Port City Renaissence
I m writting some few books, and they needed maps, i did maps of all the main cities, and of the world. I m still editing them, so, they are not 100% complete.
Here is the map of:
Name: Hirenia's Republic City
Background: Founded as a colony city in an new continent, fought for its independence years later then turned into an republic with the other south colonies. Fought an war against the north monarchy colonies.
I want some reviews and/or advices about how to improve this and the other maps i will post.
Details: I m working with paint.NET, worked a bit with photoshop before but I m still a beginner with ps. To develop the worl map I used autoREALM and edited with Paint.NET.
It's pretty early to get into too many specifics, but some general ideas to think about ...
Cities tend to grow out from a center ... some reason the first settlers built the first tavern or mill or whatever started the settlement at this spot. So a city founded where two important roads cross (or where an important road crosses a river) will tend to grow in a general circle around the crossing point. A city that grew from a natural harbor, will tend to expand in a semicircle from the first dock.
Whatever the origin of the city, security will be an issue. Some cities grow up in the shadow of a castle that offers general protection for the region. Some cities are afforded a sort of natural protection (try marching an army on Venice). Some cities build strong walls to keep everyone out. The title includes the word "Renaissance", but I am not sure how literally you are using that word and whether you are referring to the historic period or simple the general concept of a 'rebirth'. If you are thinking of the historic period, then there are lots of really interesting new styles of 'star fortifications' and urban planning that you might want to draw inspiration from.
In any event, cities, by definition, mean lots of people that require lots of water from somewhere. If this city is along a large freshwater river (like the Nile or Mississippi) then you have that covered. If the harbor is non-potable water, then the city will have been founded near a stream or river to supply fresh water ... or there should be some sort of aqueduct to bring in fresh water from somewhere else. Whatever you decide, it creates opportunities for your map to have some interesting features.
I love maps for novels and I'm always excited to see a writer involved in the cartography of his world.
Atpollard covered a lot of good points to consider regarding city planning, and I only have a couple things to add.
First, if this is a city that exists in a book you are writing you might want to place certain points of interest within the city before adding too many nondescript structures. When I read a book and see a map I like to see the places visited by characters represented.
Second, other things that can heavily influence city planning are important structures like churches, parks, monuments, and expansions to previous parts of the city. Rarely do the walls of a city restrict its growth, so poorer sections or markets might have sprung up outside, and farmland might still be cultivated close by if the land is fertile.
Last, I've never used paint.NET but I think you will reach its limits pretty quickly (it already appears that making smoothly connected line structures might be difficult), so I would suggest looking up some of the tutorials here for Photoshop.
Thanks for the advices guys, I will try to improve the map and show the new version here.