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Map Makers who are Mac Users

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Gospodin, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Gospodin

    Gospodin Minstrel

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    For those members who are Mac users and also fans of fantastic cartography, what applications do you make use of in map-making? I have always relied on GIMP, but wish I could find something a little more task-specific as regards the making of maps.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. ascanius

    ascanius Inkling

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    Hey. I don't use Mac but I use Debian which is similar, sorta. But when I started out map making I used gimp. All you really need is a paint, raster or vector based, program. You can use the other specialist programs, like autorealm, fractal terrains etc, but they are not needed. The only program that you should get is gprojector to project the map on a sphere to see how the north and south pole look.

    If you want to get very realistic gplates can also help help, but in the end they are all tools that depend on your ability, even the dedicated map making tools.

    I suggest learning about geography and make same sample maps to share and see which areas need work and what features you like. Hope that helps. Ooh, and check out cartographersguild
     
    Laurence and Gospodin like this.
  3. M P Goodwin

    M P Goodwin Scribe

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    I hand draw on A1 paper, designing in pencil, copy the draft in ink, then scan at high res (there's a printer locally with a bed scanner who does it cheap), then convert to Photoshop to add in colour, texture, fonts etc. Though this does take time it does give great results, so much so that I have one framed on my living room wall.
     
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  4. Mectojic

    Mectojic Minstrel

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    I must ask, being a total amateur with these things - I have a map on cardboard, probably near A1 size. How do I get that whole thing scanned nicely? Is there a shop that can do it for me?
     
  5. M P Goodwin

    M P Goodwin Scribe

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    Scanning the cardboard might not be possible as many modern printers only have "roller" type scanners capable of the size. However some do have flat bed type scanners that use vaccum suction to keep the medium in place so if you can find a printer with one of those they might be able to do it. In the UK I found it quite difficult to scan A1 until I found a company called John E Wright who own scanners of the right type. Your main problem might be the fact the map is on cardboard, which might be too thick to place on a flat scanner....?
    You also need to make sure that the scan is at least 300dpi (pixels), preferably 400dpi, so that the quality is high.
     
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  6. Mectojic

    Mectojic Minstrel

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    Thanks for that. To restate "cardboard" - it isn't thick at all. I would say about the thickness of a 7 pieces of paper, tightly together. In other words, not bulky.
    Given your experience, there are companies out there that can scan things of that level? That would be great, I'll look around (in Australia).
     
  7. M P Goodwin

    M P Goodwin Scribe

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  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Look for a local printer, someone who does flyers, advertisements, etc. If you need help finding one, ask your school or church where they get things printed. Or ask a local business where they get their things printed. I used to go to a local print shop and they would do all my art on a big scanner, and the dimensions were about two feet by three. Print shops aren't as common as they used to be, but businesses still get their posters and marketing materials somewhere. Like I said, call around.
     
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