Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mapping: Representing Civilized Areas

So I've been toying around with my latest map, which is on a scale of 1" = 1 Mile. I've been looking at Google satellite imagery, and you can see quite a bit of detail at this scale, including individual fields in farmlands. With that in mind, I actually snagged one such image and used it as texture to overlay my farmlands. Now, the farmlands I used are modern day, so I imagine back in the day, the fields would have been a bit smaller. But I like the feel this gives me. It certainly evokes a sense that the lands are "civilized".

I also like the little brown dots. They give a sense of population density. I've set it so that each dot represents 50 people, except for in the Village of Harrow. Those dots represent 100 people. I don't know if I should keep it at 50 per dot, or use a different dot to represent more people (sort of like Risk, where you get a "10" piece that is kind of star shaped). I think there is an advantage to keeping it all at one symbol, because it can give you a quick visual on relative population density, even if you don't know what the actual numbers are that the symbol stands for.

Another neat thing about this map is that it gives you a real sense for when you are going off the beaten path. Up top there, between the Greenrush and the Red River, there is some farmland, and then a another little hamlet about three miles up the road with some 200 people. Think about this in terms of today's travel. It is an hour's trek by foot. So, imagine driving an hour into the countryside, to a little place where the nearest people are an hour away. That's pretty isolated. I'm imagining that the people who live there cling to some really old traditions, and are considered "peculiar" by everyone else around.

It is about three hours to the Greenrush from the town of Carnach. Then you have to take a boat, and cross the Greenrush to get to the isolated hamlet of about 250 people. Then another hour up the road to find that old woman who has just the right ingredient for that potion your client is trying to make. But first you have to get through her brothers. And cousins. And uncles. And there is probably a lonely sister or two.

Here's a great post from the Nine and Thirty Kingdoms that ties into this post nicely!

Hamlet, Village, Town

No comments:

Post a Comment