Thursday, February 26, 2015


This is what I do to relax.

Here's a section of Spain that I'm working to map, which at this stage consists only of plotting cities:

This is painstaking work.  Each hex covers a range of latitude and longitude; the city is then plotted inside the hex based on its own precise location.  I insist on being as accurate as possible.  Occasionally, it can happen that there are as many as seven towns & cities in the same hex (an example of that can be seen in the upper right hand corner, with Alcora, Burriana, Castello, La Vall, Nules, Onda and Villareal all sharing the hex.  These are all real places; images can be found on Google.

It is done with Microsoft Publisher.  I simply create a circle (white with a black fill) that is 0.1 x 0.1 inches (.254 cm), then create a text box next to the circle.  Yay, mapmaking.

I keep track of all the data on excel:

The left file corresponds to the map above.  The lines in excel shown are the bottom line of the map.  If you look closely, you can see Alicante in the bottom right corner of the map; in excel, it appears on line BJ1074.  The 'ring' describes the horizontal line of hexes.  The Alicante hex extends from longitude 359.33 to 359.65 (I'm using 360 degrees measured from Greenwich, rather than a +/- arrangement of E/W).

The right file shows the city details for the next ring, which would be no. 180 (measured from the north pole).  Each hex is 20 miles in diameter.  When I finish this post, I will begin plotting Cordoba.  It would be off this map, below and to the left of the bottom left corner.  Really, I should include picture of the line where Cordoba would go, so here it is:

See?  Cordoba has a latitude of 37.88 and a longitude of 355.23.  It is in Andalucia, in its own province.  'E-01' indicates the map where the highlighted hex can be found.

Once the cities are placed, this tells me where the boundaries ought to be - I try to keep the hexes wholly under one jurisdiction, but often I have multiple cities in on hex that are in fact in different provinces (researched on the internet), so the hex has to be split up.

Anyway, like I said, this is relaxation time when I'm not trying to make text fit the theme I've determined for a given essay.  I have one more of those that I have to go through before giving it to the editor - who has begun giving me back content already.  I think I may be able to get a book up before the 7th of March.  Quality before speed, though.

I need to go rest now.

1 comment:

Oddbit said...

I could see how it could be relaxing.

When I get really wound up I sort collectible cards.

You know what you need to do, it's repetitive but still relates to a topic that interests you without requiring intense thought and attention.

It also helps if it's something you can just put down whenever. In the literal sense, not the Pringles sense.