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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34
votes
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 ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What tools can I use to draw a battle map?

I want to draw a battle map for the cover of my book. By battle map I mean an image like this: What tools can I use in order to draw such map easily?
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Roman ancient balloons

Frontinius, while dreaming, was visited by Vulcan. The god showed him a big ball of cloth, flying above Rome, fueled by a fire. Once he woke up, he understood. He built a large bag of cloth, ...
10
votes
1answer
841 views

How do I design a map that looks old?

I'm in the process of designing an old map (18th or 19th century) and I would like it to look worn out. But then I was wondering where it should be more damaged. I would prefer to avoid damaging the ...
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 ...
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?
13
votes
2answers
559 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 (...
4
votes
2answers
227 views

Method for creating aerial visuals (photography) for fake landmasses

What is the best method for creating a visual that mimics aerial photography for a fake island. The desired quality is USGS standards for actual aerials, preferably 2 foot aerials. The end product ...
14
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
867 views

How do I calculate the area of a specific place on the map?

Technical question warning ! I'm trying to figure out the size of countries and continents but there is something I do not understand. The map I'm using was made with the euqirectangular projection (...
6
votes
5answers
749 views

What is the distance between large settlements?

Is there a theory, model, technique that could help when placing cities on a map, instead of placing them randomly? I have an estimate of the population for a given territory so I know more or less ...
7
votes
1answer
749 views

What is the best digital way to make maps with different projections?

I am trying to make a digital world map (preferably vector graphic but it's definitely not essential) for my planet but I don't know which projection to use and how to go about actually making it. I ...
6
votes
2answers
483 views

What is the most efficient data-structure to store planet elevation? [closed]

Planet elevation maps can be quite big, zooming in/out can be quite costly. I wonder if there is a most efficient data-structure used to store elevation maps such as quad-trees or any tree-based ...
15
votes
2answers
863 views

What are the known algorithms to create a planet with a subterranean cave network?

I know a few algorithms to build an elevation map for a planet, but most of them do not take into account the underground aspects of the planet (caves, tunnels, ...). Are there any algorithms to take ...
15
votes
2answers
547 views

Ratio between planet-size and terrain elevation?

Let's imagine we have an algorithm that produce an elevation-map for a sphere. I wonder if the ratio between the planet radius and the delta between the highest and lowest altitude is a constant or ...
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 ...
29
votes
4answers
4k views

Less boring classifications of earth-like terrain when making maps

When creating a map for a fantasy world, I typically add broad top-level descriptions for terrain. Mountains here, forests there, a river, a swamp etc. Watch any nature documentary, and each terrain ...
16
votes
3answers
463 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I put a rectangular map onto a globe?

I've spent time hand-drawing, and then scanning, and colorizing a world map using Paint.Net. The map uses a rectangular projection (something like an Equirectangular, Plate Caree, or Behrmann ...
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 ...