Questions tagged [map-making]

For questions that have to do with the science or practice of drawing maps. If the question has to do with making maps this question is good. Note: This tag is about creating maps of physical features, not creating the physical features themselves. For that see the geography tag.

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43
votes
7answers
9k views

What software is available for map creation?

I'm looking for recommendations for software to build my world, physically. I want to be able to create maps of the entire world and then drill down to individual areas and define the towns and ...
34
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11answers
5k views

How can I indicate a third dimension on a map of outer space?

I'm working on a map of several star systems (with the stars, planets, etc. not to scale with the map), and I'd like to show that they don't all lie in the same plane. Some orbits are perpendicular to ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What tool can I use to draw a simple map of a fictional world?

I want to draw a map of a fictional world, which consists of two regions (countries), separated by mountains. Are there any tools which allow you to draw such maps with little effort?
35
votes
5answers
4k views

Destruction by design - how best to go about crafting a ruined landscape?

Ruins of many kinds are a staple of stories whether for games or tales of high adventure. My question is about the design process behind such structures: should one start with a city or building and ...
28
votes
11answers
24k views

Explaining uphill rivers scientifically?

I see this in so many maps. Normally, the water flows downhill because of gravity but here it is the opposite, rivers will go above the hills. When you mention this incoherence, the authors refuse to ...
19
votes
6answers
514 views

Can my spaceship figure out its position using Cepheid Variables?

In my story, reasonably far in the future, an intrepid group of explorers are on the first manned mission to the Andromeda galaxy, travelling close to the speed of light. They slumbered in suspended ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How to name places that have multiple names?

When designing a world it is convenient to decide how places will be named : Elements like the continents and the oceans. However, it is likely that the different cultures of the world will not ...
7
votes
1answer
300 views

Program for drawing maps in correct scale

I've decided to draw maps, on these maps, I planned on drawing regions which already have determined areas (ex. Region 1 has 30.000 km²), the problem is, how would a measure a region's area on a map? ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Which map projection would result in an accurate visual depiction of a mega crater?

Would a large, I mean large, impact crater on a spherical world be noticeably distorted on maps using different projections? Eg mercator, hanmer-aitoff, equidistant Etc. Side question - Would there ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What software can help me render a planet . . . from space?

So, I'd like to make a rendering of my world to see what it would look like from outer space. I have the map drawn up, and the various features (mostly) designed. Think about it like taking a series ...
3
votes
4answers
648 views

Graphically represent (map) multiple spatial dimentions

I would like to create a 3D map that can represent a universe with more than 3 spatial dimensions. The humans who use the map can only normally interact with 3 dimensions (and time) but in my world ...
31
votes
17answers
30k views

Best places to be on Earth when an all out nuclear World War III breaks out?

This is a world building question in a preventative context because those people or countries would be left fully functional while others gone and the safe areas is where the world building would ...
38
votes
8answers
3k views

Mapping a fantasy/horror building where rooms overlap

A group of people have stumbled into one of those classic fantasy/horror houses where the usual rules of space don't seem to apply and is very confusing. Bits of the building appear to overlap with ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I do programmatic generation of fantasy maps?

I found this twitter bot https://twitter.com/unchartedatlas posting maps that look like they came from a pulp fantasy novel. Any idea on how they are done?
16
votes
3answers
458 views

What is a good reference size for a settlement?

I have been sporadically building a particular world, mainly by developing its cultures with events (often paralleling Earth history) and individuals, rather than shaping the cultures beforehand. One ...
13
votes
2answers
551 views

Site for online custom map with tags or labels

I am looking for a site that will do the following for free: Allow me to upload a map of a world (either URL or file, I don't mind). Allow me to tag/label that map, to mark the locations of thing (...
16
votes
5answers
407 views

Architectural encoding of maps

Picture a band of explorers deep underground in huge dwarven underground complex they have been exploring for what to most of them feels like an eternity. They come to hub like chamber with a dozen or ...
27
votes
7answers
3k views

How could bird people map the air?

For sentient avians, knowing the location and behavior of currents in the air would be vitally important. Jet streams, thermals, downdrafts, and shear layers would all be important in their daily ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Mapping the far side of the galaxy

Humans got a one time ticket to the other side of the galaxy, traveling $2r$ in just a few days (where $r$ is the distance from earth to the super massive black hole: 28,000 lightyears) The stars we ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

A water cycle in an underground setting

The ozone layer depleted beyond reasonable levels and life on the surface has become impossible and life migrated underground in giant caves connected together by tunnels. Some of those caves have ...
11
votes
10answers
1k views

Finding the area of a nation

How can I find the area of an irregular shape while taking into account the distortions of Equirectangular projection?
9
votes
4answers
863 views

In a World of islands floating in the air how would people navigate?

We are creating a world of floating islands, these vary in size from small outposts that are little more than a Dock and Watchtower, through independent farmsteads, to full Nations in which the ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How realistic is the geography of my map?

I was told to post this question separately, so here it is. I need help with the geography and climate of my map. Blue circles are ports Gray circles are cities That one brown circle is a town The ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What would the world map look like if sea levels rose 49 meters

If the sea levels of Earth were to suddenly rise by 49 meters, or 160.7 feet, what would the world map look like?
4
votes
2answers
397 views

Could I get some guidance on this map in progress?

BACKGROUND So I was working on a map, when I suddenly realized that despite the many helpful tutorials on this site I have very little idea what I'm doing. I thought it might be a good idea to put on ...
7
votes
1answer
282 views

Why do the terms “large scale” and “small scale” seem to swap meanings? [closed]

Sometimes when someone says a map is "small scale", it seems to mean a map shows a small area, but the things are drawn large as a result, and other times it means the things in the map are shown much ...
7
votes
2answers
277 views

Drawing landmasses for this odd-shaped planet

I've just come here for some help drawing a map for this fictional planet where two roughly similar planets have been smushed into kind of pear shape like this: So this planet spins on an axis which ...
4
votes
1answer
472 views

Which minerals are needed to make a sustainable medieval country?

Which minerals (iron, coal, copper, etc.) are needed in the same country to make it sustainable (medieval age)? For example: A country is made in the middle of a gigantic island (like a little ...