it's almost only used because of its mathematical simplicity. Of course, if you want the map too keep these shapes as they are, ignore that

  7. #7


    I limit myself to "good landmasses".

    The small critic: It's too spiky for coastlines exposed to the great wide ocean. They should work well for moderately sized inner seas like the Mediterranean sea but if you check the coasts along the Pacific or Atlantic ocean, you'll see, that it's overall quite a bit smoother. Now there are exceptions (like the entire Caribbean) and by all means you shouldn't smooth everything but here all the coastlines look very rough.
    Last edited by Maraxus_; 11-19-2013 at 01:37 PM.

  8. #8


    Thanks, my first drawings looked too smooth, so I tried a rougher look. I like the roughness of certain parts where there are lots of islets but perhaps I should make the longer stretches of coast a bit smoother.

    In regards to projections, I have G. Projector but I don't like the result it gives me too much as it always seems to make my coast lines very pixelated. Another problem is that for now, I want to draw some basic climate, tectonic, and terrain maps in inkscape, and I would like to see a long/lat grid to guide me on my placement of various things. If I make my map at a 1:2 ratio, there should be a simple way to get an equirectangular grid? (I realise it's not the best projection, but for working out the basic geography and climate it is quite convenient for an overview).

    Also, I have worked out a (very messy) pressure zones and winds map. The high pressure areas in yellow are more-or-less permanent subtropical areas of high pressure. The green zones are over ocean and are seasonal.
    Any criticisms welcome as usual!

    Attachment 59160
    Last edited by davoush; 11-19-2013 at 03:34 PM.

  9. #9


    So after taking on some advice to smooth a few coastlines out, I have changed a few minor details but I think I have my landmasses in place (both are equirectangular):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here is a G. Projector version centred on 180 degrees. (I wanted both main continents accessible via chains of islands, but also enough areas to allow for isolation (which will be easier once I've decided on the mountains, etc.)

    Is there anyway to centre a map on 180 degrees in Inkscape?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think I may smooth a few more coasts on second thought.
    Last edited by davoush; 03-29-2014 at 11:59 AM.

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