So, at this point, I am still trimming down and/or eliminating some of the major land masses, but in the process, I ran across a set of islands that I want to work with for a bit. They vaguely resemble a Manta Ray or Stingray, and some time ago, I was toying with the idea of building a religion/culture around such creatures (on a more fantastical level, of course) and thought that these islands might be just the spot for that. I'm still working out the details of the religion and culture of the islands, but thought that I might post the mapping progress.
Currently, I've managed to cut the islands out of the world as a whole and am working with a little pen and paper to get an idea of how the terrain is going to look. I've also decided to try something a little different than I've done before. A few years back, I set up some Paint Shop Pro picture tubes based on the book, Principles of Cartography, and have never had a chance to really experiment with them until now. I'll be using several layers to produce a suggestion of relative relief and am laying them out as follows;
Layer 1 : Sea Level and Below
Layer 2 : Basic Terrain Coloring
Layer 3 : Lakes and Rivers
Layer 4 : Roads
Layer 5 : Grasslands
Layer 6 : Forests/Jungles
Layer 7 : Hills and Mountains
Layer 8 : Points of Interest
Layer 9 : Names
Some of these layers may be expanded or reproduced depending on the results, but at least this offers a general idea of my current progress.
In a nutshell, the islands will be known as the Helfish Archipelago on a global level. The native inhabitants have their own name for the islands and will be based losely upon the ancient Moche culture of Peru. Once I have those details worked out, I'll post them here while continuing to offer updates on the mapping progress.