Accurate Earth Map (132 x 64)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Pre-made Maps' started by Laskaris, Jan 30, 2012.

1. allypowerWarlord

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You're absolutely right. And that is the reason why this map is only has ~700 downloads comparing to an inaccurate earth map like GEM which has over 90,000 downloads or Carter's map which has over 50,000 downloads. Give or take a few years I doubt this will go over 5,000 up unless you download it yourself.

This map is anything but accurate as in normal human language.

If accuracy only means equal and proportional land mass to sea as you claim, I can draw a map with 7 big rectangles each with proportional area to the ocean. Then on the top left of each rectangle I can draw in a subrectangle that has proportional amount of forest of that continent and the next subrectangle for hills, and next subrectangle for plains, mountains, rivers etc. Then I will put in a bunch of 1x1 squares for islands randomly. And it will look nothing like earth and I still can call it a perfectly "accurate" map.

And I am sure there is a nice continuous transformation (analogous to a projection) of the surface of the earth to this new map. In the eye of the beholder, this new map has perfectly proportional area between landmasses/oceans/terrains just like earth but it doesn't look anything like earth.

Will anyone download this map? Probably not. Would you download it? It probably would be even more accurate than your map because I don't round (you know when somepart is ocean and land you round to the bigger ratio). I simply take the numbers on wikipedia and draw big rectangles according to those numbers. No projection needed.

In term of criteria i.e., your definition of accuracy, this map would exceed your map by overwhelming margin yet probably won't get downloaded at all because it distorts the earth to the point of inrecognizable.

But "recognizable" isn't part of this definition of accuracy. According to this definition, as long as a map as correct terrain ratios, it is called "accurate".

Fortunately, to the eyes of many other beholders, "accurate" means lot different. It means less distortion, locally look like earth on each continent, playability. Ratio between land mass is at the end of the criteria.

You claim your map is accurate, but it is just semantic since by that definition the map I described above should be "accurate" as well, but no. It is anything but accurate and neither is your map.
Moderator Action: Please post with civility. This post is unacceptable.

2. vktjWarlord

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Well, depends on what you mean by "normal human language".

That's not what he is saying. He's say that you can't accurately map the surface of a sphere to a cylinder, but that his approach gives all continents and land masses correct sizes. The only distortions he has introduced are necessary for doing the sphere -> cylinder conversion while retaining correct land area and keeping the distortions consistent.

No, there isn't a reasonable mathematical function that will convert Earth's surface in to your imaginary seven square map.

It's a lot easier to criticize someone else's work than it is to make a file available for download. I encourage you to work on your Civ4: 2010 project instead of being negative and critical of other people's work.

3. leif eriksonGame of the Month FanaticAdministratorSupporterGOTM Staff

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Moderator Action: I'm curious of whether you read the Opening Post in this thread before you posted this? If you had, you would have found:
I think this covers most of the points you made. If you disagree, please do so via Private Message with me. Whatever you do, do not post it here.

4. el_hidalgoPrince

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I like this map and the programatic design philosophy behind it. I personally like the maps with upsized Europes and Japans, but this is very good too and a nice change of pace.

Some criticisms: there is a river flowing the wrong way in central India. Maybe that is intentional? If so, why? Also, the Syr Darya and Amu Darya should, I think, be flood plains. Many great cities have been located in the region, but the land is too poor now to support them in the game. Also, it seems like the North Slope of Alaska got short shrift. I could be wrong. But I'm thinking maybe those tiles were just slightly less than half land and so they ended up as water tiles?

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@allypower: As leif erikson pointed out to you, you could have saved yourself the trouble by simply paying attention to what I wrote in my opening post and on several other occasions in this thread. The "How is this accurate?" question has been discussed at length already.

Your hypothetical "7 big rectangles" map really is a strawman. Obviously, the fact that accuracy of area was my main focus in this map does not mean that it was my only focus, and the fact that I care about accuracy of area does not mean that I don't care about anything else at all! While my map is, by necessity, not very accurate in terms of shape, it is still considerably more accurate in terms of shape than "7 big rectangles".

Moreover, while most of the discussion here has been on the subject of area, I would like to point out (again...) that I put a lot of effort into getting other aspects as accurate as possible as well, such as biome and resource placement.

I don't view modding as a competition for who gets the most clicks. If I did, I would probably be doing different things! Personally, I am happy with the number of downloads I am getting. Given how old Civ 4 is, an average 4.9 downloads per day is more than I expected.

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Thank you very much!

That's a mistake. One thing I tried to do before publishing the map was make sure that all rivers are going in the right direction, but this one escaped my attention. Thank you for pointing it out.

I have been weighing this back and forth myself. Ultimately, I decided against making these rivers into flood plains. But you make a good point. I might change them to flood plains after all.

No, the north coast of Alaska was neatly between two tiles in my tile grid, so I didn't have to "round up" or "round down" there.

I made one mountain tile of the North Slope into a hill to be able to place the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field there.

I could extend the North Slope a bit by making one hill tile to the west and east each into mountains. That would be consistent with my elevation data as well. You think making it a bit wider would be better?

7. vktjWarlord

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I like the map; it's a good break from yet another Mercator-based map of the earth.

If only I had the time, it would be interesting to write a program that takes, say NASA's high-resolution Equirectangular projection images of the earth and convert them in to Civilization maps using various projections. So, someone who wants, say, a Gall-Peters projection can convert that image in to a Civ map using that projection and the size they want. Someone else who wants the Hobo-Dyer projection can select that too. It should probably also support the Mercator projection--which can be a good projection when zooming in and not too far from the equator--and maybe even exotic stuff like the Gnomonic/Rectilinear projection.

8. el_hidalgoPrince

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I'm curious as to why you decided not to go with flood plains for the Syr Darya/Amu Darya region. I was glad to see you actually did decide to include the rivers, unlike many earth maps I've seen, including the official Rhyes map. And I also think some flood plains in the great bend of the Niger would be appropriate.

Wrt Alaska, I was actually thinking it should go north one row of tiles. Visually it looks to me like a couple of the sea ice tiles should be changed to tundra or land ice. It's like it cuts off at the Seward Peninsula. But that's just based on a visual judgment about shape, and I know that you have a different goal with this map!

I think you did an excellent job with the terrain placement as well. The mountains, rivers, forests and hills look great, really giving an immersive feel to the map.

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@ vktj:

NASA's Global Map Projector is a great program for converting equirectangular maps to any number of other map projections. I used it a lot for my project, to get my equal-area maps from the mostly equirectangular map sources I had.

It doesn't do all the work for you by just generating a Civilization map file (how nice such a program would be!), but it goes quickly enough to just throw a grid over the resulting image and make the actual map based on that.

@ el hidalgo:

I only used flood plains in three locations: the Nile, the Euphrates / Tigris, and the Indus. My idea was to really make these three cradles of civilization stand out. As you correctly pointed out, great cities have been located along the rivers in Central Asia as well, but I don't rate them in quite the same league in terms of importance. That was my reason for not using flood plains there, or on the Niger. But, as I said, I will reconsider it.

It would be nice to have two different types of flood plains in the game, one "super flood plain" type for places like the Fertile Crescent and the Indus, and one "lesser flood plain" type for other places.

No, the extent of Alaska is quite correct, nothing is cut off. There is just a lot of shape distortion at the extreme northern latitude in this map projection, which is the reason why places like Alaska or Greenland or northern Siberia might look a little strange.

Thank you. I just used good sources and stayed very faithful to them. I used this map from the Natural Earth III website for elevation, and this one for rivers. For biomes, I used a very good, detailed vegetation map from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) which sadly is not online anymore, but I still have a copy of it on my hard drive.

I am least happy with the mountains on my map. That is the area where there is still the biggest room for improvement in my view. I think the placement is very good and 90% right already, but I should probably convert a few mountains in Siberia into hills instead.

Generally, my approach was to make the hill vs. mountain distinction not according to absolute height, but according to prominence. If a mountain stands out more than 1500m against its surroundings, it is a mountain, if it stands out less than 1500m, it is a hill. By that approach, some of the tiles I made into mountains in Siberia should be hills.

10. Flatus MaximusChieftain

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Just started playing with it. Fie on the critics with nothing substantive to offer; it looks good and I for one appreciate your effort.

I have only started, but the resources are interesting. The Inca have a shyte-ton of Cu at hand; i knew the Atacama was copper-rich but wow.

If i have one quibble it is that apparently a lot of tropical regions like the Congo Basin seem to have a lot of boreal forests where they ought to have jungle (at least in my mind's eye). Was this an extrapolation on your part from a biome like savanna, or a judgment call to make those tiles more productive?

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Thank you!

For the distribution of copper, I used an article by Jean Laherrère as my primary source, plus yearbook data from the United States Geological Survey and the British Geological Survey. I assumed the ultimately recoverable copper reserves of the world to be 1200 Mt. 275 Mt of this amount are located in Chile and another 100 Mt in Peru, so yes, South America does have a lot of copper resources - 31.2% of the world's URR in this estimate, which translates to 6 of the 20 copper resources that are on my map.

For biomes, I used a vegetation map from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) which sadly is not online anymore (I still have a copy of it on my hard drive). I believe it is a very good, accurate vegetation map.

I only represented "true" tropical rain forests as jungle. Forests that are less wet, such as seasonally dry tropical forests or monsoon forests, became grassland + broad-leaved forest. Savanna became plains + broad-leaved forest.

12. NiRv4n4King

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Cool map; I like how it isn't like all the other Earth maps, Europe being so small really changes up the game. Seems like you put a lot of work/research into making it, good work.

13. deep64blueChieftain

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Tremendous work here - looking forward to playing it

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Thank you both!

Right now, I am working on a gigantic version of the map, which will have 232 x 112 plots - nearly twice the dimensions of this one. It is still in an early stage, but I am working on it slowly and steadily, and it should be ready for release in a few months or so.

15. Noble ZarkonElite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS)ModeratorHall of Fame StaffSupporterGOTM Staff

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Wow - look forward to that. One thing that would be good would be if Australia was not reachable by work boat, what do you think?

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Right now, the map I am working on has two plots of sea between the southern coast of New Guinea and the northern tip of the Cape York Peninsula in Australia. So Australia would be reachable by work boat. However, I could cut off one plot from the very northern tip of the Cape York Peninsula, which would not be a major distortion geographically. Then there would be three plots of sea between New Guinea and Australia, including one plot of deep ocean.

I'll think about it. If other players have opinions and preferences on this, I would be interested to hear them.

17. satrapperWarlord

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great work on this map, an alternative interpretation to the usual earth maps. must have taken quite a lot of work

on the last issue of oz being unreachable early on in your future project: i like the idea of the "new world" for colonization. adds to the mystery of exploration too!

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Thank you. Yes, the map was a lot of work indeed. Most of the work went into gathering source material, actually. Getting good, detailed source maps, which were usually in the equirectangular projection. Finding programs that convert the equirectangular projection to the cylindrical equal area projection I wanted. Researching historical coal production, oil production, gold mining etc. for the placement of resources. And so on. Now that I have all this material, making new maps with it goes somewhat quicker. The gigantic one is progressing nicely, should be finished soon.

I tried out the suggestion in the gigantic map I am working on. It turns out that I have to remove not one, but two plots of the Cape York Peninsula of Australia in order to make Australia unreachable by work boat. It doesn't sound like too big a change, but it is noticeable, and I really don't like the way it messes up the shape of the Australian continent. So I'm reluctant to implement it.

NobleZarkon's suggestion has its merits, but I'm not too taken with the visuals it produces. So I'm torn on the issue...

19. el_hidalgoPrince

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you could just turn the coast tiles in question into ocean. it violates the normal terrain placement rules but I think it's fine if you do it in world builder.