If you would like a map do not demand one, but ask politely.
At every internet terminus there is a human.
That human is more likely to help you if you follow the human rules of courtesy.
If you are requesting a map there is a certain minimum amount of information which is useful to put into your request. Please feel free to copy and paste the template below into your post adapting it to your needs so you don't get deluged with obvious questions. Apart from inserting a prefix to your original post, you don't have to slavishly follow the the guidelines below, they are just for assistance. For excellent examples of a map request please see this post or this post.
If you are more than a hobbyist or would like to know more about Commissioning artwork check out Commissioning Illustrations by Randy Gallegos. Written for those in the art illustration industry it has great information that will make it easier to negotiate an agreement with almost any artist.
Please select a prefix [Paid], [Unpaid], [Paid?] or [other] from the drop down menu when composing your post.
- Unpaid: saying 'please' rather than just demanding a map usually gets a better response. Also note that if you plan to make money from the map, like using it in a book or game that will be published you should expect to pay for the work.
- Paid: please provide details on the amount and method of payment (e.g. I am happy to pay $X for the map via Paypal) or how to contact you to discuss rates (e.g. please send me a Private Message to discuss rates).
- Paid?: might mean that you may make payment depending on the quality of the work or if the map is for a commercial project and payment is dependent on the project making sales.
- Other: is for anything else.
- [I attach a scan of a rough sketch of the map I had in mind]
- [A brief verbal description e.g. - This will be a world map of three continents on an earthsized planet or this will be a map of a large coastal city]
- The scale of the map will be approximately X miles to the inch.
- [I am looking for a map in the following style - insert hyperlink of style of map required.]
- [I am looking for a (describe style e.g. greyscale, photorealistic, similar to the maps on page x of the DM's guide etc]
Quality & Size
- [Professional / semi professional]
- [Required for print / web]
- [Dimensions of map: x inches by y inches (or pixels)]
- [Raster / Vector]
What time limits (if any) are you working to?
- (as simple or complex as you need. If you want something watertight consult a lawyer, the suggestions below are just for illustrative purposes and may not provide the protection you require).
Please note that in order to use the map in any publication you'll need reproduction rights or copyright to the map. However for most uses, commercial and non-commercial, reproduction rights are enough. If you ask for full copyright to the map you should normally expect to pay more for it. (read more about copyright here). Sometimes you only want rights for a single use of the map and sometimes you'd like to have rights to use it again and again, so what it may be used for and for how long should be considered.
- I would like reproduction rights to the map
- I would like copyright of the map
- The artist will retain copyright of the map
- I will have the right to use the image for commercial purposes, the artist will have the right to exhibit the image as part of his portfolio but not to exploit it for commercial gain.
Tip: *** You are unlikely to get a cartographer to make your map if you want it done for free but also want to have copyright of the image ***
Please note that as an anti-spam measure you need to have 5 posts on the board before you can send or receive Private Messages on this bbs. If you post an e-mail address you might want to take some precautions against evil, e-mail address harvesting spambots. Example:
(remove the -- and convert "at" to @)
What Happens Next
Hopefully your request will be taken up quickly, but if not, do not despair, sometimes it may take up to a month or longer for a map request to be taken. Many people who request maps will only check the forum to see if their request has been taken. You might wish to have an email alert instead so you don't have to keep visiting the forum to see if anyone is interested in making your map for you. If you want to have an email alert, go to the 'settings' button on the top right of the screen. Scroll down (left hand side) to 'General Settings' (under the subheading 'My Settings > My account' ) In the General Settings scroll down (right hand side) to Default Thread Subscription Mode and choose 'Instantly using email' from the drop down list. That way, you will get an instant email notification when someone posts on your thread. The guild is an informal collection of individuals and we do not vet cartographers using these threads; that will be your responsibility. We have however suggested that members keep a portfolio of past commissioned work that includes a list of references. It might be a good idea to ask to see these prior to deciding to hire the services of a cartographer.
Taken / Inactive Requests - The Archive
Taken Requests: Once your commission has been taken, please post in the thread to say it has been taken and it will be edited by a moderator to state it has been taken and eventually moved to the archive. Commissions marked as taken help to save time for mapmakers looking for new commissions to undertake. It will also mean that you will not continue to receive questions or expressions of interest from people who may be interested in making your map.
Inactive Requests: Threads which have been inactive for a number of months (about three) will also be moved to the archive. Threads in the archive can be responded to. Sometimes, many months after a request has been inactive, a mapmaker might respond. For this reason it is a good idea to have an email notification set up (see above) in case you are still interested in having your commission filled.
Please feel free to comment on whether you think the template requires any modifications, I'll keep the thread open until it looks like we have everything covered and then I'll do a final version, delete all following posts and lock the thread.