First time poster, long time lurker. Anyhow.
I'm currently trying out a more ambitious plan regarding world-building and was very pleasantly surprised by the look of Pixie's map (from this thread: http://www.cartographersguild.com/re...ke-planet.html).
So I have been trying it out on a map I sketched a while ago of a North America-sized continent, and the results are quite good.
- Country/Nation border = bold black line
- State/tribe border belonging to the same country/nation = white dashed line
- State/tribe border not belonging to the same/country, but more the same culture = black dashed line
- Diagonal red lined areas = Unclaimed territories
As it stands, it gives me quite natural borders between the different countries/nations/cultures. Do note, however, that this map is entirely topographical, because this will help me with my next step: namely deciding biotopes.
I'm using Gimp and here is where I'm having problems. Do any of you have any tips on how I should represent deserts, forests, plains snow-capped mountain tops etc.?
I'm thinking I will try to make the map black-and-white and overlay it with different colored textures to create these biotopes. What do you think?
Best regards and thanks in advance!
(I will update this thread continous as the work goes along)
I wish I could help you, it looks pretty cool. My maps are a lot more cartoony though, so accuracy of this kind is not something I'm familiar with. Have you looked through the tutorial section of the forums for inspiration? I tend to go there and just see what's available. It's given me some pretty fun ideas.
Hi Asfalt, awesome first step in my opinion. Clearly, you've lurked and "worked in secret" for a long time before posting your product here at the guild. Thanks for the compliment to my never-ending-job.
Your topographical map looks alright, but way "too elevated". The very high areas (brown) are too "fat" and there is far less lowlands (green) than one would expect from a North America sized continent. AlexSchacher made a very cool colored topographical map of Earth which you can use to compare.
And by the way, how are you doing your map? Best method is to have each altitude/color in a different layer - is this the technique you are using?
As for your biomes map, how did you work those out?
I've looked at AlexSchacher's maps and while I like them alot, I think that they are maybe too detailed for what I am trying to achieve. If I would go for a Tolkiensque approach of my map, the only areas which would be shown as triangular mountains are the ones in the brown scale and upwards. The yellow/light green areas are more uplands regions that are rolling hills of desert and arable lands, meaning they would be shown as sort of fields on that map.
Another explanation as to why the continent is so mountainous is because when I started out doing the map, it was supposed to be a smaller, Icelandic in size. Then ideas started flowing in, growing the world. Thsi might explain the erronous scale, but I'm quite liking it anyways.
As for the biomes I am mostly basing them on a realistic approach, where the continent receives rainfall and wind from the northeast/east. The central mountains acts as a barrier and thus gives a rain shadow to the lands directly west of them, creating a very dry environment. The arable lands in the southwest is due channel-digging and such. However, I have changed my biomes slightly to make the world more dynamic and I will upload an image later on showing them.
Thanks for answering
I do not know how I would comment on the physical geography, but the political geography does interest me, if you are interested in sharing. My first question would be, what kind of technological era are you thinking? That might help me better appreciate the logic to the borders.
I appreciate how you label certain countries with comparable places/peoples on earth, until you come up with names. I often do the same thing.
The United Territories have already had their Revolutionary war, however, making them considerably weaker as they are not backed by a "European" empire on the other side of the ocean. Guns and such does not exist as of yet.
However, the native inhabitants cultural level is varying with the two great empires ("Aztec" and the Incan influenced "De fyra hörnen") in the East having a high-degree, as on this continent they have cultivated rice making their populations even larger than their Earth counterparts and making them more on an equal footing with the "European" cultures in the west. They are on an Iron age-level except they haven't learned to work it yet. But that is not a problem as they have their counterpart in obsidian that is used for weapons.
Neighbouring the "European" cultures you have Ahuapa, Byarna and the Enasata River Chiefdomes that have previously been in the early Iron Age, but in order to counter the new expansionist threat from the "Europeans" have changed their older ways, propelling them into early statehood. (See the Iroquois Confederacy for example).
And lastly we have the other cultures around the northern and eastern coast ("Amazonas", "Basque" and "Cinque Terre") that are on varying degrees of statehood aswell, but greatly influenced by the two native empires.
The peoples living in the unclaimed territories are more in the Stone Age level technological wise.
Okay... long time, no updatee.
Anyways, I've sort of started a new take on the continent and I'm doing it in an atlas-style a la 17-/18th century.
So here is how it looks right now:
Up next I will start with labeling as well as playing with different paper effects in order to give it a worn out look
And for inspiration I've used this map of good ol' South America, of which my own continent (lets call it Ansaldon for now) is approximately of the same length longitude wise.
I also realise I might have overdone the mountains. So.. what do you think: Should I revise them and "lessen" the amount of them?
Last edited by Asfalt; 08-03-2014 at 06:40 PM.
Other than that, it looks very nice. Promising, I would say, but it will depend on your labeling and also on other pictorial stuff (maps of this time, like the one you are using as model, used to have drawings filling the voids).
There is one issue you could rework on: the rivers. They look pixelated and the tracing doesn't fit at all with the trace of the mountain symbols.