Sunday, April 18, 2010

And Still Again ...

Why quit now?

At the present, this does represent all those parts of the map which I have formatted; there is still an extensive area of the Arabian subcontinent, Pakistan, Afghanistan and a fair chunk of India which I had finished, but as of last summer I had decided to change the precise size of the hexes; I found to my chagrin, long after starting the map, that the hexes weren't quite symmetrical after all.  All that is shown on the map below has been formatted on the new hex design since last July.  As you can see, I was unemployed.

The 60-degree bend I've talked about on other posts is now very evident, particularly in the odd 'hook' made by the eastern end of the Mediterranean, up and around Anatolia (western Turkey).  As I've said, this does make the appearance of the map slightly odd - but it has no particular effect on campaigning.

The large blank area on the left side of the map, with a few pink blotches, is the empty Sahara desert, ringed on the north by the south shore of the Mediterranean.  The large pink area on the right side of the map is China.  The western end of the Himalayas can be seen in the purple mass at the bottom right ... this being the dividing line between Afghanistan (the north part of which is shown) and Sinkiang.  The empty white oval in the China part of the map is Takla Makan.

I particularly like that this map shows desert, more interestingly in the yellow splotch in the center, which is the Ust Urt Plateau and the Kara Kum Desert.  The two green lines going through the desert are the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya (Oxus) rivers.  Startling, are they not?  One of my favorite regions - D&D wise - is the patch of greenery on the south shore of the Aral Sea, the large blue body of water to the right of the Caspian ... assuming the gentle reader can identify the Caspian.  I realize than many are really not that familiar with the Earth.
I can say that I am much more familiar with the Earth now than when I began this map five years ago.  I have been explaining both on this blog and off it that map-making this fragment of the planet has been like adventure hiking from country to country.  This is for me, too, the first sight I've had of everything massed together into one file (so far as it has been up to now), and I'm just stunned.  But it is a bigger thing to me that now I have a remarkable conception on how all these lands fit together, not just geographically, but also in terms of how trade moves between one region and another.  The map above describes in intimate detail the various passes, river shortcuts, circuitous routes around deserts and so on ... I feel I have walked these very roads.  If I needed any inspiration to go on with this project, that would be enough.

So, it will probably be awhile before I'm able to be this impressive again.  Eventually I'll run out of ways to effectively show-and-tell.


Zzarchov said...

That is impressive, I feel universities should be donating money to you. If you ever do finish this massive project of yours, I would pay a hefty fee for a copy of the world in hexmap form.

Roger the GS said...

If nothing else, it'll be the basis for the most ultimate WWII game ever ... Is your world an icosahedron then?

Alexis said...

I have thought it would be a profound map for a turn based war game. The elevation effects on movement, for instance.

The link at the start of the article indicates the shape of the overall map, Roger.

PatrickW said...

You have set quite the benchmark with this. I see now the issues you talked about with the western coast of Turkey. It is the only point that looks kind of odd due to the predominance of the Mercator Projection.

I do have two questions:
1) When you resized the hexes, did you go with matching width and height to make them symmetrical?

2) What makes the area south of the Aral Sea your favorite?


Alexis said...

My original error was that the width and height of each hex was equal ... whereas what I needed was that if the hex was rotated sixty degrees, it would fit exactly over a hex that wasn't.

What I like about that area south of the Aral Sea was that Khorezm, a city in that area, was an Islamic center of learning and science in the 9th century - it has always struck me as the perfect place for a magicracy.