[Mapping Issues] Lining Up Mystara

A directory of geographical maps for the world of Mystara.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Thorf » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:30 pm

Gecko wrote:As you imply, borders of the area and era are not precisely defined and laid-out by treaties, especially in uninhabited (at least by any civilized societies/peoples) wilderness mounatainous areas.

Do the Heldannic Knights and Denagoth even have any political contacts?

The individual maps could implicate biases of the in-game mapmakers, or governments (ie Denagoth claims all the mounatins while Wendar & the knights claim a buffer), or simply the expansion of claims at different time frames.

Perhaps, to use a modern convention, a dashed "undefined" or "disputed" or "claimed" border style of line should be used, but even that implies more roughly agreed upon borders than what I wouold invision for the Knights vis-a-ve Denagoth (though could work for Wendar w/ respect to Denagoth).
Good points, all. It would certainly be possible to use a new border style to show that it's disputed, but in general the Known World maps tend to gloss over these issues, so it's probably best not to complicate things too much.

It really comes down to how you want to develop Heldann. If there are mines in the mountains, there will be a good reason for Heldann to claim them. On the other hand, they could be infested with humanoids. But even if they are, Heldann may still claim them at least on paper.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Culture20 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:14 pm

Thorf wrote:It would certainly be possible to use a new border style to show that it's disputed, but in general the Known World maps tend to gloss over these issues, so it's probably best not to complicate things too much.
If showing disputed territory on the map were vitally important, one could either give the territory its own border, or have the border(s) between the rival nations be particularly "wavy" (extra hexes jutting into each other), with multiple battleground icons strewn about. Or just battleground icons on either side of an ordinary border.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Culture20 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:26 pm

Thorf wrote:The only way to fix the problem with distortion is to avoid showing large areas of the world in the hex format, and discard the idea of interconnecting [two-dimensional] hex maps.
interconnecting two-dimensional hex maps. It would be quite possible to have a world map without distortion yet suitable for tabletop gaming (using hexes and a sprinkling of pentagons and triangles) on a 3D globe (or mystara style toroid). Unfortunately this method isn't as easy to reproduce or even create in the first place.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Thorf » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:35 pm

Culture20 wrote:
Thorf wrote:The only way to fix the problem with distortion is to avoid showing large areas of the world in the hex format, and discard the idea of interconnecting [two-dimensional] hex maps.
interconnecting two-dimensional hex maps. It would be quite possible to have a world map without distortion yet suitable for tabletop gaming (using hexes and a sprinkling of pentagons and triangles) on a 3D globe (or mystara style toroid). Unfortunately this method isn't as easy to reproduce or even create in the first place.
It's not really any harder than the other projections to put together. You just have to reproject the world as an icosahedral net. But in order to preserve the area of each hexagon you instead have to sacrifice direction, so that the top of a hex does not necessarily point straight north.

The point is that it still involves reprojection. The advantage is that it could be adopted as the standard map and used to provide accurate projections for smaller parts of the world without having to reproject each area for each map.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Thorf » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:37 pm

Culture20 wrote:If showing disputed territory on the map were vitally important, one could either give the territory its own border, or have the border(s) between the rival nations be particularly "wavy" (extra hexes jutting into each other), with multiple battleground icons strewn about. Or just battleground icons on either side of an ordinary border.
At this point we don't even know if the territory is disputed. All we have is two different borders from two different sources.

I'm beginning to think that waiting for Bruce to make a map of Heldann may be the easiest fix for the Heldann/Denagoth border issue. ;)

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Morfie » Mon May 20, 2013 8:03 am

Unfortunately the man who made many of these maps (Dennis Kauth) has passed away so will not be able to answer these questions..

Cross-posted here viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10485

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Chimpman » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:22 am

Thorf wrote:As we will soon see when I introduce the 8 mile per hex maps of the area, the edge of the Isle of Dawn should be present on most of the Known World maps just east of Ostland. TM2 provides the precise link-up. More on this topic later.

So, this issue aside, the links between the Known World and the various islands of the Alphatian Sea area are set out pretty unambiguously in Dawn of the Emperors, with the Isle of Dawn being the key reference point. All three of the other maps overlap the Isle of Dawn map significantly, making this an easy cut and paste job.
I'm playing around with these maps and I'm coming up with some discrepancies. TM2 provides the precise link up between the Known World and the Island of Dawn (and thus most other land masses in the general area). However, I'm having trouble lining up the coastlines between TM2, and the IoD 24 mph map, and the 72 mph map of the Sea of Dread that ties Brun, the IoD, and Davania together.
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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Chimpman » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:47 pm

Chimpman wrote:I'm playing around with these maps and I'm coming up with some discrepancies. TM2 provides the precise link up between the Known World and the Island of Dawn (and thus most other land masses in the general area). However, I'm having trouble lining up the coastlines between TM2, and the IoD 24 mph map, and the 72 mph map of the Sea of Dread that ties Brun, the IoD, and Davania together.
Here is what I'm talking about... but in picture form ;)
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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Jd1137 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:30 am

It seems like when map makers of the pwa2 edited out 3 72 hexes between ravenscarp and NW tip of the hinterlands, and moved the whole of davania closer to pearl islands by 2 hexes NE diagonally and 1 hex se diagonally so they could show everything up to polakatsikes with costing more money to add another page to the map.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Jd1137 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:23 am

Just found the real problem the pwa2 72 mile map was based off the companion box set, while the DoE 72 map was based off the master box set map

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Jd1137 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:06 am

I apologize the pwa2 map is based off the 3 24 mile maps from the wrath box set and champions box set which was suppose to update the X series maps from x1,x4,& x6. Now there is where I noticed the error, seeing as x1 is supposed to butt up to the x4 map of the great wasteland/ desert with the x6 map overlapping the x4 map some. And read in x6 the distances between the hex of point c on the x6 map and hex with tananora on the isle of dread was 27 hex. Then u count from east coast of thanegia island upto and including point c u have 13 hexes. And from tananora to the coast western most of ochelea your suppose to have 32 hexes since X1 map is suppose to butt up to the 24 mile hex of the IoD map with the 24 mile map of ochelea tided in to where it should go. Which would give u 72 24 mile hexes, and if u use a 32nd th showing rule and times it by 3 since the scale of the master box set map is 1/8 inch per a bought 3 72 mile map hexes. And from that u get the descrepinances in the two 72 m maps due to 2 extra rows of 24 mile hexes.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Morfie » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:11 am

Jd1137 wrote:.. since the scale of the master box set map is 1/8 inch per a bought 3 72 mile map hexes.
Sorry, I don't understand this bit.. where did you get the master set scale from?

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Jd1137 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:42 pm

Well it was figured from comparison from different points on the 72 mile dawn of the emperors box set map to what they measured on the dm's master rules box set map. But that map mite not take into effect Tissot's influxitric which shows the curvature of the open ended sphere that is mystara.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Jd1137 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:09 pm

Also some of error in the different maps maybe that way because from my brief research on cartogragh it was common practice for make some errors in the maps, sort of like a copy right mark so every other cartographers doesn't copy their work and claim it as their own. A example is the the north west tip of alphatia on the dm's master rules map.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Thorf » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:52 am

I'm trying to get back into thinking about this topic. This thread seems to have gone off track, so in an attempt to get it back on, here's a summary of what we have:

Important: Thus far, only 72 and 24 mile per hex maps are on the table for discussion.

Conclusions
  • Rule of Precedence — as a rule, more detailed/larger scale/newer maps overrule more general/smaller scale/older maps. So 8 miles per hex > 24 miles per hex > 72 miles per hex > world map.
  • Great Waste — the Sind area is presented differently in X11 and Champions/Wrath maps, with the newer maps offsetting it a hex to the southeast. As the newer and more detailed source, the Champions version is considered to be correct.
  • Alphatia — placement is based on the Dawn Isle of Dawn map, but with Alphatia's alignment within the hex grid corrected to match the Alphatia map from the same set.
  • Isle of Dawn — the exact placement of the Isle of Dawn in relation to the Known World can be left to 8 mile per hex maps, with the 24 mile per hex map plugged in to the available 8 mile per hex segment.
  • Bellissaria, Esterhold, Skothar — placement is based on 72 mile per hex maps.
  • Denagoth borders — I favour going with Wrath's, dividing the mountain ranges between Denagoth and the neighbouring Wendar and Heldann. This seems more consistent with other Known World mapping conventions, regardless of the actual state on the ground in those areas.
Things to Do
  • 72 mile per hex master map — since sources are generally consistent, create an amalgamated source map which distills the four source maps into a single uniform map.
  • 24 vs. 72 mile per hex coastlines — create a comparison image for coastlines from various maps at these scales.
Extant Issues
  • Davania — 72 mile per hex sources conflict on the northern coast.
  • Known World — 24 mile per hex sources generally agree, but should be replaced by 8 mile per hex sources where possible. Requires further investigation when we start dealing with 8 mile per hex maps.
  • Outer World — Master Set world map and 72 mile per hex maps do not line up without significant tweaking.
So what's next? I want to tackle the following areas, likely in this order: Serpent Peninsula, Gulf of Hule, Savage Coast, Orc's Head Peninsula, and Arm of the Immortals. As always, I'll post links to those maps to start off discussions for each topic. There are some big issues among this group of maps that need to be dealt with.

In the meantime, if you have any comments on what we've discussed so far, or this summary I have just posted, feel free to jump in.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Sturm » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:54 am

I've made several 72 mph maps of Mystara in different eras:
1000 AC: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12166
2300 BC: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12198
3500 BC: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12215
8250 BC: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12216
These maps are also stored at the Vaults now.
http://www.pandius.com/motrwrld.html
The latter three are quite a dirty work based on the HWp planetary map. They can work for me, but obviously they do not fit in the "Ethengar as the North Pole before GroT" infos. Biggest thing I did from 1000 AC map is changing the shape of Skothar and the "bending" of Vulcania.

But about the 1000 AC map, I gave precedence to 72 mph maps too.
As explained in the threads, I made a bigger Mystara than the HW planetary maps, but did not try to fit the map in the Master map. That means I did not make a huge ocean.
I greatly expanded the size of Davania from Geoff's maps, even if they were my main blueprint, because I think he made them with the HW planetary maps scale in mind, which I considered too small.
Also Geoff's small Davania does not fit with the parallels of canon maps, so I had to stretch it in the north-south direction mainly, and a bit also in the west-east direction along the aryptian coast.
I used Christian Constantin's Skothar (http://www.pandius.com/Skothar.JPG) almost unchanged because it would have been too much trouble to recalculate the whole continent to make it more similar to the HW planetary map. Also I believe Christian's map fits well with canon 72 mph maps.

Bottom line, it is not a precise work as yours are, even if I used your redrawn maps as the main base line in most cases, but it works for me.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Thorf » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:41 pm

Thanks, Sturm. I've seen your excellent works. :)

I'm glad you made these, because they fulfil a long-held desire of many people to see the whole world mapped in hexes. That's not the direction my mapmaking has been leading me in, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate it as a fan. You and many other Mystaran cartographers have made such a lot of great contributions to our setting, and I have the utmost respect for you all.

That said, since the start of my project I have been determined to work through all of these nitty-gritty issues myself, with help from the community along the way. My primary goal is satisfying my own sense of perfection, with creating a consensus in the community a close second goal. Basically, I leave myself no choice but to do things the hard way. However inadvisable that may be at times! ;)

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Sturm » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:06 pm

Always happy to see your maps when you are able to produce some more :)

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Thorf » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:26 pm

I've been working on these issues this evening, and made some progress. Not much time to talk about it right now as it's already late, but I want to leave a couple of notes here in case someone can help.

I seem to be finding once again that the whole Known World is rotated when comparing maps of 8, 24 and 72 mile per hex scales. Specifically, the 8 and 24 line up reasonably well, but the 72 mile per hex map appears to be rotated when overlaid, so that centring on the Known World or the Isle of Dawn the Great Waste appears too far southeast, while northern Norwold is way too far northwest, Alphatia too far north, the southern Isle of Dawn too far northeast, and so on. You can put them into sync by rotating the 72 mile per hex maps clockwise 1.5º or so.

If you remember, I was finding a similar problem with the world map.

Next, I have finally taken the time to put all my maps together, and look into some major issues such as the Heldann-Norwold border. My basic conclusion is that the issue of how Norwold attaches to the Known World comes down to an arbitrary decision/judgement call. I'm strongly leaning towards adopting Zendrolion's solution, as it is pretty close to what I was coming up with, and is already well established in the community. (I'm sure this will please many of you, since I've been dragging my feet on this issue for more than ten years now!)

Unfortunately the problems with the 72 mile per hex maps (specifically Dawn of the Emperors) rears its ugly head here, making me wonder why it is so far out of sync. Zendrolion, or anyone who worked on the Italian MMB's solution, do any of you have any ideas about this? I think I will simply end up squashing that bit of the map to make it fit, enabling the remaining areas to be used as source material.

Of course the other problem with the 72 mile per hex maps is that they're the main source for positioning of continents east of Alphatia. I'm thinking that perhaps the best way to do these will be to line the maps up with Alphatia as best I can, and take the positioning from there.

I haven't even begun to look at Davania, or the latitude problems yet.

All in all, a very productive night. It has been ten years since I started my project, and I am determined to move past these roadblocks as soon as possible. :twisted: It's high time, really. There's so much I'd like to do with Mystara, but I can't even begin until I've wrestled these issues to my satisfaction.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Thorf » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:49 am

The Trident Bay Conundrum

Earlier today I posted on an image on my Facebook page, and shared it to the Mystara Reborn group, too.

This is an issue that has been plaguing me for years, preventing me from completing the Trident Bay map, and finishing off the 8 mile hex maps for the western edge of Brun. I proposed two solutions, and asked for opinions. The result came quick and clear: the 8 mile per hex maps outweigh the older 24 mile per hex maps, and the discrepancy between coastlines of the two should be resolved in favour of the 8 mile per hex maps.

By extension, this is a ringing endorsement of my primary policy on the Atlas project — or rather, it's a sign that most people agree with the principle. Which is great, because it clears things up in my thinking as well. With all the issues I've been juggling these past ten years, it's sometimes hard to retain clarity — especially when you consider that trying to tackle one issue inevitably leads to another, and before you know it you end up in Trident Bay when you meant to be sorting out Norwold and the Heldannic Territories. (True story. :oops: )

It's becoming clearer than ever what I need to do to get my project moving again, and jump over these issues that have been holding me back. My job is to find an issue, research the available sources, come up with the best possible solutions, then present these to the community. That leaves the hardest job — determining how to proceed — for all of you to decide. :)

So let's do it! And let's do it now — and at speed. :cool:

My Atlas project officially began on the 15th February 2005. So I will aim to solve all of the major outstanding mapping issues by the 11th anniversary of that date, in February next year.

I can't do this without your help. I'm going to continue to post issues first to Facebook, then sum them up here. Feel free to join in the discussion in either venue, either with an issue you'd like me to look into, or a comment about something I've already posted.

One clarification: the kind of issue I'm talking about is major things that prevent me from assembling all the maps into a cohesive whole. Things like the Norwold-Heldann link-up, lining up the maps of different scales, the exact positions of the continents, the status of the world map, the location of the equator, the spread of latitudes, axial tilt and the tropics, and so on.

2016 is going to be a great year for Mystaran cartography. :mrgreen:

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Hugin » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:51 pm

Bring it on, Thorf!

We're here to help!

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Thorf » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:58 pm

Update on Trident Bay Conundrum

I've completed and posted my (almost) finished map of the Orc's Head Peninsula and Trident Bay, solving this problem to a satisfactory level. You can see the map on my site, here:

http://www.thorfmaps.com/orcs-head-peni ... ident-bay/

Here are the notes on the map, also posted on my site:

The Orc’s Head Peninsula took a lot of tweaking, due to the incompatibility between 8 and 24 mile hex maps. I used two different positions with the 24 mile map, as well as referring extensively to Adamantyr’s great Orc’s Head Peninsula map for terrain ideas. It’s not the same, but I used all the best bits from his map — for which, many thanks to Adamantyr!

Western Herath seemed too bland as pure heavy forest, so I added a couple of small details. Also, I added some villages at logical points around the city of Shavraim. I’ve asked Bruce for input here, although he’s pretty busy right now with the ongoing Calidar Kickstarter. I’m sure he will be able to come up with some names for this area — it was quite a surprise to realise that it doesn’t actually have an official province name. (I checked all the pertinent sources and came up empty. Please let me know if you know anything more!)

And of course the Richland/Grassy Coast area is presented as it was on the Red Steel maps, which is to say essentially undeveloped.

Let me know if there are any corrections. There must be some, as it’s a massive map.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Hugin » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:32 pm

Great to see this map (essentially) done.

I don't know about how others feel, but the further away we get from the Known World proper, the more I'm perfectly content to say, "whatever you need to do to reconcile multiple canon sources into a single map, do it". You are going to have to make calls and just say this is how I'm going to 'solve' the issue. I'm at the point where your maps are basically canon anyway! :ugeek:

P.S. I can't believe it's been a decade since you announced "Thorf's Secret Project"!

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Sturm » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:10 am

It seems great as usual!
Unfortunately at the moment I cannot see the png file, it keeps telling me 504 Gateway Time-out....

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Re: Mapping Issues: Lining Up the Maps

Post by Thorf » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:47 pm

I posted a direct link at the bottom of the blog post for people having trouble with clicking on the image. This seems to be a common problem with WordPress and very large images. Sorry for the trouble!

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