[Outer World] World Map, non-hex

A directory of geographical maps for the world of Mystara.

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[Outer World] World Map, non-hex

Post by Thorf » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:54 am

Outer World Map, non-hex by Thorf

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Click on the thumbnails to view these maps' pages in the Atlas of Mystara, where you can get the full resolution maps.

If you have any comments, corrections, or suggestions for things to add to the map, please post them here.
Last edited by Thorf on Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:14 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:13 am

Here’s the original first post of the thread:

Maps

Replica of world map from the Master Rules Set by Thorf, June 2005 / March 2006 / June 2008
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Work in Progress world map of the Outer World, Unprojected, largely blank, non-hex by Thorf, March 2009
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Comments
There are essentially two main sources for the world map of Mystara: the Master Set, and the Hollow World Set. Each provided its own take on the world map. The Master Set map is essentially square, and it's not clear what kind of projection it may be - if it is a projection at all. The Hollow World Set map looks like a Robinson projection, and along with the world map of the Hollow World, it was adopted as the main world map in, and reprinted in the Rules Cyclopedia.

Sources: Master Rules Set (1985), Hollow World Campaign Set (1990), Rules Cyclopedia (1991).

Notes on Master Rules Set
  • Captions - most of the country names on this map were rejected as false, and reassigned as purely geographical labels by Bruce Heard in the first episode of his Voyages of the Princess Ark series.
To Do List
  1. Make a replica of the world map from the Hollow World Set.
  2. Make a replica of the world map from the Rules Cyclopedia.
  3. Make a replica of the Brun map from the Companion Rules Set, and create an updated world map.
Update: I posted a map with a latitude and longitude grid superimposed on top. All I did was take the borders of the map as the extremes, and make the grid completely regular.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by JoeNotCharles » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:08 am

It's probably worth noting for anyone who's confused that, according to the Voyage of the Princess Ark series, many of the labels on this map are inaccurate becaus the Thyatian mapmaker fell for a lot of urban legends.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:46 am

Thanks! I added it to the notes, and I'll expand on it later when I can check the original article.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Zendrolion » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:49 pm

JoeNotCharles wrote:It's probably worth noting for anyone who's confused that, according to the Voyage of the Princess Ark series, many of the labels on this map are inaccurate becaus the Thyatian mapmaker fell for a lot of urban legends.
Nevertheless, in Dragon Magazine #200, the Know World Grimoire article "Lords of the skies" (of Heard himself! :? ) cites a "story from a Gombarian merchant" which clearly mentions Zyxl. Difficult that the demi-ogre could have adopted a name invented by the Thyatians; what then? :?:
Moreover, at least Nentsun is mentioned in a DA adventure (the first, IIRC) by a Thonian speaker, so that's another name which isn't so "fake" as Haldemar want us to believe. And the name Vulcania, as clearly stated in HW, originates from the region's abundant volcanic activity.

I think we can believe Haldemar regarding the Empire of Dorfin IV and the Empire of the Great Khan, but about Cestia (the Thaytian general's mistress), Vulcania (his wife), Brasol (his dog), Izonda (hin word for "fruitcake"), Nentsun (Ethengarian word for an Heldanner's arm pit), Tangor (a Newkirk beer) and Zyxl (a deceased gladiator) it seems he has gone A LOT over the edges...

After all, how many words in one tongue mean something completely different in another one? Could I be accused of renaming the Tzars' country if I had a mistress called Russia? :mrgreen:
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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Gawain_VIII » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:09 pm

I have always thought it a bit presumptuous that Haldemar declared the map utterly wrong... and gave off bits of "facts" which he couldn't possibly have known. I think Haldemar used those "facts" in order to convince the Imperial crown to finance his expedition. Parhaps he had a beef to pick about the size of Thyatis... But I'm more inclined to think that the map was more correct that we were made to believe.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Havard » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:47 pm

Gawain_VIII wrote:I have always thought it a bit presumptuous that Haldemar declared the map utterly wrong... and gave off bits of "facts" which he couldn't possibly have known. I think Haldemar used those "facts" in order to convince the Imperial crown to finance his expedition. Parhaps he had a beef to pick about the size of Thyatis... But I'm more inclined to think that the map was more correct that we were made to believe.
I think this is a good assumption. I definately plan on using many of the names he declared wrong even if borders may be revised considerably. :)

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:28 am

Yes, I agree that the map is more accurate than Haldemar makes it out to be. And the stuff about the origins of the names was clearly written to be funny, which in the context of the world probably means Haldemar was exaggerating. As an Alphatian he has a clear motive to make fun of the mapping efforts of a Thyatian, so this shouldn't come as a surprise to us.

I also agree that we should absolutely use any remaining names to create place-names for those areas. Those names have a sense of history, and it would be a real waste to throw them away.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:07 am

I hadn't considered Gawain's point before now, but I agree it makes the best sense. As noted, Haldemar himself often ends up discovering that some of the names he so casually dismisses are actually used by the locals- so there clearly has to be some truth to them (unless the natives themselves got hornswoggled by the Thyatian map somehow! Powerful magic at work- though I wouldn't put it past the Thyatians to concoct some kind of memory alteration spell to rewrite Mystaran history in their favor... :twisted: )

I've been trying to think of a way to explain Haldemar's lapse, and this covers it.
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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:18 am

Thinking on this a bit more, I think it is pretty clear that both Haldemar (in Mystara) and Bruce (in the real world) were just having a bit of fun with the ridiculing of the names. Their point was not necessarily that they are total rubbish (as a literal interpretation of their jokes will give us), but rather to show that the captions as they appeared on the map are "wrong wrong wrong!" This leaves us with quite a lot of scope for interpretation: each individual caption could conceivably have been mistranslated, misplaced or badly placed, made up, exaggerated, and so on.

Let's go back to the original article:
In Dragon 153, on page 68, Bruce Heard (as Haldemar) wrote:...it has been found that the geographical teachings offered at Eriadna High are based on the fallacies of a Thyatian lowlife! This general—without a doubt a failure in the Thyatian legions—retired after a shabby campaign in Thothia. There he stole an ancient map of this world from a pillaged temple. The map was but a simple continental outline with a few words here and there. Upon his return, this lowlife invented kingdoms and empires, then placed them on the map and wrote tome upon tome about them. His knowledge of ancient Nithian and his interest in the truth being what they were, nothing good came out of this ignorant barbarian’s overactive imagination. He made a fortune selling his books, and many took them as the final authority on the world.
Look at the phrases I've marked in blue. They clearly show - in no uncertain terms - Haldemar's bias against the Thyatian general. If we treat this as a historical document within the context of the setting, this paragraph alone is enough to make us wary about anything Haldemar says in regards to the Thyatian who discovered the map - including the additions he made to it.

Now look at the phrases marked in green. These phrases are Bruce's explanation for the origins of the map, and he actually gave quite a lot of information on it: it was an ancient Nithian world map, found in Thothia, consisting of a simple depiction of the continents with a few captions - apparently in ancient Nithian. The Thyatian general apparently translated (transliterated?) the captions, but Haldemar questions his knowledge of ancient Nithian, as well as his interest in representing the truth (i.e. a good translation).

So we have a Thyatian altered reproduction of an ancient Nithian map - or possibly even an Alphatian copy of a Thyatian altered reproduction of an ancient Nithian map. The potential for errors to creep in here is pretty huge, even if this isn't an Alphatian-made copy of the Thyatian copy.
His errors were legion. Ridiculous assumptions were made about the size of the Thyatian Empire. The map shows the limits of that empire stretching beyond the Wendarian Reaches, north of the Principalities of Glantri. Poppycock! There are at least a half-dozen countries between Thyatis and Glantri having nothing to do with Thyatis.
We could easily put this down to simple exaggeration on the part of the Thyatian general. In actual fact the Thyatis caption points to three areas: the Great Northern Wildlands, mainland Thyatis, and Ochalea - and two of these three are indeed part of the empire.

Another possibility is that Thyatis actually did control something out that way at some point. Or of course it could just be a reproduction mistake. For now, I will just accept that the line pointing to the Great Northern Wildlands is an error.
You can forget about these absurd borders, too. These were in fact various creases in the original crumpled map which that Thyatian dimwit mistook for actual borders. The “Empire of the Great Khan,” east of our province of Esterhold, is another fantasy. There are indeed large steppes there, but no Great Khan—we’d know about it by now!
Haldemar has almost certainly never seen the original map. In fact, how does Haldemar know all this anyway? (I will come back to this point soon...)

In any case, who is to say that the borders/creases weren't geographical borders rather than political? If the map was made by the ancient Nithians, they may just have been splitting up the world into named parts for easy reference. In this case, the captions would be geographical rather than political - names of areas rather than names of countries.

This brings me to another point: if this map was indeed ancient Nithian, how did they have such great cartographic skills to make such a detailed map? Perhaps the original was in fact not Nithian at all; perhaps the original map was even more ancient, and the Nithian map was itself a copy. What if the original map was created by the Immortals? (This seems like a good in-world explanation for the exactness of real world cartography.)

Finally, the fact that the map is ancient opens up the possibility for the map to be wrong in the present day, but correct at some point in the past. Maybe there is an Empire of the Great Khan in the Hollow World somewhere...
And, yes, about this Dorfin Empire: It was the joke of a certain gnomish king, the inventor of wondrous but totally useless contraptions, who went by the name of King Dorfin IV. His kingdom is, in truth, merely the workshop of a few hundred gnomes in the hills of Karameikos. One of Dorf’s favorite pastimes was to send loyal followers beyond the Sind Desert. There, they would pose as plenipotentiaries of the imaginary “Empire of Dorfin IV,” then hire local people to carry a sealed message back to the real King Dorfin. These strange messengers, obviously from a distant place, seemed to make quite an impression on local Karameikan barons when they brought the gnomish king those phony and pompous greetings from his “imperial cousin to the west.” These messages hinted at the outrageous size of this bogus empire, alleged to be twice the size of Alphatia! What nonsense! And the barons believed it, the fools.
This story does seem to fit the gnomish sense of humour quite well, and it's nice to get some info about the Highforge gnomes - however strange it is! It also provides a good back story for the error, which we should notice probably involved the Thyatian general being tricked rather than deliberately falsifying the map.
I shall skip the details on other equally false kingdoms such as “Vulcania” (that was the Thyatian general’s wife’s name), “Cestia” (his mistress), “Brasol” (his dog), “Tangor” (a brand of cheap beer found in the streets of Newkirk), or “Zyxl” (a deceased gladiatorial hero whom the general claimed was also a fallen queen of that same nation). For all this, I find that I grudgingly admire such a bold and irreverent joker. After all, everyone fell for his fake encyclopedias.
Here's where Haldemar's knowledge comes in again: how does he know all this? Some of them sound plausible (the wife at least), but how does Haldemar know about the mistress or the dog? It sounds like someone perhaps has written a criticism of the map, which Haldemar has read; I don't think he knows first-hand. And some of this might well be simple exaggeration and prejudice in order to further denigrate the Thyatian general.

Perhaps Tangor is a cheap brand of beer in Newkirk, but that doesn't preclude it from being a name - and one which we know to be true from later information. Moreover, the ancient nature of the map could be one reason for Haldemar's derision; he has no knowledge of the Tanagoro who once inhabited Tangor.

Zyxl sounds like she was an actual gladiator (given the Thyatian general's alleged other writings about her), but again that doesn't preclude there being an actual Zyxl. It could be mere coincidence. In fact, perhaps the similarity of the names is what prompted the general's claims about the gladiator in the first place: the ancient map had a caption for Zyxl, and coincidentally there was also a gladiator of the same (or similar) name.
I propose that in the name of grand buffoonery, we keep these place names, since they are now the ones with which laymen are most familiar, but we should use them in a purely geographic sense. For example, let’s do away with the nation of Nentsun (an Ethengarian word for a Heldanner’s arm pit) and simply call that land the Nentsun Peninsula. Similarly, we’ll forget about the state of Izonda (Hin for “fruitcake” —it figures), renaming that area the Desert of Izonda, since this is what is really there.
Once again, we have to think about Haldemar's motives. After rubbishing the map so much, he now says that he will continue to use the names anyway? Perhaps he realised that he was exaggerating, and that some of the names probably have some truth in them after all. (We now know that a lot of them do...)

For Nentsun and Izonda, those may once again be coincidences; certainly Nentsun being "an Ethengarian word for a Heldanner's arm pit" sounds more like a joke than an actual fact. And even if it's true, it may not be the exact word but just a very similar sounding one.

Besides, to bring up one final point, how do we know which captions are ancient, and which the Thyatian general added? The antiquity of the original would preclude quite a few names (notably Thyatis itself), but it's still hard to say.
So be it! It is time to see for myself if this old Nithian map has any truth to it. I today obtained permission from Her Imperial Majesty for the Princess Ark be recommissioned for a last but glorious mission of exploration in the name of Our Illustrious Empire. . . .
So to conclude, even though the giant "wrong wrong wrong!" printed over the map and Haldemar's scathing story about the Thyatian general's incompetence may at first seem to indicate that the map is false, we need not necessarily take it to be so. Haldemar is biased; the Thyatian general's changes are uncertain; the origin of the map means the original captions are out of date anyway; we can't tell what captions came from what source; the exactness of the continental outlines suggests Immortal origin; and so on and so forth.

If there's one thing that we know for certain, it's that the map is not entirely wrong, even if it's not entirely right either. I'm beginning to think that the whole story of this map gives us far more opportunity to research and decide for ourselves what is right and wrong than any other official map does.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Gawain_VIII » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:10 pm

Thorf wrote:Thinking on this a bit more, I think it is pretty clear that... <snip> ...that the whole story of this map gives us far more opportunity to research and decide for ourselves what is right and wrong than any other official map does.
Isn't that, basically, what I've already said... with more words? :mrgreen:

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:58 pm

Gawain_VIII wrote:
Thorf wrote:Thinking on this a bit more, I think it is pretty clear that... <snip> ...that the whole story of this map gives us far more opportunity to research and decide for ourselves what is right and wrong than any other official map does.
Isn't that, basically, what I've already said... with more words? :mrgreen:
Sort of... but with evidence, and more concrete and interesting conclusions. 8-) ;)

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Hugin » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:01 pm

Very cool! And leads to many interesting possibilities! Well done.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:43 am

Gawain_VIII wrote:But I'm more inclined to think that the map was more correct that we were made to believe.
Another thing I was trying to say is that it's not so much that we were made to believe that the map was wrong - rather we were gullible enough to take Haldemar's words at face value. ;) That's why I decided to go back to the original article and give it a close examination. And the result is that there's a lot of evidence to support your view point, but also some info that has ramifications I think we have all overlooked.

In any case, reading over Zendrolion's post above again, it seems very obvious that Bruce did not intend to rubbish the map entirely, despite his jokes. The fact is, Bruce is a funny guy with a highly developed sense of humour, and we have to take what he writes with a piece of salt - especially when he's joking. :D
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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Zendrolion » Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:29 am

Thorf, I agree with your reasonings about Haldemar's reading of the "Master Set" map.

By the way, HOW can Haldemar know something about the Nithians? :o

Memory of their empire and culture was erased from mortal minds, didn't it? Shouldn't Haldemar refer to the presumed "Nithian" clues as "Thothian"? :?:
(BTW, you'll see the same open references to the Nithians also in the VotPA episode about the Hinterlands.)

Nay, nay, that is wrong, wrong, wrong... :mrgreen:
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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:38 pm

Well, going back to the original sources, knowledge of ancient Nithia is not necessarily so rare. True, the Immortals cast a Spell of Oblivion to annihilate traces of the Nithians at the time of their destruction, but we know that this spell wasn't as thorough as its description in GAZ2 suggests, because in fact there are Nithian traces everywhere - even in Ylaruam itself. Then there is the Bead of Oblivion in Surra-Man-Raa to make people in the present forget about Nithia, but it only works short range, meaning that the people of the Emirate of Nithia are likely to know the least of all the people in the world about their own past origins, but scholars elsewhere will probably have deduced a lot more.

With Alphatia in particular, there is the rumour that the ancient Nithians actually invited them to Mystara, so it seems likely that they will have at least some knowledge of them, despite the best efforts of the Immortals. And even GAZ2 says that the name is still well-known, along with the fact that it was a great civilisation which met its end long ago.

Given all these things, I don't think it's too surprising that Haldemar knows a little about it, and can apparently identify parts of the culture (the language at the very least). You do have a point about the Thothians, though. Perhaps they too have become aware at least that the Nithians were their ancestors - Dawn of the Emperors does say that they forgot all about them at the time of their destruction, but they could have regained at least part of that information in the ensuing generations - especially given the Immortals' failure to destroy all the evidence.

I guess what we have here is some strong statements in a few official projects conflicting with assumptions in others. I don't think it's all that hard to work out how to accept the latter without contradicting the former too much.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Rimx » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:29 am

It looks like if you enlarge the black and white map by about 600% it roughly overlaps 72 mile hex maps in Hexmapper. So far I've only checked with the map of Davania from PWA 2.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:10 am

Rimx wrote:It looks like if you enlarge the black and white map by about 600% it roughly overlaps 72 mile hex maps in Hexmapper. So far I've only checked with the map of Davania from PWA 2.
Roughly being the operative word, yes. ;) I'm not entirely sure about the 600% figure yet, either. Often when you try to make the map fit one area of the world, another becomes misshapen. :? There are some definite problems.

But good work, nonetheless. It's nice to see other people doing this too; I've been fiddling with overlaying maps on top of each other since near the start of my project, but I haven't really had any solid results worth posting yet. :| And I'm always putting off until I have all of the information in place, i.e. until I've finished remaking replicas of all the maps. That's actually not that far away these days, so hopefully I will get some results worth posting before too long.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:39 pm

Update: I uploaded a high resolution version of the current version of the "unprojected" world map.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by multizar » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:18 pm

Thorf wrote:Update: I uploaded a high resolution version of the current version of the "unprojected" world map.

The only thing I have never liked about this map, is that it looks compressed or squished...
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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Havard » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am

Good maps Thorf!

In the updated version, how about making the areas that are contantly frozen arctic regions white rather than green? They seem so warm and welcoming right now :)

Actually, this map is an interesting comparison:
http://friday.westnet.com/~crywalt/dyma ... educed.jpg

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by nerik » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:05 pm

Have you tried using this map as a sphere texture to see what it looks like? I think with the current map you might get some problems near the poles.

Here is a similar map of Earth c. 170 million years ago (but I think it might omit the poles and some of the empty ocean).

While here is a different projection of Earth c. 152 million years ago.

BTW, what you call you're 'unprojected' map is, I think, called a cylindrical projection.

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:38 pm

multizar wrote:The only thing I have never liked about this map, is that it looks compressed or squished...
It's the opposite, actually - the north and south regions are exceedingly stretched.

But do you mean the distribution of the continents, perhaps?
Havard wrote:In the updated version, how about making the areas that are contantly frozen arctic regions white rather than green? They seem so warm and welcoming right now :)
I completely agree. It will also need to have the top and bottom cropped somewhat, because currently it includes land that is actually inside the polar openings! :)

Right now I am not worrying about the land features, though - I just want to get the map sorted out and locked down as much as possible.
nerik wrote:Have you tried using this map as a sphere texture to see what it looks like? I think with the current map you might get some problems near the poles.
Yep! You can try it for yourself in Google Earth. There is indeed a lot of squishing at the poles, but that's supposed to happen.
Here is a similar map of Earth c. 170 million years ago (but I think it might omit the poles and some of the empty ocean).

While here is a different projection of Earth c. 152 million years ago.
This map is a different projection; if you projected it back onto a sphere you would find the north and south points squashed down considerably. I agree it does look like it might have been clipped a bit, too. A lot of map projections actually miss the poles out altogether, presumably because they look so distorted as to be not worth having.
BTW, what you call you're 'unprojected' map is, I think, called a cylindrical projection.
You're right, but that's just the type of projection rather than the name. But I checked some of the projections in that category and it looks like it's this one: "the equirectangular projection (also called the equidistant cylindrical projection, geographic projection, plate carrée or carte parallelogrammatique projection or CPP)".

It's nice to finally know the proper name(s!). Thanks! :D

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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by multizar » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:17 pm

Thorf wrote:It's the opposite, actually - the north and south regions are exceedingly stretched.

But do you mean the distribution of the continents, perhaps?
Yes, they look too close together. It's nice to see that you are starting to find basic solutions to the world map problems. This stuff is way above my head! I am just a map collector...not a maker :lol:
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Re: Outer World: World Map (non-hex)

Post by Thorf » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:35 am

multizar wrote:Yes, they look too close together.
Ah, I see. In modern terms they certainly are - the continents are far further apart these days, especially Africa, South America and Antarctica ;) - but at the time this map is based on they were in the process of drifting apart, having been parts of the supercontinent, Pangaea, some millions of years previously.

Once again I refer you to the image Roger linked to: http://updatecenter.britannica.com/eb/i ... ndTypeId=4 (By the way Roger, do you have a link to the article for this image?)
It's nice to see that you are starting to find basic solutions to the world map problems. This stuff is way above my head! I am just a map collector...not a maker :lol:
Believe me, it's a "learn as I go" process. :lol:

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