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 tag is a good fit. Note: This tag is about creating maps of physical features, not creating the physical features themselves nor using the maps for navigation. For that see the geography tag or navigation tag..

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9
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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 ...
4
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6answers
525 views

How can the entire universe be mapped?

Inspired by Mapping the far side of the galaxy, I wondered how it would be possible to create a real-time map of the entire universe. As that question dealt with the issue of a one-time travel to the ...
11
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6answers
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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 ...
6
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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?
9
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4answers
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What software can I use to map my universe?

I have a sketched picture of my galaxy and I would like this to be electronic. This way I can access it from anywhere (tablet/laptop etc). I have tried looking at Word or Excel, but they are just not ...
1
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1answer
127 views

How far can one see off into the distance when up high? [closed]

This may seem like a strange question but when I am running pen and paper campaigns and the party enters a new area from somewhere high up (like a mountain overlooking a city) I am always unsure about ...
6
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2answers
526 views

How To Create Your World WITHOUT Building From Scratch

I know that there are many questions about where to go to actually build your own world, where you can actually be your own god, totally visualizing your world's geography, geology and climate. But ...
11
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1answer
4k views

Map generator for big world

There are several programs available that will generate a random map of an Earth-sized planet, complete with a choice of projections from sphere to 2-D representation. Are there any available that ...
22
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9answers
4k views

How can I create a map of a rapidly-changing world?

I have a basic setup for my world consisting of about five continents. I know their shapes pretty well, and their positions relative to one another. I also have the basic geography down (this is all ...
5
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5answers
1k views

The cardinal directions on a flat world? [closed]

This is a simple question. What would a civilization on a flat world call the directions on a compass?
12
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1answer
3k views

Is there any planet modelling software?

I am searching for a software capable of creating any planet ( like universe sandbox) with the ability of shaping the landscape and adding tags to any coordinates I wish to in order to represent ...
22
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7answers
2k views

How to create accurate map with white spaces?

Several times I had idea for a medieval-like world where the people living on the planet did not discover all the world yet. I know the first two steps: Create a map of whole world, for worldbuilder'...
1
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1answer
208 views

Looking for a map of mythological Ancient Greece [closed]

Does anyone know of a decent, detailed map of ancient Greece? I'm writing a series using Greek myth as a springboard, but I'm having a hard time on Google finding anything useful.
7
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2answers
325 views

How do mermaids map ocean currents?

Humans lay road to gain fast access to distant places until aeroplane is invented, I would presume the mermaids living underwater can make use of the strong water current to get around the ocean ...
5
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1answer
282 views

Is it possible to change the ocean levels after blowing up a continental land bridge?

I am somewhat new to worldbuilding so forgive me if I am not as clear as I could be. I have created a continent, but for relate-ability sake, imagine the US and Mexico, but where the Yucatan ...
8
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3answers
485 views

Kingdom creation calculations [closed]

Ok, here is the deal... In my story, I am trying to create a small kingdom containing somewhere 1000-1500 people with a 30-70% female to male ratio & 10-90% children to adult ratio. It is an old ...
16
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5answers
439 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 ...
-2
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2answers
6k views

How to make a planet map?

I have to make a map for two planets. For booth two I already have an idea about what they look like, but I don't know how to draw them. They don't need to be really clear, however they should make ...
8
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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 ...
-7
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1answer
479 views

What would the Mercator projection look like if the north pole were in a different spot like in Hapgood's Planet? [closed]

This scenario is based on the out-of-date Earth crust displacement theory of Charles Hapgood. Before the theory of plate tectonics was accepted, he said that the poles physically moved over millions ...
32
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6answers
5k views

How can I create a map of an underground city?

This question is, like How long will it take to form a new dialect and language in underground steampunk London?, part of an experiment I'm conducting on Worldbuilding. I'm temporarily switching gears ...
9
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4answers
1k 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 ...
2
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5answers
455 views

Can I map the location of my convenient store inside a wormhole?

Set in the distance future probably a type 3 civilization on a Kardashev scale, I plan to setup multiple chain of convenient stores at many wormholes where there are heavy traffics, how can I create ...
7
votes
1answer
511 views

What are mapping or diagramming techniques that would be valuable to someone mapping a planetary system?

Basically, it's a question about creating maps or diagrams. In particular, we on Earth are used to maps showing variation over distance & location. The problem with space that is everything is ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Default map projection

A lot of people making maps for their worlds forget to consider the projection they are using when they start mapping but often need to deal with the issue later. If no projection is chosen, I usually ...
14
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7answers
346 views

How to navigate without magnetism?

Suppose a team of explorers touched down on an Earth-like planet which do not generate its own magnetic field and there are always a thick layer of cloud covering the sky at all time. My question is ...
39
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8answers
4k 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 ...
3
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4answers
736 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 ...
8
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6answers
662 views

How would you create a map based upon scent (or other senses)?

Human's primary sense is sight. Therefore our maps include icons designed to represent various sights. Scale maps include reference scales and accurately represent to the distance between the visual ...
4
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4answers
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Making the Marauder's Map: Can I make a map that changes?

Those familiar with the Harry Potter series may be familiar with the Marauder's Map, a map that allows the holder to see where people are at any given time. It displays a person as a set of footprints ...
27
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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 ...
88
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29answers
10k views

Encrypting maps

Encrypting texts is a very old technique, which is known already from the time of the Romans, if not earlier. Now a simple text cypher is easily done with low-tech means, as long as those trying to ...
39
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15answers
5k views

How to go about creating an “inaccurate” map?

We have a professional cartographer, who travels, creates maps, duplicates them, and sells them to people as he travels. Unfortunately, he is not the best at his job - and he has nothing other than a ...
34
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11answers
6k 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
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8answers
3k 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
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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
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1answer
877 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
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11answers
25k 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
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3answers
3k views

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

This Query is part of the Worldbuilding Resources Article. I want to draw a map of a fictional world, which consists of two regions (countries), separated by mountains. Are there any tools which ...
13
votes
2answers
677 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
239 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
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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 agree ...
7
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2answers
1k 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 equirectangular projection (...
6
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5answers
857 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
930 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
528 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 ...
17
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2answers
994 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 ...
16
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2answers
591 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
299 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 ...
32
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4answers
5k 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 ...