OpenGeofiction

Norfield growing

Posted by William on 9 July 2017 in English (English)

I have been working on Norfield last week... http://opengeofiction.net/#map=14/-46.2884/36.6537

I would like to hear your comments and suggestions before continuing...

William

Location: Marienn, Norfield, Montran

Comment from plainoldbread on 9 July 2017 at 18:55

Looks great so far, I hope your your new town or city will be great!

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Comment from Portopolis on 9 July 2017 at 19:32

If your not mapping historically, I would focus on putting major roads first and natural features. If you are mapping historically I would focus on putting natural features then clearing these areas away as the city grows.

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Comment from William on 9 July 2017 at 20:05

I did it. In a kind of way. I made a map "in my head" than I started to map.

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Comment from Alessa on 9 July 2017 at 20:38

On the whole, things look good. The size of everything appears quite realistic. Some of the streets are wider than older European ones, but that is probably a good thing given that your country is likely newer to some degree if OGF world history is any indication. There seems to be a good distribution of important buildings (right now, the religious ones stand out) from a historical perspective.

I think what Portopolis is saying is to visually sketch out one method or the other on the map and adapt as you go. That is a good way of doing things for most people. I've tried both ways now. For example, I did a little bit of the top-down method that was mentioned by Portopolis first: I laid out the terrain and sketched a few primary highways southeast of Salda to try and keep a perspective of where everything will ultimately lay out. Even here, however, I don't treat it as something set in stone. Things change as I go. I've also done the inside-out method of mapping, where I started in a city center like you did and let things organically develop outward. Then, I worried about tying it into a larger structure later. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages. Just do what works for you. (Either way, I'd strongly encourage doing a sketch of any terrain first no matter what.) I've found that there are times where both happen. Salda started as a top-down city; it looks nothing like its original sketch. As I worked on more details from inside-out, things changed further afield to fit an evolving vision. As long as you have some broader vision of the environs, it'll guide your mapping. I should say, that I keep a ton of material offline right now in SVG files, paper copies, etc. It gives me perspective without necessarily getting in the way while working in JOSM.

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Comment from William on 9 July 2017 at 20:49

Thanks for excellent analysis. I think that I'll need some kind of visual presentation of the natural features since the city is going to spread across the river.

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Comment from Alessa on 9 July 2017 at 21:04

You're welcome. Definitely do the natural features—especially the river and any hills nearby. I'd say map hills or open spaces with natural=wood or natural=grassland even on a temporary basis just to get them in place. I'm probably one of the biggest proponents on the site of "do the terrain first." I remember doing that when I first started Mauretia. But, after the move, I really went in and worked the terrain much harder. It has proven to be the best decision I ever made. After all, no country is logical if it doesn't follow a logical terrain.

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Comment from Yuanls on 9 July 2017 at 21:57

Love your work! It's a fantastic, idyllic interpretation of English/European patterning. The only thing that I shall warn you about is the overuse of familiar names, e.g. Northfield, Kent, Isle of Wight, Westminster etc. I'd say you are borderline ok at the moment but just be careful in future.

As for the issue of top-down/bottom-up mapping, what I do is set out a general structure of the area as it appears in the modern day, but taking into account the previous alignment of roads and geographical features. This serves as a 'context' and a 'frame for what I do next, filling the empty space in. I do it one 'cell' at a time, mapping enclosed areas between the roads I've mapped during the first stage of mapping. I do this in roughly chronological order to maintain a sense of historical development. This is how I currently map Plowford.

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Comment from Portopolis on 10 July 2017 at 02:11

Alessa hit the nail on the head.

Comparing Avewood to Abarahika to Marie City the changes are huge and all because one of the first things I did in Marie City was focus on the natural features and Historical development. If I had thought about my city like I did when first mapping Avewood, Lallemand, Marie City would be a highway hellhole for no reason. Now you use JOSM, and your mapping is already quality but to separate quality mapping from decent mapping, you truly have to interweave history and the town/cities natural aspect into your mapping. I normally go for the top-down approach as Alessa mentioned, too me it is simple and mapping a city in the modern way cuts out a lot of reading, processing and understanding of history. It is also less significantly time consuming to map. While I agree they have their drawbacks, Historically mapping a region without a doubt is the best way to build a city. If you start from a 40-50 km radius circle around the city and start mapping the entire region, you could probably make the most logical and perfect city ever, and tie it a bit into the larger structure.

This of course would take serious time put into the city and a huge portion of that time could be taken up reading about historical development of cities and nations. My biggest problem though isn't the time with this approach but the fact that if you do this you will have to delete quality mapping, golden age cities or temples get ransacked or fall into disarray or get destroyed in wars/natural disasters/plagues and it is unrealistic to say everything survived, in fact in the real world almost all of the eight wonders of the world got destroyed or immensely damaged. Just the introduction of cars would cause entire cities to be revamped, and neighborhoods and streets to be destroyed. Very few cities (not in China) were built in a day, and true historical fantastic mapping will lead to changes like Seoul faced from 1900 to 2017

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Comment from William on 10 July 2017 at 12:54

Yes. I need to have it all in my mind. I hope I'll have success integrating the whole area and making city more realistic but I wanted to have some core around which and on which I can work. I'm sure that some of present content will be modified, "destroyed"... The city walls was "destroyed". Now I have green belt of parks around the city.

Regarding names: I think that we don't need to avoid well known real world names but we have to avoid similarity of the content and the name in real the world and in this fiction. For example my Isle of Wight doesn't have any similarity with the real one. Some names comes spontaneously. The name for the city I didn't took from real world but it came to my mouth totally spontaneously.

Thanks for suggestions and comment. They will be useful.

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