Feedback on 2.5-Year Project

Posted by Paxtar on 6 June 2016 in English (English)

Cleared entry.

Comment from Paxtar on 6 June 2016 at 00:42

Here is the current demo version, with 250m per color level:

Click for larger version

Areas outside my territory were marked simply to keep the topography from falling in to nothing.

The heightmap was created with these steps:

  1. Using in image editor on a grayscale image, mark elevation levels on a map.

Click for larger version

  1. Covert the grayscale image to height data, and fill in the blanks by applying a fractal algorithm.

Click for larger version

  1. Using an image editor, edit the resulting grayscale image for obvious problems. For example: lack of paths for rivers, low spots created by the fractal, fractal artifacts. etc.

  2. Import the second grayscale image, and apply an erosion simulation, adding 420 million liters of simulated water, running across the fractal topography.

  3. Manually edit problem areas in the data file. Editing a 255 level grayscale image at this point would result in loss of detail.

  4. Erode again with another 420 million liters of water.

  5. Manually edit the problem areas again, and then upscale the image.

  6. Add 1.6 billion liters of water.

The entire process takes from 2 to 5 days, but produces a 8192x8192 data file with an area resolution of 100m2 per pixel, and height detail of .001m.

Trying to maintain existing mountain locations was problematic, and I haven't finalized the coastline, so there's still some work that needs to be done. Once I arrive at a final 'official' version, I'll update my OFG map to conform to the hightmap.

What I would greatly appreciate, is honest feedback on the current results before I continue. Specifically is the map reasonable and/or realistic? If not, why? If something should be changed, what? As someone with very little experience with topography, it 'looks' fine to me. If it's not, please let me know!

Thank you.

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Comment from JBstad1 on 6 June 2016 at 02:25

This is great. I wish I can work on something like that. My topography skills are quite dry and been relying on Sketchup and either Bryce as workarounds. I looks quite realistic to me.

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Comment from Luciano on 6 June 2016 at 03:03

That's pretty awesome.

Based strictly on description (minus the erosion part), it sounds similar to how Thilo has described the conversion process that creates the contour background for the topo layer style. That being the case, it might be relatively "easy" to get contours for your entire country loaded to OGF - possibly easier than the way I've been doing smaller areas - which in essence involves me drawing contour lines, Thilo converting them to some kind of pixel representation, which in turn gets mapped back into contours for the topo layer.

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Comment from Paxtar on 6 June 2016 at 21:24

@JBstad1: Bryce was one that I tried, along with Terragen. I couldn't get the results that I wanted from either one. Thanks for the feedback.

@Luciano: I can currently generate contour lines at different levels, but they're not very sharp. Blurring the data may help. My hope was to eventually export the contours to OSM XML directly. With the current size of the image, each segment would be about 100m. Is that sufficiently small? Halving that size will quadruple the data. It was something I was going to ask you and/or Thilo about when I got further along.

I've also thought that I could simulate topography with vegetation determined by elevation, slope and climate. Better than the crude chunks of wood that I have now.


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Comment from compdude on 7 June 2016 at 18:26

That looks interesting! Having contours is sure an important thing to have since it helps you plan out where would be the best place for roads to go and stuff.

And by the way, I'm your new neighbor. I now own Waldon (AN142b), the territory just to the east of you.

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Comment from Paxtar on 7 June 2016 at 21:53

@compdude: Welcome to OGF and welcome to the neighborhood! I'm working on a slightly updated version of the topo map, so if you have an suggestions, concerns, etc., especially along our border, but anywhere else also, please let me know. If you're interested, we should work on a border crossing once I get a little further along with my updates.

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Comment from compdude on 8 June 2016 at 21:22

Yeah, I think that the way you have the topo map so far looks fine to me. I was definitely imagining there being mountains between our two countries. And speaking of which, I think that once you figure out the contours and whatnot, we should realign our border so that it more closely follows the mountain ridge. As for a border crossing, yeah, I'm still going to have to figure out where my roads are, but first I gotta figure out where my rivers are so that the roads follow the river valleys.

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