Anyone remember Dwarf Fortress?
This came as a surprise to me. For years I've known about the map-making capabilities of Dwarf Fortress and the surprisingly detailed histories and cartographies it produces. But I have always written it off as a viable map-making tool because of the ASCII characters it uses as a graphics pack.
I have discovered that Dwarf Fortress creates some of the most realistic randomly generated maps I have found to date, including rainfall, temperature, vegetation, elevation and so forth. With one or two tweaks in Gimp or Photoshop, you can get something very basic but very promising. Like this.
They also have a neat biome and site map that you can get which maps out biomes (forests, prairies, mountains and such), procedurally generated sites (meaning that each group grew and evolved over a period of time building strategic cities as they went), and other things in a readable format. But it isn't that guild-worthy. Right now, I am trying to turn this map into a nicer political one using their system. Which should be fun.
But has anyone else found this unique tool? Or anything else about this deepening program I should know about?