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Old Posted Mar 31, 2013, 4:38 PM
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Easky39 Easky39 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
These are all incredible. I hope you've posted them in other places so more people can see.

I'm just getting started. Here's a topographical contour map I drew freehand. I also have GIMP and Inkscape which I'll use later. Sorry about the bad scan, I don't know how to change the settings on my cheap printer.

It's supposed to be an island that's roughly 40 miles long and 20 miles wide, a bit smaller than Oahu basically. Each contour is 100 meters of elevation, with the highest point being >900m above sea level. There will be a small city of about 350,000 at the mouth of the bay on the island's western coast and some small towns elsewhere on the island.

I'm going to call it Vendia, I think. It's an obsolete name for a geological period so its probably not owned by anyone, and it also sounds vaguely latin or Spanish. Maybe the natives sold it to a European explorer for a gold coin or something, vende...

So what now? I assume I'll go about tracing it, making a layer for each contour(a line+plus a filled polygon). I could use the filled polygons to do elevation shading, and overlay the contour lines over that?

I don't know anything about mapmaking outside of GIS. It would be nice if I could use the contours to make a rough grayscale elevation map and airbrush in the fine details. To make shadows do I have to paint them or is there a way to do a hillshade using some kind of artistic photo effect plugin? I want it to be pretty with colored elevation shading and shadows and stuff, then reduce the saturation and/or transparency of this layer and add road atlas type features to it? Essentially I want to make something analogous to one of those overly busy, multi-themed US state road map/tourism guides you can get from visitor offices. It will be a huge stew of information, roads, rails, urbanized areas, to wetlands, etc.

I love topographical maps. I recently retired from the NY Army National Guard as a Geospatial engineer. I wish I had gotten into the field a few decades ago when it was all hand drawn cartography and less digital.
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