Recent diary entries
Now that I've finally got JOSM set up, I spent a good chunk of yesterday mapping out the rough outline of the topography for my country, Patermas, which you can see here. There are two mountain ranges, the Brocades to the west (which begin to the north, in Gamen, and are based off of the Tell Atlas in Algeria) and the El Salteadors/Yaguis to the east, a large karst formation which Patermas shares with Draco and Targueral (and are based off of the Mogotes range in Cuba, with a bit of southeastern China/northern Vietnam, though not quite that elaborate). They gradually move toward each other, creating a large, tapering central valley, and meet around the southern border with the massive TA013 territory, currently unclaimed.
I also mapped out the country's major river systems, including the Col River, which is the wide, central river into which the southern and eastern mountain watersheds drain, creating a large fertile territory, protected from the Serion Desert by the Brocades, and suitable for agriculture. There are also several large salt lakes between the Serion in the Brocades, based on the Chott el Djeridd in Tunisia.
Last but not least, I added a few more minor cities so that every metro with more than 200k people is mapped, and then drew the main lines of the country's expressway system. There will be a dominant urban mega-region in the north along the coast, three cities of about 1.5 million, and then a network of cities with 200-500K people. There will be a population of about 22 million, giving Patermas a population density of 125 people per km2, similar to France or Poland. About 80% of the population will live in metropolitan/urban areas (similar, again, to major western countries), meaning a rural population of about 4 million.
The outlines are a bit chunky, and aren't meant to be final. It'll take a long time and a lot of work "feathering" the edges to make them look more realistic, but I am pretty happy with this as a first pass, as I mainly wanted to create an overview of what's coming. My reason for posting this diary is to get some initial feedback as to whether anything stands out as off. I played around a lot with the Col River's width, for instance, trying to make it wide enough to look important but not so wide that it was unrealistic for an area this close to the Equator, where it is quite hot (but also humid, thanks to the rainforests to the east).