Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Division of Territory in Society

Now and then, it pays to simply sit at the feet of some other genius and learn.  I found this thesis very intriguing some years ago, and recently chanced to stumble across it again.  I would strongly recommend that any budding creative geographers read it through, as it will help identify the structure of your invented territorial divisions.


2eDM said...

Thank you! I've been looking for stuff like this.

Symeon Kokolas said...

Brilliant work. I see that many underlying concepts parallel the development of your trade tables. This reference certainly informs and illuminates your methods with regard to the cost of transport influencing local prices. Of course, the same correlation could more easily be drawn from the field of economics, but it seems to have a special relevance to the style of world that you are developing.
It would be interesting to see similar analysis performed on your existing political subdivisions. It should also be useful in 'filling in the grid' as it provides functions rather than anecdotes and suggestions.

Symeon Kokolas said...

Something else that would be interesting... Consider running a simulation on a region where certain initial populations are known and the remaining population is scattered randomly about the map. Resources and resource values and travel times are all known to some degree due to your cartographic methods. In an iterative simulation, allow the population to move to optimize several variables such as available land and other resources, distance from a trade hub, distance from defensive forces, and distance from political or religious centers.
It would be interesting if a set of variables could be found that would adequately fill out a given area (whether map grid, county, country, or continent), with or without appropriate seeding to emphasize known centers. It would be even more interesting if several population types could be analyzed in this way, with different weights and/or variables to control their behavior. The end goal would be to produce a fairly realistic simulated population of humans, predators, prey, and monsters. On the level of a single hex, trade references could readily be subdivided and distributed randomly without upsetting the relation to the map as a whole.
If I were competent enough, I would do it myself. If anyone reading this is interested and has some programming experience, I'd love to discuss it further.