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Jerry's Map

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

    Aug 28, 2005
    Stamford Bridge
    In 1963 Jerry Gretzinger doodled a map on a sheet of paper at a boring job in a ball bearing factory. Then he drew another.. and another.. and now, 50 years later he's basically created a giant imaginary world out of 2,700 sheets of paper. This imaginary world contains over 300 towns, mountain ranges, lakes, railroads, etc. and is a dynamic & evolving system of sheets that includes a "void" that pops up every once in a while and eats up existing map elements. Some cities on the map have started erecting walls to prevent the void from eating up their suburbs... In the 80s he also started using cutouts from magazines and other sources for some of the topography..

    Link to video.

    Who wants to bet that this guy plays or used to play civ?

    What makes his project even more interesting is that he's devised a convoluted algorithm that helps him figure out how the map evolves as he adds more sheets of paper or changes existing ones. This is accomplished by drawing a card out of a modified deck that might have a word like "scan" on it. In the case of the word "scan", for example, that tells him that he has to take the first 7 new/unused map/doodle sheets to the bottom of the pile, scan the 8th one, file it, then work on the copy with paint and pencil (or whatever) and have it then become the next evolutionary generation of that particular panel.

    Did that make sense to you? No? Here's a slightly more indepth look at how the map gets assembled. < This is a 10 minute long video that's totally worth watching

    I've drawn made up maps before, so I understand the appeal of doing something like this, but I don't think I've ever even put more than 2 sheets together. Has anybody else? The algorithm he's come up also seems kinda crazy, but the results are very interesting and even maybe artistic.

    How would you put together a giant map? And what do you think of Jerry's map?
  2. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

    Feb 25, 2003
    I used to do that, though not nearly as large or detailed. In fact a group of us neighborhood kids all did together with us each having our own country. I figured it was something most boys did in some form or another.
  3. Goodfella

    Goodfella Showing results for

    Sep 29, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I often do it too. I draw landmasses with kingdoms or countries and shade in populous areas and often name cities in my head. And sometimes I urban plan and draw city blocks and parks and the funnest part is drawing the skyline. Then the city always gets attacked by UFOs or Godzilla or gets hit by a meteor or a nuclear missile.
  4. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

    Dec 29, 2010
    Deva Loka
    I do this a lot as well, mostly on the back of schoolwork, largely to kill my boredom in classes. You could call it a hobby of mine, if it actually meant something useful.

    The most fun I've had with this was when in middle school I had basically created an entire NYC-size urban area, complete with two major cities and dozens of suburbs, around what is in real life Pensacola, Florida, complete with plans for the international airport (including which airlines landed at which terminals), the mass transit system, where the sports teams played (and what leagues they played in, and their records for each season), how the city government was organized, and the interstates going through the region (down to the exit numbers and exits). I also named many of the urban neighborhoods, and the organized crime groups in them, using my then-rudimentary knowledge of such things. The best part was always destroying it with various natural disasters ranging from Cat 5 hurricanes to alien invasions. I'm pretty sure it had a superhero as well; don't remember what that was. I had basically filled up an entire 70-page notebook with records of this; sadly, I lost that notebook.
  5. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

    Oct 15, 2003
    Thessalonike, The Byzantine Empire
    Very interesting topic :)

    Using distinct patterns in creating an evolving landscape is sometimes argued to be also how some ancient civilizations chose the location for the founding of new cities. Can't say if that has much truth in it, but it would possibly mean that aesthetics and patterns were a conscious part of larger-scale building in some eras, and not just the design of the specific city itself.
  6. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

    Jan 5, 2010
    Same here. But not for a very long time now.
  7. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

    Apr 13, 2010
    At the bar
    God, if only he was a DM.
  8. AdamCrock

    AdamCrock Polish Pudding

    Jul 4, 2012
    Edgar Allan Poe-Landia
    I remember long time ago ... (in a galaxy far away xD) My old TV set crapped out and died , I had no computer back then and I was extremely bored so I have drew a map too ! ^^ I have created cities on this map and then I drew 2x2 cm tokens of various units (infantry, knights, hvy. inf. etc.) and cut them out of the paper and played my game ! :) I don't find anything strange about this guy ! I think he has a great idea , but it would be even better if he could turn it in some sort of a game ^^ Today if I were to create a really giant map of my own I would use computer to do that, perhaps I would create a set of rules and let some people help me. I would create my website to do that called mymap-something.com hehe :D You know "Two heads are better than one" ;) ... but there is a one significant problem with that ... I'm to lazyyyyy :p :D Besides I just use Civ 4 to satiate my strategic lusts and feed my "inner napoleon" :)

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