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Thread: Scale...it's always about scale!

  1. #1
    Guild Journeyer
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    Question Scale...it's always about scale!

    Well, hello everyone!

    First, I have to say that due to a lot of work and other issues, I have trouble to find time to deal with one of my favourite past times...world building! Anyway, since I can't see any real roleplaying in the near future, I decided to take it slow and review my whole world building whenever I have time.

    And so I decided to put things in perspective and cross-check all my maps and their scales. It was a total disaster I must say! While some things made sense, some others didn't make at all and I was quite frustrated.

    So I thought a course of action that I believe it would help. I will start with my first, favourite and most densely populated continent. This has an approximate size of 2730 x 4125 miles, a little bigger than Europe. As I am European I decided that this was a good reference and I could grasp the distances and size of geographical features.

    Then, I search through wikipedia and found some references about the sizes of great empires, small kingdoms, duchies, etc in Europe. I decided it was time to start mapping an area that I have modeled after central Europe. It is an area of approximate size 600 x 1400 miles. I decided to map with a scale of 1px=0.5 miles and thus I will create a map of 1200 x 2800 pixels.

    Now, the grand question, which might seem very, very stupid but it leaves me fumbled! If look at my map in PS at 100% zoom and then I switch back to 50%, it's like switching from a 50 mi scale to 100 mi scale in Google Maps?Will 1px=1mile @ 50% zoom?

    Call me dumb, stupid, whatever...this question haunts me!

  2. #2
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    It should unless your graphics program is flawed. On the other hand things get a little more complex when you take into account that the number of pixels on your screen can change things. But basically your assumption should be close enough to right for government work.
    “Maps encourage boldness. They're like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible.”
    -Mark Jenkins

  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    I use that sort of scale myself sometimes and it works fine because the monitor shows pixels. So if you're going with 1 pixel = 1/2 mile then make sure that your rivers don't get too big. The problem comes in the printing when dpi matters.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


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  4. #4
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Answer: Yes

    But I dont think that the question is correct. When you scale the map by zooming 50% then your scale for it scales too. So yeah you can take the original scale for it and make a new one and then you would be good.

    You should check out my ViewingDale app as its a mapping program which works at no fixed scale. It maintains the scale of all of your maps and keeps them in sync when they are all placed together. If you want more waffle about it then shout out. See sig for site URL (put dot com on the end of it).

    Your right tho. Its a rare day that collections of maps on this site get the scale consistent. People using GIS software get them right but the more arty they are the less chance they are of being accurate. It depends whether this is something that matters to you tho. In many cases it doesn't. But I think its a big deal personally.

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