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waldo93
12-25-2004, 12:01 AM
Does anyone know a tool to make maps? Like most fantasys my stories will take place in an imaginery world. So is there an app or do i have to do it by hand and if so whats the best way

ChunkyC
12-25-2004, 02:13 AM
I'm sure there are dedicated map making programs out there, but I just use PAINT, the little graphics program that comes with Windows. With it you can draw shapes and fill them with colours, add text, etc., and from the Windows 98 version on, it can open and save in JPEG file format as well as the native BMP file format. For my own use in helping visualize a world, it does everything I need.

maestrowork
12-25-2004, 09:19 AM
Either a paint program like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro or an illustration program like Adobe Illustrator would do the job. If you can't afford them, I'm sure there are shareware/freeware programs out there (Paint Shop Pro used to be shareware, but no more).

XThe NavigatorX
12-26-2004, 12:12 AM
Man, I can't remember what it's called, but there is a program out there just for maps. It's geekware for D&D type stuff, but it would be perfect for what you're looking for.

ShinyPenguin
12-31-2004, 10:39 PM
I haven't actually tried any they have listed, but there is a section of links for map making about halfway down this page: World Builder Projects (http://hiddenway.tripod.com/world/)

CindyBidar
12-31-2004, 11:47 PM
Man, I can't remember what it's called, but there is a program out there just for maps. It's geekware for D&D type stuff, but it would be perfect for what you're looking for.

This (http://www.gryc.ws/autorealm.htm) might be the one Navigator is talking about. It is meant for gamers, but it's perfect for fantasy works as well.

It's freeware, and open source, so there is lots of info available on the net about it, such as tutorials and sample maps, but the learning curve can be a little steep. If you enjoy teaching yourself this type of thing, it might be just what you are looking for.

I used it for a while, but ultimately decided that I prefer pencil and paper.

Vomaxx
01-01-2005, 06:26 AM
If you are better at computer stuff than I am--which would not be difficult--you might investigate "Campaign Cartographer" and its associated add-ons, at www.profantasy.com. It can certainly make nice maps, but my experiments with it haven't been very successful because it is (to me, anyway) very complicated.

I have numerous maps in my fantasy trilogy, all drawn by hand and not yet on disk. I am hopeful that a publisher--if I ever get one--will do that (and, indeed, draw the maps more professionally.) (After all, we authors can't do -everything-.

DaveKuzminski
01-01-2005, 10:52 AM
One thing to keep in mind about maps, particularly those you include as a drawing with your manuscript, is that those can limit you should you find success and your publisher ask for a sequel. Then you have to either come up with a suitable story idea that will work within the world you created or come up with more of your world and an explanation why it wasn't mentioned or referred to before.

Ravenlocks01
01-02-2005, 12:05 AM
Your map should always include more of your world than figures in your story, or at least hints that there is more, such as lands that continue beyond the physical edge of your map.

arainsb123
01-02-2005, 02:43 PM
I used the GIMP (basically a freeware photoshop) to make a map. I didn't actually use the map, but it turned out nicely.

Nyki27
01-04-2005, 12:09 AM
I've got a map-making program downloaded, which I haven't figured out how to use. Haven't got the address off-hand, but I'll try and find it.

Like Vomaxx. I draw my maps by hand. At least, I've taken to drawing the basic features by hand, scanning it in then adding the lettering in Word and saving it as a JPG. And I don't have a problem with needing more - I've got virtually the entire world mapped, and use bits for specific stories.

TheIT
09-10-2006, 01:48 AM
Does anyone have any recommendations or tools for making maps of a village? I need something on a building level, not just streets.

The action for my fantasy WIP is finally going to reach the village (yay!), but I'm hitting a stumbling block while trying to figure out what buildings go where and why. The village in question is small, but eventually I'll need to map some of the blocks in the city, too.

All help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Jamesaritchie
09-10-2006, 01:57 AM
Does anyone have any recommendations or tools for making maps of a village? I need something on a building level, not just streets.

The action for my fantasy WIP is finally going to reach the village (yay!), but I'm hitting a stumbling block while trying to figure out what buildings go where and why. The village in question is small, but eventually I'll need to map some of the blocks in the city, too.

All help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Find a real village and change the names.

TheIT
09-10-2006, 02:02 AM
Find a real village and change the names.

I'd love to. I've already done something similar on a larger scale with the country, but I'm having trouble finding maps which show buildings instead of just the streets.

bylinebree
09-10-2006, 06:31 AM
What about the tiny buildings from Monopoly? Or get some small pieces of wood, like balsa from a hobby store, and cut out various sizes to use on a design board?

Or could you make small templates out of heavy craft paper, in the shape of what you have in mind, like designers do with furniture when arranging a room? Then you could draw the streets on paper and move the structures around, playing with your village lay-out.

I'm kinesthetic and a hands-on approach helps me mucho.

LeeFlower
09-10-2006, 08:40 AM
I'd love to. I've already done something similar on a larger scale with the country, but I'm having trouble finding maps which show buildings instead of just the streets.

http://maps.google.com/. Switch to 'Satellite.' It gives you arial photographs that definetely show buildings-- zoom in enough and you'll even see cars.

'hybrid' will display streets as well as buildings.

WARNING: it's addictive.

Jamesaritchie
09-10-2006, 09:54 AM
I'd love to. I've already done something similar on a larger scale with the country, but I'm having trouble finding maps which show buildings instead of just the streets.

You can go with maps alone. There isn't a map in existance that will tell you why this buidling has two stories, why that buidling was built next to a stream, or why that shop over there has double doors. Pick a real village, and then do some research. Find photos of the village. Read the history of the village. Get tourists books. On and on.

Pthom
09-10-2006, 09:00 PM
There isn't a map in existance that will tell you why this buidling has two stories, why that buidling was built next to a stream, or why that shop over there has double doors.Actually, there are such maps--they're used by urban planners and are a part of the GIS (Geophysical Information System). However, it is highly likely there no such maps for medieval villages. (sigh)

badducky
09-10-2006, 09:07 PM
I sometimes use NWN Aurora Toolkit. Then, I get to physically (not really, but push the buttons) walk around and get a sense of space in a fantasy world.

But, this is not enough. I also like to read anthropology and archaeology books. And history books.

Also, I travel constantly, and explore different kinds of cities with a mind for design. I'm already planning my next info-gathering adventure.

Ordinary_Guy
09-11-2006, 10:53 PM
A lot of great suggestions. Note that the GIS or Google Map tools give a villiage/town layout that is typically american. Depending on your story, you may want to look up maps for european, asian or african towns, depending on what kind of civil enginnering (city planning) you're trying to replicate.

badducky
09-11-2006, 11:53 PM
Another great idea is reading fantasy books that have a powerful sense of "fantasy" space.

Poke around. Plenty of threads have book recommendations. Pay attention when you're reading books to see how the sense of space happens.

TheIT
09-12-2006, 12:35 AM
Thanks, this helps. I managed to draw a rough map of the village last night which is enough to keep me writing, but I'd still like to make the map more realistic.

Some of the sources I've been using are history books and books on medieval fortresses and castles. I picked up a book on medieval walled cities this weekend which is excellent at showing the city's defenses but unfortunately doesn't show the layout of the buildings. I've also been looking at some of the Dungeons and Dragons source books about dungeon design, but I'm not expecting true realism from that source. ;)

The line drawn children's books by David Macaulay are also excellent primers. I especially recommend City and Castle for simple looks at how a town is put together. Cathedral is good, too.

Part of what floors me when looking at the old maps is how small the area of a town seems to be. The book on walled cities has scales on some of the drawings. If I'm reading the legend correctly, some of these fortified cities were surrounded by a roughly circular wall with a diameter of about 100 meters. That's about the size of an American football field, yet hundreds, maybe thousands, of people lived there. That just seems amazing to me.

dclary
09-12-2006, 02:00 AM
One thing I like to do is "make stuff up as I go." It's a powerful tool.

Higgins
09-12-2006, 02:12 AM
Another great idea is reading fantasy books that have a powerful sense of "fantasy" space.

Poke around. Plenty of threads have book recommendations. Pay attention when you're reading books to see how the sense of space happens.

I'm not sure how well space works once a writer gets it down, but I think a writer needs to be able to see the place in his mind's eye if he is going to write about it. For that, you're right, traveling the world and going to all kinds of places is the best preparation.

MattW
09-12-2006, 02:30 AM
Remember that most villages (And even most cities) are built without central planning. Things won't seem to make sense because the village was built of stages.

Maybe first was a well and a hunter's or logger's lodge. Maybe a mill was on a stream where all the local farmers brought their grain, then a blacksmith set up shop. Maybe it was only a tavern on a crossroads.

Think about how and why the people came there. Who were they, where did they come from? What materials do they use? Are there ruins they cannibalize for cut stone?

The tech level, age of civilization, and corresponding age of the village would determine how it was built and laid out.

No help from me.

victoria.goddard
09-14-2006, 06:31 AM
If you want to look at a real town that is still very medieval (and, though it doesn't have a castle on a hill-top, does have a steep hill on which could be made a castle, and it has various palaces and churches), try to find a map of Avignon. The city centre is medieval, with the 12th (or possibly 13th, I'm not sure) walls intact. Walking around there was an experience--I've never been quite so lost as I was then. I have a good sense of direction, but I got lost and had to pick a street and keep walking down it until I hit the city wall and could figure out where I was.

The other thing I've noticed about towns (villages and cities, too) that are still strongly medieval in architecture is that there don't seem to be many vistas within the village--they are usually some outside (as Avignon over the Rhone, or in Burgundy--Avallon and Vezelay were two good ones, also Autun--out over countryside from hills) looking out from hill-tops and ramparts, etc, but within the village the houses are crowded together around the square and the church.

....

I just looked up "Avignon city map" on Google and came up with a few neat sites:

http://www.vaucluse-visites-virtuelles.com/glvirtualbluepopouts/avignonus.html

http://globtroter.pl/mapy/mavignon.gif

Those are both street plans--as far as maps that show houses, they're harder to find (though perhaps if you talked to people at the post office or town halls?). For Avallon, which is a small town in Burgundy on the top of a steep hill overlooking a river, there's:

http://city.zorgloob.com/?ville=34147&lib=AVALLON

And Autun (also in Burgundy--I happened to be there this summer), which is neat as it was a Roman foundation--they have a theatre, a temple, and some gates left--overlaid by Medieval and later buildings, and which is still largely bounded by its city walls:

http://city.zorgloob.com/?ville=28129&lib=AUTUN&cp_s=&ville_s=Autun

I'm trying to thin of other towns I've been to that still have a stron Medieval flavour with regards to architecture and organisation . . . Vezelay is good (and that is a village, it has 600 people and a giant basilica where St Bernard of Clairvaux preached the 2nd crusade to Richard the Lion-heart and Philip the Good (I think), if you're curious))--it's another one on a hill; also ... Chartres. And to a certan extent Tours. And the Old Town in Edinburgh is such a fascinating place it's a World Heritage Site.

I apologise for the length of this, I had no idea when I started writing I would have so much to say.

I have one more thing-- remember that in Europe most of the older towns are centred around the church. (My friend and I would play Follow-the-Spire when we came to a new town, as that invariably--well, apart from Auxerre, which had far too many churches for its own good, and more wood-framed Tudor-looking houses than I ever expected to see in one place--got us to the town centre). I don't know what your culture is like, but apart from obvious (or not so obvious) questions like "Where do they get their water from?"--up until Napoleon had the Paris sewers properly built something like 1/20th of the population of Paris was part of the Guild of Water-Carriers--think, what is the centre of the village or town? Is there a common or green with a church or equivalent outside (as in some places in England), or is it completely centred on the church? Or town hall? or bathhouse?

This is a super-long post. I keep thinking of things . . . Cool places, like Leuven in Belgium (another old town; and in its centre is a church, a truly magnificent town hall (they had a decorating contest with Brussels; Brussels one, but just barely), and a university), and cool peoples, like some Indian people I was recently told of who have left almost nothing to posterity but for an extraordinary number and range of bathing-places.

There. I'm done. I hope I have not bored too many of you.

Ssressturl
09-14-2006, 03:38 PM
I use Campaign Cartographer Pro. Its awesome software!

MattW
09-15-2006, 03:34 PM
I don't know if there are many web resources available for it, but the city of Chester near the Welsh border has a majority of its medieval walls intact (thought the gates were expanded/removed). It began as a Roman camp and evolved over the centuries.

Urban legend has it as still legal to shoot a Welshman (with an arrow) within the walls.

Google satellite maps might be able to give you a view of how the streets run (definitely unplanned) and how it is positioned on a river.

AceTachyon
09-19-2006, 08:25 AM
Try this (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_294_308&products_id=840&). You can choose to download it or see if you can find it online somewhere for a decent price.

I know it's for D&D but the booklet that comes with the set gives excellent pointers on how villages/towns/citiesare set up and the whys behind it.

BrianTubbs
09-20-2006, 06:52 AM
I don't know if this will work or not, but I like to play PC strategy games - when I have the time (which isn't very much, but...)

For a medieval feel, try Stronghold I or II or Majesty.

For more of an ancient feel....there's Pharoah or Caesar III or IV

And....there's always the online games like Guild Wars.

Just a thought.

Kentuk
10-08-2006, 04:12 AM
Write out a long boring discription of the village, including a psydo-history. This will help with drawing a crude map.
Remember when placing a village they need to be on a road or river, have access to water as well as food and fuel. Remember streets are sized for usage, ie a road has to handle big wagons but a residential street can be narrow.
I'm willing to collaborate as world building is my thing.
Terry

write2livelive2write
03-14-2007, 11:22 PM
Hi!

What software do you use to draw the map of your world?

Thanks!

Vanatru
03-14-2007, 11:25 PM
I use the PenPaPper system. It's been around forever. I just upgraded to the new Pencil version............it draws like nothing else.

;)

Outside of that, I don't use anything else. I haven't found a good software one that I like.

oscuridad
03-14-2007, 11:32 PM
as above - how can you expect someone to take an interest in your map if you can't be bothered to draw it out yourself? Also - don't youthink that a computer rendered map for a fantasy novel is going to seem, possibly, oxymoronic at best?

J. Weiland
03-14-2007, 11:38 PM
Hi!

What software do you use to draw the map of your world?

Thanks!

I started another thread about maps. You can check it out.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51641

benbradley
03-15-2007, 02:31 AM
Hey, there's free software at expresspcb.com. Printed circuit boards only look hi-tek, us enginears know better, but they can still be fun. And if you can't afford AutoCAD (if you're a writer, chances are you can't), there are various forms of Intellicad.

But I usually just rip off the map to Xanth. Watch out for the hanging chadsms.

Calla Lily
03-15-2007, 05:07 AM
http://www.wayfaring.com/

Haven't tried it--it creates fractal maps, IIRC. Recommended by other writers.

Kentuk
03-15-2007, 06:08 AM
Nine year olds draw the best maps, find one who likes to draw and tell him/her they will get published when you do.

alaskamatt17
03-15-2007, 09:56 AM
I guess one of those fractal-based mapping programs might be okay, but definitely redo it by hand once you have it tweaked to your liking. Tracing isn't that difficult, but be sure to "rough it up" a little so it has that nice hand-drawn look.

Evaine
03-15-2007, 04:42 PM
There's software?
I used a sheet of A4.

Maprilynne
03-15-2007, 07:55 PM
Draw your map however you want, but bear in mind that it's not going to make it into the book. (Unless you're a fabulous artists as well as a writer. I believe Terry Goodkind draws his own maps???) Also, don't send it with your query, don't send it with a partial, don't send it with a full, and when your eventual agent sends it to editors, she won't send the map to them either. I love my map, but no professional's ever seen it.:)

Oh, and I used PapernPencil version 2.9:)

Happy mapping!

Maprilynne

TsukiRyoko
03-15-2007, 08:01 PM
I just throw 15 bucks to one of my more talented, steady-handed friends and have them draw it. I sit there and instruct them, and they give me an awesome doodle or two.

ink wench
03-15-2007, 08:43 PM
Or there's the method I'm currently considering - taking a street map of an area or city that's a good match, changing the street names to your own, and adding the appropriate landmarks. Goddess bless mapquest and a photocopier's zoom function.

badducky
03-15-2007, 08:51 PM
I may be confessing to levels of nerdiness that I'm not really comfortable admitting,

but I used map creators that came bundled with Neverwinter Knights. Then, I could physically walk around (virtually-physically) the spaces I'd made and get a feel for the lay of the land that I felt was better than some lines on a page.

Also, for larger areas, I used Starcraft's map creator.

JBI
03-15-2007, 09:42 PM
I may be confessing to levels of nerdiness that I'm not really comfortable admitting,

but I used map creators that came bundled with Neverwinter Knights. Then, I could physically walk around (virtually-physically) the spaces I'd made and get a feel for the lay of the land that I felt was better than some lines on a page.

Also, for larger areas, I used Starcraft's map creator.

You could probably do better with Warcraft 2 or Warcraft 3 map creator. It has many modifications and a somewhat "realistic" setting.

Tachyon
03-16-2007, 01:57 AM
My story actually started with a map. The original I drew sometime in grade 8 (I think), and then I redrew it and added the two other continents.

I'm not artist, however, so I've gotten an artistic friend to redo them for me, with much better results. They are leaving out the typography, which I can then add via computer. It's more legible, and if I ever want to write prequels or sequels in which the places are altered, it's easier to edit.

Vomaxx
03-16-2007, 07:05 AM
There is a whole line of mapmaking products by ProFantasy Software www.profantasy.com (http://www.profantasy.com) I bought their "Campaign Cartographer" and was unable to use it. This is my fault--it has a steep learning curve and I just did not invest the time. But those who learn to use it can certainly make very fine maps of all kinds, and I imagine they can easily be put into a manuscript.

(My own maps are hand-drawn, but they look pretty good. I wish I could learn to use my scanner and put them on disk, with the rest of the book.)

Kentuk
03-16-2007, 07:51 AM
Or there's the method I'm currently considering - taking a street map of an area or city that's a good match, changing the street names to your own, and adding the appropriate landmarks. Goddess bless mapquest and a photocopier's zoom function.

Get out your markers and use them to re-mark the map, kind of like paint by numbers. Add lots of green and brown. Glue it to a stiff backing and spray paint several clear coats. I did it for Scotts Valley a town I worked in as a gas jockey. I'd get Japanese tourists whose English was only slightly better then my Japanese wanting to goto the Mystery Spot. The real mystery was how to get there. That map got me a dozen five dollar tips. A picture is worth.........., oh I shouldn't say that here, heresy....

DraperJC
03-16-2007, 07:57 AM
I used Paint to sketch out what I was thinking. I'm also thinking of taking a map of someplace generally unknown, say Borneo, and turning it upside down to see where everything lays out.

badducky
03-16-2007, 11:57 AM
You could probably do better with Warcraft 2 or Warcraft 3 map creator. It has many modifications and a somewhat "realistic" setting.

Realism isn't really the point. Frankly, the most "realistic" video game I ever played was Icewind Dale.

The "art" isn't what makes the game realistic. It's the art director. But that is a topic for a different forum.

Of course, when I can afford the computer that can run Warcraft 3, I will buy it and use the map creator, too.

I'm always a few years behind in my gaming. And, I think it's a good thing. Because the games that are truly quality last for years, while the over-hyped wrecks die young. Also, all the patching is usually done (thus, the game is finally as finished as its going to be).

This is all kind of an aside, though.

My time in video game maps is quite small compared to my time in Excel. It doesn't matter what the world looks like on paper. It matters what it sounds like on the page.

badducky
03-16-2007, 11:59 AM
Get out your markers and use them to re-mark the map, kind of like paint by numbers. Add lots of green and brown. Glue it to a stiff backing and spray paint several clear coats. I did it for Scotts Valley a town I worked in as a gas jockey. I'd get Japanese tourists whose English was only slightly better then my Japanese wanting to goto the Mystery Spot. The real mystery was how to get there. That map got me a dozen five dollar tips. A picture is worth.........., oh I shouldn't say that here, heresy....

The other huge advantage of this method is one of the visceral. If you lay out a map of the Bronx, you can also walk it and make all kinds of interesting new discoveries that will bleed into your art. Or, if you are unlucky, muggers that will make you bleed for your art.

kct webber
03-17-2007, 11:25 AM
I use the PenPaPper system. It's been around forever. I just upgraded to the new Pencil version............it draws like nothing else.

;)


Me too.

I can get the basic ideas out, but I'm not an artist. I have a lot of friends who are, though. And they're poorer than me. So that's an asset. ;)

SlowRain
03-17-2007, 01:36 PM
I'm always a few years behind in my gaming. And, I think it's a good thing. Because the games that are truly quality last for years, while the over-hyped wrecks die young.
I'm like that with a lot of what I read. I find that advice works for novels as well.

sunna
04-18-2007, 04:26 AM
I was just wondering, what do other sf/f writers use for making maps of their invented worlds? I just downloaded AutoREALM and spent a happy 5 hours procrastinating with great gusto...but I really, really want to have my map look like those medieval maps; you know - the ones they're always imitating in fantasy books with even a remote connection to places and periods that actually exist. Perhaps this is unoriginal of me; but I just can't picture my full-color-with distorted-tree-symbols attempt being at all useful to that tall, dark & mysterious agent that will one day rescue me from the evil clutches of mediocrity and whisk me off to the Harper Collins in the clouds.
Is there reasonably-priced (or better yet, free) software that does that, or is it all created by a top-secret elite fantasy map-making society out there that does this for the publisher?

Oddsocks
04-18-2007, 04:58 AM
I just use paper and pencils (and many erasers and sharpeners).

Question - do authors always supply the map that is used in the finished book? Or do fantasy publishers have connections with artists to do this sometimes, as they do for cover art? I think I recall someone around here saying that including a map with a manuscript is pointless and they won't use it anyway.

sunna
04-18-2007, 05:14 AM
I just use paper and pencils (and many erasers and sharpeners).

Question - do authors always supply the map that is used in the finished book? Or do fantasy publishers have connections with artists to do this sometimes, as they do for cover art? I think I recall someone around here saying that including a map with a manuscript is pointless and they won't use it anyway.

Oh, well, damn. Not that I would have included it without being invited to, but it is kind of interesting. Or so I tell myself. :-)

Oddsocks
04-18-2007, 05:26 AM
sunna7kore - I'm just asking - I really don't know what the conventions are on this. I hope including maps isn't pointless, because I spend a lot of time drawing them myself.

badducky
04-18-2007, 06:03 AM
I've used video game map editors many times.

Sometimes it's nice to be able to walk around where you are trying to create, and to touch it and manipulate it.

My favorites are Starcraft for larger, more continental stuff, and Neverwinter Nights for the more intimate settings like homes and bars.

Sometimes being able to visualize your space quickly with these highly visual scifi/fantasy tools really helps. Sometimes it's just an invitation to massive procrastination.

(Procrastination: Like posting on a message board at 4:03 am because you can't sleep and are making excuses as to why you aren't working on something important...)

This may not be exactly what you had in mind, but it's cheap (if you're a gamer you probably already own them), effective, and very graphically interesting. Some real fine digital artists were involved in both projects.

Pthom
04-18-2007, 08:34 AM
I'm making this thread and merging into it all the various threads that have popped up over the years dealing with maps. Maybe some of the old dusty info in here will be of use.

Enjoy.

Lady Esther
05-05-2007, 05:20 AM
Does anyone have any recommendations or tools for making maps of a village? I need something on a building level, not just streets.

The action for my fantasy WIP is finally going to reach the village (yay!), but I'm hitting a stumbling block while trying to figure out what buildings go where and why. The village in question is small, but eventually I'll need to map some of the blocks in the city, too.

All help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

MapMaker (http://www.demonspawn.net/games/map/default.htm) is great for making villages. It's what I use and it's easy to work. It comes with picture icons, so no free-hand drawing needed. And it's free.

I draw my world maps by hand because I can easily mess around with different shapes of countries than if I'm using the computer.

joymark
06-09-2007, 12:10 AM
My personal method is to draw my maps on paper with pencil, scan them, then "trace" them in Adobe Illustrator. If you're proficient enough, you can get nice clean lines that still look hand drawn.

southern_cross3
06-24-2007, 06:02 PM
I just draw maps by hand...it's not very complicated...at first I just draw all the borders of continents and islands, and then make a bunch of copies, so that I can have separate political, geographical, etc. maps to work with while writing.

Dave.C.Robinson
06-24-2007, 06:38 PM
I'm just going to put in the link for Autorealm (http://www.gryc.ws/autorealm.htm) which is a great option for those who want a decent fantasy mapping program to keep things like distances straight but don't want to pay for Campaign Cartographer.

sadron
06-24-2007, 09:02 PM
I just draw by hand and colour either pens or by program.

thethinker42
07-09-2007, 12:41 AM
So for those who have used AutoRealm AND Profantasy, what are the advantages and disadvantages of one over the other? (The obvious price difference notwithstanding)

I've been using AutoRealm, but am not 100% sure if I want to invest in Profantasy.

lpetrich
10-28-2007, 02:10 AM
If you have a map of an entire planet, Google Earth (http://earth.google.com) is a convenient viewer for it. You can map an image file onto the globe so it no longer looks like the Earth; I've used Google Earth to display continental-drift maps (the Earth in the past) and maps of other planets and moons. You can also map additional image files onto parts of it for greater detail, and make points, lines, and polygons to mark out places and regions.

Sarpedon
01-26-2008, 01:34 AM
When you are planning a city, keep in mind that it would grow in fits and starts as its walls are expanded. If you look at a truly old city, like Florence, you can see the the various phases of its expansion quite plainly; its beginings as a roman Castrum, the three ( i think) medieval expansions, and the final tearing down of the walls in the industrial era. Its quite fascinating.

And keep in mind; ancient cities DID have central planning. Its just that the planning didn't necessarily take the form of nice, gridded streets and right angle corners. Public streets and squares, not to mention the city walls, were paid for by taxes, therefore the government DID indeed take an interest in them.

My advice: draw on paper. Draw freehand, don't use a ruler. practice drawing straight lines freehand. Draw private buildings as black squares. Leave public spaces and the interiors of public buildings white. This is called a Nolli plan.

Here is a link to the original Nolli plan, of Rome in the 18th century, I think

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/EART/maps/nolli_06.jpg

here's another link that shows the entire thing http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Nolli_map1.jpg
You can see the Vatican City and St Peter's Cathedral very clearly in the upper left. Just to the right of it is a star shaped fortress. This plan was common after the perfection of cannons. The Colluseum is just below and to the right of center. Its a big Oval. If you follow the axis of the colloseum toward the center of the city, you will see what was left of the ancient Forum. You can see that the bulk of the space within the walls is not developed. This was fairly common in medieval cities.

You don't have to get so accurate. But it is an extremely clear way to show a city. The Nolli plan also shows you the percentage of private to public space in the average city. A map like this is great, because most of the action in the fantasy stories will take place in the white spaces. You can pretty much ignore the black spaces.

If you wanted to be lazy, this would be a good map to copy, too, as it is so old it is not copyrighted. However, people like me will recognize it, and raz on you.

In general, I almost always find city plans in fantasy books to be disappointing. I think that anyone who is out to draw their own plan should at least look at the Nolli plan. Also look at aerial photos of old cities.

lute
03-08-2008, 07:40 AM
I'm just going to put in the link for Autorealm (http://www.gryc.ws/autorealm.htm) which is a great option for those who want a decent fantasy mapping program to keep things like distances straight but don't want to pay for Campaign Cartographer.

I've only used autoREALM to make a map, and while it was strangely difficult for me to get a handle of (I kept losing my place and the tools were acting static, which caused me to have to redo it a number of times), it makes marvelous, natural designs for land masses. Ergo, I have only used it create a basic outline of a land mass I wanted, with some dotted lines for country divisions and rivers. After that, I exported it as a .bmp file into Adobe Photoshop CS and started to spice it up there, mostly because I have a better handle on that program. :) I know it's not the best example, but this is what I came up with (it's still not complete):

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a297/havocked/lapau.jpg

The textures are brushes and patterns for Photoshop. ;) Notice how lovely the ridges of the continent is? I thought it looked very natural and would recommend it to someone who doesn't want to pay.

Craig Gosse
03-08-2008, 08:58 AM
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94962

If you have a 'rough idea', I can help you translate it into a three-dimensional representation...

TheChuck
03-08-2008, 06:42 PM
awesome!

Velociryx
05-12-2008, 03:04 AM
The map below began as a hand drawn sketch, and was massaged in photoshop to get the final look (it is the map of the kingdom for the trilogy of books I just finished!) :) {/shameless plug}

I also have campaign cartographer, and can attest that it is a WONDERFUL tool!!

http://img371.imageshack.us/img371/4439/brerg3.jpg

2Wheels
08-23-2008, 01:40 AM
Old thread I know, but, why bother I say? Sketch with paper and pencil enough to let your manuscript readers get their bearings, but then if a publisher picks it up and wants graphic control, then I daresay they're going to get a pro to do it for you.

On the other hand doodling around with graphics programs can be a fun time-waster..!!

cdoctor13
08-26-2008, 10:23 PM
I love maps. Bring 'em on.

Sarpedon
08-26-2008, 10:53 PM
If I remember, I'll bring in my chronological city maps.

Dancre
08-02-2010, 04:11 AM
Mods, I'm not for sure where I can put this, so please move if needed.

My co-worker's b/f makes maps for fantasy writers. His addy is [email protected] You can see his work on my blog, kimkouski.com. He's really good. Enjoy!!

Gedaechtnis
08-05-2010, 04:30 AM
Thanks, I'll stick him in my file folder of Friendly Strangers for when the day comes.

Pthom
08-05-2010, 05:30 AM
Dancre,

Generous offer. Thanks! :)

I am merging this thread with the larger All About Maps for Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61867&highlight=maps) thread. Reason: When folks use the table of contents in this forum, they will find this along with other comments that pertain.

Fame<Infamy
08-05-2010, 06:40 AM
A friend of mine made a map for our D&D game:

http://yoski.deviantart.com/art/Whitefall-Enndoubleyou-Enn-Map-170959678?q=favby%3Actk86%2F1161982&qo=167

That's it.

Oberon89
08-05-2010, 09:29 AM
I just use paper and pencils (and many erasers and sharpeners).

I begin this way too. Then I scan it and trace it in Corel Painter. This can also be done in Photoshop, Illustrator, what have you...but I recommend a pen tablet.


Question - do authors always supply the map that is used in the finished book?
Sometimes...more like rarely, for the simple reason that most writers are not also accomplished illustrators.


...do fantasy publishers have connections with artists to do this sometimes, as they do for cover art?
Yes. They hire map illustrators.


I think I recall someone around here saying that including a map with a manuscript is pointless and they won't use it anyway.

I don't know that it would be pointless; for one thing, creating a map is an excellent worldbuilding exercise for you as a writer, and in most cases I think it would help the reader (agent/editor) visualize your world as they're evaluating your manuscript. And if you've done a half-decent job, it will serve as an excellent starting point for your professional illustrator. Odds are they won't print it, trueŚbut there's no reason it can't serve as an important tool leading to publication, and then slap it up on your website later for fun.