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Thread: Merridia

  1. #1
    Guild Apprentice Schattenherz's Avatar
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    Default Merridia

    I just started the third attempt to draw one of the most important cities of my rpg background world.
    First one: about 2005; second: 2010; sketch: yesterday

    Merridia-merridia2.jpg Merridia-tusche75.jpg Merridia-merridia_skizze.jpg

    While considering your hints on my last city map, Demera, I realized some problems of the older maps of Merridia.

    The river:
    It was far too thin as it's one of the longest rivers of the continent. I now compared it to the Elbe river in germany (about 2km wide at the river mouth). As I did not want to change the design of the city too much (the writers are used to it by now), I had to think of a way to keep the small "old" river while showing the "new" broad one. So here's my idea: The small river course once was much broader (also about 2km) and covered the space where the southern part of the city later was built. Two hamlets were built north of the river on slightly higher ground.
    Eventually the river changed it's course to the north; the old course silted up and could no longer be used for fishing/merchant ships. The new river course is very shallow and has constantly changing river banks, so it was not suitable for shipping, too. The inhabitants of the villages began to build a canal where the old river course once was, drained the land where the southern part of Merridia now is and ended up with a navigable, strait canal which also is one of the reasons why Merridia is now a capital.
    What I'm wondering about: Would builders be able to build a bridge across a river of 2km? I thought they'd maybe use some of the sand banks, but nevertheless it's quite a distance...

    Size:
    The city is supposed to be inhabited by about 20.000 people, but I'm really not able to estimate if what I have drawn is big enough. I started to make the city flow over it's borders.

    Houses & streets:
    Houses too random, some of the streets too broad. I'll change that.

    Anything else? I appreciate any comments
    Fantastische Kartographie - illustrations & maps by Schattenherz | DeviantArt | Drachenblut - german RPG board & world

  2. #2
    Moe
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    First of all: I like the 2005 version, I love the 2010 version and I will keep an eye on the 2011 version

    To your question if the city is big enough:
    EDIT: Calculation wrong - see next posts

    Quoted the
    Magical Guide to Medieval Societies

    Medieval towns and cities are small, usually less than
    a mile in diameter, and rarely grow larger than a few
    thousand souls. Most urban environments average a
    population density of 20-60 people per acre. Larger
    cities, royal cities, or cities on major trade routes have
    higher growth potential because of the amount of
    money flowing through the city. Population density in
    these cities is as high as 200 people per acre.
    You want to have 20,000 people so you had ~19 / acre.
    When my quick calculations are precise enough (lots of rounding) there is some space for more inhabitants, or you could adjust the scale.

    It depends much on the type of city. As said before I will link to the guide.

    Have to go now and will update soon,
    hope this will help you a bit

    I'd love to know more about the background story (is it in German?)

    Kindly,
    >Moe

    EDIT: Links inserted
    Last edited by Moe; 08-16-2011 at 10:34 AM.
    If I stare at the country long enough
    I can prise it off the paper,
    lift it like a flap of skin.
    - Moniza Alvi, 1993 -

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      ravells is offline
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    Looking good! I really like the second one. When converting population to city size I work on the principle of having on average about 10 people to a building (in medieval times it was probably more but the data I've come across says that it is unreliable, I'm working on the principle that people living in the middle of the cities live in blocks), so a population of 20,000 people = about 2,000 buildings. From the sources I've read city populations in Medieval European cities have a density of about 100 - 300 people an acre. 1 Acre = 0.0040469 Square Kilometre. So, working on these (wildly assumptive) figures the size of a city of 20,0000 people would be between 0.8 square km to 0.2 square km.

    Working on 0.8 square km city size, I fire up RPG City creator (a very clever bit of free software - do a site search here and you will find it). I make a city of 2,000 buildings covering an area of 1 km. The resulting generated city gives me a vague idea of what I need as a reference.

    :: edit :: Ninja'd by Moe!

  4. #4
    Moe
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    :: edit :: Ninja'd by Moe!
    I feel sorry, Ravells

    @Schattenherz
    I added the links to my initial post - you could check page 23 to get a compact version of different types of cities, their number of inhabitants and the density of structures per acre.

    >Moe
    If I stare at the country long enough
    I can prise it off the paper,
    lift it like a flap of skin.
    - Moniza Alvi, 1993 -

  5. #5
    Guild Apprentice Schattenherz's Avatar
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    Considering ravell's advice I may be on the right way (I estimated something around 1800 buildings inside the city walls).

    @Moe
    Unfortunately there's not much to read about Merridia until now. If you're interested still: Merridia or, partly this thread: Weltgeschehen - Nordreiche (yes, it's german).
    19 inhabitants/acre are too few. I'll have a try at a hopefully more exact calculation using your numbers:
    The space used by buildings (without castle, temple and harbour) is 110,000px at a scale of 1px = 1m (-> the original picture, I let Photoshop count them), so 110,000m² or 27.2 acre. Right? I'm really no genius when it comes to mathematics...
    So there would be 5440 inhabitants (assuming 200/acre)... I'm confused :/

    Both calculations hint at an incorrect scale, am I right? Using an scale of 1px = 2m would double the number of inhabitants, I suppose?
    Sorry for my dumbness concerning numbers

    edit: Thanks for the link, Moe, seems useful & I'll download it!
    Fantastische Kartographie - illustrations & maps by Schattenherz | DeviantArt | Drachenblut - german RPG board & world

  6. #6
    Moe
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    my previous post was a horrible failure!
    I forgot to hit the little sign in the histogramm to do a precise counting of the pixels...
    forgive me!

    forget the calculations and follow this one, correct me if needed...
    1. According to your scale in the sample: 2000m are ~500px, therefore 1m is equal to 0.25px
    2. I increased the file size by factor 4 so 1m is equal to 1px
    3. your city (including all streets, walls and buildings, without the river) covers ~2,845,000 px
    4. 2,845,000m² = ~700 acres
    5. 20,000 people / 700 = ~29 people / 1 acre
    If you'd exclude the temples, streets and other areas from the calculation - the density would be lower of course.
    The question now is, what kind of city is Merridia (According to the categories in the guide)?

    >Moe

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by Schattenherz View Post
    So there would be 5440 inhabitants (assuming 200/acre)... I'm confused :/
    So Merridia should be a metropolis? With 700 acres and 200 persons / acre you would reach a total population of 140,000.
    And don't forget to hit the little sign in the upper right corner of the histogram in photoshop - or you wind up with those curious values as I did before
    Last edited by Moe; 08-16-2011 at 09:47 AM.
    If I stare at the country long enough
    I can prise it off the paper,
    lift it like a flap of skin.
    - Moniza Alvi, 1993 -

  7. #7
    Guild Apprentice Schattenherz's Avatar
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    Hehe... hitting that sign makes a huge difference Thank you so much, also for your detailed explanation of calculating it! I think I got it now A pity I can't award reputation yet.

    I excluded castle, temple and river while counting only buildings within the city walls and ended up with 302 acres -> 66 people / 1 acre. Metropolis would'nt be the right word for Merridia, but it still would be a large town/small city according to the guide. Not really what I imagined
    I'm thinking about simply increasing the number of inhabitants.

    Some research results (Wikipedia hooray!):
    Cologne (1500): 40.000 - biggest city in germany
    London (1500): 125.000
    Hamburg (~1500): 20.000
    Lübeck (1502): 25.444
    Nürnberg (1485): 36.000

    As with about 42.000 inhabitants Merridia would be a "large city" following the guide, that's my choice The wards outside the city wall will be built quite loosely.

    I will go on with drawing the buildings
    Fantastische Kartographie - illustrations & maps by Schattenherz | DeviantArt | Drachenblut - german RPG board & world

  8. #8
    Moe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schattenherz View Post
    Hehe... hitting that sign makes a huge difference Thank you so much, also for your detailed explanation of calculating it! I think I got it now
    No problem

    If you take some 'real world' examples I could add, that the density of buildings in the middle ages was not that high - even in cities. There were fields, vineyards and gardens all over the place. It took until the 19th century to cover this space within the city walls. Cologne had a density of ~100 people per ha (40.47/acre) around the year 1500 (didn't do research on that - I am pretty sure that I remember it correctly, but be aware ).

    >Moe
    If I stare at the country long enough
    I can prise it off the paper,
    lift it like a flap of skin.
    - Moniza Alvi, 1993 -

  9. #9
      ravells is offline
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    I found a great document on the MIT website (attached). If you scroll down to the end there is a list of data of city sizes and populations in the ancient and medieval periods.

    Link to Site
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Merridia-mit-article.pdf  

  10. #10
    Guild Apprentice Schattenherz's Avatar
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    Very interesting, thank you! So maybe it would be a good idea to make the city grow over it's borders to achieve a bit more realistic density while keeping a total of about 40,000 inhabitants... or less.
    Though I imagined no fields, but gardens and backyards are planned for the Merridians. Perhaps I'll gift them with some other green spaces, too
    Fantastische Kartographie - illustrations & maps by Schattenherz | DeviantArt | Drachenblut - german RPG board & world

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