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Author Topic: Mapmaking Software/Websites  (Read 3051 times)

Offline Phoenix

Mapmaking Software/Websites
« on: April 19, 2016, 06:27:39 PM »
I've seen all the great maps that people have posted on Jmacks thread and so I'm just curious to see what y'all used to make your maps. Like what software or website?
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Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2016, 11:56:06 PM »
Photoshop and AutoREALM

Offline marshall_lamour

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Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2016, 07:16:07 AM »
I haven't posted my WIP in that thread, yet, but I've used a combination of Sketchbook, Gimp, and more recently, Graphic, all with a Wacom Intuos drawing tablet.

I have kept an eye out for more dedicated software like Jonathan Roberts' Fantastic Mapper or Other World Mapper.  I would like to explore using something like World Machine to create something more realistic, interactive, and versatile.

Edit:
I guess World Mapper is just about abandonware, supposedly Terragen is currently the way to go.

Edit2:
I actually took up my mapmaking again last night and figured out how to overlay my map in google earth. This made me glad that I was using vectors, as it was a cinch to resize my map's dimensions and shuffle my continents around to achieve a more favorable position on the globe. It will also help for figuring out distances and climate.

The workflow for this is pretty nice, actually. GEarth just pulls the overlays from your file system (or a URL, I think), so if you overwrite the file (I export to tiff), it only requires a refresh to see the changes. I have a whole-globe wrap at the moment, but the resolution is limited, so if want higher rez zoomable features, I'll have to cut those out of the larger map and overlay them as separate chunks.

I'm not sure how far I'll go with this particular workflow beyond general positioning, however, as I'm wanting to make a proper heightmap and looking at tools like Wilbur and MapToGlobe.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 10:33:48 PM by marshall_lamour »
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Offline Phoenix

Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 03:37:34 PM »
I actually took up my mapmaking again last night and figured out how to overlay my map in google earth.
How'd you do that?
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Offline marshall_lamour

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Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2016, 03:23:32 AM »
First answer here:

Quote
If your map is equirectangular, you can use Google Earth. Here are the steps you should take.

1. Check the size of your image: (If you have Google Earth Pro you can skip this step, the Pro version automatically creates image tiles from your image) In Google Earth, go to Help > About Google Earth and look for the field labeled Max Texture Size. This is the largest size image you can use. On my computer it's 16384x16384, but your result will vary depending on your computer hardware.

2. Create an Image Overlay: Right-click My Places and select Add > Image Overlay. Give the overlay a name, and then either put the URL of the image in the Link box or click the Browse... button to use a file from your computer.

3. Position the Image: On the Location tab change the borders of the image so it covers the whole globe, i.e. North: 90N, South: 90S, East: 180E, West: 180W.

Remember to turn off any layers that will interfere with your map, such as roads, borders, labels, terrain, etc. If the borders don't line up with yours, you probably have a map projection other than equirectangular. As long as the distortion is not too bad, just turn off the borders and ignore the mismatch.

I'm using that method as well as maptoglobe at the moment. Still figuring out the ins and outs of heightmaps. I wish I had a machine running Windows so that I could try Wilbur.

Edit:
I can't tell that there's any difference between GE and GE-pro, anymore. I just made sure to export my map to a size smaller than the listed max for the texture size.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 05:09:06 AM by marshall_lamour »
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Offline Adrian_Selby

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Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2016, 07:50:52 PM »
I used Gimp and found some custom brushes that I could 'dot' in stuff like trees, mountains, hills etc.

Offline Somerton

Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2016, 04:07:18 AM »
'Inkarnate' is a good site for making maps.

Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 07:19:09 AM »
'Inkarnate' is a good site for making maps.

Inkarnate looks pretty cool-- do you have anything to show off?

Offline Quill

Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 09:36:22 AM »
If you aren't familiar with it, you might find useful information at the cartographer's guild, https://www.cartographersguild.com/content.php. I don't do maps myself, so I hired a cartographer from there. If you have the skill yourself, obviously no need for that; for someone like me, though, it was a small investment for something I can use for life.
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Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2016, 06:37:23 PM »
I use Campaign Cartographer, and it's a great tool, despite being complicated at times. If you've never worked with a layered image, it's tricky. But it's very flexible and allows for generating a wide variety of maps, color and black and white, with any number of overall styles. Probably a good investment ($30 or so?) for writers who might want to gem up a map in one style to go with one story, and an entirely different looking map for that epic fantasy series, or RPG, or whatever.
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Re: Mapmaking Software/Websites
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2017, 10:28:20 AM »
'Inkarnate' is a good site for making maps.
Here's an update I received from Inkarnate, which I think is important if you're wanting to be able to use the image:

As we head into the new year, I want to share some news about the beta, as well as what's next for Inkarnate. When we first launched the beta last Summer, we were a small community of just under 5000 early adopters. Today, the community is over 150,000 strong! To everyone that has taken part in the beta, shared maps, helped others learn the tool, or shared your ideas, thank you! The community continues to grow and evolve, and that is all thanks to you.

So, what's next? In the next few weeks, we will begin releasing new map styles. To start, we will launch a new full color world map style. Many have asked about commercial licensing, and we will be making that available with the new map styles. Going forward, we will move all newly created maps over to the new map styles so we can test and refine them. You will still have access to view all of your existing maps. If you want to make any edits to those maps, please get those in during the next few weeks before the update (Jan 21), after which they will be viewable only. We have several other map styles in the works, including a parchment world style, top-down dungeons, and additional city mapping capabilities. We will be sharing more details as those are developed.

In addition to the new map art, we have been working on a new version of the app. This will be Inkarnate's first commercial product offering, which will eventually replace the current beta app. Higher resolution maps, and advanced blend modes (e.g. multiply, dodge/burn, etc.) for brushes and stamps have already been implemented. And we have many more features on the roadmap, some for launch, and some after. We will continue to share details as the tool progresses.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Ingmar Gagen
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