View Full Version : Fantasy Map Books?

07-22-2014, 07:35 AM
I roughly memorized the map drawing guide by Brandon Sanderson. But I was wondering, what map drawing books would you recommend?

Was able to finish a short novella, but had draw two completely different maps to simulate the "go to another world" effect I was going for. I had to draft it several times before I got it where I wanted, with each tick mark being an episode in a larger narrative.

On Amazon there doesn't seem to be to many map drawing books. (I don't know the technical name for it, maybe someone else would know.)

Even doing SF, I find myself drawing world and town (and sometimes house and room) maps.:P

07-22-2014, 08:51 AM

No idea on cartography books, but Dragonlance had a very nice set of fantasy maps.

07-22-2014, 08:52 AM
Cartography. There are even map societies. Look for the Hand Drawn Map group on google.

Liosse de Velishaf
07-22-2014, 10:09 AM
See if you can find a class in maps, maybe? There are probably some free online course outlines, or something.

I vividly remember looking at Anne McCaffrey's PERN maps, and how she said she took a class in cartography when she was in college.

I found these articles awhile ago. They might be helpful:



07-22-2014, 10:27 AM
I roughly memorized the map drawing guide by Brandon Sanderson.

Got a link to that?

Liosse de Velishaf
07-22-2014, 12:03 PM
Some relevant links:



07-22-2014, 12:56 PM

07-22-2014, 08:41 PM
Is it just the mechanical function of putting pen to paper and creating a form? Or, are you more interested in other things? Like geopolitical stuffs? Geological formations that make sense? Etc?

07-23-2014, 02:43 AM
More like understanding travel distances, as my work relies a lot of fairy tales of different regions unique to that geography, and other factors.

Although physical cartography couldn't hurt. (Thanks for that by the way.)

Also, funny indecent related to mapping. In the video I learned rivers flowers in the path of least resistance, so when I found one of my maps, I accidentally looked at it upside down. "Hey, I thought rivers flowed down." Good times.

The Package
07-23-2014, 05:51 AM
The cartographersguild.com has a great forum (though the traffic has dipped in the past few years). There are tips and guides to creating your own maps via Photoshop, Gimp, and a myriad of other programs.

I hangout there, though I don't post much--mostly because I haven't much to offer. But it's a great place to soak-up knowledge, and some of the artists on there are absolutely amazing.

07-23-2014, 05:56 AM
Awesome, I had no idea such a thing existed.

I'm not sure why I didn't find out I was a mapper sooner.

Edit: Yea I think I'm going to try cartography. One thing that keeps me hand drawing stuff, is one of the map elements is extremely hard to find stock images for, as the concept isn't static anyway. (I've considered 10 versions of the same map even with a slightly bigger growing land tumor.)

10-04-2014, 03:40 AM
The Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad

It's not really a cartography book but has good illustrations that might be useful.

10-04-2014, 06:43 PM
I'm curious - do people still learn map drawing in school? It was one of my favourite things as a kid. And probably a dying art, thanks to GPS and so on.

Craig McNeil
10-04-2014, 10:23 PM
The Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad

It's not really a cartography book but has good illustrations that might be useful.

Karen Wynn Fonstad has made quite a few books though not recently as far as I know. Check out the atlas of Pern and also one based on the Dragonlance series. Brilliant books.