Recent diary entries
Diversity of the OGF World must be one of the top Issues, e.g country size, politically, equality, wealth disparity and overall the level of economic development in a given country, to live in a OGF World where every country is in the High ranking of the HDI is rather unrealistic.
Edit--- I also think that this whole idea of a global economy could relate to the FSA and a potential Community Soviet Union, ensuring we have a Limited Multi-polar world could tie in to economic prosperity. I have always thought that UL099 could be fantastic in that role, think how much natural resources it will have, also it would obviously be a strong ally with Antigo.
Today, February 3rd, 2019, I am proud to announce I am collaborating with another user for the first time. It all started back when I expanded Gold Lake, Now over Triple the original size, This is a great spot to build. On February 1st, 2019, User Ferdinand made his first town there. I then came along making a highway north and a new link there. Then He messaged me about it, and he asked if we could collaborate, and I gladly accepted. Here's to a new city!
I've tried to download some objects via overpass API and got this error message, does anybody know what to do?
Could I ask for some help? What's happening with this glacier? I draw it 5 days ago and it is still not shown on the map. Is there something wrong with it? Thanks for help!
If it's no trouble, could I get some kind of feedback on this area I've been mapping for a few months now?
So I've been expanding my city to a decent size than before, and I was wondering if I should start doing the details. I realize that the city blocks are way smaller than regular... maybe I should fix that some time in the future. Just wondering what I should do next and what to start with...
I've been mapping in my territory Ablecia for a little while now. My main area of focus has been the city of Newbyford in the North West of the country, along with some smaller towns and villages I have created between the city and the Montgomery Wood area.
Anyone with a few minutes to spare, I would happily take on any feedback about my mapping, along with any constructive criticisms you may have!
Many thanks :)
The Mappers Challenge got buried under a long list of newer diary entries, so as today is the 31st Jan I will post about my contribution here:
My land area is part of the Majos Valley, the flood plain of the biggest river in Karolia and two national parks: https://opengeofiction.net/#map=14/51.7633/111.7834
The peaceful landscape is largely grassland [landuse: check] and has only a few gentle hills which the river meanders around. On the higher ground the grasses become heathland [landuse: check]. The river has shifted course a lot in its history and many oxbow lakes and ponds exist [landuse: check], as well as extensive reed beds [check] and wet meadows [check]. Some of the watercourses are man-made, from attempts to farm aquatic produce and fish, as well as manage the drainage off the land.
'Limited infrastructure' means few roads. Instead the railway and long-distance cycle and footpaths are the access to this area. These run on boardwalks over the marshy ground, and also on a special bridge over the railway line. This wasn't strictly necessary as traffic is light enough for a level crossing, but it was built to allow a view and information displays about the grasslands towards Majoslinna, the town built on a kopje (an eccentric thrust of hard rock). Cycle route K1 is a high-quality dedicated path that runs right up Karolia from Santjana to the mountains and visits important sites and cities. On this branch line, trains have cycle spaces installed to facilitate day trips and cycle tourism. It's considered important to make alternatives to car use more attractive here to protect the environment in this landscape hence the lack of roads. Numerous species of water birds, aquatic reptiles and insects live here. Very occasionally river dolphins swim this far north from the coast, hunting fish.
Hello User Diary users! This was originally announced in the forums, but I wanted to include a message here for those who may not have seen it.
During the month of February, we're running the first OGF City Sprint. Users are choosing a city to focus their mapping on intensely for one month.
More info & updates will be posted on this sandbox page throughout the month.
If you'd like to participate, add your name and selected city to the list on the page linked above. Then, starting Friday, map away! You can take a city that's just a dot on the map and build it from scratch, or go into a city you've worked on before but want to add lots of rich detail to. It's 100% open and flexible. The goal is just to map as much of your city as possible, at the highest possible quality, over the span of just one month. No prizes, no rules, nothing formal or fancy—just a fun community event that should produce some great new mapping.
Happy mapping to all!
Somebody Please Fix A Flood In UL208
I am mapping the northern area of Giliarca, where I dedicated an avenue to Antigo, since it was one of the great cities that were missing in the toponymy of my city.
But then I started to think again... does a name like that meet the criteria of likelihood? Is it normal for the capital of a democratic republic to dedicate an avenue to the capital of a totalitarian regime? Isn't it a bit like there's "Pyongyang Avenue" in New York?
mmmhhhh... I don't know... I think that OGF guidelines require me to change the name of this avenue... I don't know what you think about it.
I just read yesterday's article "No time for OGF, what future for my countries" by joschi81, and this has raised a few questions to me.
I have been thinking about the question of "lost countries" and also about those undocumented reserved territories (white on the territory map ) that create a breach in the logic of the map since they're kept untouched on the map, but on the wiki pages they say "yeah, don't talk about lost countries, they don't exist and never existed", not mentioning when they don't even have pages at all.
And this is something I would like to ask admins about.
But if you regular users want to add comments, feel free.
Border issues with lost countries
For example: I (Älved) have a western border with what used to be Zanyzzix (now UL079), an almost empty country with some badly designed bits, and an eastern border with Latania, a "lost country" with very good mapping on its whole territory. I suppose Latania is kept "in memoriam" of the mapper, but it isn't neither collaborative nor has a contact person.
Zanyzzix has been turned to green and I suppose will be erased forever, but Latania is kept.
There is a ~ 30 km gap where it would be good to join the roads between Latania and Älved, but "Latania doesn't exist and never existed" although we keep it on the map.
Countries with undocumented status
Not to mention other white countries which are marked as "possibly a future collaborative territory" (or not), and in some cases are not empty and regularly edited, but we don't even know their name and what they are. Example: the big UL099 (with New Ayeli city) in the north. Or UL106 (russian-like) which is unnamed and no wiki entries are present. What are their names ? Why is there some mapping on them but their status is white, not orange ? Are they lost countries or not ? Should we consider them in the geopolitical stories of our countries ? How to proceed in case of issues ? For example, if we want to request something about a reserved territory :
in my case: completing the road gap with Latania, or erasing the inconsistent mapped bits on Zanyzzix/UL079 since that mapping bothered the Neberly guy too, as he told me in PM
or in joschi81's neighbours' case: what is the status of UL141, who is the person of contact if there is an issue about Kalm, Isztianorszag etc if joschi81 abandons them, etc.
...then who should we contact about that ? how admins are more likely to react ?
Last question: in case the mapper goes away without signaling and the mapping is not complete => wouldn't it be good to set a rule that after 1-2 years or so, an abandoned map (or part of it) will be turned to collaborative for all nearby active neighbours ? or marked for withdrawal, depending on the context ?
I suppose this choice is up to the admins for each different case, but clarifying this information in the wiki would be of good help.
To sum up my questions:
1) - some documentation about what the statuses of these white "reserved" countries really are, and how should we proceed in case of issues with them.
2) - after what time of inactivity would you consider a country as abandoned and on which criteria would you decide to change its status to either withdrawal, collaborative, reserved, or whatever else.
3) - don't you think that marking countries as "lost countries" in the wiki when you actually keep them on the map without planning to remove them is somewhat confusing ? (for example: Zanyzzix/UL079 is a lost country = logical, since you withdrew it; Latania is a lost country = illogical, since you kept it) It would be more logical to keep those like Latania out of the lost country list, having the option to keep them reserved or to turn them into collaborative one day, and thus avoid this confusion in the wiki.
Thanks for reading.
(Note to self: I should come back one day and write a diary entry about my country too 8-)
For some reason or another, I am debating whether or not to create another city in the blue territories, since territory requests are on hold.
When I started in September, I created St. Charles in Commonia, and through time, I expanded it. But as much as I want to continue developing it, I have to create something different.
So, while territory requests are still in limbo, combined with the fact that I am reluctant to map in a purple territory while the matter is being settled, should I continue to develop St. Charles, or is it time to move on to better things and create a whole new community?
Some of the "older" users may have noticed that I practically do not make any progress in developing my countries of Kalm, Garlis, Ísztianország, Erfeldia, and Ventria in OGF. The main reason for this is that due to family life I have much less time for my hobbies since the end of 2017. Also, when I have free time (which I still have, of course, fortunately) I try to be "AFK" as much as possible. My whole professional life I spend in front of the computer and my geofiction work is also focused on digital work since 2009 (before that, I spent hours and hours to create hand-drawn fictional maps).
I love the idea of using WebGIS technologies (and especially OSM tools) to create and represent fictional maps. But I have the strong feeling that it makes me "unhappy" to spent my free time in front of the computer, so that the only difference between "professional" and "free time" work is to switch from my professional to my private profile (I'm a freelancer and I work at home). I tend to use my free time (or, more precisely: the part of my free time that is not "family and friends" time) for things that feel more "worthy" to me like reading, making music, drawing, writing...
To make it short: To be consequent, I would have to leave the OGF community and close all my countries. But on the other hand I know that it would be a pity to disctontinue my work in OGF.
What options do I have?
1) Turn all my countries into "collaborative" territory
Interesting, but many of my cities and regions are finished in my had (and a bit on paper), so opening it all up to the community would not feel good for me. It would mean that I would have to create collaborative territories with "very strict rules" and that I would have to spend much time in coordinating other users' work to fit into my "plan" for the countries.
2) Give up some of my territories to have a smaller amount of land to deal with
Also interesting. I could give up Ventria, Ísztianország, Erfeldia, and parts of Garlis. But also here I have the problem that I have a strong image in my head of what these countries should look like. I really cannot imagine these territories to be taken over by some of the "motorway maniacs" or, more generally, the "infrastructure maniacs" in the OGF community. And there are far too many users, in my point of view, who "build" an unrealistic and too dense grid of all types of infrastructure and not enough users who follow the "dare to have gaps" principle in OGF to make eveything more realistic. E.g., some of my countries, like Ventria, have a very small motorway network in relation to the country size - and in my head this is part of the countries' identity.
3) Focus on the regions that are mapped in detail and open up everything else to the community
Could be a good idea, but I could not figure out where to make the "cuts" between my territories and the community territories. This would be very hard...
4) Give it all to someone else with the same "mapping style"
Maybe good and my favourite solution. But quite unrealistic, I think. It seems not possible to find someone who would map everything in the same way that I would to (except with a large amount of coordination work, which is also not possible for me).
5) Make a backup of all my OGF work and turning my countries into "free territories"
To be honest: Also an interesting solution for me. Maybe the new owner(s) of these territoires would find it interesting to not erase my work but to build upon it, maybe even contact me from time to time to know about my ideas for certain regions (which of course I cannot expect because "free territory" is free...).
6) Leaving everything as it is and continue when I have more time
An option, but this does not fit to the OGF rules. It would also be "unfair" if I would be granted this opportunity only because I was one of the first users in OGF and other users would lose their territory only after a few weeks of inactivity. Also, it's possible that my "return" to OGF would take more than a decade.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I'm happy to have your opinion about this issue as it is quite important for my - and for the OGF community in general, because without my work a large part of western Uletha is currently "blocked".
Kind regards - and as always: happy mapping!
Given the fact that a notable number of users, especially newbies, have decided to come over to Antigo, I decided to write this entry to standardise the different styles of mapping so far in Antigo.
First off, urban areas, especially for towns with at least 100 000 inhabitants, are to follow in the style Soviet-style cities, for example Pyongyang, Minsk, Kiev and St. Petersburg. Smaller ones may include Magadan, Murmansk and Vladivostok (A further list can be found here). In other words, instead of small grids seen in America, you have large grids filled with rows of apartments, plazas, industrial areas near the rails etc. The towns and cities needed to be well-planned; most of the cities has been more or less destroyed in various battles between Antigoan and Pretanic forces during the war. Have tramways as well. Additional note; I see railway stations at the central area of the city/town, and industries around it, so if a rail line cuts through it, remember to build any industrial areas.
Don't forget to build monuments of the late leaders. They are - J. L. Briarmack and M. P. Briarmack. A few friendship statues may exist, such as one with the then Belphenian leader Sasuke Volkman.
The capital city is strictly off-limits for now. I prefer if you want to propose any large changes, such as the road/rail design, you do a design sketch and send the picture via PM or any other means. I know there is a lot of stuff to change in the capital, and I appreciate any efforts in doing so, but please, do not do anything drastic, yet. Send me a proposal of what you are doing as well.
Every duchy now has a specific industry, which I intend to model it after the Hunger Games. For those who is currently in a duchy, refer to this. Generally, farms and orchards up north, metals and heavy industry at the southeast, and probably light industries at the southwest (not many plans yet there though).
Some users may be in one same duchy, which I did that on purpose, especially on Imanelsotin. I want to see how users will collaborate with one another, and also focus on one duchy only for now; I rather leave the other, larger, duchies to more experienced users.
Other questions many will ask:
What are breeding camps? This is really not many will want to know, but ok, they are a form of indoctrination school for many Antigoan children, who are born and raised there. They were built to address Antigo's declining population, which has pretty much been resolved, but now it is used to monitor all Antigoans from a young age.
What is the Antigoan language? Honestly, I don't really know. While bhj867 advocate for Native American names, I feel that it is better if you can hybridise these words to German-sounding words. You can also take Arabic words as well. It can be explained by Kalmish explorers which heavily influenced the language. Honestly why I prefer German-sounding words because they have a rather harsher tone which dictators will like to speak with. However, all the roads are to still be in English.
Is Antigo still open to all? Yes, especially to newbies who are repeatedly spamming the diary entries for why isn't the admins doing anything. I also welcome experienced users, especially those from Russia, to help in the urban planning for some towns/cities.
Is Antigo open for diplomacy? Well, as I said the capital is off-limits, so I am not inviting any more embassies, but I will still be open for consulates in some towns/cities and some discussions on possible ties. At this point, I want to know if there is any communist/socialist dictator ruling in the 20th century?
I will take a little brake after this update, so this time we step out the palace and take a short trip at the old city.
Urban design of ancient China varies in different kind, the best example was Si'an City (西安) in Tang Dynasty (唐代). The whole city was divided into small square blocks just like NYC or Chicago nowadays. Some are built along a main river and planned according to the natural landscape. These capital cities will be well defensed as they guarded by water and mountain, streets are in irregular pattern but user oriented so business was well developed. Loyang(洛陽), Nanking(南京) and Hangchow(杭州) are the examples. I had chosen the Hangchow style for my fictional capital.
I shall say the old town is yet finished but you could see what it will be like. Streets are narrow and cut the neighborhood in small pieces, Those houses maybe built for hundred years so they were protected. However people still living there, perhaps there is gentrification. Ancient Six Ministries office (六部衙門) located on the axis of the capital, now they were tourist attractions. [Text]https://opengeofiction.net/#map=18/-28.25461/43.18278
And one more fun thing, I put a high value residence near the right down corner of the palace, as the link shows [Text]https://opengeofiction.net/#map=18/-28.26083/43.19203 This is a product of urban renewal but some government officials were bribed so you see a strange planning here, It is not a single case for North East Asian cities of real world.
Ima take a long rest from mapping: ima enter in circuit buildings and programming in C/C++ and C#.
I would edit, but not as much as before, but after i finish doing my thingys in C/C++/C#/Ardunio/ASM i will edit as i did before (more possibly in June or July).
Ima be programming and reading books most of the time, im only on discord, and sometimes i will read OGF inbox. So if you need anything just DM/Mail me trough any of them.
Geofiction is still my passion, but i want to improve in some other areas too.
Im really new , own a nation ( called Club ) and it is large-scale so making highways are really hard . it takes me ages to do them. Any Solutions?
Guys thanks for the feedback. I am keeping the buildings connected to roads first, because it looks realistic, and second, it saves so much time.
My newer city, Diamond Coast, King of the South is Crenru's largest city (1.5 million) This was inspired from Sydney. The whole city took me a day to do (besides a FEW original buildings) because this website and you guys are awesome! Let me know if the population is realistic and if it is Australian.
After this I won't have to do as many Diary Entry's, sorry if I'm spamming or whatever.
Short on time or can't be bothered to read the wall of text? Skip to the tl;dr version at the bottom of this entry
During research for this project I had a look around the rest of the OGF world at existing settlements and countries. There are many examples of great work by dedicated users. However, there are also many examples of otherwise well-designed projects that are let down by their transport network design and layout - in particular roads.
Others have written good content about this before so I won't repeat everything, but I do feel that I can add to this existing information by focusing specifically on roads.
This has motivated me to write a summary of my recommendations and tips on the subject. I hope that this post can serve as a guide to help people develop networks of roads, streets and highways that reflect a more realistic depiction of the 'real world'.
Who do you think you are??
Before beginning I feel that I should briefly explain my background. In my day job, I work to understand, fix and improve cities. Dealing with transport networks and systems is a large part of my daily work and ongoing projects.
This may or may not make it more likely that you will heed my advice, but just putting it out there for now!
Consider the overarching vision of OGF - 'Verisimilitude' (like real). The recommended way to achieve this is to look at existing 'real world' settlements and study their layouts. There is an excellent guide on this subject which may be found here.
The same principles should be applied to road networks.
In particular, it is vital that your transport networks are in line with the 'model city' that you choose to use as your template. These are the blood vessels, veins and capillaries of cities and towns. Without them, human settlements cannot function. And like real-life circulatory systems, no two are exactly the same.
For example, if you are basing your OGF mapping on Oklahoma City in the United States, it will probably involve lots of 90 degree angles, grids and wide motorways.
On the other hand, if you are using Sydney, Australia as your model city, it will probably involve lots of curved thoroughfares, narrow streets and few free-flowing motorways.
If you mismatch your road network to your city's urban form, it will not make sense.
To avoid the problem, you must determine the style of your road network before you begin drawing anything. Work this out using your model city and add your own unique flairs, consistent with your country and city's lore.
Once you have the broad principles worked out, you can start drawing!
My first tip for doing this is to start mapping from where your settlement was first established. This is likely to be in or near your city centre. Start by drawing out this area in at least some detail (i.e. not just primary and secondary roads).
Again, the form of the road network will depend on the principles that you have hopefully already determined from the previous section. Options include a dense grid of small laneways and streets in the inner suburbs (example), or an immediate transition into suburbia with wide boulevards and meandering residential streets (example).
These first few tasks will give you a taste for what the rest of your city will be like. To borrow from Lenin - "everything is connected to everything else". In other words, what you set down in this initial phase will strongly influence what the rest of the road network looks like.
My second tip is to plan for other transport modes when you lay down your first roads (e.g. railways, tram lines, bike paths). These tend to be at their most dense in urban cores so make sure that you leave enough room!
Expansion and details
Once you have a solid base to work from in your city centre, I would recommend picking a general direction and working outwards from there. Don't try to build towards all compass bearings simultaneously - you will quickly be overwhelmed. The number of considerations to think about over such a large area at once is not conducive to good road network design.
Continue doing this for a while - then you can go back and start working on the other directions from the city centre.
If you are planning a polycentric city (i.e. one with multiple centres/hubs), then it would be useful to repeat the exercise above for each hub. In time, this will create 'hub and spoke' road networks that centre on each one - a realistic depiction of this type of urban form.
If you are planning a city that has grown over time and was founded before the 1910s/1920s, consider that areas built before the widespread use of cars are very different to those designed afterwards. For pre-car areas, streets will be closer together, there will be (or will have been) much more public transport available, and there will be (or will have been) more small shops rather than fewer large shopping centres. In other works, these neighbourhoods will be better for walking, cycling and taking public transport. So make sure that you build these characteristics into the network as either a nod to a past that has since been erased by car-centric planning or as an old street network that still exists.
Intracity connections and rural areas
These two types of areas deserve special attention as they require different thinking to urban contexts.
Don't just draw straight lines between your towns and cities. Think about the physical geography of the country. Place some rivers, creeks, mountain peaks or other features before you start drawing your roads to help you. Again, have a look at some real-life examples of intra-city transport connections in similar topography.
I won't dwell for too long on this topic as this can vary significantly depending on the model country chosen. Just remember that rural areas will not require nearly as high a density of major roads as urban areas. Roads also tend to meet in towns or other settlements, as these will have usually developed at road junctions because of the economic activity that this brings.
I have covered a few of the most common mistakes in the sections above. A few more specific entries are outlined below.
This has been written about before and there are tools available to help. However, this problem is worth repeating here as a reminder to take particular care with roads.
Think about design features like turning radii - the higher the intended speed limit, the longer the curves will need to be. A local residential street does not need huge amounts of room for vehicles to get around a corner at 100km/h. This is far from the only consideration, but just be careful not to build roads at too large or too small a scale.
Too many high-capacity roads
This is probably the most common one that I have seen in OGF and other geofictional cartography.
Basically, no city requires major eight-lane trunk roads every one kilometre or so. The volume of traffic required to meet the demand for this kind infrastructure in such a small area would be astronomical and is not replicated in 'real life' to my knowledge. Unless you are building some kind of planned ghost town like Naypyidaw, cut down on the use of high-capacity major roads in your city. Once again, look at your model city. Use a measuring tool in Google Earth or QGIS to look at the mean distance between a couple of main roads in urban areas and use this as a rule of thumb for that context. No need to over-engineer the network to the point where it looks a little ridiculous.
Non-car-based transport ignored
Regardless of how car-dependent your city is planned, there will always be a need for non-car based transport. This includes public transport, walking and cycling.
The extent and quality of the infrastructure is obviously up to you. However, it cannot be ignored entirely.
I see many cities and countries in OGF that only have roads or, more commonly, build the roads first and then try to squeeze in railways, bus routes and footpaths at some later stage. I would strongly recommend building your most important transport modes at the same time. This has a much better chance of having a network that makes sense by avoiding duplication, creating logical connections and making it look plausible.
Of course, this doesn't mean that your network has to be perfect. In fact, it is probably more realistic to have unfinished highways, train lines that don't connect properly and bike lanes that suddenly end into a six-lane trunk road. What this does mean is that regardless of whether your city is a multi-modal transport heaven like Rotterdam or a monument to the dominance of cars like Los Angeles, you will have to consider things that are not roads at some point. My recommendation would be to do this alongside your road network mapping rather than doing it later or ignoring it entirely. This makes it a more realistic map.
Topographical monotony or inconsistency
I have already touched on this in previous sections. All that I am recommending here is to avoid long stretches of straight lines everywhere directly connecting key features.
Unless your country is based on Kansas, it is extremely unlikely that the topography is totally flat. Think of where there might be some hills, mountain ranges, rivers or other obstacles for your road network to overcome. Add in some bridges, tunnels and curves, at least in some places. Otherwise it just looks like somebody has come along with a ruler and protractor to join everything together like some visual geometric puzzle.
I hope that this has been useful for at least some people. In the future, I might write up a few more of these to help people map better transport networks and build a better OGF world.
If anyone has any specific requests for topics, I'm happy to consider them. Until then, I'm also happy to answer any questions or take any suggestions/comments.
Define the principles of your road network. What is the history of your city? What does your model city look like? What its the key characteristics? Use this to map everything.
Start drawing your roads from where your settlement was founded. This makes it much easier to make the network feel organic and sets the scene for the rest of the city.
Create interesting topography. The extent and type will be up to you, but try not to just connect everything with straight lines everywhere!
Build your public transport, walking and cycling networks at the same time as your road network.
Don't build masses of motorways and other high-capacity roads. Think carefully about how much road capacity your city really needs. Look at your model city to get an idea.