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Topographical Maps...maps in general

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Miskatonic, May 17, 2015.

  1. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    One thing I struggle with is creating maps, especially with topographical features that are above the stick figure level of creativity.

    If anybody can offer some tips on how they go about making their world maps it would be greatly appreciated.

    I'll try and post the maps I've done for my current project ASAP.

    I have the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription so PS CS6 is something I'd be interested in using.
     
  2. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    [​IMG]

    Here's the world map.
     
  3. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    [​IMG]

    And here's the four kingdoms.
     
  4. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    With political maps, you don't need to include topographic features.

    That said, the distance between degrees is considerably smaller at higher latitudes than in the equatorial regions. Therefor, if your world has an equatorial circumference of 24,000 miles, then at latitude +45 (or -45) that circumference would 12,000 miles. If you did not allow for this, then the 'four kingdoms' continent is far smaller than it appears.

    I use MS Paint for my maps; I get around this problem by creating a grid first, dividing the world into longitudinal sections (four for the main world) that run from latitude +50 (give or take) down to around -15 or 20. Lots of counting using the text function, with little plus signs at 10 degrees longitudinal sections. There is still some distortion - there always is when mapping a spherical surface onto a flat sheet - but the distances are much truer. THEN I draw the map proper.

    The second world has a unique geography that makes a world map proper almost pointless, so I make do with a multitude of interconnected regional maps, each to the same scale.

    For interior details apart from coastlines and rivers, I use text symbols, sometimes accompanied by colored backgrounds (I date from the era when 90% of all fantasy maps boasted just one or two colors). Symbols:

    # City or Town

    *** Forest

    ^^^ Mountains

    -"- Swamp

    : Point of interest (ruin, fort, remote temple or some such)

    I don't include roads at the world map level. At the regional level, I use fine red lines, solid for major well maintained highways, dashed lines for important secondary routes, caravan tracks, and the like.


    I would suggest splitting your current world map into three longitudinal sections, the first including the 'four kingdoms' continent and upper portion of the southern landmass (let people wonder), the middle one focusing on the large islands and upper portion of the south central continent, along with the westernmost reaches of the eastern land mass. Third section would include the bulk of the eastern continent. Looks like you have a substantial ocean between this landmass and the 'four kingdoms' continent, so maybe another section there. You might have to omit the northernmost island from the 'four kingdoms' section.
     
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  5. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    That's a great idea to use longitudinal markings to get a better idea of climate, terrain, etc.

    I'll give it a try!
     
  6. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    If you want to have fun [and maybe make more realistic maps], have a look at G. Protector from NASA GISS. It lets you map your flat map on to different map projections. It has helped me think more globally when I'm planning.

    Here is the list of projections you can play with, there area few...

    Adams Orthembadic
    Airy
    Aitoff
    Aitoff-Wagner
    Albers Equal-Area Conic
    Apian I
    American Polyconic
    American Polyconic (Global)
    Apian II
    Armadillo
    Atlantis
    Azimuthal Equal-Area
    Azimuthal Equal-Area (Two-Hemisphere)
    Azimuthal Equidistant
    Azimuthal Equidistant (Two-Hemisphere)

    Babinet
    Bacon Globular
    Baker Dinomic
    Bartholomew
    Bartholomew's Nordic
    Behrmann
    Boggs Eumorphic
    Bonne
    Braun Perspective
    Braun Stereographic
    Briesemeister
    Breusing Geometric
    Breusing Geometric (Two-Hemisphere)
    Breusing Harmonic
    Breusing Harmonic (Two-Hemisphere)
    Bromley
    BSE Modified Polyconic

    Canters
    Canters Polyconic 1989 f7
    Canters Polyconic 1989 f8
    Canters Polyconic 1989 f9
    Canters Pseudocylindric 2002 f5.18
    Canters Pseudocylindric 2002 f5.19
    Canters Pseudocylindric 2002 f5.20
    Canters Pseudocylindric 2002 f5.23
    Cassini
    Cassini-Soldner
    Cordiform
    Craster Parabolic
    Cylindrical Equal-Area
    Cylindrical Equidistant

    Denoyer Semi-Elliptical

    Eckert III
    Eckert IV
    Eckert V
    Eckert VI
    Eckert-Greifendorff
    Equidistant Conic
    Equirectangular
    Equirectangular Oblique
    Érdi-Krausz

    Fahey
    Fairgrieve
    Foucaut
    Fournier Globular I

    Gall Isographic
    Gall Orthographic
    Gall Stereographic
    Gall-Peters
    Ginzburg IV.
    Ginzburg V
    Ginzburg VI
    Ginzburg VIII
    Ginzburg IX
    Ginzburg 1966
    Goode Homolosine
    Gott Equal-Area Elliptical
    Gott-Mugnolo Azimuthal
    Gott-Mugnolo Azimuthal (Two-Hemisphere)
    Gnomonic
    Gnomonic Cubed Sphere
    Gringorten
    GS50

    Hammer
    Hammer Oblique
    Hammer-Aitoff
    Hammer-Wagner
    Hill Eucyclic
    Hölzel
    Homalographic
    Homolographic.

    Kavraisky V
    Kavraisky VI:
    Kavraisky VII

    Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area
    Lambert Conformal Conic
    Lambert Cylindrical Equal-Area
    Larrivée

    Maurer SNo. 173
    Mayr
    McBryde P3
    McBryde Q3
    McBryde S2
    McBryde S3
    McBryde-Thomas Flat-Polar Parabolic
    McBryde-Thomas Flat-Polar Quartic
    McBryde-Thomas Flat-Polar Sinusoidal
    McBryde-Thomas Sine #1
    Mercator
    Miller Cylindric
    Miller Oblated Stereographic
    Modified Gall
    Mollweide
    Mollweide Oblique:

    Natural Earth
    Nell.
    Nell-Hammer
    Nordic

    Ordinary Polyconic
    Ortelius Oval
    Orthographic
    Orthographic (Two-Hemisphere)
    Orthophanic
    Oxford Atlas

    Parabolic
    Pavlov
    Peters
    Plate Carrée
    Polyconic
    PutniņÅ¡ P1,2,3,4,5,6

    Quartic-Authalic

    Raisz Armadillo
    Raisz Half Ellipsoidal
    Rectangular Polyconic
    Robinson

    Siemon II
    Siemon III
    Sanson-Flamsteed
    Sinusoidal
    Snyder GS50
    Stereographic
    Stereographic (Two-Hemisphere)
    Strebe Equal-Area: Polyconic, equal-area.

    Times Atlas
    Tobler G1
    Transverse Mercator (Sphere)
    TsNIIGAiK Modified Polyconic
    TsNIIGAiK Pseudocylindric

    Urmayev Sinusoidal

    Van Der Grinten I
    Vertical Perspective

    Wagner I
    Wagner II
    Wagner III
    Wagner IV
    Wagner V
    Wagner VI
    Wagner VII
    Wagner VIII
    Wagner IX
    War Office
    Werenskiold I
    Werenskiold II
    Werenskiold III
    Werner II
    Winkel I
    Winkel II
    Winkel Tripel
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
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  7. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    That's a lot to work with! :eek:
     
  8. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    I know!
    Procrastination heaven!!!!!!:p
     
  9. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

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  10. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    That looks amazing! Thanks for the recommendation!
     
  11. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    I'm currently having a map commissioned by one of the members at Cartographer's Guild. Once It's completed I'll post it here. So far I'm really liking it as well as working with the artist. :)
     
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  12. KindredQuill

    KindredQuill Acolyte

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    Wow, these maps are intense! I usually just scribble down approximate locations on a piece scratch of paper and make copious notes about the location's character and traits on an Excel spreadsheet later. I'll seriously have to consider making use of some of these resources in future.
     
  13. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

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    There are some really talented folks out there that make amazing maps. They certainly aren't cheap but as an accompaniment to a published book, they are worth every penny.
     
  14. M P Goodwin

    M P Goodwin Scribe

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    So, just to be clear...if I have a map I could use G. Protector and overlay my work onto a global version that they provide to give more topography and detail, is that the idea? I do a lot of cartography so anything that helps achieve the right look and feel is got to be worth a try. All my work is currently hand drawn and then edited for texture etc on Photoshop CS6.
     
  15. Bruce McKnight

    Bruce McKnight Troubadour

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    I'm a big fan of using GIMP because it's free and there are great tutorials all over YouTube (but mostly because it's free).

    It has most of the capabilities of PhotoShop and there is a little learning curve, but YouTube makes it go quick. The layers feature is great. I use it to write all sort of world notes. I'll put foods and resources and exports all on different layers, but I can toggle them off when I just want to see the map. Very convenient for remembering what is actually in the world, but still leaves a usable map. I also put transparent colors in a layer for when I want to view it like a political map and I can toggle it off to just see terrain.

    You can even start with the fractal world generator the Crooks mentioned and then build out more detail in GIMP.

    Looking forward to seeing what you get on commission - good luck!
     
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