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Thread: July 2014 Challenge: The road of the Khans

  1. #1
    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    Default July 2014 Challenge: The road of the Khans

    Hello fellow cartographers! For this month challenge i'd like to try to map the path of Gengis Khan and his successors and show how they conquests the greatest empire in history, the Great Mongol empire.I'll try to be accurate and will base the maps on facts i found on the web about the geopolitic context during the 13th century.
    The story start in 1162 with the Birth of Gengis Khan.
    For the basis of the map i've used a nasa world DEM mixed with wilbur and a few lightning effects in photoshop.
    ### Latest WIP ###
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Name:	GengisWip.jpg 
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  2. #2
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    Awesome! I was hoping someone would do a Mongol one...
    "I like a look of agony, because I know it's true."

    -Emily Dickinson

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    Guild Adept Naima's Avatar
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    Consider that most maps include usually fake lands that give the impression of a superpower empire stretching on half planet .
    Those maps are completely wrong and fake .
    A real map on mongols should present only the urbanized areas conquered and avoid to incluede the empty taigas , deserts , mountain ranges and empty steppes .
    I sugest to focus for first time on a map that portrays the real controlled areas and not the empty wastelands usually portrayed in fake historical maps .

    Btw the map looks particularly crisp and beautyfull ... What pRticular wilbur or photoshop effects did you. Use ?

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    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    Thank for the feedback guys. You're right about the "fake historical map", true that all those empty steppes are not a country as we intended. I will show the conquered area mainly for aesthetical reasons, to show the inexorable growth of the mongol empire during the 13th century but as you suggest i'll try to focus mainly on the city they conquered. The problem is to find good sources of information about the exact path of Gengis Khan, when did he conquered a city ect..
    For the map i have used a nasa dem and apply a filter lightning effect in photoshop.
    Here's is a wip with more informations about the country present around 1200. I have used the information and maps of this excellent web site: World History Maps by Thomas Lessman
    ### Latest WIP ###
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Guild Journeyer Gracious Donor fabio p's Avatar
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    That's a great and ambitious wip!

    There's this page, the links related on top page (to single battles), and the subsequent page. It's all in italian, but you can fiand some more information here then in the standard wikipedia pages and you can easily google translate them in french.

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    Guild Adept Naima's Avatar
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    Hehehe The World History Maps by Thomas Lessman maps found there are just the ones I am referring too , he is a prolific map drawer but his maps are highly imprecise in most cases and based on a wide range of different books that are also old or even biased in some cases .
    I looked for example at the Han map showing the size of Han empire during the 200 AD in comparison of Roman empire , and guess what the Han was supersized including most gobi desert , southern never conquered areas and as well as north global coverage . So basically a fake map .
    Wikipedia is constantly hacked by profaction and people that want to impose their biased ideas . For some reason this is especially true on political themes and historical themes regarding China vs west .

    I sugest to use the Fabio page better but there are no Mongol precise maps, I would sugest you to follow the actual maps of paleoclimates from medieval times that woudl show you the areas of steppes, boreal forests ( mongols never penetrated the forests ) , Deserts ( same ) , and mountains ( same ) . the correct map woudl border all those regions , have narrow stripes of controlled areas . I would personally differentiate the map into Controlled and influenced . Like for example Mongols had direct influence over some vassals or large steppe areas but no irect control, means there was nonone there controlling while direct control on the Cities and regions they directly occupied like China .
    That way a better and first time historicla map coudl be created and you could even replace the wrong ones of Wikipedia .

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    Whoa! Your oceans look like a Van Gogh painting! I like the texture, would be great to see something equivalent on the land areas. I have no idea what that would be, but you've got skills, I'm excited to see whatever you create!

    cheers,
    Meshon

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    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot guys for the various sources and ideas you provide! I'm still not sure about what final form the map will have but here is a wip with some new informations about the path of Gengis Khan, based mainly on fabio's link.
    ### Latest WIP ###
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	GengisWip.jpg 
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    I have some feedback, Francissimo, if you're interested.

    I like the terrain and naturalistic colors. I even like the stylized swirls in the ocean...they aren't clashing (for me) with the sat-view style of the rest of the map. Somehow it's working. :-)

    Coding the Invasions: While the bloody red arrow overlays get the job done, I feel like you might be missing an opportunity for greater visual clarity and ease of informative apprehension. For instance, you could color-code the waves of invasion so that the earlier ones are more yellow-orange and the later ones are more deep red. Or you could lay down a pattern of some sort to differentiate the expeditions. Because as it is now, one must look closely at the dates to try to determine when the attacks took place, which ones were earlier than others, etc.

    Fonts: As a graphic designer, I feel that a little typographic character goes a long way. Several of your font choices are clashing a bit, to my eye. The "Ghurid Sultanate" font clashes a bit with the "Kunlun Shan" font. The dates in the stencil-style font ("1207", etc.) feel really out of place. Then you've thrown in small sans serifs for the battles and their dates, which has a bit of a modern, clinical feel, and you've put all kinds of different colors on them. I'm not sure why they're different colors, but even if there's a decent reason, I'm not sure the distraction is worth it. "Parwan" and "Indus" are jumping out at me, in particular.

    The rivers feel a bit "noodly" and odd, like they're translucent blue pasta that's been laid over the map after the fact. I'm not sure the rivers are actually necessary at all in this style of map. They don't seem to play a part in the "story" that's being told by the map, so they should just lay down into the landscape and not sit on top of it.

    Since the focus of the map is the Mongol invasions, you may have thrown a few too many labels on it. Should we be worried about Champa or Bagan? By contrast, there are perhaps other opportunities to add information that would replace the stuff that's not meaningful. For instance, which generals were commanding which waves of invasion? Was Subutai around?

    I spilled a lot of little critiques into that post. I hope it doesn't feel like piling on. Just trying to help.

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    Guild Journeyer Francissimo's Avatar
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    very usefull and constructive critics xpian! i'm working on the map and tried to take into consideration some of your ideas like coloring arrows depending on the year of invasion, i also try other icons and labels for cities for a better readabiliy. Almost all the elements are now there, next step will be a legend and more work on labels, i'm not sure the map can still be readable if i wrote the name of major battles but i'll try.
    ### Latest WIP ###
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	GengisWip.jpg 
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