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Help my World Map make sense

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Esudeath, Jun 2, 2019.

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  1. Esudeath

    Esudeath Dreamer

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    Screen Shot 2019-06-02 at 1.26.47 PM.png [​IMG] I've been messing around and trying to make a map since the start of this year, I need critique. There are two continents and a few islands but I plan to add more. Screen Shot 2019-06-02 at 1.30.19 PM.png
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    It doesn't have much detail--no rivers, mountains, cities, etc. Is this the *entire* world, or just the story part of it? If the entire, then the two big continents are about the same distance apart east-west (if the map wraps around). Not a criticism, just trying to get perspective. Also, if entire, then the southern parts are near the south pole, the northern parts the north pole. What's that pale gray bit up at the top? I see, or think I see, some lighter green and darker green. Does that signify? If so, you might want to increase the contrast.

    You might consider popping over to the Cartographers Guild and see how others have done their maps. Have fun!
     
  3. Esudeath

    Esudeath Dreamer

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    Thank you! Its just the general shape of entire world and thx for the advice.
     
  4. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Ok...running a thumbnail calculation and assuming the world is a sphere, I get a east/west circumference on the order of about 5000 miles, which works out to a diameter of around 1600 miles (these are rough numbers.) This makes for an extremely small planet, smaller than earths moon...and probably too small to be plausible. I see this in all too many fantasy 'world maps,' that in actuality show only a relatively small portion of the world.

    I'd argue this shows merely part of one hemisphere, or about a third of the planet excluding the arctic/antarctic regions. The rest could be mostly ocean perhaps with island archipelagos.

    Curvature of the globe is important: the distance of a degree of longitude at +45 is *half* that at the equator. Projected onto a flat surface without correction, this makes for seriously distorted distances, especially at the higher latitudes. With a proper projection, the southern reaches of your first state and the northern portions of your second state would be much smaller than your map allows for.

    The area between your first and second states is equatorial, if I understand your scheme correctly. That region will be hot - as will your third nation.

    I am unclear what you mean by the references to terrestrial landmasses on the map (Europe, North Africa, and so on). Are these indicators of relative size? Or cultural notations?

    That said, the shapes of the landmasses work, though you do need to denote mountains (volcanic or along fault lines), major rivers, forests, and deserts.
     
  5. Esudeath

    Esudeath Dreamer

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    Holy hell thank you for that advice?? I had a feeling it was pretty small since I've only recently been thinking about its size. And the references are just cultural so you are right.

    How would I make my world look larger? Ive been struggling with that for about a year just getting its general shape.
     
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    You acknowledge that your map shows just part of one hemisphere. Given the cultures listed, and assuming they dwell in climate regions comparable to those on earth, I would suggest about 90 degrees of longitude (out of a possible 360 degrees) and from roughly -45 to +45 latitude. That leaves 75% of the planet, plus the polar regions as 'unknown.' (but fear not, the Pacific ocean covers almost half of earth.)

    Now, if you are assuming a earth sized world, a degree of longitude at the equator would be about 70 miles. At +45/-45, (top/bottom of the map) that degree would be a mere 35 miles. At lat +15, a long degree would be about 58 miles, and at +30, about 46 miles. (there is some rounding with these numbers) .For my world maps, I make literal longitudinal/latitudinal grids, each no more than 90 degrees of longitude, then do the map. It can be a bit of an eyeopener when you realize just how little of the planet your world map actually encompasses. Think of the blank space as 'places to put stories that don't fit it with the WIP.'
     
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  7. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    If you want to get really technical with getting your world map to look right, the Nasa's G.Projector is of use [or at least a great way to waste time].
    The programme lets you project your map on to a know map projection and corrects it to fit. It is fiddly to understand and get to work right but can prove useful.
     
    Esudeath likes this.
  8. elemtilas

    elemtilas Sage

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    For an easy experiment, get rid of that "size of the UK" notation. Then, if your planet is Earth-sized, get a ruler and figure out the scale of your map. Earth is (about) 25000mi around (close enough for government work!). If your map is 25 inches across, then 1 inch = 1000 miles. If your map is about 12 inches across, then 1 inch = 2000 miles.

    Keep in mind, if your world map is 25 inches across, it also needs to be 25 inches from top to bottom! (If your planet is (roughly) spherical anyway. A lot of fantasy maps end up being widescreen and won't end up fitting onto a globe.

    The very best way to make a whole planet map make sense is to actually make one! And specifically, make a map that mimics the shape of your planet. I did this project with mine:

    [​IMG]

    It is wonderful to see, as ThinkerX says, exactly how much space your lands and seas take up. In my case, it's also helpful to visualise what people see when they look up in the sky. I.e., a whole nother planet!
     
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  9. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Not quite. Longitude requires 360 degrees, or 25 inches at 1000 miles to the inch for an earth sized planet. Latitude, though,is pole to pole, 180 degrees, or half that (12 inches). More, the polar regions - north of +70 and south of -70 probably don't need to be included.
     
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  10. Futhark

    Futhark Sage

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    If I’m doing an entire planet I usually start with tectonic plates. It will give you a rough outline of where the major continents are and their mountains, which will in turn suggest rivers and other natural features. You can keep it simple or you can go crazy like me and try to work out how they impact ocean currents and weather patterns, so you know where to put deserts, tropical areas and so on and so forth (and on and on and on).

    Or, if you are doing a small area, relatively speaking, then just grab an old atlas. Say you want your country to be like Alabama, or the Phillipines, then have that page open to reference as you draw your own.

    I suggest the second, unless you really want to know enough about the ecosystem and geology to earn a degree (just kidding, sort of), or you want a functioning world that you plan to tell many stories in.
     
  11. elemtilas

    elemtilas Sage

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    Right! Got carried away with that!
     
  12. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

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    You can use GPlates to draw on an actual globe. It does have a bit of a learning curve and editing is a bit difficult due to how it's set up, but you can create the rough shapes and then change the projection to something 2-dimensional, which you can then screenshot and work on on your image editor of choice. My recommendations would be to use the equirectangular projection for ease of creating a map of the whole world, or use Mercator with 75°-latitude cut-off points (as ThinkerX suggested) to use a projection that keeps the angles. Do keep in mind that all maps distort how a spherical planet actually looks like though.
     
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