1/15/2014

Free Map 016: A Quick Attempt

Free Map 016: A Quick Attempt
This week I decided to try and make a quick 15' map. Since it took an hour I pretty much failed in that regard, but seeing how many times I started over I think the problem wasn't so much my time limitation, but the fact I really didn't have an end-result in mind.

Overall I took an hour, but I ended up restarting this map several times.

I started off with a USGS map of my old hometown. I cropped into what I thought was a good section of the 7.5' map I downloaded and cleaned off the elevation markings after deselecting the map options I wanted. After putting in the roads I scrapped everything and started over again.

After another failed start I decided I didn't like the underlying map as much as I thought I would and
A Rural Village
The background is white...
chose to instead take that map and stretch it out some. What I ended up doing was taking the map at the scale I liked and then cutting it into pieces that were placed farther apart. While I could have used a paint-brush to reconnect contour lines I opted to cut and paste parts of existing contour lines and then use the bubble-warp feature to finesse those cut & paste jobs into place. Then in went my roads, originally straight lines that were bubble-warped to give some gentle bends and wobbles I'd expect in non-paved roads. The buildings were a brush setting I had made. I thought I'd use the buildings I had given out earlier, but I thought it would take too much time and even though I was already over time I figured I'd at least stick with the spirit of my attempt.

The end map had some interesting artifacts from my cut & paste jobs and the use of the brushes. I noticed my eye catching on some odd color jumps or minor gaps here & there. Some quick use of the blur feature smoothed in some issues and for the rest I just copied my finished map into Adobe Illustrator and had it do a Color 16 tracing. This last bit evened everything out to my liking.

I think next time I might try to make the underlying USGS map look a little more hand-drawn with the use of some filters and then add in some vegetation. Some of the maps you can get have shading you can use giving more of a 3D effect that is pretty cool. I have an idea for a small border fort & town I may have to put together for a future map.

As always, you can click on this post's pictures for a copy of the map or use this link.