Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sources Table

Because of the size of this table, I used to have it chopped into parts ... but that has become inconvenient and now I just keep it in one piece.  It's 21 megs, big for an excel file, so if your computer is slow you're going to have trouble with this one.  What's really annoying is that it is all empty space.  This format is easiest however for the whole thing, as it can be filtered and compared most easily.

Along the top are 954 possible products and services, and down the side are the various locations for references identified by the aforegoing Encyclopedia folder.  Thus, if you scan down to lines 20 through 26, describing the Archangel "zone" (as I call it), and column AHW ("fish") you can see the Encyclopedia makes one reference to Onega Lake having fish, one reference to "Sudborough" having fish, and three references to the White Sea having fish.

Now, I'd better explain about the names you'll find here.  There is no 'Sudborough' anywhere near Archangel that you'll find on a map or an encyclopedia.  In mixing my world and the D&D world together, certain weird aspects get applied to names of some regions.  Modern Archangelsk, for instance, in actual history was founded as Archangel in 1584 by English traders in a big empty land on the south shore of the White Sea.  In my D&D world, Archangel was founded in 1584 by English traders who stumbled across a small area of winter halflings who had successfully retrenched a region surrounded by gnoll-infested forests.  The English joined with the halflings and the region still battles off gnoll raiders.  The city of 'Sudborough' is a halfling town which in the real, modern world is called "Onega."  So where it says in the encylopedia that Onega produces fish, I write down on this Sources table that Sudborough produces fish.

There are quite a lot of examples of this.  The first two zones, Croft and Khath under ALTSLOK, are four modern oblasts in 1952 Russia: East Kazakhstan (Croft), Gorno-Altay (Roth), Khakass (Khath) and Tuva (Tuvath).  Because in the real world the human population was so low, I filled these regions up with dwarves, being that they are mostly the Altai-Tuva mountain ranges separating modern Siberia from Mongolia.  Croftshelm, Rithdome, Rothering and Bokoth are towns.  Moth Basin is a river valley in modern Khakass.

All of these equivalents are found on the Cities file, in mapmaking, if you want to look and compare.  I'll be getting to a description of the Cities by and by.

For the moment, take note that the KINGDOMS are in capital letters, while the name of the trade zone is in bold, highlighted more darkly to distinguish it.  Totals for the zone are gathered from the individual locations for references (thus the Archangel zone has 5 references for fish, 1 reference for cod and 2 references for herring).  There is a column then for total fish (AJR, darker than the other fish columns), which shows Archangel as having 8 fish references.

So goes the whole table.  Various groups of things are added together for later application in the system, such as grains, pulses, fruits, medicinal plants, woodcrafting, skins, meat and so on.  This is done partly to compensate for having only a certain number of things for which I have adequate production figures, letting me estimate the base amount of said product or group of products being produced in 1650.  There will be more about this, later.

Sorry, I'm jumping around a bit.  Going back to the far left of the table, column D, 'TOTAL REF.', the subscriber can see there are totals for each location.  It would be nice to think that these totals could be used to determine the economy of a specific locale, but this isn't so.  The data simply isn't precise enough for that.  It is good enough (because there is so much of it) for me to apply the later system of distances and availability to get a good set of trading tables ... but this source table is really completely unreliable as hard data.  You can muck with it if you want and try to pound it into that, but I suspect you will be disappointed in the grand picture.  Still, some places do produce a lot of different types of things, and some are much more heterogeneous in products, and something might be gleaned from that.

As you can see, there are a LOT of different places that sources come from.  The sources listed here are in two forms.  Those where the place names have been sorted out into 'zones,' and a second group where they haven't been.  Starting on line 2768, you can see Africa is listed all as one big body (not including Egypt), along with America, China, East Indies, England, France, Greenland, India, Ireland, Japan, Portugal/Spain and Southeast Asia.  These are places where I have gathered the references, so I know those totals, but I have yet to map these areas and thus distribute the sources into their market zones.

You'll note there are references for America and for the East Indies, but that I had said in the Encyclopedia post that I hadn't done those areas yet.  Still, entries in the encyclopedia for European, African and other areas make a general reference here and there to the Americas (especially a long article about gemstones in the book), and those references were duly recorded here.

So what makes a 'zone'?  To begin with, it must have a market city.  Column F shows the number of encyclopedia references to a city being a 'port,' a 'trading centre,' a 'market' or a 'commercial' hub ... and these are all interpreted as 'market.'  Search Hamburg and you'll find 15 references in the markets column.  Bremen in turn came out a 14.  London came in at 12, Barcelona and Lubeck managed 11 and both Shanghai and Constantinople amounted to 10.  I didn't decide how many these places had ... this was the encyclopedia referring to their trading statuses over and over.

You can search out other places in the old world for their totals.

I drew the line at dividing up secondary territories into tinier and tinier zones, so some zones have more than one trading city in them - such as Cuxhaven and Hamburg both being in the Hamburg zone, or a region like Transylvania having six markets: Grosswarden, Hermannstadt, Klausenburg, Kronstadt, Neumarkt and Sathmar.  Those are their 17th century German names.  Klausenburg is modern Cluj, Kronstadt is modern Brasov and so on.  I try to keep the 17th century name for use, but sometimes the actual name is the one shown on the table - I simply haven't gotten around to fixing it.

So, a zone is a secondary region with however many market cities there are, one that has at least one trading city (this is as much because I have stats for population for that region as anything else).  What about a region without a market city?  I then assign that region to a nearby market, one that seems most logical.  Thus, at the very top in the zone of Croft, the region of Roth has no trading city, and is then assigned to Croft.

These zones are the outsource for the trading tables that determine the price of everything.  The subscriber can see that the 'Totals' tab on the table shows only the totals for the various zones, and not the lesser locations within those zones.  It also shows the total number of references for each product:  2,903 market references, 70 tin, 19 raisins, 24 tapestries and so on and on ... 14,879 references in total.

One thing, however,  This table has been updated since it was used to create the next table, called NEW Selected, which I will be talking about soon.  I like to refer to these things as 'incarnations.'  The Incarnation of the pricing table is dependent on the latest updating of the Selected table, which is dependent upon the latest Incarnation of the Sources, Cities and Market Cities (distances) tables, which are in turn dependent upon work done before those tables can be updated.

Thus, if I record from the encyclopedia into the Sources table, and update it, we can assume that the pricing table is now out of date ... until the next time I fix the Selected table based on the new sources I've found.  THEN I can update the prices table.

At the present, I've most recently added much of Africa and Spain to the sources table, but I have yet to upgrade the prices to accept them.  This is typical ... I don't like to update every time there's a change, so I wait until there are a lot of new sources, and then work up through the tables to get them all up to date.  Right now, I am thinking I might get the pricing table up to date sometime after Christmas.  I'll have holiday time to really work in December.

Oh, I was going to say that you can see I've started to sort India into zones.  This is because I'm nearly finished mapping India, and I was interested in seeing - initially - how it would go.  I actually get a kick from this, wondering where the largest numbers of references will come down, even if it isn't hardcore economics data.

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