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Thread: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

  1. #1

    Default Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Welcome to Kilo11's Cartography Corner!

    About
    I am an AAR writer, and in that work I found that blank maps can be a tremendous help. However, despite how incredibly useful it can be to have a high-quality blank map, it seemed oddly difficult to find such maps, especially ones which do not include unwanted details like current borders, roads, or current names of cities or other locations. As a result, I began making my own maps, and as I improved in my abilities I thought it might be nice for the community if I shared those skills and the final products. For that reason I decided to create this thread, in order to have a single place where I could put up some detailed maps with geographic features well picked out on them, and to present some (quite minimal) tutorials for how to go about making maps for yourself. I hope the thread serves that purpose well, and that viewers are able to gain some knowledge from it, or even just can take a map away and use it for their own works.


    Also, in all of what follows, I have benefited greatly from numerous discussions with Cookiegod, who was kind enough to share much wisdom and many tips with me when I was getting started on my own maps. There is also a fair chance that some of his mapping resources will find their way into later posts as well, and for that we should all be grateful. So, a big hand for that fellow!


    Usage
    All maps (both .png and .xcf files) are free to download from my Googledrive (links will be provided for each map I finish) and I encourage all to use them for AARs or for modding purposes, if that proves worthwhile. You do not need to ask permission to use or download the maps, but I would ask that you give a small credit if you do choose to use the maps for any writing or modding works. Also, it would be lovely (though not necessary) for you to point others in this direction if you find these maps of help or if you find yourself employing them in your work. Finally, if you have any issue downloading the maps, please let me know, either here in this thread or via a private message.

    Example Usage

    Here is an example of how these maps can be used. Skotos of Sinope is writing an amazing AAR about the Etruscans, and using the Magna Italica map below as a base, he created the following masterpiece!





    Requests
    This is not like the Sig/Avatar/Userbar Service where you can simply make requests and get maps back, but I would like to slowly grow the map library, so do let me know if there is some region you would like a map for, as I might be able and willing to put one together for you. To preempt requests for things I already plan on doing I will list below all maps that are finished, in the works, or which are planned for the future. If one of the ones that's not finished yet is very important to you, let me know, as I can certainly move it up on my list.


    Directory

    Tutorials/Guides
    --------------------
    GIMP Mapping Guide (post #3 below)
    GoogleEarth Mapping Guide (post #2 below)

    Maps
    --------------------
    Mapping Master Folder
    Magna Italica (description in post #4 below)
    Terrae Graeciae (description in post #18 below)
    Europa Occidentalis (planned)
    Europa Orientalis (planned)
    Scandinavia (planned)
    Magna Arabia (planned)
    Poenicus Belli(planned)
    Persia (planned)
    Magnus Mundus (planned)
    -----
    Kingdom of Dorian + Kingsport (fictional maps for a novel I'm working on)






    Please let me know if you have any trouble with any of the links, or if you cannot access my GoogleDrive for some reason.

    Resources
    For all of my maps there are a few resources which I use, and I will list those below with a short description for each one, in case you would like to make your own maps at some point. If you happen to know of any other resources which can be used to flesh out maps for older time periods (sources that show locations of settlements, ports, natural features that are now different, etc.) please let me know in the comments below, so I can add it to this section.

    Core Resources
    --------------------
    DEMIS World Map Server: This is what I use to get the base files for any map I plan to make. You can zoom in to an incredible degree, toggle many options on or off, and just get a great variety of map looks out of it. To save maps from the DEMIS server, simply right click the image, hit "Save image as...", and then save it wherever you want with a name that makes sense to you. Importantly, DEMIS automatically saves in .gif format, but if you want another format, you can easily do that as well by simply changing the "Save as type" field to "all types" and then specifying the filetype in your save file (i.e. adding .png or .jpeg to then end of your save name). Another point about usage for DEMIS that might be helpful to know is that DEMIS does not allow one to drag the map around like in GoogleEarth, but if you click on one point of the map, drag it somewhere else, and then release, then the whole map will have shifted from where you first clicked to where you finally let go. For example, if you have a map with Rome at the bottom right corner, and then you click on Rome and drag it to the bottom left corner, the map will have shifted one tile east, as it were, with the new map having Rome in your bottom left corner now.

    GIMP Image Manipulation Program: I use GIMP to create and edit my maps (basic tutorials can be found all over the web, and I include a small one below as well), though if you are familiar with another program, feel free to use that. For those who are new to mapping, the reason I use GIMP is because it is very easy to create images there using "layers", which allows one to have a map where different features can with a click be switched on or off. Importantly, the "best" map files I provide will be my GIMP files (though I will include .png images as well), so it may be of use to download and become familiar with the program anyway. That decision, however, is entirely up to you.

    GoogleEarth: If you want really close up maps for purposes of making battle maps, the DEMIS server will likely not be detailed enough, and so it might be good to use GoogleEarth for that (a very brief tutorial on that can be found below).

    Other Resources
    --------------------
    Ancient Ports: This website provides maps with the locations of ancient ports picked out, and may be of use to anyone working on an AAR or mod set in the Antique period.
    The Cartographer's Guild: Skotos of Sinope pointed me to this, and while I've yet to fully explore it, it seems to be a cool forum with loads of maps and highly capable map-makers, in case you have any questions for a more experienced hand.

    Last edited by Kilo11; January 09, 2019 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Added new links
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    GoogleEarth Mini-Guide

    The purpose of this (mini)guide is to explain the basics of what I do when making a map from a GoogleEarth image. These maps provide more detail of geography than the DEMIS maps would, which is very nice if you want to have a map to accompany a battle, where geographic features may be more important, but such maps are generally poor to use for large areas or to show whole empires, as they will be much more "busy" with all the coloring of mountains, forests, cities, etc. As a rule of thumb, I only use GoogleEarth when mapping a battle or something that takes place within one day's march, but not for anything larger. Another useful thing to bear in mind when using GoogleEarth is that it may be helpful to set yourself a standard altitude for your maps, to make sure they are all at the same scale (for my own maps like this I make sure the "eye-level" of my image is 30 miles, as that gives a nice swath of area but is still close enough for showing much of the detail of the land). Alright, now to the mini-guide.

    GoogleEarth Map Guide
    1. Open GoogleEarth, either on your web browser or on a desktop app* and go to the area you want a map for, making sure you have the "eye-level" at the standard altitude you plan to use. If you are not sure how to check the "eye-level", on my GoogleEarth app it lists that detail in the bottom right corner.
    *(I am not sure about this, but I believe the desktop app may have more features than the browser version. At any rate, the following guide refers to my usage with the desktop app.)

    2. In the toolbar above the map is an icon of a clock with an arrow over it (if you hover your mouse over it, it says "Show historical imagery"). For most areas there is a massive amount of urban development that has happened in the last few decades (even in remote regions), and chances are you don't want this in your map. If you click this you can roll back to older satellite images, getting to a picture that has a less urbanized landscape, more in tune with whatever time period you're working in (though certainly not the same; be careful about places that have been highly developed in the last couple hundred years, as the oldest images will still be far from what is the case in earlier eras). So, first roll back to the oldest image available.

    3. Then go to the second from the right icon in the toolbar, which is the button for saving a map. Click that.

    4. A secondary toolbar will pop up with options for your save. There will be a "Map Options" menu and a "Resolution" menu. Under "Map Options", you will find various things you can toggle on or off in your save (legend, compass, etc.). The choice is yours, but I would recommend toggling everything off, and scaling the google logo to 1%, so it is nearly invisible. You can also choose to have your map in color, sepia, or grayscale. Again, you choice, but I find grayscale to work very well for later steps. With these things done, now just make sure the resolution is what you want, and save the file (preferably wherever your mapping materials are all located, and in the same filetype as those you will be using for all mapping work).

    5. With this blank map, I then start a GIMP file, which is layered to allow for toggling things on and off at will (see GIMP tutorial for details about the basics of mapping in that program; here will just be the specifics for what I do with the GoogleEarth maps I edit and flesh out in GIMP). The layers I generally make are the following:

    • Base Layer: the map
    • Settlements: outlines and/or highlighting of any settlements that may be on the map and important enough to pick out
    • Settlement Names: it can be useful to have the names in a separate layer, in case you need to move them, or omit them for some reason
    • Units: any units that will be important for the map should be picked out, using whatever method you like best (I just use colored boxes)
    • Unit Names: same point as with settlement names
    • Lines: this layer will have the lines showing where things are moving, and gives the dynamic element to your map that may be crucial if you are using it to illustrate a battle
    • Geographical Names: if you wish to put names for rivers, mountains, valleys, etc., it is good to have these in their own layer, as you may need to turn them off later or move them about in case other things are in the way



    6. Once you have all of your layers created and organized as you like them, you can then export your GIMP file's current image (layers you can't currently see won't show up in the exported image, which is important to know) in some other viewable format (.png or .jpeg are the best bets). Just click "File" --> "Export As", and then fill in the details as you like. You'll then have a simple image file to upload and use for your AAR!

    7. (Optional) The beauty of GIMP is that you can also make layers on the same .xcf file for two separate maps that have the same base area being covered. All you need to do is add a second version of the units and lines that may be of interest, and then export the image twice. What you then have is, for example, a layer called "Units (pre-battle)", and one called "Units (battle)", and you just export once with the former layer on top, then hide that layer, unhide the latter layer, and then export again. Voila! You now have two different maps with the click of a button. As an example, check out the two maps below, which only differ in two layers (Units pre/mid battle, and Lines pre/mid battle). To make these two maps I just did the layers for units before the battle and during the battle, and the same thing for the lines showing their movements, and then I hid/unhid the layers between exports.
    Battle of Yathrib, pre- and mid-battle




    And there you have it. Now you can make sweet maps to detail your battles, and swap around elements at ease in case you have multiple battles in the same location, or would like to have a pre- and mid-battle map to use. If you have any questions about this guide, or any suggestions for how to make maps more easily or more artfully, just say so in the comments below. I'm sure I don't have the best methods in use here, and I'd love to hear any suggestions or critiques in order to improve my own work and this guide.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Mapping in GIMP

    For this guide I am simply going to go step by step through my process when making a standard map like this or this. I will explain each part of the process as simply and fully as I can, to facilitate others in understanding and being able to replicate the procedure, but my way is certainly not the only way (and probably not even the best way). Importantly, this method is also one for making maps in GIMP, and so if you have no intention of using that, or if you would prefer some other program, this will probably not be helpful for you.

    Before beginning, a final thing worth mentioning is that there already exists a guide similar to this from Gigantus. Gig's guide is a bit older, and some elements of it are now outdated, but he provides pictures as well, which may be of use to some, so feel free to check that out as well. Now, let's begin.

    Single-Tile Map
    If you want a map of a relatively small area, or if you're not tremendously interested in the nitty-gritty details of a region, you can simply make a single panel map pretty easily. This map won't be huge, but it can still have a wealth of information, and also still be organized in a helpful fashion such that certain elements can be turned on or off at your leisure. Here's what you need to do:


    1. First of all, make a folder somewhere that makes sense; this is where you will be saving the images and building your map file.
    2. Then go to the DEMIS World Map Server and find the area you want mapped. Zoom to the level you want and make sure you have everything on screen that you'll want included.
    3. Now, on the left-hand side of the DEMIS interface are a bunch of options that can be turned on or off. In order for your GIMP map to be layered you will need separate images for each layer, with only the things turned on that you will want.
      1. First, turn off all options except "coastlines". Hit "Update" (the map should reload showing only coastlines). Now right-click the image, go to "Save Image As...", and save it to your new folder. Make sure you save in the filetype you want (DEMIS has .gif as standard, but you can change this easily) and with a name that makes sense, preferably with a marker to make clear to you that this is the "coastlines" version of the map.
        • DO NOT MOVE THE MAP OR CHANGE ZOOM! You will now want to re-update the same map area with the different features you will want in your GIMP file. I will just go through the ones I include.

      2. Now, uncheck the "coastlines" box, and check the "bathymetry" box. Hit "Update" again. Save the new map, which now shows ocean features.
      3. Uncheck "bathymetry", check "topography", hit "Update", save new file.
      4. Uncheck "topography", check "hillshading", hit "Update", save new file.
      5. Uncheck "hillshading", check "waterbodies", "inundated", and "rivers", hit "Update", save new file.
        • You can also have these as separate layers, but I prefer to put them all together, to simplify the GIMP file and how I view/edit it.

      6. Uncheck "waterbodies", "inundated", and "rivers", check "streams", hit "Update", save new file.

    4. You now have all of the base files needed to start creating your layered map, so open GIMP.
    5. Hit "File" and then "New", to create a new file (duh, right ). Make sure you use dimensions that make sense given your base map sizes, and under "Advanced Options" make sure that the "Color Space" is "RGB Color", and that "Fill With" says "Transparency".
    6. Now comes a gloriously simple bit! Hit "File" and then "Open as layers" (alternatively you can hit Ctrl+Alt+O) and then select ALL of the base maps you've saved. GIMP will now automatically import all of your files as separate layers, each having the name you gave it (which is why you should have simple, helpful names from the start).
      • Each map now sits on top of the others as a different layer, but unfortunately they are all totally opaque, so you can't have an element from two different maps visible at the same time.

    7. In the area where all of the layers are listed, right click each one and then hit "Add Alpha Channel".
    8. Now, for each layer, delete all of the colors and things you don't want in there, making the image transparent except for the details relevant to that layer (see details about deleting and color-erasing below). So, for example, the "coastlines" layer should only have coastlines in it, and nothing else, allowing you to toggle them on and off at pleasure; "hillshading" should only have the shadows from hills, and nothing else; etc.
    9. You should now have a map with layers that can seen through one another, with each only having the elements necessary to that layer. At this point it may be useful to add a blank white layer, in order to hide things behind when you don't want them. But other than that, your map is complete, and you are ready to export images for use in your AAR.
    10. To export, just go to "File", "Export", and then you can export simple image files in whatever format you like. You can then repeat this process after hiding or unhiding certain layers, giving yourself maps that focus on different things.



    Erasing Colors
    Erasing colors is a very important part of making rich maps that include multiple elements, as it is the core of being able to overlay certain features onto each other. Without erasing, each map image will be totally opaque, preventing you from seeing any of the other elements you've saved in other files. Erasing can, however, be tricky sometimes, so here is a simple guide to doing it right.


    1. As stated above, the first thing is to make sure every layer you're working with has an alpha channel.
    2. It can also be helpful to create a white layer to put immediately behind the one you're working on, so you can easily see when erasing has worked correctly (if you have layers over layers of the same area and, for instance, erase the blue water from one, you will still see blue from the layer beneath, even when you've erased correctly; a white layer between can make it easier to see you've been successful in your work).
    3. There are now two ways you can go about erasing specific colors. For both, first make sure you are working on the correct layer where you want to delete some colors. Now:
      1. You can use the "Select By Color" tool (near the top of the toolbox). Click on the tool. Then click on the color you want erased (it should now be selected over the whole layer). Then simply hit "delete". This method is simple, but the results are also simple.
      2. Alternatively, you can go to the dropdown menu for "Colors" and click "Color To Alpha". A mini-toolbox will then pop up with eyedroppers and some scales. Use the first eyedropper to select the color you want to eliminate. Then use the scales to adjust thresholds for deletion and opacity of outcomes (it's recommended that you play with the scales a bit to see how they work and to ensure you get the result you want). This is a bit more nuanced, but allows for more stylistic and subtle results, and is probably the best method in most cases.


    And that should cover how to erase effectively and with a minimum of heartache. If you feel like banging your head against the wall because you just can't get it to work, double-check that you have added an alpha channel to that layer, and that you are really working on that layer (it's easy to start clicking away and not realize you've selected a layer that is currently hidden behind the one you really want to work on). Nine times out of ten that's my mistake, and it is an easy oversight that can cause much grief. But other than that, everything should work great! If there are any questions or issues, leave them in comments below (or just google them; the truth is out there!)

    Alternative "brute force" method for erasing

    An earlier method I used for erasing might also be helpful to provide. It is somewhat clunky and inelegant (I'd recommend one use the methods above), but it could still come in handy to know. Follow steps 1 and 2 from above. Then:

    1. Find the color you want erased, select the icon from the toolkit that looks like an eyedropper (it's called "Color Picker Tool" if you let your mouse hover over it), and click on the color you're planning on taking out. This will set that color as the one you're working with.
    2. You can now erase that color in one of two ways:
      • If the color is in one contiguous area you can select the paint can, change the "Bucket Fill" mode to "color erase", and then just click the area with that color. Voila! That color is gone!
      • If the color is spread between many small areas (consider trying to erase the green from every island in the Aegean ) you can select the pencil, change it's mode to "color erase", and then just go over everything with it. If using this method it can be helpful to make the pencil have a hardness of 100 (prevents fuzzy edges to the erasure) and to make it have a huge size, reducing how much you need to swing it back and forth. Importantly, make sure you stroke across every inch of the canvas if using this method!!! Some colors will be components in other ones (erasing green can take a certain hue out of blue) and so erasing inconsistently will leave odd shadows that will be persistent later. ERASE EVERYTHING!

    3. For some layers (like "bathymetry" or "coastlines") the erasure process is simple, requiring only a bucket fill or two to eliminate the green of land or blue of sea. For others like "hillshading" though, the process will leave you with a weird layer that makes little sense (some green is still there, but not all, and some areas just seem odd). For those layers here's what you do:
      • Erase the blue of sea as normal, and erase the green of standard low land using the pencil tool.
      • Some green will still remain, and some colors will have changed weirdly (especially in the "topography" layer). To fix this click "Colors" at the top of the screen, then "Desaturate", then "Color To Gray". This will leave you with a normal grayscale image of topography, hillshading, bathymetry, etc. This layer will also be almost entirely transparent, having as the only visible parts the mountains that are shaded or the other features that actually show up; everything else is gone, allowing you to see features like rivers and lakes through this layer.






    That covers a single panel small map, but maybe you want a bigger map, or one that is more detailed for the same region, requiring you to zoom in on a smaller region and then put it together with another panel. Well, here's how to do that:

    Multiple-Tile Map
    Most of the details required in making a large map from multiple panels is the same as that for making a single-panel layered map, so I'll just highlight the elements that are different.


    1. As above, make your folder and then go to the DEMIS World Map Server.
    2. Decide how far in you want your map to be zoomed* and check roughly how many panels you'll need (e.g. 2 wide, 3 tall)
      • I generally try to just use clicks to zoom in (don't use a box around an area) and I use a standard zoom for different purposes. In most cases, 5 clicks works well for me.

    3. When you've determined how many panels you'll need and in what orientation, start saving the layers following the instructions from above, being sure to get every layer for a panel before you move on.
    4. With all layers for one panel saved, move onto the next one by clicking (and holding) one corner of your map and dragging it across the screen (either horizontally or vertically). When doing this try to drag in a straight line, to make your finished map have a smoother border, and also be sure to leave a small overlap area between panels, as this will be important in later steps.
    5. Repeat this for every panel you need, moving in an orderly fashion so you don't forget any panels or have weird gaps/overlaps that will make later steps difficult.
    6. Once you've saved all of your base images for all panels you are ready to open GIMP. Follow the first steps as before (create a new file of the right size, keeping in mind how big it will need to be for your final product with all of the panels stitched together)
    7. You now need to create each layer yourself, by stitching together all of the panels that are for the same layer
      1. Create a new layer with the name of what your layer is supposed to be including (i.e. "coastlines", or "hillshading", or whatever)
      2. Open all images that are for the layer you want to make (for example, open every map panel you saved that is for "hillshading").
      3. Add alpha channels to all of these layers and then erase some feature (water if it's a land-oriented layer you're making, land if it's the "bathymetry" layer). Having some areas that you can "look through" is important for the next step.
      4. Now that you can see through a part of the images, line up the panels with one another, using some natural feature that can easily be followed (coastlines usually do well, but if you're lining up two panels without any coast, you'll need to find something else to do the trick)
      5. Now, make sure all of your panels are lined up with each other exactly right, and that they are listed in the layers toolbar above the first blank layer you created for this step.
      6. If that's the case, then right click each of these layers in that toolbar and click "Merge Down". This will lock them together into one layer, with the right name.

    8. Follow these same steps with each other main layer you want (e.g. "coastlines", "bathymetry", "topography", etc.)
    9. Then follow the above steps for erasing any other colors that need to be erased in each layer.
    10. When all of this is done, you should have a map like the one you made with only a single tile, but this time made from multiple panels stitched together manually.




    And that's all there is to it. Using this technique you can make very large and detailed maps for yourself, and include or exclude the elements as you need them. I hope they prove useful, and that the base files I start providing below also can come in handy for some of you at some point.


    Author's Note

    Some people might be interested in having/making maps which are scalable, meaning that they can be shrunk or grown without change in quality of the lines and details. I totally understand the value and interest in such maps, but unfortunately I don't have the skills or know-how to make, much less provide a guide to making such things. For those interested though, I am sure you can find guides online, which will point you toward good programs and explain how to use them. What you will be looking for is things to do with .svg files, or "scalable vector graphic" files.
    Last edited by Kilo11; November 22, 2018 at 09:08 AM.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Magna Italica

    Here is the first map for the thread, a detailed geographical map of the Italian Peninsula and it's immediate vicinity. I plan on also creating an "artsy" version of the mountains, but this is not yet done. Rest assured though, as soon as that's finished I'll upload it to my GoogleDrive and leave a notice here.


    Magna Italica Map

    Dimensions of Full Map: 2756x1625 pixels



    For the full size map, as well as other versions and, most importantly, the master GIMP file I used to make them all, please see this link to my GoogleDrive folder.
    Last edited by Kilo11; November 20, 2018 at 03:02 AM.
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  5. #5
    paleologos's Avatar You need burrito love!!
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    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Can this be used in a TW game?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by paleologos View Post
    Can this be used in a TW game?
    I don't see why not. I mean, it has a lot of detail, and shows clearly where things like mountain passes are. The one thing that one has to be careful about though is waterways and coasts, as those might have changed in between the timeframe of the TW game and the present, and these maps use present geography. As examples, any map like the one above will include Lake Nasser in Egypt (which is very new) or the big bay in The Netherlands (which is also incorrect for the classical period games, as that used to be a lake).
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  7. #7
    paleologos's Avatar You need burrito love!!
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    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    What I was asking is if you made it game-ready from the start.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by paleologos View Post
    What I was asking is if you made it game-ready from the start.
    I'm not sure I know what you mean by that. Maybe it is, but that was not my plan. My intent was just to create high-quality geographical maps that can be used for all timeframes (barring those pesky waterways that insist on changing over the centuries). That's also why I've included no settlements or anything like that, as that would make the map time (and language) specific, something I don't intend to put in. That leaves it open for others to flesh out the map as need be for their own purposes.

    Does that answer your question? (I feel like it almost certainly doesn't, but one can hope )
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  9. #9
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    I think that Pal was asking if you were making maps directly useable in M2TW game
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifthrasir View Post
    I think that Pal was asking if you were making maps directly useable in M2TW game
    I guess I don't understand this either though. What do you mean by "making maps directly usable in M2TW game"? I mean, the maps won't be used in the game at all, unless someone making a mod chooses to use the map to model their own strat map off of. I am sure I am being obtuse about this, but could you tease out the question a bit more?
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  11. #11
    paleologos's Avatar You need burrito love!!
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    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    If I wanted to make a mod centered on Italy and I needed a map, what's the difference between using the map you made, or downloading, say this one, and use it to model my own strat map off of?
    Why is your map suitable for modders of any of the TW games to a degree greater than any other map one can find in the WWW?

  12. #12
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Your link doesn't work Pal.

    Btw, the thread here is not supposed to be specifically modding related overwise I'd have directed Kilo11 to a modding workshop
    Last edited by Lifthrasir; November 16, 2018 at 02:32 PM.
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    paleologos's Avatar You need burrito love!!
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    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    I know, I was not complaining, nor was I criticizing, I was merely "teasing out the question a bit more".

  14. #14

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Ah, I see what you mean now Pal. Thanks for clarifying. As Lifth said, I didn't mean this for modders per se, though they could use these. My main idea was to have maps for AAR writers, and what I wanted to mainly provide were the layered GIMP files, as AAR writers might have good use of a map where you can turn certain features on or off easily. I also found it difficult to find maps without current borders, cities, roads, etc. on them, and thought it might be useful to provide properly blank maps as well. So that's the main idea.
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    paleologos's Avatar You need burrito love!!
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    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    I hope you understand there was no intention to put down the work you contribute, just to make sure about the potential uses for which it might be more advantageous than other maps.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    @Kilo: I'd like to give you some reps but I need to spread out more as always. The single tile part of your tutorial reminds me of what I told you in a different thread
    For scalabilty without quality loss you need to make .svg maps, and the most suited freely available program for that known to me is Inkscape.
    Also worthy of note is Krita, another freely available program, similar in some ways to gimp, but specialised on drawing.

    @Pal: Gigantus has a guide on how to make maps for M2TW with Demis mapper. I took some interest in that a long time ago and when I moved to cartography I started using that.
    I'm not sure anymore if I was the one to recommend Demis worldmapper to Kilo or if he already knew it, but the bottom line remains the same: Yeah, you can use this to make your own game map. And given that most of the time you don't get highly detailed maps of that specific place at that specific time, it's often best to start right away to make a map from DEMIS yourself.
    The end result tends to be better. But as Lifth stated correctly, that's not the point of this thread or subforum. Best place to check for that would be Gigantus world building tutorials.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    @Pal: No worries. Criticism or clarification like that is always welcome. And I think the only really strong advantage of it is the ability to toggle certain features on or off easily, and have that ready made for people who are less familiar with map-making. But it's nothing novel or out-of-this-world.

    @Cookiegod: I definitely learned a massive amount from you and our discussions together, and I meant to throw some credit your way in the OP, but forgot that. That's my bad, and will be remedied post-haste! And I think in general .svg maps/images are often going to be better, but I don't know how to make them, so I can't go into that. But you also mentioned a mapping guide from Gigantus... would you mind posting a link to it here? I said at the outset this thread is more to be used as a resource for AAR writers, and I assume Gig's stuff is more for modding (he calls the series "worldbuilding", so...), but I'd still be interested in seeing what he says, and maybe throwing a pointer to that in the OP.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Terrae Graeciae

    I wanted to make some more progress here, so here's a detailed geographical map of the core areas that fell under Greek control in Antiquity. And as with before, I hope to also create an "artsy" version of the mountains, but this is not yet done. Once that's finished I'll upload it to my GoogleDrive and leave a notice here.


    Terrae Graeciae Map

    Dimensions of full map: 4200x2025 pixels



    For the full size map, as well as other versions and, most importantly, the master GIMP file I used to make them all, see this link to my GoogleDrive folder.
    Last edited by Kilo11; November 22, 2018 at 08:48 AM. Reason: New Maps; new links
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  19. #19
    Lifthrasir's Avatar A Clockwork Orange
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    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Interesting maps. I'd suggest to add a bit more contrast
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  20. #20
    paleologos's Avatar You need burrito love!!
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    Default Re: Kilo11's Cartography Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifthrasir View Post
    ... I'd suggest to add a bit more contrast

    Me too, I can hardly see anything, I thought the image wasn't loading properly.

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