Sarepava's diary

Recent diary entries

Video/chat conference Mk.2

Posted by Sarepava on 15 May 2016 in English (English).

Hi OGFers,

Would anybody be interested in another online chat? I think the consensus from the last one was that it was best confined to one or two time zones, so will probably be mostly UK mappers, perhaps anybody from Germany, France and Netherlands can join in too.

I now have a much faster computer so actual video chat is a possibility. Comment if interested and try to indicate when is a good time.


May Mappers Challenge update

Posted by Sarepava on 8 May 2016 in English (English).

I’ve been doing Luciano’s mapper challenge for this month, focusing on the city of Kanton.

The university campus:

The old factory area near the station, now mostly apartments and the museum and cultural centre, although the piano factory still operates:

Here we can see an out-of-town shopping centre, and a large complex of test tracks for certifying cars and transport research:

And the medieval island and cathedral: Many touristic buildings exist here, like the old bishop’s palace, the Old School, the st Clair pensioner’s home, the cathedral library and choristers’ school and the old town hall. There are plenty of watering-holes for the tourists. Are the medium-sized buildings (eg those on Domkatu) about the right size for wealthy merchants’ houses?

I want to put a ‘no straight on’ or ‘must turn right’ turn restriction on the junction of Saarkatu and Säntjanas Õt, but the only way I can see to do this is to create a multipolygon relation, which seems bizarre. I see this symbols quite often in OSM so I know they can be created.

Känton, Karolia

Posted by Sarepava on 24 March 2016 in English (English).

I have recently been working on the city of Känton, and a few issues have sprung up which are related to more general mapping practices. Känton is a small city founded in the late medieval period which is an important academic, scientific, religious and tourist centre as well as being an increasingly important business hub. The city is turning out more British than I’d originally planned it, being based on Oxford, Durham, Bristol and Bath but with a bit of Hanover too. It is far from complete yet of course.

Firstly, what exactly is defined as a suburb as opposed to a locality or neighbourhood? I have been given every village-sized area between main roads a suburb names, because it’s likely they would have been villages before the city expanded.

Secondly, can I show the suburban railway line out to the airport as under construction? The airport has only been expanding recently and the line is not completed yet. Are the stations too close together? The line running north to the west of the city will probably go into a tunnel for a good part of its route.

Is the river bifurcation accurate? I have the Majos and the Camin both split shortly before they meet - would this really happen? Is the way the channels have been straightened realistic?

Are the streets an accurate block size for a fourteenth- to eighteenth-century city centre? Am I putting the split carriageways of roads far enough apart?

Should I give the city a tramway network? It already has buses and an S-Raud (suburban railway) and is quite hilly with heritage streets that residents would object to having overhead wires on. On the other hand, Karolians like trams, congestion is a problem, the railways do not really serve the city centre and the city council is affluent enough to afford more public transport.


Posted by Sarepava on 21 March 2016 in English (English).

Elhadia (former location of Karolia) is now open for any user to edit. However, please consult with me before making any big changes like new cities and large objects.

You can read about the country’s history and other background here: Elhadia is an ex-Karolian colony and had a dictatorship following independence. The flavour of the map will be sub-Saharan Africa, a mixture of European colonial, traditional West African and Arab influences. Language is invented but should sound African.

The country is mostly desert, with some mountains in the north, and a little savannah and tropical forest close to the coastline. Many rivers and lakes are seasonal, there are also salt pans and oasis.

The main industries are the mining of iron ore, coal, copper and gold, as well as some rare metals like tantalum (used to make smartphones) and uranium. Agriculture growing fruits and goat herding are still widely practiced.

Elhadia is one of the poorest countries in the world and the infrastructure should reflect this. There are no motorways and only a few dual-carriageway highways around the main cities. Country roads are only in good repair when used by mining vehicles regularly. Railways are almost all used for freight. There are shanty towns and slums surrounding all main cities. Please, please, don’t slap yet another USA grid city with skyscrapers and motorway tunnels and a subway here, it doesn’t belong. There are a few modern buildings, even quite tall ones, in the capital, but mostly post-colonial layout of cities (which will mean a grid, just with a small block size)

Any small objects left from the old Karolia can be deleted.

UK meet

Posted by Sarepava on 15 March 2016 in English (English).

Further to thilo’s announcement below, is there anyone in the UK who would like to take part in some kind of meet up in the coming weeks? Easter holidays are nearly upon us which means I at least will have some free days. Where is the most central geographical location we could use? Who can travel the most easily?

Alternatively we can have another Hangouts chat.

Video conference - update

Posted by Sarepava on 19 February 2016 in English (English).

Hi fellow OGFers,

Having received a great deal of response from my original suggestion, I am now proposing a time for a VOIP chat; this Sunday, 21st February, at 1700GMT (1800CET). This is intended for European residents. Of course, the time is flexible depending on availability.

For various reasons, I would like to use Google Hangouts instead of Skype for this. I think most of us have a Google email so you will already have an account set up. All that is needed is to install a <1mb plugin which you wil be prompted to do so. (If it turns out that we aren’t all on Google we’ll use Skype instead.)

Language will be English. Note that we won’t be making any huge decisions on the running of OGF, just to share ideas and chat about our worldbuilding activities.

Note that in common with most of the free VOIP services, a maximum of ten participants can take part, so we won’t be able to include everyone at once…sorry. Although there’s no reason why it can’t be a rolling conversation, and new users join as other leave.

Everyone will need to add contacts to join. If you are interested in participating, please add yourself below and then send me a private message with your Google contact (just so it’s not loose on the internet).

Video conference

Posted by Sarepava on 12 February 2016 in English (English).

Hi all,

I had an idea the other day to suggest some kind of video conference via Skype or similar amongst the members of the community. This was mainly after the debate about the football World Cup which has led to a very long talk page, but also just to discuss the community work as a whole, and to see who the real people are behind the countries.

Now the obvious issue with this is that we all live on different sides of the world, so getting everyone together would require some careful timing. My feeling is that the majority of users live in United States (which itself has four time zones…), the next most common is the UK and Western Europe (two adjacent time zones) and then there are people like Luciano who live in Korea. Not aware of any others in the Far East though. Anybody from Australia/NZ?

What do we think?


Motorway through the mountains

Posted by Sarepava on 10 January 2016 in English (English).

Hi all, I’d like your thoughts on something.

I have at present a motorway going from the south-west corner of Karolia, near Gorjee/Samacja up to the north, designated the A7. The road serves the towns of Masval and Lors and then state capital of Riispere, also an important tourist centre. My question is, should the motorway continue north? Although not the highest part of the Taamras mountains, the area is pretty undulating, has a lot of lakes and rivers, many natural landscapes and national parks, and isn’t particularly populated. Arguments for the road continuing are that the area is a big tourist attraction, and ski resort, and that Karolia needs a main road link to the country to the north, which could be reached through a tunnel or pass. Many alpine countries I’ve visited do have motorways in high-altitude and remote areas (ie the ‘Autoroute Blanc’ from Lyon to Geneva) but these are connecting main cities. As Zanyzzix isn’t very developed, I have no idea what I might be connecting north of the border.

Options I’m considering are:

  1. The A7 continues on its current course towards the border with minor alterations, and is kept to motorway standard with tunnels and bridges. Expensive, but Karolia has high taxes, and the economic benefits could be justified.
  2. The A7 is downgraded to a primary road at Pekkamu, and is twistier but keeps roughly its current course towards the border
  3. The road takes a course closer to Kiisjaarvi (the large lake, important tourist attraction) and may be downgraded for environmental sensitivity
  4. The road veers to the right towards Meridonia (which still takes it through mountain areas) and remains motorway to cross the border on flatter ground further east.

A couple of other things to mention: There will be a road (probably a primary road due to terrain) between Vasireii and Riispere via Taamra Osina, so no need to turn south. The highest parts of the mountains are in the (currently blank) area at the extreme east of the country. I am aware of some object errors from the move a few months ago. These are being corrected as I go.


Paliiso, Karolia

Posted by Sarepava on 30 December 2015 in English (English).

I would like to share with you all my progress on the city of Paliiso, Karolia, and invite any advice and criticisms you can offer. Its location is, as far as I have seen, a unique concept in OGF, being built on a series of islands in a wide river estuary. In this respect it is a mixture of Venice and Mumbai, but also with many elements of Helsinki, Oxford and perhaps Hamburg, Lubeck or Copenhagen. You can read about its history and background here The city has a great many canals, an ‘old town’ and a ‘new city’ and various interesting islands, including a baroque hospital and a zoo. There is an airport to the north although this is more of a regional stop than an international gateway.

The city is not yet finished as at least two of the islands need streets and other details, but it’s central area is pretty much done, with the major buildings in place. I’m aware there are some small errors to be fixed and many of the streets still need naming. However there are some things I can’t quite decide what to do with. Is there anything obviously missing beside fire stations and a courthouse? Would Tolvasaar, Puhanesaar and the mainland around Vaisiis be more residential, commercial or something else? What should go immediately to the south of the university? is the industrial area and port near the airport too big?

Karolian probably isn’t that obvious to English speakers, so a few useful words are listed here:

Vana = old; Uus = new; Linn = city/town; Kai = quay; Varashus; town hall; Losse = castle; Saar = island; Kesk = central; Jaam = station; Juvilii = jewellery; kool = school; Pohja = north; Sudt = south; Liidu = state (one of 21 that make up the Federal Republic).

The future of AR019

Posted by Sarepava on 13 December 2015 in English (English).

Regular users may have noticed that I have slowly but surely been deleting objects from the old Karolia territory in mid-Archanta. As today is Foundation Day in Karolia, it seems like a good time to talk about proposals on the future of this territory.

My favoured solution for the land once the old objects are removed is for it to become a community territory, with a history as a former Karolian colony. Other than the climate, which is desert, savannah or tropical rainforest, most other details are completely open. It is likely that the country would have a low population density, have Karolian or Romans as a widespread second language and be a developing country. Tea and coffee plantations would be a likely industry, as might fuel and mineral extraction.

  • Arataran will be remaining where it is.

  • Any alterations to the coastline will not affect the paths of shipping lines.

By the way, I cannot get the country name to display at any zoom level in the new location territory despite copy-pasting it there from the old one.

World Monuments List

Posted by Sarepava on 7 December 2015 in English (English).

Hello fellow mappers,

Inspired by the UN World Heritage Site list, I created the Assembly of Nations World Monuments list here: Please add any sites in your country that are relevant and likely to be on the list. This is at your discretion, but try to keep it to sites that would realistically fit the criteria - a huge palace built by the most powerful emperor would qualify, an obscure and unremarkable town castle wouldn’t. Realistically most moderate sized-countries would contain 5-10 sites, unless they are very important historically (Spain and Italy have a massive number of WH sites in the real world proportionate to their size).

Inactivity... and some pictures for the meantime

Posted by Sarepava on 17 November 2015 in English (English).

Hello all,

Sorry for the lack of progress on the Karolia move and cleaning up its former location. This is coming up to a rather busy time of year so I’m not sure I will have much time for editing for a few weeks, probably until the second/third week of December. I’ve not forgotten what I need to do though.

I did however have time to get some pictures of a little something I created - in real life - during the past holidays. It’s the national football team jersey of Karolia and pictures are here:

Enjoy! I wish I could make these to order for anyone who wanted one, but I don’t think so. However if you look at my earlier creation, the blue Santjana Linna shirt, there are some instructions on how I did this, so if you want to have a go at your own design…

Karolia update

Posted by Sarepava on 22 October 2015 in English (English).

The move of Karolia to Uletha is almost complete tonight with the Santjana area relocated. Downloading small chunks and merging the layers did the trick, and then carefully rescaling and rotating to the new area. There are still some joins to fix and the task of creating new crossings over the much wider water between the city and Osmila, but this is relatively simple work. Other areas of the country such as Kyor and Sebee I will redraw from scratch as there was so little in the old locations it doesn’t matter to lose the sketches.

Other changes: Saarmae islands are larger and more spread out, existing as isolated rocky prominences that are on the same bedrock as the Taamras. The mountain range needs to be explained by a nearby thrust fault that also caused the gulfs on either side to be created.

Darcodia and Ispelia now have a rather long stretch of coastline that their owners would be welcome to elaborate. There’s also plenty of potential for cross-border road and rail tunnels, and ferries. I would very much like to make all the land borders more realistic too, mostly in mountain areas.

The motorway network will be largely revised to take into account new geography and landscape, as will much of the rail lines. Rivers too, to a lesser extent.

Users with airline maps can now update these to show the new location of Santjana and Vasireii. I appreciate this will cause work for you all, but the move I feel is in the interests of the community and will result vastly better in historical and cultural coherence with the rest of the world. Nearby countries now have access to piles of music, Finira automobiles, SAI jets, and as many double vowels as you want.

The ‘old’ Karolia I propose to return to blank and remove the ways and cities. The coast will be simplified but without removing any shipping lines. it might be nice to have this area as a former Karolian colony, now a developing country.

Karolia update

Posted by Sarepava on 15 October 2015 in English (English).

Progress on relocating Karolia to Uletha has been progressing steadily over the last few weeks. I now have most of the main cities and geographical features in place, save for Santjana, Paliiso and some of the south coast. Other areas have had more detail added to them. In places I have kept and detailed the previous owner’s features where they fit.

The move has given me the opportunity to restructure the country somewhat, bring closer together similar areas and refining the motorway network. In particular, the Taamras mountains now have a shape that fits along the northern border and corresponds better to mountains created by other users in the area. The country is more realistically connected in the revised configuration, with Vasireii in a more logical location and the state of Kyor more clearly defined. I may move the Saarmae islands closer to the mainland.

Moving Santjana will be a big task as there is a huge amount of data to download and move and I shall have to work hard to keep the scale constant. Anybody devising airline routes should note its new location in the northern hemisphere.

Massive error

Posted by Sarepava on 8 October 2015 in English (English).

Dear admins,

I have made a major cock-up when trying to move a section of Karolia to the new location and have not only flooded Archanta but also left great smudges of ways stretched halfway across the world. I’ve no idea how this happened but perhaps I tried to merge layers rather than copy the section and paste into new area. Please can you find some way to revert the map to the state it was in about two hours ago as I cannot fix it using either JOSM or any other means due to the size of the problem area. The changeset with all the problems is 128779. Thank you very much…

Moving Karolia

Posted by Sarepava on 13 September 2015 in English (English).

Dear users,

In the last few days myself and an admin have been making preliminary discussions about the possibility of moving Karolia (and Meridonia) from its current location in Archanta to UL077. All the interested parties have been contacted and already seen the rationale for this, but now is the time to present the main reasons to the wider community:

Karolia has a temperate climate that is much better suited to the latitude of mid-Uletha than the equatorial location it currently occupies. Karolia and Meridonia have ‘European’ cultures, cities, genealogical characteristics and languages that cannot easily be explained in the present location. Karolia is a modern industrial power that is better suited to being around other similar countries and a temperate landscape than the unoccupied desert of Archanta.

The proposal I am advancing can be viewed here and essentially involves rotating the country and rearranging some of the northern and eastern areas to fit the border, as well as creating two gulfs to preserve the coastline. These also provide some realism for the isolate main language and other quirks (broad-gauge railways and secularism). A second option was considered but as well as advantages this carries some major problems, particularly having to lose half the coastline and cede territory from another country. Option 1 makes the most topological, historical and political logic. I hope to retain the connection with the Ardisphere through colonial history.

In addition, I am going to propose some historical background to fit in with neighbouring countries. The pre-Karolian people migrated south in late prehistory, bringing with them a proto-langauge which also forms the origin of that of Estensia (both being Finno-Ugric). The area was then part of a suggested large Latin empire based around Darcodia, which collapsed around 400-500AD. The country was then relatively isolated by sea and mountains and the ‘barbarians’ living there established a Karolian culture which retained some of the Romantish language in parts. It became a series of kingdoms and subsequently a minor colonial power and then industrial country through successive centuries.

We welcome your comments and input into this process.

Where would you like to live?

Posted by Sarepava on 4 September 2015 in English (English).

Just a straw poll - which country on the OGF planet would you most like to live in? And which to visit on holiday? You can’t pick one you own.

I would probably go for either Kalm or Nordurland to reside in, and Manhal, Sathria and Khaiwoon to visit. Although I’d visit everywhere eventually.

Collaborative book proposal

Posted by Sarepava on 15 May 2015 in English (English).

Hello all,

To celebrate (approximately) 2 years of Open GeoFiction and 1 year of the wiki, I have an idea to which all users can contribute. I would like to invite all users to submit a short story ‘from’ or set in your country which we will then publish as an e-book collection. Ideally these would be some kind of myth, legend or folk tale like Grimm’s fairy tales but anything around 500-2000 words that is intrinsic to and expresses the culture of your territory would be accepted. I feel that creating rich and believable cultures to populate our countries is an important part of this project and something that goes beyond what can be drawn on a map.

If you are unable to write fluently in English we shall do our very best to translate your contributions, and hope that efforts can be found to translate stories in English into your language.


National Anthems

Posted by Sarepava on 23 December 2014 in English (English).

Hello all,

Having mentioned these in my last entry, thilo has now enabled sound files to be included on the wiki. Therefore, I am open to requests to compose and produce sound files of national anthems for as many countries that want them. Please send either a private message or reply below.


  • If you have words to your anthem or a title, please include these with your request, and indicate if any bits are repeated, if there is a chorus, etc. I can only produce instrumental versions of the anthem to go on the page, as I don’t possess the expensive software needed to synthesise vocal sounds. Anthems that do not have words are fine, but if you don’t include any I will assume I am free to write the tune as I like.

  • If you want, include what sort of style and speed you want the melody of the anthem to be. Most in the real world tend to be either a quick march (France, China), a hymn (Germany, Canada), or some kind of solemn procession (UK, Russia, North Korea). I would like the OGF anthems to be a bit more unique than the slow and generic dirges most countries have, but bear in mind that the melody should still be suitable for several thousand people to sing together at a coronation or football match, for example. Also bear in mind your anthem was most likely ‘written’ at the time your country was founded.

  • It’s currently the holidays, but as I am a teacher things get pretty busy once term starts again. Therefore please understand that your anthem could take some time to complete and synthesise. I will write them in the order that I receive them. Of course, if you’re really not happy with the result, you can say so and I’ll have another go. Also, if you really have no ideas about what you want your anthem to sound like, I can write some generic ones and let you pick one.

Location: Carrandotta, Boulia Shire, Queensland, Australia

First year review

Posted by Sarepava on 12 December 2014 in English (English).

Today is exactly one year since I joined OGF and drew the first streets in the city of Fontjana to start the country of Karolia. So here are some thoughts and observations on the project:

  • Firstly, even with a modest territory, this is a huge project that will take years, perhaps even decades, to complete a whole country. I see that I have spent more time editing the wiki than the map since it was started, so perhaps need to redress this balance.

  • That said, having the wiki to create aspects of the country that cannot be shown on a map is one of the best parts of the project. I want to start including more pictures and making objects that are ‘from’ my country to make it more real. I think the whole thing has the ability to make us think about what our ideals for a nation are, and even to influence us politically in the real world. There is an interesting dilemma between creating a country that lives up to these ideals and making it seem realistic; for example in my country of Karolia I would like to have moderate taxation and little state interference in citizens’ personal lives, but at the same time a large welfare system and public funding for construction projects and arts, which might not all be possible.

  • One thing I would like to add to country pages is the melodies of national anthems. Being a music teacher I have the ability to write these and create realistic orchestral simulations of the music, so perhaps if there is the ability to place audio files on the wiki I would consider taking requests to compose these.

  • There seems to be something of an imbalance towards creating countries that are rich and developed (although I see a few dictatorships too). Now, of course everybody wants their main territory to be a successful nation they are proud of, but I would also like to see countries that are less stable and which could be just as interesting to create as well as adding realism. I hope one day to be given another territory in which I would create a ‘failed state’ (like Somalia, Congo, Eritrea) where there is civil war, terrorism, religious fundamentalism, or despotic totalitarianism. Yes, these things are not nice, but we must recognise that they exist in the real world.

  • Finally, how much of the real world gets ‘imported’ into OGF? I don’t like the idea of a planet that has no Shakespeare or Beethoven, but the countries and cultures these people came from do not exist here. Perhaps great historical figures from the real world can take on a different name and identity but have the same achievements in OGF?