Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

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Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Thorf » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:33 am

I've been wanting to take another stab at this for a long time. I can't promise I'll be able to post on a regular basis, but I want to get the ideas gathered together and set out for discussion.

Problems
  1. The two official world maps (Master Set and Hollow World Set) are not compatible. The Master Set map is seemingly in an equirectangular projection, but does not cover the whole surface of a globe, thus requiring extra ocean to be added. The Hollow World Set map is an artist's impression of a Robinson projection. To sum up, the Hollow World Set map gives the surface lands far more area than the Master Set map.
  2. The official hex maps are (without exception) all based on the Master Set map. This means that any use of the Hollow World Set map (as for example in fan-made maps) will cause huge inconsistencies.
  3. The official measurements of Mystara are provided in various supplements, but are not consistent. Moreover, they are very likely not based on the maps; even if they were, necessary alterations to the maps would make recalculation necessary too.
  4. The Master Set map was created before the advent of the Hollow World, and so does not show polar folding (i.e. where the terrain folds into the gap between the Outer and Hollow World).
  5. Latitudes are provided differently in various sources. Moreover, they vary quite widely between the Master Set map and the Hollow World Set map.
Solutions
  1. Discard the Hollow World Set map for anything other than terrain reference and polar folding reference.
  2. Recalculate the dimensions of the world using the official hex maps as a reference to determine the scale of the world as depicted in the Master Set map.
  3. Revise polar folding by adjusting the Master Set map while referencing the Hollow World Set map.
  4. Determine new latitudes based on the Master Set map.
Here's an example of what I had in mind last time I was trying to tackle these issues:
Image

The position of longitude 0 can be changed - currently I have it set at what looks like -30 degrees, because the map looks a bit weird when it's positioned dead centre. Ultimately this is a non-issue, as it's only a question of how to show the map; it doesn't matter where you cut it.

Here are some snapshots from a Google Earth mock-up. Note that at this point they ignore the existence of the Hollow World.

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The Known World. Note the true relative sizes of the various land masses. Norwold and northern Alphatia are likely quite a lot smaller than the hex maps seem to indicate.

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Brun. Hyborea is really rather tiny, and most of it is likely in the polar opening. Note the position of the 30 degrees North line, close to Thyatis City, and the 60 degree line in northern Norwold.

Image
Davania is quite huge - but while the northern parts are likely even bigger than fan maps have so far made them appear, the southern parts are actually much smaller.

Image
Skothar. Rather larger than we're used to seeing it, I think - especially the arm and Zyxl, which are very close to the equator.

Image
The Far End Ocean. Astoundingly vast, it literally covers more than half the world. Huge potential here for a community-sourced new world/new continent. If we do decide to add something, I would propose that we make it a shape from another ancient earth map, to keep with Mystaran tradition. (For example the central landmass and islands here: http://www.cpgeosystems.com/430Marect.jpg , or perhaps from one of the earlier maps here: http://www.cpgeosystems.com/rect_globe.html)

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It looks like there will be less problems with redoing the polar openings than it looked like from the equirectangular Master Set map. We just have to decide where the lip begins - which should be easy to do once we have worked out the new scale for the globe. We can keep the official dimensions of the polar opening and adapt the surrounding regions as necessary.

Image
As Bruce's polar openings maps in the Hollow World Set show, the southern continent is even easier to flow into the opening.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Morfie » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:24 am

Image

YAY you're back :D

From this map, I would say the curvature is from the top and bottom latitude grid lines you have here. The curvature of the official maps shows half of the Nentsun Peninsula going over if you look at HW Outer World Arctic Cap. Same with the bottom of Vulcania and the Antarctic map.

But those official maps have that territory line at 90 degrees, meaning the grid for in between this area would need to be recalculated. That may align it closer to the PWA maps.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Birchbeer » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:11 am

Very nice maps indeed. My compilation map of eastern Brun corresponds with your degrees in the non hex above (viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5670), however, the land size is probably incorrect.

Also, would another continent mess up percentage of water for the planet (assuming it is around 70%+ water like the earth).

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Gawain_VIII » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:13 am

A thought... instead of playing "lesser of two evils" between distorting distance and shape... Thorf described some time ago, of a Mercator projection being called an "unprojected" map. Well... why not assume the Mentzer map is really was unprojected? Since the ratio of the Mentzer map is obviously incomplete, would it be possible to assume only the land-mass is accurate? The Far End Ocean is large enough that we can add and cut however much we want out of the water to make it fit without messing with the land. Just paste the land over the globe and "fill in" the rest with water. After an "accurate" depiction is made, then we can "un-wrap" the globe and see where everything would lie on a projected map.

Just thinking out-loud...
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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Thorf » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:17 pm

Birchbeer wrote:Very nice maps indeed. My compilation map of eastern Brun corresponds with your degrees in the non hex above (viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5670), however, the land size is probably incorrect.
What's incorrect is the impression the hex grid gives of area being the same at the equator as near the north pole. Don't worry about it for now - I'm not proposing that we discard hex maps. Just keep in mind that hex maps covering very large areas are likely to distort the actual shape of things.
Also, would another continent mess up percentage of water for the planet (assuming it is around 70%+ water like the earth).
It might well, although I'm not at all sure that it's at 70/30 to begin with. Given the vastness of the Far End Ocean, it seems quite likely that the land takes up as little as 20 percent.

Anyway, is this really relevant? Is there some benefit to keeping the 70/30 ratio of water to land?
Gawain_VIII wrote:A thought... instead of playing "lesser of two evils" between distorting distance and shape... Thorf described some time ago, of a Mercator projection being called an "unprojected" map. Well... why not assume the Mentzer map is really was unprojected? Since the ratio of the Mentzer map is obviously incomplete, would it be possible to assume only the land-mass is accurate? The Far End Ocean is large enough that we can add and cut however much we want out of the water to make it fit without messing with the land. Just paste the land over the globe and "fill in" the rest with water. After an "accurate" depiction is made, then we can "un-wrap" the globe and see where everything would lie on a projected map.
The Master Set map is quite likely an equirectangular (=unprojected) map without enough horizontal space, which means that we need to add quite a lot to the map to make it fit onto a globe. Hence the vastly expanded Far End Ocean - that's all that I've done with the above maps. In the Google Earth mock-up, the lighter coloured water is all extra.

Otherwise, there isn't really an easy solution. For example, it may be possible to keep Norwold the same size as we've always assumed it to be from the hex maps, but that would involve pushing things around and making other parts of the map smaller.

In the end, I think it's best to just accept that the northern and southern lands are smaller than hex maps make them appear.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Birchbeer » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:46 pm

Thorf wrote: It might well, although I'm not at all sure that it's at 70/30 to begin with. Given the vastness of the Far End Ocean, it seems quite likely that the land takes up as little as 20 percent.

Anyway, is this really relevant? Is there some benefit to keeping the 70/30 ratio of water to land?
Mainly for a climate similar to current earth weather models. I'm thinking that the more land mass percentage of a planet the more it should be different than ours. (This makes me want to dig up sim earth and experiment.) I'm thinking the planet over all would be drier as less water would be available to go back into the atmosphere, but I could be wrong.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Birchbeer » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:52 pm

Thorf wrote:Otherwise, there isn't really an easy solution. For example, it may be possible to keep Norwold the same size as we've always assumed it to be from the hex maps, but that would involve pushing things around and making other parts of the map smaller.

In the end, I think it's best to just accept that the northern and southern lands are smaller than hex maps make them appear.
Perhaps we can have some kind of sliding scale of hex size as one travels farther from the equator. Still not perfect but workable. I just hope it establishes a baseline for us :)

This discussion reminds me of a conversation I had once: a person I knew was working for a defense contractor on an airplane/missile simulator. The calculations worked fine till the arctic circle, then things just didn't work right. I'm not sure how they resolved the longitude issues, but it may have been... don't have dog fights in the arctic. ;)
Last edited by Thorf on Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed a broken tag.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Thorf » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:00 pm

Does anyone have any idea how to measure the volume of land on a map, taking into account the projection of the map?

It occurs to me that the island groups I suggested for addition are likely small enough that we could actually scale them in order to right the land/water ratio, if I am correct in thinking that it is currently off.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:53 pm

A lot of very interesting stuff here. I'm curious- would the size of the sphere have any affect on your projections here? I'm not nearly the cartographer some of you are/have become, so I really don't know. I'm just wondering if some of the vast spaces (such as the Far End Ocean) would be smaller if it were superimposed on a smaller sphere or not (probably not, but just wondering).
Thorf wrote:The Far End Ocean. Astoundingly vast, it literally covers more than half the world. Huge potential here for a community-sourced new world/new continent. If we do decide to add something, I would propose that we make it a shape from another ancient earth map, to keep with Mystaran tradition.
In regards to this- which seems to me to be one of the more interesting aspects of your projections, perhaps this is an area in which the mysterious "Sea Kingdoms" of the old Master's Set map could be used to fill in. There might also be more to the demi-ogres of Gombar and Suma'a than we previously knew (perhaps they originate from those regions, or- if they indeed have traded as far as Zyxl- they should certainly be familiar with whatever lay out there.)

Another possibility is putting James Mishler's Oerth map to work and putting Greyhawk into Mystara! :P
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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:03 pm

I didn't realize it before, but Minaea is almost as big as the entire Known World.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Thorf » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:16 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:A lot of very interesting stuff here. I'm curious- would the size of the sphere have any affect on your projections here? I'm not nearly the cartographer some of you are/have become, so I really don't know. I'm just wondering if some of the vast spaces (such as the Far End Ocean) would be smaller if it were superimposed on a smaller sphere or not (probably not, but just wondering).
It shouldn't make any difference, no. The way that the map transfers onto the sphere is the same regardless. Basically, vertical distance on the map is constant, while horizontally the top and bottom will be squeezed progressively more until they reach a single point at the poles. If the projection were something else, Mercator for example, it would be a different story, of course.
In regards to this- which seems to me to be one of the more interesting aspects of your projections, perhaps this is an area in which the mysterious "Sea Kingdoms" of the old Master's Set map could be used to fill in. There might also be more to the demi-ogres of Gombar and Suma'a than we previously knew (perhaps they originate from those regions, or- if they indeed have traded as far as Zyxl- they should certainly be familiar with whatever lay out there.)
Yes, in fact we could use the Sea Kingdoms as the overall name for the area. I still like the idea of using a map of ancient earth here, and the two I referred to above seem perfect for this name, too.

Image
What I'm proposing is to use the fractured continents (excluding the polar supercontinent) and surrounding islands, probably scaled down a little so that the land masses are a little smaller.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:51 pm

Mystara: The Undiscovered Country!

Something else that just occurred to me in regards to the Lost Continent- it would be in fairly close proximity to Geoff's Y'Hog. Maybe there might be a Carnifex realm/colony still in existence there, or there might be a large population of Saurian creatures, etc.

(Getting a bit off-topic, I suppose. Don't mean to derail your mapping thread, Thorf!)
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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Chimpman » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:54 pm

Thorf wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:A lot of very interesting stuff here. I'm curious- would the size of the sphere have any affect on your projections here? I'm not nearly the cartographer some of you are/have become, so I really don't know. I'm just wondering if some of the vast spaces (such as the Far End Ocean) would be smaller if it were superimposed on a smaller sphere or not (probably not, but just wondering).
It shouldn't make any difference, no. The way that the map transfers onto the sphere is the same regardless. Basically, vertical distance on the map is constant, while horizontally the top and bottom will be squeezed progressively more until they reach a single point at the poles. If the projection were something else, Mercator for example, it would be a different story, of course.
Thorf wrote:Latitudes are provided differently in various sources. Moreover, they vary quite widely between the Master Set map and the Hollow World Set map.
Do we know that the vertical distance in the Master Set map is the complete vertical distance? Adding more vertical distance to that map should mitigate some of the distortions to the north and south... but then again it would also make the Far End Ocean larger.

I'd be interested to see all of the different (and conflicting) latitudes sourced. If we do this it might be that we could determine if more vertical space needs to be added to the map, and if so where.
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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Hugin » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:47 pm

Nice to see new threads from you, Thorf!

If you haven't seen it already, my thread titled Size of Mystara might help a little. I was able to come to a satisfactory (to me) conclusion regarding Mystara's size based on how much land was mapped out vertically on the hex maps and their corresponding relation to latitudes.

My previous experiments using Google Earth showed the (more or less) same conclusions as you state, especially with regard to a very large Far End Ocean. Measuring the north-south distance of land mapped out on hex-maps confirms this too.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Thorf » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:56 am

Chimpman wrote:Do we know that the vertical distance in the Master Set map is the complete vertical distance?
No. In fact the border of the map is quite arbitrary.
Adding more vertical distance to that map should mitigate some of the distortions to the north and south... but then again it would also make the Far End Ocean larger.
Yes, but it would also increase the size of the world while keeping the land masses the same size, thus resulting in even more ocean. (As you said, in fact.)

The other problem is with polar folding. qAs the map is now, the folding looks like it may be about right. Adding enough open sea at the poles to squash the latitudes will almost certainly throw off the polar openings, turning them into just ice.

This brings up another possibility, which is to scale different parts of the map in different ways, for example stretching Hyborea northwards so that it protrudes into the extreme arctic again after we've added more sea. But for me this is a very undesirable solution, because it means changing the overall shapes of the continents, and effectively making the Master Set map invalid if used as is. I'd rather we preserved it as a viable source while adapting the way it fits the world in order to sort out these problems.
I'd be interested to see all of the different (and conflicting) latitudes sourced. If we do this it might be that we could determine if more vertical space needs to be added to the map, and if so where.
LoZompatore made a reference map for this a while back. Does anyone have a link?

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Planefarer » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:42 am

Thorf wrote:Norwold and northern Alphatia are likely quite a lot smaller than the hex maps seem to indicate.
Nah, the Alphatians long since used magic to rectify this problem ;)
Thorf wrote:The Far End Ocean. Astoundingly vast, it literally covers more than half the world. Huge potential here for a community-sourced new world/new continent
Actually, I like the idea of a huge, huge ocean better, and since canon puts no continent here, I don't think one should be added. Besides, with half the world a huge ocean, we have the potential for doing something similar to the movie Waterworld - an entire culture that doesn't even know there's any land on the world at all. There could be small islands, though naturally there would be massive wars over who controls them, as these would be the only resource for a lot of necessary things. There would be waterbreathing races that are essential to bringing plants and other materials from the depths of the oceans to the surface. A lot of materials and tools would be based on bones and hides for whales or similar. The ocean provides the only source of nutrition. Humans and other demihuman races would be very rare. Dwarves would seem not to exist at all. There would be legends about land, but naturally nobody would know what that actually is.
Birchbeer wrote:Also, would another continent mess up percentage of water for the planet (assuming it is around 70%+ water like the earth).
Considering that Mystara is supposed to be based on a map of ancient Earth, that would seem to be the case. However, 70% water is today and without the rumored contient of Atlantis, which would be the Alphatian continent on the Mystara world map. Since it hasn't sunk yet, the percentage of water would seem to be a bit lower. However, as Thorf points out, this does not seem to be the case on this world map.
Birchbeer wrote:This discussion reminds me of a conversation I had once: a person I knew was working for a defense contractor on an airplane/missile simulator. The calculations worked fine till the arctic circle, then things just didn't work right. I'm not sure how they resolved the longitude issues, but it may have been... don't have dog fights in the arctic. ;)
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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Thorf » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:47 am

I typed this out earlier, then thought that I had things backwards and deleted it before I posted. But thinking about it again, I think perhaps I was right:

The Master Set map with added graticule shows that 30 degrees is further north than Caerdwicca, and 60 is quite far north of Alpha, correct? In order to move Caerdwicca to approximately 30 and Alpha to approximately 60 degrees, we would actually need to cut the top of the map, not add to it. Cutting would make the distance from the equator to the pole shorter, scaling the remaining land towards the pole, and raising all latitudes, right? This could be quite a quandary for us. I still think we may have to discard all official latitudes and just redefine them altogether. On the other hand, there may be some room for cutting at the top and bottom thanks to polar folding.

Hugin, your thread on planet size is exactly what I have been intending to do to work out the actual size of Mystara from hex maps. Very useful! I'll definitely make reference to it (and probably add to it) when I get to that stage.

Another thing I'm still not convinced about is the geography of the polar openings. It seems to me that we can't start working on them until we have the dimensions of the world properly sorted out. Similarly, at this point I wouldn't like to say what the depth of the crust between Outer and Hollow Worlds is. This too will need to be recalculated once we have fixed on the precise dimensions of the Outer World.

(My reluctance to contribute to threads about these aspects of the geography is purely based on these assumptions, together with my desire to work out everything for myself and my dislike of getting ahead of myself. Sorry about that - I'll catch up and get there eventually! One of these years...)

Finally, I tracked down the link for LoZompatore's latitude map, but it's dead. Can someone re-upload it somewhere? It was very useful.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Thorf » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:52 am

Planefarer wrote:Actually, I like the idea of a huge, huge ocean better, and since canon puts no continent here, I don't think one should be added. Besides, with half the world a huge ocean, we have the potential for doing something similar to the movie Waterworld - an entire culture that doesn't even know there's any land on the world at all. There could be small islands, though naturally there would be massive wars over who controls them, as these would be the only resource for a lot of necessary things. There would be waterbreathing races that are essential to bringing plants and other materials from the depths of the oceans to the surface. A lot of materials and tools would be based on bones and hides for whales or similar. The ocean provides the only source of nutrition. Humans and other demihuman races would be very rare. Dwarves would seem not to exist at all. There would be legends about land, but naturally nobody would know what that actually is.
That's actually one of the great things about this new vast expanse of ocean - it can very much be a space for each individual DM to fill with what he sees fit. I would love to see multiple takes on what could go there. All we really know is that it's called the Far End Ocean, and there are Sea Kingdoms there. Are they islands? Small continents? Undersea kingdoms? Anything is possible.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Thorf » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:11 am

Image
Image

Compare these two for surface area. The top one is the most modern version of the earth 170 million years ago; Mystara was based on a late 70s or early 80s version of the same map (or perhaps the 150 million years ago map). In any case, they should both have roughly the same surface land area, and that should at least in theory be 30% of the world.

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From this map, I would say the curvature is from the top and bottom latitude grid lines you have here. The curvature of the official maps shows half of the Nentsun Peninsula going over if you look at HW Outer World Arctic Cap. Same with the bottom of Vulcania and the Antarctic map.

But those official maps have that territory line at 90 degrees, meaning the grid for in between this area would need to be recalculated. That may align it closer to the PWA maps.
You are correct. The reason for the difference is that this is the Master Set map, which of course was created before the Hollow World was even thought of. One of the main problems we're dealing with here is that the Hollow World Set Outer World map was unfortunately not well done, and needs a lot of adaptation to make it fit with the hex maps.

The question of precisely how much will fall into the polar openings is still up in the air, because it seems more important to get the official hex map areas working right first. Once that's done, we can recalculate the polar openings and see how much folds over.

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Thorf » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:24 am

Thorf wrote:Does anyone have any idea how to measure the volume of land on a map, taking into account the projection of the map?
(Talking to myself here, I know...)

I found a program called ImageJ which looks like it could help with this. Converting into real areas is quite complex (and almost certainly impossible using this projection, which doesn't show area accurately), but at least we could get a rough percentage of land vs. sea.

I think there is such a thing as an area-accurate projection, which sacrifices direction and distance in order to accurately show the relative areas of each continent. I'll look into making one so we can eventually calculate land areas for any part of the world accurately.

Edit: This is what I mean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map_projection#Equal-area

They distort shapes wildly in order to keep the relative areas intact. This projection will be exceedingly useful for calculating land and sea areas for demographics, which is another essential area of my Atlas project. It's great to be working out how to do these things. I just wish I had more time to get them done!

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:24 am

Planefarer wrote:However, 70% water is today and without the rumored contient of Atlantis, which would be the Alphatian continent on the Mystara world map. Since it hasn't sunk yet, the percentage of water would seem to be a bit lower. However, as Thorf points out, this does not seem to be the case on this world map.
I think Alphatia is really, in the map of prehistoric Earth that inspired Mystara, just a chunk of what would later be Europe rather than something the designers added to represent Atlantis. Douglas Niles later associated it with Atlantis, but I don't think that was actually the original inspiration.

Was it Havard who posted about a planned-but-never-printed island setting that was supposed to be placed in Mystara's ocean? One based on the Appalachian Mountains, but made into an archipelago? Does that sound familiar to anyone else?

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Culture20 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:30 am

If you would like to test your images on a Mystara-shaped globe instead of Google Earth, just download my latest HTML5 version of 3D Mystara, and change the images. I'm currently using the Hollow World set shaped outer world (modified your image a bit). To make the images work, rotate your outer world map 90 degrees clockwise, and flip the hollow world map horizontally, then rotate it 90 degrees counter-clockwise. If you're using Chrome, I've noticed that it behaves strangely when opening as a local file, but FF works great for local file testing.

At the very least, it won't have the problem at the poles like Google Earth.
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Chimpman
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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Chimpman » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:55 am

Thorf wrote:The other problem is with polar folding. qAs the map is now, the folding looks like it may be about right. Adding enough open sea at the poles to squash the latitudes will almost certainly throw off the polar openings, turning them into just ice.
Yeah, that thought crossed my mind as well. I was thinking about adding more vertical space to the south pole than to the north pole though. That should allow for the northern polar opening to remain fairly close to how it is now. The southern polar opening (at least from the HW side is mostly ice anyway).

Anyway, I understand there are issues with taking this approach as well (seems like we have issues no matter which approach we investigate ;) ), just thought I'd toss it out there.
Thorf wrote:LoZompatore made a reference map for this a while back. Does anyone have a link?
Found this on the Vaults - it's an article by you which references Zomp's map. http://pandius.com/mapissue.html Unfortunately, it looks like the link is dead. Unless the map is saved somewhere else.

I also found this link http://pandius.com/clmtpopn.html but I'm not sure this is what you were talking about?
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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Birchbeer » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:52 am

Chimpman wrote:
Thorf wrote:LoZompatore made a reference map for this a while back. Does anyone have a link?
Found this on the Vaults - it's an article by you which references Zomp's map. http://pandius.com/mapissue.html Unfortunately, it looks like the link is dead. Unless the map is saved somewhere else.

I also found this link http://pandius.com/clmtpopn.html but I'm not sure this is what you were talking about?

I dug through my archives of maps and I don't appear to have the map Thorf is looking for. Someone should have it...

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Re: Mapping Issues: Sorting out the Outer World

Post by Birchbeer » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:33 pm

I don't know if this has been said before, but here's a radically different train of thought but something to consider... What if Mystara and Earth are not the same. Earth is a Spheroid. Mystara was stated as being a sphere somewhere. I believe the surface area of a sphere is constant from Pole to Equator; where as the surface area of a Spheroid is not. Current Earth map projects take into account the difference of the North-South/East-West (Earth is wider at the equator than tall at the poles). So.. in theory that means we're try to map Mystara onto a similar sized Earth, and it doesn't fit. Can't fit. If Mystara is assumed to be a sphere it is different than Earth from the get-go.

As for reconciling of hex maps to area and shapes on a sphere versus a spheroid... I don't know. Math isn't my strongest subject. I suspect it still would be off. However, I think were we to assume Mystara wasn't matching Earth's shape we might be better off to figuring out how everything really fits versus weirdness and mass distortions in reconciliation.

(We also could if need be, we could assume Mystara was taller North-South than wide East-West if it would better align with the maps.)

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