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Math/Map Help Needed! Pretty please?


I need help! Need a mathematician to help me figure out a blank for making a planetary map for the world of my fantasy series. "Ersa" is an Earth-like planet that's slightly bigger with gravity about 1/3 again as heavy as Earth's.
Is there anyone out there who can recommend me someone who can do this kind of math, but also set me up with a 3-d Sphere blank of the planet I can work with?

I tend to think in terms of "how long will it take me to get there?" so I have lots of small maps of little communities that I need to put together to do something on a GLOBAL scale. UUUUGH. Nightmare inducing project, here... especially for one not mathematically inclined.

I'm really open to suggestions - I want to do this right without a lot of distortion at the poles, and I don't mind compensating the right person for some help... I do custom character portraits, could give free copies of my books, do some copy writing/editing (I've been a pro copywriter for 25+ years) Maybe even some money?

Anyway... HELP!!!!


Myth Weaver
It's not that difficult. I have done this in MS Paint, which is about as unwieldy as you can get. Pen, paper, and ruler works as well.

First you need your equatorial circumference. As your world is about earth sized, you can look that up somewhere and use it. Maybe round it up a notch to keep things easy.

Subsequent circumferences, in a dead even east-west line, depend on latitude. At 45 degrees latitude (north or south) the circumference will be half that of the equator.

Your full map will have 360 degrees of longitude - a complete circle.

Unless your world is really strange, probably not much going on past latitude 60 north or south. Much past that, and your likely into ice sheets. So forget the polar regions.

I usually split my global maps into sections divided by longitude. (Say, four sections of 90 degrees each, or six sections of 60 degrees each.) At latitude 60, dead east-west line, circumference is 1/3rd that of the equator. At latitude 30, the circumference is 2/3rds that of the equator. Hence, if ten degrees spans 1.5 inches (or 9 centimeters) at the equator, it will span 1 inch/6 centimeters at latitude 30, and 0.5 inches/3 centimeters at latitude 60. You get a 'tapering' effect at the top and bottom.

Vertical distances remain constant at the center. Hence 1.5 inches/9 centimeters dead north-south will always be ten degrees. You can keep this constant for all north south dimensions, though there is a bit of distortion - the classic 'mapping a sphere on a flat surface.'

Dimensions and distance per degree decided, make a grid - first points, then lines to represent longitude and latitude. There will be some distortion, but not a great deal. Then fill in the geographic details.


Myth Weaver
If you are working on 2D maps and want to see how they look in the 3d world, I highly recommend
G.Projection from NASA
G.Projector transforms an equirectangular map image into any of over 125 global and regional map projections. Longitude-latitude gridlines and continental outlines may be drawn on the map, and the resulting image may be saved to disk in GIF, JPEG, PDF, PNG, PS or TIFF form.
You can choose how much of your world your map covers and morphs it accordingly. Then you can see how it fits on a real world. It even gives you overlays of Earth in case you want to see how much bigger/smaller your Empire is compared to Europe, Asia, the USA etc...
It takes a little bit of getting used to but gives you a wonderful idea of how things look.


toujours gai, archie
You don't need a mathematician, you need a cartographer. Try the Cartographer's Guild. But be prepared to pay real money!


Take a scaled flat map of the Earth and lay a grid over it. Figure out how many miles fit into one of the grids. Take a piece of tracing paper, lay it over the map and grid and figure out how much bigger you want your planet. Draw on the paper and now you have your world with size comparasion to Earth.