Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Useful Resources: More Mapping Links

Holly Lisle offers a ton of workshops, tutorials and tips on all aspects of writing, including her Worldbuilding methods and her method of developing a fictional world via map making.  Her main site is an amazing treasure house of useful resources, good advice and some just plain fun stuff.  Very highly recommended.

Strange Maps is a blog that displays and examines and analyzes ... well ... uh ... strange maps.  Yeah.  Just what the name says.  Some of the maps are really thought provoking.  If you're at all interested in cartography and maps...this is a blog worth checking out.

 The Map Room is a gateway into a lot of very strange and wonderful things, such as maps of Kamandi's world, or subway systems for places that don't exist, and so on.  The main site has links to hundreds of blogs dedicated or devoted to all things map-related.  It was by clicking through this site that I discovered a site that provided a handy guide to a lot of Historical Celestial Atlases available out on the World Wide Web.

The Theban Mapping Project allows you to explore the entire archaeological zone of the ancient Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Zoom in to see individual architectural details of temples and palaces as well as the topography of the area. Mouse over sites to get additional information about them.  This site has a database of over 2,000 images that you can examine, over 250 detailed maps and models, and 65 narrated virtual tours--including a 3D recreation of tomb KV 14.  Plus there's an atlas of the Theban Necropolis.  Very cool stuff.  Looking through this site's maps has forever changed how I approach mapping-out certain styles of tombs...especially amongst the various deliberately-forgotten cryptoria and unregistered necropoli to be found along the banks of certain of the River Gate Networks...

The Cartographer's Guild is an online community created by (and for) map makers and map aficionados. It's a place where every aspect of cartography can be exhibited, examined, and discussed in the forums by practicing professional designers, artists, and enthusiasts alike. It's a wonderful place to discover tutorials on various aspects of map-making, to see what other map-makers are doing, and to show off your own work when you're ready.  The Guild is a great resource for anyone interested in designing or finding someone to possibly design a map for them or their game.  Highly recommended.

Actual Lost Cities are very interesting places to examine and explore, even virtually.  The Shunya website has a lot of very nice photos of a variety of real world 'Lost Cities' as well as a range of articles on all sorts of topics...some of which might prove interesting or useful for those engaged in some good old fashioned worldbuilding.  The page for Ahmedabad, (Gujarat, India) has a number of photos that have inspired a whole section of the First Tier of Devukarsha...

 The 1748 Nolli Map of Rome is now available as a dynamic, interactive, online tool. You have direct, personal access to this amazing map of deep historical significance, so why not go click around the thing a bit and see what you can find lurking within the nooks and crannies of the Eternal City...the amount of detail is truly humbling.  It's an intriguing blend of ancient and modern approaches, combining the original etched maps of Giambattista Nolli with satellite photography to develop an interactive map that sets a standard for mapping-out a large-scale city.  What can contemporary map-makers do with this approach, this sort of technology, in creating the maps of fictional spaces and mythic cities?  Very inspiring.
And just so you don't think that we're only interested in digital mapping, here's a link to The Hand Drawn Map Association site, where they feature, you guessed it; hand-drawn maps.  There's also the Play Generated Map and Document Archive Project to consider.  Who knew that all those hastily scrawled maps used in games back in the day were aesthetic objects from a revolutionary period of experimental  efforts aimed at communicating shared imaginative spaces?  Cool.

More to follow...


  1. "Three hours of fascinated clicking later..."
    -- Randall Monroe


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