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Making a Map

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Hey all,

 

So my project would be greatly benefited by creating a sort of world map of the many nations and geography of the world. Has anyone created a map of a fictional world around here? Any ideas how I'd do this, like tools, skills, etc.? I'm completely lost on how to approach this. Thanks all.

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Since I don't know what kind of aesthetic you're going for (or how varied the landscapes in your world should be), I'll suggest a basic plan.

 

A) Download Inkscape. It's a very convenient vector art tool that uses line snaps for drawing. It should be fairly easy (although a bit tedious) to draw a simple world map and there are no drawing skills required. It's also free, so huge plus.

 

B) Pull up some random maps of cities, provinces, or countries and keep them to the side for reference. You don't even need to use them just for reference; you could copy certain sections of certain maps and mash them together in your map. Of course, you'll be drawing that and the end image will be unique as a result. 

 

C) You know how geographical maps have areas that change color according to terrain/landscape? I.E. Arctic areas are represented by white, desert areas are represented by tan. The slight transition of color that you see on the border of two different types of terrain is gradient (if you didn't know). You could use Photoshop (or Pixlr Editor if you don't have PS and you can't buy it) and use brushes to introduce a very simple gradient aspect to your maps to represent difference in terrain. Or you could just use flat color-coding and separate terrain by lines. It'll look blockier, but ultimately it's what you want. 

 

If this didn't tell you everything you need, I hope it'll at least give you some ideas. :^)

Edited by ChriHK

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Since I don't know what kind of aesthetic you're going for (or how varied the landscapes in your world should be), I'll suggest a basic plan.

 

A) Download Inkscape. It's a very convenient vector art tool that uses line snaps for drawing. It should be fairly easy (although a bit tedious) to draw a simple world map and there are no drawing skills required. It's also free, so huge plus.

 

B) Pull up some random maps of cities, provinces, or countries and keep them to the side for reference. You don't even need to use them just for reference; you could copy certain sections of certain maps and mash them together in your map. Of course, you'll be drawing that and the end image will be unique as a result. 

 

C) You know how geographical maps have areas that change color according to terrain/landscape? I.E. Arctic areas are represented by white, desert areas are represented by tan. The slight transition of color that you see on the border of two different types of terrain is gradient (if you didn't know). You could use Photoshop (or Pixlr Editor if you don't have PS and you can't buy it) and use brushes to introduce a very simple gradient aspect to your maps to represent difference in terrain. Or you could just use flat color-coding and separate terrain by lines. It'll look blockier, but ultimately it's what you want. 

 

If this didn't tell you everything you need, I hope it'll at least give you some ideas. :^)

 

Thanks for your reply! I will definitely give this all a shot.

 

Some more information about what I need to make. I'm not looking for anything too complex, to be honest, I do want to get geopolitical info across, and also some geographic info. I'm not super sure on style, but my project is a sci-fi project, so if that helps, people.

 

I'm more than open to other advice!

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