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Anybody care to share their map?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Johnny Cosmo, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    I'm just looking to see how others are getting along with mapping their worlds. It's one of my favourite aspects of world-building, and I've been making decent progress with my own map (though I don't feel it's ready to show yet). So, if you have a map, why not let us see your hard work?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
    Asura Levi likes this.
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    You can check out the ones in the Machiavel "Visual Aids" thread... though I'm hoping to replace them with updated (and computer-generated, rather than scanned drawing) versions soon. There are three versions of the same map: the original (post #1), a second one with tags indicating the locations of the players' baronies (#3), and a recolored one with numbered key rather than the names written on the map (#4). Note that apart from coasts, mountains and major rivers, terrain is not represented, which is in accordance with the purpose of the map: political, not geographic. The revised version, when it appears, will hopefully be considerably clearer; also, I intend to post zoomed sections of it, in order to be able to show subdivisions of the top-level political divisions.

    There's also an outline map of a large city for the Mythic Archipelago project there, though this is very much "outline," intended for development by feedback from multiple individuals, so it lacks nearly all details apart from terrain (and the references that do appear on it won't make a lot of sense unless you've been privy to the discussion about it).
     
  3. Hans

    Hans Sage

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    If you want examples of maps, a map for a small side project of mine is here: http://www.5sl.org/~bretscher/broesel/map1_5.jpg
    It's a Brösel (or crumb) for the weltenbastler community, so where there is no color that's actually empty space. No world there.
     
  4. 1. Tiktën
    2. Avyara
    3. Zult
    4. Kamërëiga
    5. Ãvïnarya
    6. Hërskës
    7. Tochrëra
    8. Hulahanjrie (capital)
    9. Pëfënta
    10. Altarin
    the bit at the top says "Zëwërath amn Shëgma" sub 'of' for 'amn' under it says Athvïl-An, which is the name of that bit with all the trees and roads and such.
    mapu wa koko da.
     
  5. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    @Ravana: It's definitely worth using something other than paint. Personally, I could never get into Gimp, but I have an old copy of Photoshop that I use. A lot of people swear by Gimp though, especially if they're not primarily graphics people, and I'm sure it'd do anything you want when you get used to it. I checked out your Machiavel maps, but they're a little hard to read (as my hand-drawn maps are).

    @Hans: Cool, the texture is nice. It looks a bit empty though, but I guess that's down to taste. I'm feeling the need to mark everything from rivers to mountains on my map.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  6. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    In the first post of the Enessia - Main thread in the Mythic Archipelago I have two city maps that are pen and colored pencil. I also have one for my main world-building project that has gone through so many permutations over the past six years that you wouldn't think they were related. Its still very much a work in progress when I fell it's good enough I will probably show it.
     
  7. Leuco

    Leuco Troubadour

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    My map isn't much, but maybe it well inspire others to share what cartography they've made. I mean, we take the time to make these maps, why not share them with folks who actually would like to see them?

    I tried to make mine simple, hence the lack of color. I was trying to give my map (and covers) the appearance of those old TSR books you might have read back in the 80's or early 90's. I thought those were cool, but you know, I've seen quite a few in some amateur ebooks that look really impressive. If I could, I'd probably try to make something similar.

    I only included territories on my map (inspired by the Sierra Nevadas) if they were referenced in my book. My story is pretty fast-paced, and the characters don't really do any epic quests for holy grails or anything like that. They pretty much stay within the two conflicting territories and try not to die.

    You can probably guess what software I used. I'm obviously not very techno savvy.

    MAP_bak_bak.jpg
     
  8. Hans

    Hans Sage

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    The reason many people get into Gimp (me too) is, because it's free and can do about everything they want. People coming from Photoshop often argue Gimp is not intuitive.
    My experience with interface design, which is supported in some literature: An intuitive interface is an interface that the people are used to. There is nothing more to it.

    Yes, I very intensely use different layers for different purposes. My "master file" is very crowded, when I turn on all layers. Crowded enough that the viewer doesn't recognize anything anymore. But that doesn't matter, because unneeded layers can easily be turned off.
     
  9. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    I agree completely. I've been using photoshop for years, so I just couldn't 'get' Gimp, but I know people who manage to get the job done with it. It being free is a huge pro as well - people should at least try it out.
     
  10. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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  11. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Well, I went ahead and finished my current map with Paint (it was too close to being finished not to, and I wanted to make sure I had at least one complete copy that was all in one format)... and two minutes after I'd done that, I had downloaded GIMP and was making changes. Yeah, it's a lot better.

    I will say that the interface is definitely "less intuitive" than Paint's, by just about anybody's standards... but in large part that's because the latter is so limited it would have been hard to place any of its few functions anywhere that wasn't obvious. (Even for Microsoft, it would've been hard.) Aside from that, I see no reason to favor it, and have no intention of so much as opening it again. Not for mapping, in any event.

    Now I just gotta learn how to use all of GIMP's functions. Which means I'm probably going to have to surrender and RTFM at some point, since there are some that I can't even take a good guess at what they do, or at any rate how to get them to do what I think they ought to. But it should be fun. And I probably have to download some symbols from somewhere, since a symbol menu seems to be the one thing that standard GIMP lacks--or at least I couldn't find one last night. (Yes, I know there are some hiding in the Fonts section... probably quite a few, from the looks of things. But I'm not going to press every key on my keyboard just to see what it does. Lists shouldn't be too difficult to find.)
     
  12. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    Well, be sure to show us what you come up with!
     
  13. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    First draft of new map is up (in the same old place). Names are still too small, but only barely (I'll go up a couple points on the type next go-round, I suppose); they should probably zoom just fine. While it seems to me to lose some of the personality of a hand-drawn map, I have to admit the gain in legibility is considerable (especially where it involves eliminating my atrocious handwriting, as opposed to just my coloring).

    Now I have to get the maps of the bordering areas up, then zoom everything by parts so I can get the lower-level political divisions in.…
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  14. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    Your new map looks a lot cleaner, it's definitely an improvement. Whilst I would agree that there is a certain charm to hand-drawn maps, I'd prefer them to function well. That said, I've seen some digital maps that are very stylish, with a lot of personality.

    If you fancy some feedback, I think your map would benefit from some small adjustments:

    • If you made the greens and yellows less strong, then the text would be easier to read.
    • Considering you have a lot of regions, would it have not been a good idea to draw the map larger? That would have let you use a larger type, and would have also opened up the possibility of marking terrain with more than just colour.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  15. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Heh. The map is larger. A lot larger. That's just the central section–the Empire itself. Doesn't even include all of the bordering kingdoms that were once part of it. Which is why I'm going to do focused sections later on. And even what you're looking at is zoomed back to 30% of its actual size.

    Yeah, I'm going to be making some changes to the color palette next time around. I don't find the colors to be especially strong, myself–though I also keep the brightness turned down a bit on my monitor, so they may look different to others. I am going to try to get that yellow-green to be less aggressive, at any rate. And eliminate the icy blues, much as I love the colors themselves: one of the colors would have been teal, but since it falls squarely between blue and green, it would have been potentially confusing. (If I were the only one who had to read it, the colors would be a lot cooler and closer together on the palette, but that would kind of defeat the purpose here.) The trick is trying to manage sufficient contrast while still giving five color options. Which is easier if I'm not also using groups of colors to indicate relations (all green are X, etc.)… something I started doing in order to enhance general comprehensibility with limited legibility, limited image size and limited file sizes in general. Well, that plus it was outright garish when I was just using a basic five-color scheme overall. At least part of the problem with what you're seeing is that most areas ended up looking mottled, for reasons involving Paint's deficiencies. Which is why I gave up this afternoon on trying to repair what I had and redrafted the whole thing from scratch… rather than going on to at least finish the kingdom maps first, as I'd intended to.

    On the other hand, the borders are going to be (and were supposed to be, until Paint had its way with them) color-coded as well… and since those are all going to be high-contrast colors, they may end up being garish as well, even at the size they're going in. Then again, they're nice and visible… even at the size they're going in, even at the same zoom level as the currently posted one. They no longer have "auras" where the program didn't fill to the edges and I didn't get it repainted precisely enough. (The fills are working correctly, too, so each area is only one color.) Both of which represent a substantial improvement, even without doing anything else to it. Definitely still want to increase font size, though.

    I was planning on doing a terrain map originally, in addition to a political one, but in fact the terrain has little effect on the game as it's structured: basically, either you can go someplace or you can't, and nothing else matters a whole lot. In my normal mapping mode, it's the terrain that gets marked, political subdivisions only get borders, and you have to figure out for yourself which side of them you're on any given day. (Which is a lot like real life was prior to the days of GPS.)

    I still haven't found any symbol/icon sets I like. So I started making my own. The ones I have so far are probably too "lightweight" for most people's purposes (my own included, most likely: they're all drawn with one-pixel-wide lines… though, honestly, they don't look too bad on the map), but I'll attach them anyway, on the off chance anybody wants to make use of them. They're largely derivative of map symbols from Blaeu's Grand Atlas (and its contemporaries), albeit somewhat simplified. One deliberate feature I included was what might at first look like places I missed a spot in a line: in fact, I deliberately drew them so that the interior is all one space, so they can be bucket-filled with one click (which I wanted, even if nobody else needs it).

    map icon doodles 1.jpg

    Hmm. Maybe I shoulda zoomed them a bit before uploading? :p (I'm sure I could've put them in a more useful format, too. Perhaps I'll do that once I have a "final" set. In the meantime, they can be copied and converted, I'm sure.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  16. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing. I don't mean the size of your continent/world... I mean the actual size you drew it. The scaling of the whole image is pretty small, and 'zooming in' would decrease the overall quality (you'd have to have created it that way from the start. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding a difference in terminology here.

    Also, the reason I make the point about colours is that text can be harder to read on strong colours. And I didn't mean you should not use contrasting colours, but that their shade (and perhaps saturation) could be lighter, like pastel colours for example. They could still be very different colours.
     
  17. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    We're talking about the same thing. The actual size of the map—the computer-generated one, that is, not the original hand-drawn one—is more than three times the size of the image uploaded to this site. To give you some comparison, the proper names are in 24-point font, the division names ("duchy," etc.) in 20-point. That's what I meant when I said you're only seeing it at 30% zoom. That's the nice thing about the computer art, though: if I zoom the hand-drawn one, it's terrible (I know: I tried); whereas if I take, say, the center portion of this up to 100% size, it looks like

    center 100per.jpg

    ( I haven't started adding the text into the new version yet. Just threw that one name on for example purposes… at the original 20-and-24 size. Shoulda thrown a couple of my icons in, too, for fun, but I don't want to go back and upload another version.)

    The problem I'm having with the colors is that they start looking too similar to me after a while, and I'm afraid they'll do that for everyone else, too. I have come up with tones I'm slightly happier with (as you should be able to see from the above… at least I hope), but they're still pretty "solid." I'm going to keep toying with them, but I don't want to do too much yet until I work down to the subdivisions. I was hoping what I could do there was to put something akin to a "wash" on them then, so that each subdivision would retain the basic tone of the top level, making it easier to see what parts go together with what. That's going to have to wait for another day, though. (I'm not sure there's a way to do it directly… or, rather, I am sure there is, but I'm not sure I can do it without locating a plug-in for it. May just have to do it manually. If you know of an easy way, do share, please. I'll keep poking at it in the meantime.)

    Edit: the actual size of the map in the Machiavel thread is about 2750 x 2250 pixels.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011
  18. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    It was this that confused me, which seems to be talking about the size of the world, but I understand you now. That's good then, and it makes the colours a little less of a problem, actually.

    You mean a way to 'lighten/soften' all of the colours at once? I'm not sure how GIMP handles layers, and if you even used them. But, in photoshop I would do this;
    1. Add a new layer
    2. Fill it white
    3. Set the opacity somewhere between 10 - 30%
    4. Move it so that it is above the coloured regions, but below borders and text
    Again, that's if you've used layers for different components of the map (which I'm sure GIMP can do). Also, though this is for photoshop, I am sure there will be GIMP equivalents to all of these options.
     
  19. Hans

    Hans Sage

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    If you seriously want to go deeper into map making have a look over to the Cartographers Guild. They have some really nice tutorials and other stuff there.
     
  20. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    I've taken a look at the stuff over there, a lot of nice maps. I just can't be bothered to sign-up, but thanks for the suggestion. Have you created any maps yourself?
     
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