30 May 2012


Yet another cartography-related post, and this time its about my old nemesis -projections.

Anyone with a decent knowledge of mapmaking knows that a flat world map (usually created in what's known as an equirectangular projection) becomes extremely distorted around the poles once turned into a sphere. so a budding cartographer is faced with two dilemmas- either create an equirectangular map and then distort it into a fitting perspective or do the opposite and draw a map to best-suit the intended projection and then work back and apply a distorted version of it into a world map.

As always I chose the hard route and, with a half-completed map decided to start from scratch with a realistic projection.

Here is the equirectangular map:

I've had this completed for some time now as a psd file, with ocean currents, prevalent winds, climates, graticlues, etc and have made 3d globes on photoshop before, though i've never been able to make a desired projection i've been happy with.

Using this link, i was able to find a great NASA-made programme that creates up to 90-different projections from a base equirectangular world-map (i have to thank the kind people at Cartopgraphersguild.com for the link). using that simple programme (little-to-no cartpgraphical skills required to use it;it's pretty intuitive) I was able to create a handful of maps, including these two: an Azimuthal equal-area projection and an Equidistant conic projection, respectively. 

Inner Sea - Azimuthal Equal Area

Inner Sea - Equidistant Conic 

the projections are very similar though i do prefer the Azimuthal Equal Area, which i think retains the proportions better than the Equidistant Conic (though that might well-be due to the properties i set in the programme).

other than those two i also created an Orthographic sphere, and a Wagner IX projection:

Elyden - Orthographic

Elyden - Wagner IX


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  2. This is outstanding. Very nice development and it is great to see this develop.
    We know a lot about the geographical features of your world...as a RPG enthusiast i am wondering about the cultures and inhabitants of the world and its history. Will you discuss this as well? I'd really like to get to know this world.

    On a geographical note: will we see regional-maps in later stages of your project?


  3. I'm currently writing the histories of various regions for the current age (the Fifth-Age), which spans around 5,000-years. I've realised that the process of writing a detailed account for one region is impossible to finish without altering the details of neighbouing regions, so there's a lot of back-and forth updating old places that I've 'completed' whenever I add a new region to my encyclopaedia.

    I explained the 10-major influencing factors on the world in an earlier post, but in a nutshell the world was kept alive by the desires and dreams of the Two-and-twenty Demiurges (creator-gods, who shaped the world and its environs with their hands). The over-deity saw their world and declared it perfect, though they continued shaping the world, bringing imperfection to it. their creator, the over-deity, was angered y their hubris and punished them, stripping them of the greater of their powers, imprisoning them on the world of Elyden, where they eventually became leaders to the mortals who followed them.

    Most of the demiurges slowly went crazy and, as they lost followers, they weakened, with most of them falling into a torpid state. As their actions in life shaped the world, so too do their nightmares and bitter visions shape the world as they decay, and the natural laws have slowly begun to unravel.

    the remnants of the mortal races have inherited this world, which is slowly becoming corrupted by their dead gods' dreams - Elyden is a dying world, its people diminishing, the majority of its cities ruined, hollow.