Map is 1000 miles long and wide. In general, do these placements make sense?

I'm also wondering:

  • where volcanoes would be?

  • why the coast is full of life and the west dead and barren?

  • where the equator would be?

and if I can make the northern coast more rocky and full of islands -- plateaus and whatnot.

This is a zone of safety for people, a haven protecting them from West & South. Perhaps 1-2 million people living here split between a few ruling faculties.

enter image description here enter image description here (Tan/brown): Desert, dry land, hot.

(Light-green): Arable.

(Green): Dense forests.

(Dark-green/dark-brown): Magic, cursed land, unnatural jungle, might be spreading.

  • $\begingroup$ Philisophically, this is a duplicate of this question. Please read it and its answers. If necessary, return to this question and post clarifications. If that question answers your question, please let us know. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Aug 15, 2017 at 0:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ One thousand miles is about 16 degrees of latitude (on Earth, of course). Assuming that you don't want the area shown to be in the polar regions, the Equator can be anywhere from 3000 miles north to 3000 miles south; it can of course be in the shown area, but in this case at least half of area would be equatorial, you know, daily rain and no seasons, with rest almost equatorial; and on Earth it's almost inconceivable to have a desert within 1000 miles of the Equator. Otherwise it's fine. The volcanoes would be somewhere in the mountains, of course. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Aug 15, 2017 at 1:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Take a map of California-Nevada, exchange north and south. You pretty much have this. $\endgroup$
    – pojo-guy
    Aug 15, 2017 at 3:14
  • $\begingroup$ I replaced the [map-making] tag with [weather], since this question appears to focus more on the world itself than how to describe the world on a map. If I misread your question, then you may want to clarify that along with putting the tag back. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 15, 2017 at 6:32

3 Answers 3


where volcanoes would be?

Volcanoes are usually placed at the borders of tectonic plates. You can have rift volcanoes where two plates diverges (the African Rift Valley is an example), or subsidence region, where on plate sinks below another, creating mountains and volcanoes (this is i.e. the case for the Andes and for Japan).

why the coast is full of life and the west dead and barren?

Dominant winds blow from the sea on the coast, discharging their water load on the mountains. The water flowing back to the sea makes life flourish in those region, while after the mountains the dry air cannot convey that much rain, thus it is a desert.

where the equator would be?

I cannot add more than AlexP's comment.


If the dark green is supposed to be forested area, it seem unusual to me to have a desert border it so tightly in the lower left quadrant. In my experience, desert transitions to mountain or rock, or to a gradual progression of scrub, to grass, to trees.

This is typically due to the influence of some water source like a river, above ground lake or underground lake (aquifer) that feeds the plant growth from underground, but that influence becomes more attenuated with distance from the water. So forests need a lot of water; then when there isn't enough to keep them alive grasses and small woody bushes can still survive, at a further distance those become fewer (this is scrub land), then the parts that get no reliable water at all (meaning a plant may go several weeks without a drop) become desert. (Cacti and other plants that can store water in their leaves or roots may survive.)

  • $\begingroup$ "In my experience, desert transitions to mountain or rock, or to a gradual progression of scrub, to grass, to trees." However, couldn't this be explained at least in part by the mountains? If the arid area is lowland in a hot climate, you'd get more favorable growing conditions at a somewhat higher altitude, which could lead to forestation. Then, as you go higher still, conditions no longer support significant vegetation, so you get bare mountaintops. On the other side of the mountains, you are close to the large body of water, resulting in fair amounts of rain and better growing conditions. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 15, 2017 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling So are you suggesting the forest in question has some distinctly different elevation? (like on foothills?) I guess I was thinking more two dimensionally. Other than salty ground; I have not walked from forest directly to desert; it is always a fuzzy border of forest to meadow (fuzzy meaning a rather crooked border of trees becoming fewer in number). I haven't seen a forest on a plateau or bordering a cliff; I suppose it could happen, and be an interesting setting. $\endgroup$
    – Amadeus
    Aug 15, 2017 at 11:54

In addition to the above, you also have geological hot spots (Hawaii and I believe Yellow Stone) which are the results of pockets of geological activity below the plate... the place where they breech is constant, but it's the plate that moves that causes the change (the Big Island is currently seated over the spot where the rest of the Hawaii islands once were and is the only active volcano in the entire chain).

Yours looks like it could be related to oceanic crust sub-ducting under continental crust (take a flipped negative of California with respect to the pacific ocean). This could give you the problem of more Earthquakes and Tsunamis in your coastal regions as a more immediate danger... and with Volcanoes you'll probably go long periods of dormancy followed by one big bang that will really mess up the local area (see Mount St. Helens) and you're not going to get a them with pools of bubbling lava and smoking cones (Hawaii does have the former, but it's a shield).


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