Mapping Projections and distortion

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Birchbeer
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Mapping Projections and distortion

Post by Birchbeer » Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:18 pm

I decided this weekend I wanted to map out Mystara, in a rough hex form to get an idea of how it looks. I took the outerworld map from the Hollow World, dropped hexes on it, then painted over it to hex it and get an idea of how the map looks as hexes. In doing this, I started to see distortions from other localized area maps that Thorf had made. I thought I screwed something up, but decided to research it more and more.

Using a flat surface to map a sphere (or sphere like in Mystara's case) doesn't work well. I've read about all kinds of projections, and mathematics to support it and now am just trying to make heads or tails of things. I'm under the impression the map I made is based off of a Robinson projection (ovoid looking with a flat north and south poles). I haven't seen any other projections of Mystara other than a square or rectangular size which I can't tell what projection was used (or if it was even a consideration).

Does anyone know of a Projection used besides a square or Robinson to depict the world of Mystara?

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Chimpman
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Re: Mapping Projections and distortion

Post by Chimpman » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:42 pm

I'm not sure there are any official maps using other projections.

You should check out this thread:

Curvature, Latitude and Global Projection
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

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Birchbeer
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Re: Mapping Projections and distortion

Post by Birchbeer » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:29 am

Thanks Chimpman. The more I dig into this mapping question, the more I realize that as I make my world map fit as best as I can, and accept that there is distortion at a world view.

I am thinking of making an icosahedron map for fun to see how it looks. :)

(updated for a typo...)

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Thorf
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Re: Mapping Projections and distortion

Post by Thorf » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:56 am

Birchbeer, you're on the cusp of a wave leading down into a bottomless pit of confusion and dissatisfaction. ;) The simple answer is that hexes are no good for mapping, because they imply that both direction and scale/area are constant - which is impossible in any projection other than a snapshot of a 3D sphere (i.e. with hexes diminishing in size as you move out from the centre). It's not so important in small areas, although it still introduces distortions there too. But for world maps, a simple hex grid covering the globe is really pretty pointless. Perhaps that's why TSR never did such a map, instead creating their world maps gridless.

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Birchbeer
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Re: Mapping Projections and distortion

Post by Birchbeer » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:15 pm

Thorf! Nice to see you here:) I've changed direction from this project, abandoned due the reasons you mentioned above. I've found just compiling the maps for Brun and the lands around the Known World works for my campaign.

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Hugin
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Re: Mapping Projections and distortion

Post by Hugin » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:39 pm

It's great to read a post from you again, Thorf! I know you're probably in a similar situation as myself where I don't game anymore (well, not RPGs just boardgames now), but it's still nice to talk about it now and then.

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