[Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

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[Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Thorf » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:09 am

I've been thinking that it's about time I started this list. It would be very useful to know exactly what maps are out there. It's quite a daunting task in some respects, but I hope I can simplify it by referring to the maps on the Vaults of Pandius; I will upload thumbnails of those maps to my own site, but the links will point to the maps at the Vaults.

I do wonder how I should be organising the list, though. Arranged by geographical region and scale would perhaps be the most useful, but the Geographical Mapping forum already handles that. And in the context of the Atlas of Mystara, the sources are probably better arranged in another way.

With official sources I split them into sub-groups and then ordered then by date. Perhaps a similar convention could be applied to unofficial maps... for example splitting them by author and then date (although the date is not always known, nor does it always remain constant for fan-made maps), or author and then alphabetically (although that raises problems when maps have to be added, and end up out of order at the end of the list).

Does anyone have any good ideas for how to do this? What do you think about the idea of splitting the maps first according to their cartographer? I quite like how this would work out, giving us a separate section (and a separate thread) for each Mystaran cartographer presenting their work mapping our favourite world.

I think that in the end I will have to accept some form of entropy creeping into these lists, because unlike official maps, unofficial maps are still being made and edited. So whatever system we choose it will end up having stuff tacked on to the end before long.

One other question: for the official sources, I gave each individual source its own post. This allows direct linking/attribution to that source, which is really pretty cool - if you want to check back on the sources for a map, you just click and can see them right away, along with all the other maps that came in that product, and scroll up and down to see the rest of the product line. For unofficial maps, in many cases it may be possible to put them into logical groups and post them together (for example Geoff's Davania maps), but in other cases the maps will stand alone in their own post. This is good because it allows direct linking, and eventually each map can have other information as well as just a link to the map itself (for example linking to the map's key). On the other hand there could be benefits to having one map per post, too. But it makes it quite a bit more work to make a new post each time.

I have already collected a lot of maps, and Shawn's excellent Mystaran Maps page is a great help too. So I want to start getting this list done as soon as possible.

Please let me know what you think. Any feedback at all will be greatly appreciated. :D
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby metal » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:59 am

If it is possible (not sure, that is why I said "IF").......could you have a "sub-forum" or "section" or whatever it is called for each cartographer, with a thread for each of their maps? Revisions or updates of maps would be in the correct thread and new maps could get new threads.

Would this make the Piazza (especially Thorf's map forums) an unwieldy mess? :?

Just throwing an idea out there.........
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Thorf » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:41 am

metal wrote:If it is possible (not sure, that is why I said "IF").......could you have a "sub-forum" or "section" or whatever it is called for each cartographer, with a thread for each of their maps? Revisions or updates of maps would be in the correct thread and new maps could get new threads.

Would this make the Piazza (especially Thorf's map forums) an unwieldy mess? :?

Just throwing an idea out there.........


I see what you mean. But it would be a bit too much - remember that the Geographical Mapping forum is already here effectively for that purpose, dividing maps up into threads based on location and scale. The only catch is that currently it only features my own maps and replicas of other people's maps that I've made... To be honest I have thought about opening it up to include maps made by other people too. But that would take the focus away from my project, and ultimately make it even harder to maintain.

In any case, I can't presume to ask people to post their maps in my project's forum, so I think the Mystara forum will remain the place for most maps to be posted. And my bibliography thread will serve to index the maps people post.

Going with a different thread for each catrographer is probably going to be the best way to go. Within each person's thread, I could always organise things by roughly chronological order - the Vaults do provide dates for the posting of most maps, even if it's the posting to the Vaults (rather than the file's creation) that they report. That would mean new maps get put at the end of each thread in the correct order. Short of forgetting about (or not knowing about) an old map, things wouldn't go out of order.

Of course, chronological order for fan-made maps isn't very useful... :lol:
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Thorf » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:59 am

Here's a preview using the first 20 or so maps from Shawn's Mystaran Maps page at the Vaults. Imagine that each cartographer has their own thread, and in most cases each map has its own post, containing other relevant information as well as links related to the map in question.

Christian Constantin

Great Hule & The Midlands, AC 1000, 24 miles per hex by Christian Constantin (1999)
Image Image Image

The Hulean Empire, AC 1000, 8 miles per hex by Christian Constantin (1999)
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Second Hulean Empire (150 AC), non-hex by Christian Constantin (1999)
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First Hulean Empire, BC 750-700, non-hex by Christian Constantin (1999)
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The Nine Kingdoms of the Great Valley (BC 1950), non-hex by Christian Constantin (1999)
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Geoff Gander (Seer of Yhog)

The Empire of Selhomarr, 40 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1997)
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Davania: Adakkian Sound Region, 72 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1996)
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Isle of Cestia, Oceania Region, 72 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1997)
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Denagothian Plateau, 8 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1997)
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Davania: Bay of Pelatan Region, 72 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1997)
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Davania: Izondian Deep Region, 72 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1996)
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Davania - Vulcanian Peninsula Region, 72 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1998)
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Davania - Lost Valley Region, 72 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1998)
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Davania: Jungle Coast-Aryptian Savannah Region, 72 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1998)
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Davania: Aryptian Region, 72 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1998)
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Continent of Lhomarr, 48 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1998/7/28)
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Littonia, 8 miles per hex by Geoff Gander (1998/8/6)
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Timothy Klanderud

Mystara satellite map, non-hex by Timothy Klanderud (date unknown)
Image Image Image
Although this image has a GIF file extension, it is in fact a JPEG.

James Mishler (Mystaros)

Map of the Ancient Nithian Empire, 24 miles per hex by James Mishler (1998)
Image Image Image

Andrew Theisen (Cthulhudrew)

The Great Crater Region, AC 1015, 8 miles per hex by Andrew Theisen (1998/5/11)
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Kingdom of Karameikos, AC 1016, 8 miles per hex by Andrew Theisen (1998/11/27)
Image Image Image
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby multizar » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:00 am

Do not forget all the wonderful maps at Thibault Sarlat's Mystara site http://www.mystara.fr/maps/maps.htm

This map in particular http://www.mystara.fr/maps/western_brun/yalumap.jpg could use the Thorf treatment :D

It is another of Christian Constantin's superb maps.
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Thorf » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:19 am

multizar wrote:Do not forget all the wonderful maps at Thibault Sarlat's Mystara site http://www.mystara.fr/maps/maps.htm

This map in particular http://www.mystara.fr/maps/western_brun/yalumap.jpg could use the Thorf treatment :D

It is another of Christian Constantin's superb maps.


That reminds me, I've been meaning to ask Shawn if it would be possible to add all of Thibault's maps to the Vaults, along with as many of the other maps Thibault has on his site as possible. It's a shame that of all the Mystaran cartographers Thibault is essentially the only one not represented at the Vaults.

(I do have other reasons for making the Vaults collection of maps as complete as possible: as well as just the idea of having a complete online collection, it is also much easier for me to link to the same site all the time rather than a few different sites.)
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Warwynd » Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:02 am

I have mentioned in PM's to Thorf about one of my own mapping projects and he suggested I start a new thread talking about it. i have yet to do so because I went from having 0 jobs to having as many as 3 in the past few weeks, so I am a very busy man. None-the-less, I intend to make up some maps of Zyxyl in 8-mile per hex scale. That said I have a few questions concerning it now.

So does this mean that I should make a new thread entitled Warwynd's Maps or some such for when I finally get around to starting my mapping projects?

If not then where should I post those threads so that they can be found and commented on/contributed to or even critiqued and criticized (constructively of course)?

Also, how do I post an image in here? My HTML skills are terri-bad...
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Chimpman » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:10 pm

Hey Warwynd,

I can't wait to see your maps man.

Check out the Geographical Mapping subforum. Thorf has stickied a thread titled Introduction and Posting Instructions that covers pretty much all of your questions. Check that one out (it even comes with a posting template!). As for thread title, just follow the convention for threads already in that forum. Don't worry too much about it - Thorf is moderator there and can help out if needed by modifying threads (though he is quite busy these days).

If you still have questions about it, just come back here. I'm also happy to help as I've posted several threads in that forum as well.
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Warwynd » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:14 am

Thanks Chimpman, I, like Thorf, am suddenly quite busy with work and such, but I do have a number of projects I am working on. I'll tease you all with a small list

  • A map in 8 mile/hex scale of the Island of Zyxyl, including my ideas for what would live there and maybe some rudimentary stuff about it's place in the grander scheme and history of Mystara. (Hint - this will be a relatively new thing to Mystara and therefore quite alien to most of the rest of the cultures therein).
  • West coast area of Brun where a rather large gathering of humanoids and other such monsters live and are forming a new and vast empire to threaten ALL of western Brun and possibly the Known World region as well. (IMC, but feel free to adopt as much or as little as you guys like.)
  • While this is not map or even Mystara related I will am also designing and building a gaming table that is pretty amazing if I do say so myself. I'll include pics. It should make D&D (and all game geeks) pretty happy and should also make technophiles and computer nerds pretty stoked too!

OK, I think that about covers everything for now. Thanks again Chimp. I'll get busy. ;)
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Hugin » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:35 pm

Hey Warwynd, I'm with Chimpman; really looking forward to seeing your work!
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Thorf » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:14 am

Looking back over this thread and my other bibliographies, I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be better to set up a Wiki on my site to do this stuff. In fact a Wiki could perhaps be great for the whole Atlas idea. Eventually I want it to be a PDF, but that's still years away at this point.

Come to think of it, a Wiki could also be a great place to present my finished maps, as a less forum-orientated version of my posts in the Geographical Mapping sub-forum. I wouldn't want to replace those posts, because they provide invaluable places for the community to work together gathering up all the relevant info related to each map. But it would make sense as a replacement for my current mystara.thorf.co.uk, which is practically devoid of organisation in its current form.

Can anyone point me to appropriate Wiki software I could add to my site? David, perhaps?
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:37 pm

Thorf wrote:Looking back over this thread and my other bibliographies, I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be better to set up a Wiki on my site to do this stuff. In fact a Wiki could perhaps be great for the whole Atlas idea. Eventually I want it to be a PDF, but that's still years away at this point.


I think it may be worth hooking up with Anna Meyer (the woman who is doing the Atlas of the Flanaess project) or at least taking a look at how she is arranging her stuff.

She has a website called Atlas of the Flanaess. That website is not a wiki, but I love the way that she has made an area maps page which shows each of her individual maps in geographical context. Regardless of what you use (wiki, CMS, or HTML website with picture links) I think that you could get some ideas on the organisation there.

Like you, she has been working on this for years (20 years IIRC). (Her maps are 3D by the way. That is why they look a bit different to other maps at first.)

Unlike you (at least I don't think you are doing this) she is making a series of identically sized maps essentially chopping the GH map into a series of "pages" that will end up in a PDF (or perhaps printed) book. I'm still not entirely sure what she is going to do with all the map pages that are in the sea. (I'm hoping that some canon or fanon can be found that gives the locations of the places where aquatic elves and other undersea races live.)

She is also going to do a set of realm maps, but she has put that side of the project on hold, as recently she has been accelerating her area maps. But that page shows a couple of maps at the moment. (I'm not sure a full set would fit to be honest. You can get a rough idea of how long the page might be if tons of nations were on it and the maps were shown with the same level of detail and information.)

The thing that has speeded things up a bit for Anna (as far as I can tell) is that, as well as talking about the maps on forums, she has also set up a Facebook page for her own maps (Greyhawk Maps - by Anna) and a Facebook group, which was originally just for her own maps, but is now for all Greyhawk maps (Flanaess Geographical Society). From what I can see, the FGS group especially, has pulled in a lot of other map makers and Anna now throws up mostly finished maps and lets other experts point out the errors and omissions. I think the feedback she gets from others (along with the alternative maps that go up alongside hers) has allowed Anna to reduce the amount of time she spends looking for her own errors and finish maps much faster than she did a few years back. I almost can't keep up with her new maps now!

I'm not saying you should move to Facebook, as I think that having the threads here is great, but if you ever want to use FB to hook up with other Mystara cartographers, let me know and I'll invite all the people I've got on my Mystara fan list.

Thorf wrote:Come to think of it, a Wiki could also be a great place to present my finished maps, as a less forum-orientated version of my posts in the Geographical Mapping sub-forum. I wouldn't want to replace those posts, because they provide invaluable places for the community to work together gathering up all the relevant info related to each map. But it would make sense as a replacement for my current mystara.thorf.co.uk, which is practically devoid of organisation in its current form.


One way to arrange something like a wiki (to complement, rather than compete with, this forum) would be to arrange the wiki however you need to and then have an "official thread" over here at The Piazza, for each map. That would allow you to use the wiki for various types of navigational aids, and still get all the benefits of a discussion forum (that you have right now). Each thread could then have a link to the wiki page in the first post (as well as thumbnails and anything else you want to do).

And if you do link a wiki to the forum, you can lock that wiki down (and only let in editors you know are not spammers). Spammers will (eventually) attack any unprotected and unpatrolled wiki. If you don't start off with an anti-spam strategy, you will end up chasing your tail trying to get rid of the blighters. (Another important reason for locking down your wiki is that you don't want some numpty uploading TSR PDFs there, while you are not looking and causing you legal problems.)

Thorf wrote:Can anyone point me to appropriate Wiki software I could add to my site? David, perhaps?


I'm sure you already know there is more than one type of wiki software, but you may not realise that each type of software has different markup code (in the same way that different forums use different BB code for marking bold, italics, hyperlinks and so on). WikiIndex lists 120 different Wiki Engines.

I'm a fan of MediaWiki (which is the wiki engine that is used by Wikipedia). But that is partially because I started out on Wikipedia and am used to the markup style and the way that you can navigate around the wiki. MediaWiki is actually built by Wikipedia (as well as being used by it) and that means that you know that, so long as Wikipedia exists, you are going to be able to get support for MediaWiki.

Other people dislike MediaWiki, as it uses SQL to make it work. Ashtagon is one of those people. She thinks that DokuWiki is easier to maintain. I'm not sure how well DokuWiki supports hosting of images (which is something that would be essential for a map wiki) but take a look at the image page on DokuWiki's documentation to see if you can work with it. (A quick skim read makes me think that you could host images and even PDFs on a DokuWiki wiki.)

I have my wiki on a wiki farm, so did not need to worry about installing software and that sort of thing. But I have come to realise that was a mistake (as the owners of the wiki farm are trying to do things with my content that I don't like).

If you fancy the ease if the wiki farm concept, but don't want to trust a company that might do dodgy things with your content, you could look at the Mystara Wiki (Cyclopedia Mystara). This wiki is owned/operated by a member of the Mystara community (and also provides space for Havard's Blackmoor content). Cyclopedia Mystara allows a variety of Mystara projects to share the one wiki, so you would need to put all of your work in something called a "namespace". They use DokuWiki software, so you could look around, see how it works and then decide if you want to go with them or go it alone.

If you do go it alone, you will have a lot more control, but will need to be learning a lot of technical things. That might eat up a lot of your spare time. And if you ever move servers, you will have to do a lot of work to get any sort of wiki migrated.

Good luck!
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Thorf » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:52 pm

Thanks for all the advice. I have installed MediaWiki to have a play around with, since I'm already used to the interface from editing Wikipedia. The install was a bit finicky but it seems to be mostly working now. It should be pretty locked down, and since most of the discussion goes on here I don't think it will ever need to be opened up - although anyone in the community who is interested in helping can easily be added to the list of editors.

The biggest problem I can see so far is the way it handles images and other files. It's very nice while you're working within the Wiki environment, but it takes up a lot of space since it keeps all the old versions of files. I actually like this feature a lot since it makes updates completely transparent and allows you to see the file history for each map, but space is definitely an issue.

The other problem is that the software deliberately gives images complex URLs to prevent cross linking to other sites. This would normally be very desirable, but in my case it means it will be hard to maintain my current thread formats for maps. The result is that I will have to maintain two copies of each file: one inside and another outside the Wiki structure. On the other hand, I could just maintain thumbnails for cross linking to the forum and change the way I link to files instead. I would need to adapt the current posts to the new format so that I can just keep thumbnails outside the Wiki structure with the actual maps inside and mainly only accessible through it.

Any thoughts?

Another thing to think about is organisation. It's possible to do multiple different systems, with pages categorised geographically, chronologically, by cartographer and bibliographically. Of course they would all just feature the same files but in different organisations.
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Re: [Bibliography II] Unofficial Maps - Any Ideas?

Postby Robin » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:51 pm

You may add my maps to this list too, if you want them?...?
Most of them are found here...
And more will be placed in this map.
http://6inchnails.deviantart.com/gallery/51772050/D-and-D-Mystara

Many art part of my compilation books (Mystaran Monster Manual) or from bringing other adventures into the world of Mystara. (like Ravenloft stuff).
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