joschi81's diary

Recent diary entries

Weekly Word #6

Posted by joschi81 on 9 July 2017 in English (English)

Hi all,

Surprisingly I was the winner of last week's "Weekly Word" challenge, although "military" is not really a subject I focus on in OGF. As niels20020 mentioned, the winner will from now on have the right to announce the next weekly word.

The new Weekly Word is


Looking forward to receiving your entries. Please comment and mention your creations that in your point of view fit to the subject. Deadline is next Saturday 18:00 GMT.


PS: @niels20020: The Weekly Word "mini challenge" is a very nice idea, in my point of view. Thank you!

"Protecting" Tarott - or: Re-thinking "definite" landscapes in OGF

Posted by joschi81 on 27 March 2017 in English (English)

Hi everybody!

Like other people, I sometimes struggle with problems in my imaginary countries that lead to the question: Is it already definite or can I still change something? Normally, when I have drawn an area up to a very high level of detail, I leave it as it is, of course. But what with roughly sketched structures that were only definite in my head but did not appear on the map yet? I allow myself to change them, even heavily, if there's a special need.

For Tarott (map) I definetily saw the need to change something very elementary. As it is an old city that survived many wars (even after heavy destructions) and as it was founded thousand years ago (maybe even more), it needs to be in a protected location. An open bay directly at the West Sea did not seem logical at all, finally.

So, I dared to rethink Tarott bay and - although it has only been outlined very rougly so far - I'm satisfied with the result:

Tarott Bay, March 2017

(To be honest, although not being a motorway enthusiast, I always wanted a western bypass for Tarott to release traffic congestion at the central trunk road in Tarott and at the eastern motorway rings - there is going to be an outer ring in the east as well.)

This is how the open Tarott Bay looked before:

"old" Tarott bay

It feels much better now. :) And at crucial points, I'm going to build some old fortifications (or ruins of fortifications).

Happy mapping!


Tarott EXPOMONDIALE 2018 world exhibition - Choose a parcel of land for your nation's pavillon

Posted by joschi81 on 25 March 2017 in English (English)

Hello everybody,

only a bit more than one year left until the Tarott EXPOMONDIALE 2018 world exposition will open! The nation of Kalm and the city of Tarott are glad to host this international event and to welcome all other nations of the world with their own pavillons and exhibitions.

The motto of the world exposition will be "Smart digital and analogue future of our world". Participating nation's are invited to present concepts showing newest oder planned digital solutions in any interesting domain for their nation, but also to answer the question how people can participate in daily life in the future without being dependent of their own digital devices.

So, choose a spot for your nation's pavillon:

1) See the map of EXPOMONDIALE 2018 Tarott exposition grounds here

2) Zoom in to see the names of the depicted parcels of land ("TEM18 - A1" etc.)

3) Then send me a private message, mention:

  • your country's name (resp. names if you have more than one in OGF)

  • EITHER: the shortcut of your three favourite TEM18 plots (character and number in the end of the name)

  • OR: if any plot of land is okay for you, just write something like "any plot is ok"

  • OR (EDIT 27/03/2017): If you think your country is to small or doesn't have the money for an own pavillon, consider having a smaller exhibition in a shared pavillon and just write "shared pavillon"

  • OPTIONAL: the planned title for your nation's exhibition.

I will collect all wishes and publish a list of selected plots of land around easter. Afterwards I invite you to build your pavillon in the respective plot (or I will build it myself, in case you prefer it).

If there is more demand than parcels of land prepared at the moment, the area will be extended.

Looking forward to bringing the EXPOMONDIALE to "international" life.

Happy mapping


1st EDIT 27/03/2017

2nd EDIT 08/04/2017

Here's a list of applications as of today:

Interested, but no application sent yet:

(I hope I didn't miss anything)

Are you missing important countries? Maybe collaborative ones like Gobrassanya? Other well developed contries that should definetily by present at TEM18? Feel free to invite other people to apply for a pavillon for Tarott's Expomondiale!

TEM18 is still open for applications!

Location: Weltausstellungsgelände EXPOMONDIALE 2018, Klein Nedern, Tarott, Ukraine

Nerschach, a capital's name? - Or: The problem of naming large cities

Posted by joschi81 on 7 January 2017 in English (English)

This diary entry by tule00 (@tule00: Thank you!) led to my detailed reflection of how to find good names for large cities in Kalmish (= German) language.

The most dificult thing is always to find out what names "sound" like names for large cities in a specific language. For example "Hamburg" is Germany's second largest city, but "-burg" suffix can be found in village, town, and (large) city names. So, with "-burg" names you're on a quite safe side when naming large cities or small towns in "Kalmish" (German) language. But what about "-dorf"? It means "village". So, it is used for villages and small towns only. With (at least) one exception: "Düsseldorf". Everyone in Germany has a large city in mind (capital city of North Rine-Westfalia) when hearing this name, although if you look closely, it is the name for a village. :) What about "Berlin"? In fact, the name of Germany's largest city, but there are countless smallest villages in Germany with "-in" suffix. Same with "München" (=Munich"), Germany's third largest city.

In Kalm I used some suffixes from the real German language when naming large cities (e.g. Vennburg, Kemburg, Forberg). Then I invented some special Kalmish suffixes like "-rott" (Tarott, Bilrott) or "-ent" (Orlent, Korlent), which in my point of view sound like large cities.

My (the Kalmish) capital's name - Nerschach - sounds like the name of a large city to me, as I'm used to this name. However, a good friend of mine heard this name for the first time and said that for him it really does not sound like the name for a large city. This lead to my research of names with this suffix in German place names. Although "-ach" suffix is very common in the southern half of Germany and in many cases derives from names of small rivers or streams, "-schach" suffix isn't very common. Especially the case of "sch" belonging to the suffix (which often is not the case like in "Eschach", for example) is very uncommon. My friend had Rorschach in mind when hearing the name "Nerschach", indeed, a small town with about 10,000 inhabitants next to Lake Constance in Switzerland. I assume that here, the full suffix is "-schach", as the original Mediaval name was "Rorscahun" (but I'm not 100% sure). I like the name "Nerschach" and of course I will stick to it, but I have to develop the history of the name.

It is clear that in Rorschach, like in Andernach, one of the larger German places with "-ach" suffix, the name does not come from a river or a stream. So I have to decide: Do I want the name Nerschach to come from the small river crossing the city or is it nicer to have another history? What do you think?

One other thing: For me it is always a funny experiment to translate names of large cities in other countries to German and see if it still sounds like a large city - or like the name for a city at all. "Los Angeles" -> "Die Engel", is this really a city's name? :) "San Francisco" -> "Sankt Franziskus", sounds more like a small village in the Bavarian Alps. "Salt Lake City" -> "Salzseestadt", not very creative, but we have at least one town with the same level of creativity in Germany ("Eisenhüttenstadt" -> "Iron Works City"). "Rio de Janeiro" -> "Januarfluss", also quite funny for a large city. "Buenos Aires" -> "Gute Lüfte", funny, and certainly not true for many places in Argentina's capital. "New York" -> "Neu-Jork", sounds like a new extension of the small town of Jork west of Hamburg, cultural center within "Altes Land" apple and cherry orchard area. :) And so on. Of course, it is a bit mean to compare our European old names (which often are in fact quite uncreative when you look at the origin) to names in the "New World", where the uncreative origin is still visible. On the other hand: From a certain perspective, it is very creative to name cities "Los Angeles" or "Buenos Aires" etc.

My conclusion is: In many cases, we have the feeling that a name is suitable for a large city only because we have learned at some moment that there is a large city with this name. (And I "learned" that there are large cities called "Tarott", "Orlent" ... and "Nerschach".)

Happy mapping!


Henlauch - my last addition in 2016

Posted by joschi81 on 31 December 2016 in English (English)

Hi all,

I hope you will have (or had) a good start into the new year!

Here's my last addition to OGF in 2016: The town of Henlauch in the south-western suburban region of Nerschach, the capital of Kalm.

Looking forward to many new places in OGF in 2017!

Happy mapping, joschi81

Tarott - Slow progress, mapper's challenges and Pancontinental Games (Geolympiad) 2008

Posted by joschi81 on 22 September 2016 in English (English)

Inspired by Luciano's Mapper's Challenge #6 - September, 2016 - GETTING AROUND, I started creating the metro line (U-Bahn) relations for the city of Tarott. Well... I started, at least.

Mapping since more than two weeks now, up to a few hours almost every day, I only managed to finish the first part of U1 (the oldest metro line of Tarott, regarding the inner city section, and part of the small-profile network, details here). So I'm presenting an "intermediate" result to you now. Here's how far I got:

Inbound southern part of U1 and outbound direction of the same section.

Why did I only get this far? The explanation is quite simple: Tarott, as some of you know, was imported from a "non-GIS" vector file right after the birth of OGF, a vector file that had been drawn only for graphical purposes in Adobe Illustrator. You can still see the annoying results in the largest part of Tarott. Along with drawing the metro line details, I decided to add the details (almost eveything important except residential buiildings) within the surrounding areas. This - I must admit - takes much longer than I thought. (Actually, it's a pity that I had only drawn Tarott outside OGF in this "unprofessional" way since 2010 before OGF started, now I have to do all the work once again...)

But have a look at the result, compare the areas next to the mentioned part of the metro line to other regions and you see where I'm heading (at the speed of a tired snail). And see the Hattneypark details I added today instead of focusing on a continued U1 relation. :)

Oh, and there's one more important thing that I wanted to show (even though unfinished as well). Tarott hosted the Pancontinental Games in 2008 (Geolympiad, in OGF language, but I refuse to use this name due to an obvious real world reference). And here's the incomplete Tarott 2008 Summer Pancontinental Games venues list. Enjoy browsing the venue locations! It's written as a "proposal", as if there would be a competition. But I think everyone agrees that it's OK to add Tarott for the 2008 Games as a fact to OGF world history?!

Best regards and happy mapping!


@Luciano: And of course, names are very important to me, as you can see within the already detailed sections of Tarott. So, yes, I was inspired by your Mapper's challenge #5 as well.

What language for Ventria?

Posted by joschi81 on 22 August 2016 in English (English)

Ventria (Wiki and map) is a small land-locked state that I recently "cut out" of Estiansian territory and turned to a separate state.

In Tarott (Wiki and map - bad mapping quality due to old vector imports), Kalm, there is a large Ventrian community and also a "Ventrian quarter" (Ventrisches Viertel) that has its own S-Bahn (suburban rail) station. Tarott was designed before OGF started and I came up with some cultures surrounding Kalm. And now I found a place for the Ventrians.

But: I haven't any names yet for cities and other geographical features - and I didn't decide what official language Ventria has.

So my question is now: What language for Ventria? What is your opinion?

It is surrounded by many Ulethan ("European") languages, Kalmish (German), Estiensian (Hungarian), Garlish (Romanian) a bit further away, Franquese and Vinnish in Vinnmark, Welsich (a bit like Dutch?) - there are many more, as you know can find out using the map.

I'm open for any language, but probably a Ulethan ("European") one would be great. Of course, a fantasy language "between" other European languages could also be nice. Or Ventria could have an official language that is spoken in Europe but not the "main official" language of any country.

I'm looking forward to your suggestions.

Happy mapping!


Kalm: Borwald mountain region and the city of Melonn

Posted by joschi81 on 17 July 2016 in English (English)

So, after many weeks or even months of almost no activity in OGF (lack of time, unfortunately) I came back now and continued drawing using my "mapping here and there" strategy. This time I focused on Borwald mountain region within Borwald-Oberstresien federal region. Although I wanted to stick to "zoom level 9 features" (forests, main roads and motorways, railways, rivers and other water bodies, town names), I finally added the whole general city structure for the city of Melonn with general landuses, main roads, railway stations, and the two-line tramway network.

I have the goal of filling up the whole country of Kalm with "zoom level 9 features" until the end of the year. I'll see if I can manage, there's still a long way to go, especially with my tendency of jumping into larger zoom levels at some point.

Here's what I mapped: Borwald and the city of Melonn

Location: Finstal-Autobahn, Melonn, Borwald-Oberstresien, Russia

Decimal Time in the OGF world

Posted by joschi81 on 28 April 2016 in English (English)

Did you ever consider using Decimal Time for your imaginary country? I'm seriously considering to use it. Because our 7 days/24 hours/60 minutes/60 seconds system is simply ... stupid. Ok, partly my personal point of view.

It came to my mind when I was browsing some of my very old projects. See my Decimal Time display here

Happy mapping! joschi81

Grümer Peninsula (Nordland region, Kalm)

Posted by joschi81 on 10 April 2016 in English (English)

A while ago I described my (new) here-and-there mapping strategy. I still like it, jumping from small-scale general landscape design to large-scale details. Here's one more example for the "details" part of it: Grümer Peninsula including many details for the small town of Elzburg, which is located at one of the northern termini of Rekant S-Bahn (suburban rail) network.

Happy mapping! joschi81

Brenta - or: Don't mix up OGF and OSM in JOSM :)

Posted by joschi81 on 26 February 2016 in English (English)

As I did some mapping of planet Earth during the last week (read here what planet Earth is, if you don't know :) ), I temporarily set JOSM to connect to the OSM server. Actually, I mapped all buildings with housenumbers and special addresses in Keitum, Sylt island, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

Yesterday I continued in OGF but for some stupid reason forgot to switch back to the OGF server. As I had loaded a locally saved .osm file I didn't recognize this until I uploaded the changesets and got completely strange JOSM error messages. The changesets have already been reverted in OSM (or are going to be soon) but for a short time, northern Kalmian stuff appeared within the forests between Moscow and Yaroslavl in Russia. Here you can see at least the railway station: Brenta, Russia

See my blog entry at OSM.

But finally, after a bit of late night work yesterday, here it is now, the small coastal town of Brenta, Assen canton, Nordland region, Republic Kalm.

Happy mapping! joschi81

Altenwildbad - or: my "mapping strategy"

Posted by joschi81 on 27 January 2016 in English (English)

Hello fellow mappers,

a few months ago I posted a question here: What is the best mapping strategy when you (unfortunately or luckily?) have selected a territory that requires more than a lifetime to fill it up with a satisfying level of detail? Starting in one or several points (e.g. cities) and draw up to a high level of detail within a few selected places? Or the "other way round", very sytematically start from a very low zoom level resp. level of detail (rivers, lakes, railways, motorways, main roads, forests resp. mountain ranges) for the whole territoy and then become more detailed step by step?

Well, the general response was: Do it as you like! But the way I did it way unsatisfying for me: Drawing one city in a high level of detail, getting tired of it before it is finished, stepping over to another one, then, in between, trying to fill up some regions with the general features in a nice way... Nothing seemed to be finished.

Now, I have found a good way (for me): Drawing a certain region with even more than just the general features , so that it looks nice up to zoom level 12 approximately. Then, randomly, draw certain places up to a high level of detail. Thus, when browsing my part of the map, you will discover some places with interesting details and some regions with (hopefully nice) general featueres. I'm doing this righ now for my region of Kelmtal-Borgenland.

So, if you wish, have a look at the randomly chosen and (quite) detailed place I have drawn today - Altenwildbad - and then zoom out a bit and have a look at the general layout of the region.

Happy mapping!


Location: Altenwildbad, Gorn, Kelmtal-Borgenland, Russia

Renaming the third largest city of Kalm: Suggestions?

Posted by joschi81 on 18 November 2015 in English (English)

The third largest city of my country was called "Pern" so far, which I never really liked, because it sounds like a stupid mixture between "Bern" (capital city of Switzerland) and the Russian city of "Perm".

Now I have renamed it to "Preburg" (at least within the wiki), which sounds nice, I think - but it's a quite boring name. So: do you have any suggestions for a nice German name for the city? I want "P" as the first letter. :) The rest is completely open. But it has to be a nice name, adapted to an important large city with almost 2 million inhabitants.

Thanks for your proposals!

I feel that I can still change the city name because I have only drawn some basic features yet.

Best regards joschi81

Location: Leybershowen, Pern, Stadtkanton Pern, Nordland, Russia

Drawing canal locks: Schleuse Blochfeld

Posted by joschi81 on 1 November 2015 in English (English)

I think that shipping canals are quite an interesting feature, especially when it comes to locks. So here's one I've been drawing today: Schleuse Blochfeld. It is part of Fora-Kelm-Kanal, the most important artificial inland waterway in Kalm and it connects to Kelm river and Kohnsee in the east and to Fora river north of Forberg in the west. It crosses a mid-sized mountain range and thus it is not a flat canal like Mittellandkanal in Germany, but more like Main-Donau-Kanal with a lock approx every 20 km.

Do you like such a map feature? And have you ever drawn locks in OGF?

Best regards joschi81

Location: Dennberg, Mahnern, Kelmtal-Borgenland, Russia

Mahnern Hauptbahnhof

Posted by joschi81 on 16 October 2015 in English (English)

Mahnern Hauptbahnhof (Mahnern central station) has been finished (almost, staircases, some switches and a yard south-east of the station still missing).

Mahnern is a mid-sized city (about 130,000 inhabitants) within the Kelmtal mining region in Kelmtal-Borgenland region, Kalm. It is located only 10km south-east of Vennburg, with Vennburg's metro line U2 terminating at the central station. Also, an interurban tramway connects Mahnern with Thermette in the south-west, using the alignment of a former railway line outside of the city.

The central station is a quite important one (although FLINX high-speed trains bypass the city centre on a high bridge crossing Fenn river). It has 12 tracks, 10 of which with platforms. Starting from the south-west, there are 1 regional train plattform (approx. 300m), 2 suburban rail platforms (about 250m) and two long-distance/regional train platforms (approx. 410m). So, except FLINX, all major train types stop here.

Have a look. :)

Best regards joschi81

Location: Neu-Zengenberg, Zengenberg, Mahnern, Kelmtal-Borgenland, Russia

Nerschach - the capital of Kalm

Posted by joschi81 on 8 October 2015 in English (English)

As I saw in this diary entry by deltanz, Tarott is still marked as the Kalmish capital on some maps. It's true, first when I started drawing Kalm in 2010 (quite a while before the start of OGF), Tarott was still supposed to be the capital. But many different reasons led to the decision to make Nerschach the national capital.

So, Kalm is one of the countries where the largest city (Tarott) is not the capital. Nerschach is Kalm's second or third largest city (I'm not 100% sure yet).

By the way: I can't wait to start drawing Nerschach. But for some reason I started Vennburg in spring and I want to finish it before starting Nerschach. In fact, before going over to Nerschach, I want to at least finish the country's railway, motorway/trunk road and national highway networks and some general geographical features like forests and mountains, so that the structure of the country is visible. I'm not sure if I will be able to do this, because I'm one of the "permanent scale jumpers" when drawing in OGF.

Best regards joschi81

Ocean names

Posted by joschi81 on 8 October 2015 in English (English)

We need better and interesting ocean names in OGF. It least, that's what I think.

Especially when it comes to new continents. Would be quite strange to have a new country at the east coast of the new continents, at the coast of the "Western Ocean". That's one thing. The other thing is that the current names are boring.

I don't want to make proposals here right now. But let's have a look at where the ocean names on earth come from:


PACIFIC OCEAN see here, last paragraph of introduction

INDIAN OCEAN (named after the respective subcontinent)

So we have greek mythology, geopolitical/"geoeconomical" events in combination with local circumstances and a region the borders the ocean as "namegivers". Other possible sources for names could be (in my point of view): names of Ulethan explorers or names of historical trading routes, geological circumstances, references to form/size/world location of the ocean (maybe in a very old language) and surely many more.

What do you think? What's your opinion? What are your proposals for finding better ocean names for the OGF world?

Best regards joschi81

OGF equivalents of IATA and ICAO (old title: International Airports of Tarott)

Posted by joschi81 on 2 August 2015 in English (English)

Edit: title adapted due to changed focus within discussion

Here they are, finally, the wiki articles about the two international airports of Tarott:

Tarott-Kemburg International Airport

Tarott-Hipplanken International Airport

I will work on international flight connections soon. Thanks to all who already established international flight connections to Kalm. In most cases, Tarott-Kemburg certainly is the main destination of your airlines in Kalm.

Best regards joschi


Posted by joschi81 on 20 June 2015 in English (English)

Hi there!

After even a few months without drawing in OGF, I'm back now since a few days, developing the city of Vennburg, sixth-largest city of the Republic of Kalm with almot 900,000 inhabitants. It's at the edge of the country's main mining region, so in the east of the city (and within the eastern neighbouring city of Ubena), landuse=industrial will be heavily used :)

I always like to discover new cities in OGF and to follow their development. So maybe it's the same for you... Then just have a look. And of course you're invited to leave comments, make suggestions and so on.

Best joschi81

Location: Hofenvorstadt, Vennburg, Kelmtal-Borgenland, Russia

Commonia changes

Posted by joschi81 on 15 April 2015 in English (English)

Hi all,

it's already one and a half weeks ago since I decided with Luciano to make a major change in Commonia. As there was a quite populated area right next to the equator, which is unrealistic, we moved the Thompson/Darsons (formerly Thompson/Lincoln) area from here

old position of Thompson/Darsons area

to here

new position of Thompson/Darsons area

and Luciano put a large rainforest around the equator, which is a realistic feature at this latitude.

Also, the moved area had to be turned approx. 150 degress counterclockwise to make it fit to the new location within the north of Commonia.

I will continue drawing some details within Darsons. (By the way: I developed this city for two young US novelists who needed a college town for their books. They called it Lincoln, but I renamed it to Darsons, which is the original name I gave to it.) And we had the idea of making Thompson the Commonian capital.

I changed the distance between Darsons and Thompson, because I think the two cities were too close to each other. In my opinion, when starting new large cities, even in a "free" territory like Commonia, users should leave enough rural area around existing cities, leaving them their "own life". I think that 150km/200km distance is good. If users want to create a polycentric, multi-city urbanized region, they should discuss it before with users who started the first city within the region.

That said, I want to say that I hope you're all ok with the changes we made. Let's leave the equator area a bit "untouched" or very low populated and stick to the northern part of Commonia for larger cities/urbanized regions. And let's make Thompson a nice capital. (@the founder of Thompson - who is ist, btw?: Are you ok with this?)

Best regards joschi81

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