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Thread: Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP

  1. #21
      feanaaro is offline
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    Flooding of the Tiber has always been a problem, until they built the current banks in the late nineteenth century (I think), that does not necessarily mean that there were significant streams coming from the hills. That is well possible, but if as you said they had problem with drainage, that would seem an hint against the presence of permanent streams, otherwise the water would have been drained into the river and they would not have had the problem to begin with. The region where this city is, in any case, is less rainy than Rome, and certainly much less than London.
    I am trying to look at the Yenisei, but for some reason google maps blanks out for me in that area.

    Edit: I know this will seem really stupid, but I am apparently unable to draw any decently sinuous line... maybe I would need a graphic tablet, I don't know...
    Last edited by feanaaro; 01-26-2014 at 02:04 AM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHoarseWhisperer View Post
    I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of drawing on your map to illustrate roughly how I think the islands could be made to work better. I also got carried away, and started messing around with the hills (which look good, by the way, but for realism could be perhaps less circular).

    I made the assumption that the river flows from right to left, as shown by the black arrow (it it doesn't, I think you might need to reconsider that tributary stream). As a result of my interventions, I also think the river may not be as wide as you had originally planned it, and I may have bulldozed over your village. Sorry about that. On the flip side, the river looks a bit more sinuous, which, in my opinion, helps realism. Hope this is helpful.

    EDIT: I agree with Jalyha about the riverbanks. It does look good in the closeup, and I wouldn't worry about it too much for the thumbnail (except try to make it consistent at all points, including around the islands).
    THAT sketch fixed the problem I had with the islands, so I think it was a positioning thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by feanaaro View Post
    I don't think that a small hill (roughly 2*2km, and maybe 150-200m high) could support 8 streams flowing to the rivers. For example, Rome is very hilly as it is well known, and yet no stream goes from the hills to the Tiber (plus, the entire region is not particularly rainy).
    The river as you draw it looks indeed better, but it does not make sense either to have it so narrow – this is longer than the Nile and draws the watershed of a continent-sized area, though not a tropical one, so probably smaller than the Amazon – nor to have multiple islands so large, I think. I should probably try to get a better shape for the river, though I am finding difficult to obtain a good result. It would probably be easier if it were narrower, but it can't be.
    Your hill is about 30 times the size of your village, on first glance. Your village is 6 farm plots across, and each farm plot *appears* to be about the size of a city block. (which is REALLY small, for a farm, but anyway...) That's a half mile. across... let's call the village 1 square mile... that makes the hill 48.2803 km2. So... something's off with either the perspective or your calculations. which may be why the hill looked like it could support that many streams, and the cause of this whole discussion.


    Quote Originally Posted by feanaaro View Post
    but if as you said they had problem with drainage, that would seem an hint against the presence of permanent streams, otherwise the water would have been drained into the river and they would not have had the problem to begin with. Edit: I know this will seem really stupid, but I am apparently unable to draw any decently sinuous line... maybe I would need a graphic tablet, I don't know...
    I'm not even sure what you're talking about. Streams don't (typically, where I'm from) just drain away, any more than rivers do. The water comes from whatever source it came from in the first place, and keeps flowing (usually) ... that's WHY there would be a problem with drainage... There's tons of hills around here with even more springs that feed into the river, and they been doin that for ages?


    And I'm having problems with sinuous lines too :/ Maybe is because I'm using the touchpad on my laptop

  3. #23
      feanaaro is offline
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    The farm plots are very small indeed. Actually, those are not even proper farms, just the little fields the first colonists put up next to their houses. Notice that there are perhaps 100 people in the village at this point. In any case, the size of the plots may be wrong, but the scale is 1px = 1m (1px = 2m in the overall map which I had to halve in size to upload). And the hill is roughly 2*2km. The entire village (minus the dock and the logging camp) would fit in a rectangle of 270*170m.
    I am now trying to get the rivers a little more sinuous and the islands a little more believable.

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      feanaaro is offline
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    Ok, here is another attempt. I hope it looks better. It still does not look as good as HoarseWisperer's modification, but keeping the river wide enough and with my incapacity to draw this is what I could do.
    Figuring that the appearance of the river could be improved by an higher length/width ratio, I also enlarged the whole map a little bit (now the depicted area is 10*7.2km)

    Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP-elinore350afk.jpg

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    Well I've said my piece about the river and its islands before, so I'll keep this brief. I've attached a quick grab from GoogleEarth of the Yenisei, to show you what I meant about the islands in a large river. I also took a measurement of the width of the river, roughly in the middle of the picture, and it is over 6km (assuming GoogleEarth measurements are accurate). You might also want to notice that all rivers (and especially large ones) become increasingly twisted as they enter flat country, and get close to their outlets. I've forgotten the name of loops in rivers, but if you look up Oxbow Lakes you'll probably find out what I mean.

    All that aside, your new version of the river does indeed look better, although I still think you should have a main channel (i.e. at least one of the channels passing the islands should be larger, perhaps twice as wide as you've drawn it).

    And, quickly, I don't know how realistic your farms are in terms of size, but you should remember that farms in the middle ages were much smaller than modern ones. Try looking up burgage plots to get a sense of how much land one family would have to farm.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP-yenisei-river-russia.jpg  

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      feanaaro is offline
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    In terms of realism and beauty, you are right. The problem is that if I make the main channel realistically wide (say 500m or more), then it would also be unbridgeable, defeating the story-driven purpose of having islands in the first place. (btw, what would be in your opinion the maximum width which would be bridgeable with some plausibility in a non-mechanized society?)
    6km would be too wide. I think of this river a bit like a longer Mississipi; that is to say a great river but not one so huge as the Amazon or the Congo in terms of discharge. This is because even if it drains a very large area, it is almost all within temperate/cold climates and almost all in the rain shadow of one or another mountain chain. Thus I would not expect the rainfall to be substantial enough to generate an Amazon-wide, or even Yenisei-wide, river.
    Wikipedia says that the Mississipi is ~1.6km at its widest. This one would probably be more, but since this place is still quite far from the mouth, I think that ~1.2-1.3km is within the realms of plausibility.
    Does this make sense?
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  7. #27
      Jalyha is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHoarseWhisperer View Post
    Well I've said my piece about the river and its islands before, so I'll keep this brief. I've attached a quick grab from GoogleEarth of the Yenisei, to show you what I meant about the islands in a large river. I also took a measurement of the width of the river, roughly in the middle of the picture, and it is over 6km (assuming GoogleEarth measurements are accurate). You might also want to notice that all rivers (and especially large ones) become increasingly twisted as they enter flat country, and get close to their outlets. I've forgotten the name of loops in rivers, but if you look up Oxbow Lakes you'll probably find out what I mean.

    All that aside, your new version of the river does indeed look better, although I still think you should have a main channel (i.e. at least one of the channels passing the islands should be larger, perhaps twice as wide as you've drawn it).


    I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, but ... well, first of all, there's no such thing as "all rivers do" anything. Any rule you think up, there's an exception, and, usually more than one.

    Secondly, that picture covers a LONG length of river, so it doesn't matter what the width is in one spot... the terrain is different all down the length of it.

    And /that/ is what makes a river move, or widen, or branch off, or makes tributaries flow into it.

    There's more than one big river, more than one island in those rivers, and more than one way it could flow.

    This is a very small section of map, a miniscule piece of a river, and you can't really generalize it based on what's shown here.

    The river islands on this map are entirely plausible, depending on the conditions around it, and, quite frankly, with the information we've been given, there's no reason to think it isn't.

    The reason you *usually* see islands only in the widest bits of a river is because that's where the land *under* the river is lower, over a wider distance, and there's a big ole' hill in the middle of that area. The river fills the lower ground, but does not climb the hill (island).

    They *can* be any size of hill or rock, any width of ground, and any size river.

    I think this river will be okay as is.

    But, if you want more reference points, here's a few more images (since there's more than one big river in the world):


    A comparably *sized* section of the Yenisei river:

    Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP-river-islands-2.jpg

    Some more islands in a big stretch of the mississippi:

    Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP-river-islands.jpg

    A weird little island in the middle of the nile:

    Elinore - A Diachronic City WIP-river-islands-3.jpg

    just saying.. it varies.

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    You're right that there are always exceptions, but there are also general principles that can be referenced. Nonetheless, Jalyha, point taken, and I doff my hat to you. Really, it comes down to feanaaro, and his/her preferences. This discussion has lasted quite a while, and I would advise him/her to avoid getting bogged down on one issue. Many good maps have been ruined that way, so good luck to you.

    About the length of a bridge in pre-mechanised times, I don't have much to add, but I heard once that London was chosen by the Romans as their capital (in Britain) because it was the lowest part of the Thames that was bridgeable. The width of the river at that point is ~240 m. If this story is true, then that should be the maximum length of a river (if the Romans couldn't build a longer bridge, then surely nobody else could). But, as with rivers, there may be exceptions (depending on the strength of the current, depth of the river, type of building materials etc.).

  9. #29
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    I suppose I'm so adamant cause I grew up near an exception

    I don't know anything about old bridges, though, so ya'll are on your own there. Sounds about right, though.

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      RedKettle is offline
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    Default Romans! What are you doing!

    Quote Originally Posted by feanaaro View Post
    ...The problem is that if I make the main channel realistically wide (say 500m or more), then it would also be unbridgeable, defeating the story-driven purpose of having islands in the first place. (btw, what would be in your opinion the maximum width which would be bridgeable with some plausibility in a non-mechanized society?)...
    Poking through a looong list of old Roman bridges on Wikipedia, I came across:

    Puente Romano (Mérida) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    ...It is the longest surviving bridge from ancient times, having once featured an estimated overall length of 755 m with 62 spans...


    I am not sure which conditions led the Romans to build this bridge, but I assume the large island helped. Based on that example, I would have to say bridging a river 500m wide is plausible to me, especially in an area where the river is shallower/has islands.
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