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Random tile 2D map help

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Hi guys,


I am not sure if anyone here remembers games like Master of Magic, Civilization etc. where before you begin a game, the computer generates a "random" 2D tile based map. What's so interesting about the process is how land masses are cohesive in the middle of oceans, along with forests, mountains etc. Of course, then you have rivers flowing into the land masses, random towns...it's quite incredible when you consider the complexity.


From a noobs perspective, I would imagine the algorithms are incredibly difficult but worth a look or consideration non the less. Does anyone know of a good tutorial, source, or some thoughts on where to get started with something of this nature?


Please note I am not looking for a dungeon generator.





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The usual first resource I tend to send people after when generating outdoor wilderness-type areas is, of course, Perlin noise. While it's not perfect, it does provide a pretty good basis for the kinds of continuous-yet-random patterns found in nature.


For reference, a few picks from my own journal and stuff:






My own Perlin noise library:


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