OpenGeofiction

Tárrases Contours - v 0.9

Posted by Luciano on 21 April 2016 in Korean (한국어)

A draft of contours for my city-state of Tárrases (off the coast of Mahhal) has gone "live." There are some small artefacts of the conversion process, but overall the result is quite pleasing. More contours for Mahhal coming soon!

http://opengeofiction.net/#map=12/-64.0216/98.3949&layers=T

Happy mapping.

Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 21 April 2016 at 13:30

Wow - that adds a lot! I didn't realise Tárrases was so mountainous.

So, the issues you may have now (which I'm sure you've already spotted) are the visible joins on the overlapping multi-polygon land-use mapping and the way the mapped features match, or differ from, the lie of the land, as indicated by the contours. For example, some roads go up straight up steep hillsides, some of the angular open areas in the woodland look incongruous relative to the land. All more reason to map contours before anything else!

I like the shape of the mountains in general. One thing to think about when mapping at these latitudes is that glaciation - even if not current - will occur more on the side of the mountain closer to the pole (in this case south) and the slopes there are therefore likely to be steeper, with steeper cliffs, larger cirques etc.

Curious that the sun is always to the north, in both the southern hemisphere and northern (see topomap layer for Roantra. Of course, it looks better in the southern hemisphere than in the north. TopoMap is from NZ? Would make sense.

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Comment from oscar2002 on 21 April 2016 at 19:28

They look very nice contours , very realistic.

I've been fixing , and what Mahhal southern resembles south of New Zealand? Come to where looks great , congratulations on your work.

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Comment from Luciano on 22 April 2016 at 00:42

Thanks for the comments. I agree with Udi that, obviously, it's better to build the roads after the contours. Tárrases sat, un-worked on, for so long, precisely because I was waiting to get around to the contours, before doing anything more. Next month (after my "challenge" is ended), I will go and rework the existing roads and work on adding new ones, in response to the topography.

I disagree about the generalization about glaciation, however. I have not observed that pattern that slopes are steeper in the direction of the poles - I think there are far too many confounding local variables for such a generalization to hold. The one near-arctic place where I lived, in Southeast Alaska, certainly doesn't obey such a pattern even on cursory inspection:

http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/55.4680/-133.0166&layers=C

RE angular open areas. I think we have to remember the extent to which human activity, with its straight lines, can impact the environment and ignore pre-existing biomes and topography.

Here's a speck of northwest Washington State, in the US, with the right-angled township grid prominent in the patterns of woodland:

https://www.google.com/maps/@48.8320364,-122.3767946,6075m/data=!3m1!1e3

Here are patterns of clear-cuts in Alaska's Prince Of Wales Island (near my former home there), where the surveryor's property lines have created strange, nearly-straight lines on rugged terrain:

https://www.google.com/maps/@55.9092116,-132.9909891,7026m/data=!3m1!1e3

Scotland is not exempt:

https://www.google.com/maps/@56.8113434,-3.1709948,11501m/data=!3m1!1e3

RE sun from the north... hm. I never thought about it. I don't think it's the "sun" - rather, it's a light-bulb shining on a topo model - perhaps a hypothetical supernova in the galactic north.

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Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 22 April 2016 at 21:42

Interesting thoughts, Luciano. To deal first with slope steepness: in Scotland (and I think in Greenland) glaciation has occurred more strongly on the 'poleward' side e.g. on The Ben:

https://www.google.com/maps/@56.8032614,-5.0015917,6584m/data=!3m1!1e3

This may be of the stratigraphy of the rocks in Scotland, but it is a repeated pattern on the higher mountains, so I think it is likely to be a relict of glaciation. In Scotland, golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) nest almost entirely on cliffs. >75% of eagle nests are on north or north-east sides of mountains. It's not proven, but that is likely to be because of the steepness? Well, I do accept that there are cliffs on other sides, but statistically there are likely to be more on the north side. I think it may be that contours don't indicate this as well as they might. And perhaps that bright light in the sky emphasises it. Well, anyway, a bit of an arcane discussion...

Back to land-use patterns: if we're thinking of something along the lines of Chilean Patagonia for Southern Antarephia (well Mahhal & Kėzėpölān anyway) we are thinking of something like Nothofagus pumillo - Lenga forest. If you wanted there to be clearcuts in that forest, I'n sure there could be, but it isn't a common pattern.

Near Puerto Natales again - the mountains:

https://www.google.com/maps/@-51.6148441,-72.7723896,7467m/data=!3m1!1e3

and the flatter ground (with 'rides' and a Magellanic bog!):

https://www.google.com/maps/@-51.7434239,-72.6049645,7446m/data=!3m1!1e3

I don't understand exactly what's going on on Prince Of Wales Island. It looks to me like clearfell coups of Sitka spruce? But I don't see surveyors property lines. The size of the coups might be related to the economics of extraction or more likely to a type of felling that leaves small enough areas that the neighbouring trees can seed into. Whatever, there are trees up to the natural treeline.

The example you give of the Angus Glens in E Scotland is slightly different - but it might be applicable in Tárrases. What you're mainly looking at is plantations, not native woodland. There is no natural treeline - pretty much all that is fenced and planted (hence the sharp lines). If you wanted to you could find the data on native woodland and plantations at this site: http://maps.forestry.gov.uk/imf/imf.jsp?site=fcscotland_ext&. But again most of that is probably North American Sitka spruce and/or Lodgepole pine, or plantation of Scots pine (but not 'Caledonian' pine). I don't know - it all depends what you want Tárrases to be like. Its really possible that there could be some of these heavy human impacts there, and it might be a good way to distinguish it from some less/differently impacted areas of Mahhal.

The native Caledonian pine woodland over in Deeside (on Balmoral Estate):

https://www.google.com/maps/@56.9834701,-3.3103838,13105m/data=!3m1!1e3

(with glaciated features on the N Side again) has less impacts, but still some. But I'm not sure these Northern hemisphere examples would be applicable for the bulk of southern hemisphere, in real world, and - by extension - in OGF. But for some of it, yes, cultural impacts of colonialism? Hope this helps!

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Comment from Luciano on 22 April 2016 at 22:26

I think there's been a bit of misunderstanding as far as how close I intend to hove to "real world" ecosystems with respect to Mahhal. Perhaps this discussion of the realism of straight-edged polygons is a bit of red herring. The point of my examples wasn't to present actual models for what is going on in Tárrases, but rather simply to demonstrate that human-origin "straight lines" appear across rugged landscapes all over the place, without apparent rhyme or reason. On the one hand, obviously, the inspiration and a way of understanding what's going can be inspired by what's to be found in Tierra del Fuego or Patagoinia and by other ideas from my time in Alaska.

On the other hand, however, and having said that, Mahhal is its own idea, too, and can't possibly resemble Southern South America too much. First of all, it's got a relatively high population density given its latitude. The only parts of the real world that would come close at similar latitudes would be Sweden, Southern Norway and Finland, or Russia. Certainly it's not as "empty" of human habitation as Patagonia. I have conceptualized some fairly intensive agriculture, which is probably not directly "earth-realistic" unless I invent some new, sub-arctic species - as I have started to do with my "Mahhalian Blue Rice" concept. "Blue rice" not currently real compared to anything on Earth, but it's within the realm of possibility - consider the varieties of "Wild Rice" cultivated in central North America by various Native American groups. Scale up, add some cultural practices, and you can get a sub-arctic intensive agricultural practice. And "Winter wheat" in Canada is cultivated up to almost 60° N., within a very short growing season.

Parts of Mahhal include major cities of several millions, and the Derindonderak metropolis is meant to be in the 10 million+ range. There is only one near-arctic metropolis that comes close on earth, which is St Petersburg, but there are definitely plenty of subarctic major cities that I can draw on for concept, including Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Anchorage, Edmonton, Novosibirsk or Irkutsk.

Tárrases, integrated with Massamba across the straight, is intended to be at least in the 500,000+ category . There is absolutely nothing to compare in Patagonia - the only cities with more than 100,000 are Comodoro Rivadavia and Punta Arenas, but neither of them approach 200,000.

Given such populations, I'm going to have to be "inventing" ecosystems to some extent to make it at all close to sustainable, and the end result is going to look more like a cold Korea or Japan than Tierra del Fuego or Prince of Wales Island. I guess when I visualize Mahhal in my mind, I see something like Manchuria or Hokkaido, with Patagonian trees.

If we want to go in the direction of calling these conceptions unrealistic and lacking in verisimiltude, and that becomes a community consensus, I'm willing to accept that - but the result would be that I scrap Mahhal as an OGF project, as I'm too committed and interested in the cultural aspects as already conceptualized to compromise those because of the latitude where it's landed in OGF. As mentioned elsewhere, Mahhal has a long existence in my imagination, "pre OGF," and it wasn't, originally, entirely verisimiltudinous. I am trying my best to compromise vis-a-vis the OGF requirements for verisimiltude, but I will rather give up the project before I take it too far.

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Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 23 April 2016 at 00:35

I'm not disagreeing with you, but even if I was you shouldn't take it personally. What the rest of the community think, they should say. If not, they can't come back to you and say 'you never asked' - because you have discussed it openly, now and before. At the end of the day there isn't a place on earth anywhere near the location of Mahhal - South of South Africa. So it must have some sort of 'temperate/Antarctic flora' which could be pretty much anything anyway, and there is no real world parallel. Plus there is a whole series of islands down the south of Antarephia, so it there can be ways to explain all different floras down the south of that continent. Basically, for flora & terrain I'd go with whatever you decide. It is just that I thought you had decided that you wanted 'Southern hemisphere' flora, so I pointed out that those weren't typical patterns in the real Southern hemisphere. These are just pointers to try to inform the parts that I do know about. As you know, the most southerly forests in the world are in Patagonia, the only forests that grow above glaciers, so its the best choice. Would you get the same patterns as northern hemisphere forestry if the management/ownership happened the same way? Yes, probably. But maybe it helps to think about this? There are differences between the conifers and the broadleaved trees - once you know them - they are something that becomes quite important. Their wood is different, their structure and growth patterns are different. Culturally, they can't be used in the same way. With Patagonian flora, you are looking at broadleaved forestry - unless you bring in Northern hemisphere trees (and, as in Scotland, and you could do that over a large area of the country). Sticking with broadleaves, clear cut becomes much harder - does this get reflected in the map? Or do you have numerous straight edged exotic plantations? I think, I am just over-keen to explain this, because the background is very often ignored or brushed over. In spite of what it may look like, the human origin of straight lines in forests always has a reason. To me, because I've worked with forests more than most people, those reasons are often apparent - I've just run through them, to inform you with what I think I know about. You don't have to listen to it.

Mahhal is a long way south. That's fixed. I have no idea about how you get a such a big population through the dark, long winters - that's where your imagination comes in. Some things are fixed - verisimilitude or not: the sea is salt, the earth is rock, the ice is cold, the wood is wooden - and the human is the human. I knew you'd said 500k for Tárrases - so the surprise when I saw the contours and elevations, and the landuse mapped. You have to fit them in then, in a way that you think works. So now you have a target, but the target has to be gained in steps, from the bottom up. You can do it alone, or you can ask for thoughts. There won't be consensus but you may be able to make more informed choices. Whatever the 'artefacts' in the map - your Tárrases map is still already much better than the real world OSM for most of Patagonia.

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