1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Most Accurate 2D World Map. Ever.

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Ozymandias, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Civ3 Modding Archivist

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    9,194
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The lone and level sands
    timerover51 likes this.
  2. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    16,052
    Location:
    In orbit
  3. Pounder

    Pounder Phaethon was here

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Messages:
    5,698
    Location:
    Your territory
  4. Pounder

    Pounder Phaethon was here

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Messages:
    5,698
    Location:
    Your territory
  5. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    11,040
    Location:
    Timeless Isle
    The media hype says "most accurate". The awards page does not. Reading the award page makes clear that what was found worthy is the mapping method. It goes on to state that the resulting map (as displayed) needs further refinement - at present it is neither equal-area nor equidistant. Simply can't have entirely accurate representations of both when mapping an oblate spheroid onto a planar surface. At least not within the bounds of Euclidian geometry. Like Fuller's map this one falls within the broad category of Compromise Projections. Somehow, "most accurate compromise of two mutually exclusive requirements" just doesn't have that headline-grabbing ring to it.

    Despite its shortcomings, certainly worth a look. Thanks, Ozy.
     
  6. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Civ3 Modding Archivist

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    9,194
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The lone and level sands
    I should have posted this link as well: http://www.authagraph.com/projects/description/【作品解説】記事01/?lang=en

    Click along to "shaded triangles" 4, 5, and 6.

    "This rectangular world map called AuthaGraph World Map is made by equally dividing a spherical surface into 96 triangles, transferring it to a tetrahedron while maintaining areas proportions and unfolding it to be a rectangle.
    The world map can be tiled in any directions without visible seams. From this map-tiling, a new world map with triangular, rectangular or parallelogram’s outline can be framed out with various regions at its center."

    At http://www.alexcious.com/products/detail150.html#tab-sub2 40 (forty) different ways of realigning the 96 triangles are shown.

    :hatsoff:,
    Oz
     
  7. timerover51

    timerover51 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,475
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicago area in Illinois
    Okay, now for the greater than $64,000 Question. Who is going to turn this into a map for Civ3. That would be fantastic to play on.
     
  8. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    11,040
    Location:
    Timeless Isle
    I had the same thought. Definitely worth the time to convert into a biq. Finding a physical rather than a political version would help in creating a game map.

    Without getting too technical about accuracy ...

    An important shortcoming of the map for game play is the trade-off mentioned earlier: "Rejigged globe representing the true relative sizes of continents & seas" to quote the website (emphasis added). it is equal-area, which means some shapes/distances are highly distorted. This can clearly be seen in the Pacific Ocean. Compare distances between the Western shore (Asia & Australia) and North America vs. South America. A closer look at the distortions to the quadrangles (rectangles formed by the grid of longitude and latitude) makes obvious that the same thing affects the landmasses although to a lesser extent for purposes of designing a biq.

    For a scenario that includes extensive use of naval forces - such as with WWII - the inaccuracies would adversely affect gameplay. OTOH, it would be a very useful alternative for the designer more interested in accurate representation of the limitations to relative area available for each civ to exploit.
     
    HorseshoeHermit likes this.
  9. Thrust123

    Thrust123 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    383
    Gender:
    Male
    Don't some of the existing utilities have an import image to map?
     
  10. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    11,040
    Location:
    Timeless Isle
    Quintillus' editor does & would be a good way to get a basic version of this to work from. Hence the desire for a map of physical rather than political geography. The next question would be what permutation of landmass arrangement to use.
     
  11. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    52,659
    Location:
    Thessalonike, The Byzantine Empire
    Hm, is it really more accurate re country sizes when Australia looks larger than US mainland and Brazil looks vastly larger than China or even Canada?
     
  12. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,225
    Location:
    Columbus
    Indeed, when I first saw this thread I thought of running it through the BIQ map converter, but the political map nature of it complicates that. I suppose it probably would still work for getting it to a land/water stage (since the ocean is all one color), but the terrain types on land would all be uniform.

    Still, I might have to do that to have at least a starting point, that could then be enhanced by manual editing, or re-run when a physical map appears.

    So I looked up Australia vs. the U.S. in area (they look roughly equal on the map to me), it's closer than I realized. The U.S. minus Alaska and Hawaii is roughly 3.13 million square miles; Australia is roughly 2.97 million square miles, for about a 5% difference in area. Would be slightly narrower if you don't count various overseas U.S. areas such as Guam and Puerto Rico. I was expecting a larger differences as well, but Alaska alone is more than a sixth of the total U.S. area and makes a big difference, and the U.S. would be definitively smaller than both China and Brazil if Alaska weren't included.

    And doing some approximate comparisons on my local globe, it passes a rough plausibility check. The U.S. is bigger east-west, but Australia is usually larger north-south.

    Brazil is about 10% smaller than China in actual area. I agree that Brazil looks larger on the map to me, but as noted the map is not perfectly equal-area, and it can be difficult to approximate the area from am image accurately, especially when we're comparing irregular shapes such as countries.

    Now I'm a bit curious how big each country is on the map in pixels, and whether the perception that Brazil is larger on the map is accurate (i.e. the not-quite-equal-area nature really does favor Brazil), or whether it's the shape of the country that's influencing our approximations and making them inaccurate.

    Our perceptions of the countries from other map projections and demographics may also be influencing what we expect. I know Australia's pretty big, but hearing that it's the smallest continent all the time, and knowing that it has less than 1/10th the population of the U.S., probably affects my perception of how large the area should be in comparison.
     
  13. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    11,040
    Location:
    Timeless Isle
    For what it's worth according to a BBC program called "The Unbelievable Truth" Australia is approximately the same size as the moon's surface. Not sure if that makes Australia seem a lot bigger or the moon a lot smaller. But definitely changed my perspective.
     
  14. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,225
    Location:
    Columbus
    Huh, that's interesting. I suppose it makes me think the Moon is smaller. Sure, I knew it was a lot smaller than the Earth, but when I'd been imagining the European Space Agency's plan to colonize the moon, I'd been expecting to get a little bit more land than the size of Australia!

    Still, the continental U.S. can support 300 million+ people. The Moon probably wouldn't support as many per square mile as the U.S., but it might support 25 million like heavily-deserted Australia with sufficient technology, and that would be a nice species-level insurance policy against Montezuma with a nuke.
     
  15. Jorsalfare

    Jorsalfare Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Kingdom of Norway
    Huh?
    The surface area of the Moon is around. 38 million square kilometers (according to space.com), while mainland Australia is close to 7,7 million square kilometers (according to www.ga.gov.au). The Moon's surface area is therefore close to 5 times the area of (mainland) Australia. I recall an episode of QI (with Stephen Fry) where David Mitchell (host of the radio show "The unbelievable Truth" was guest. In this episode several of the claims made by the radio show were debunked as false and "urban myths" - and Mitchell answered "I just read out whats on the cue-cards they give to me".
     
  16. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    11,040
    Location:
    Timeless Isle
    Glad you fact-checked. I never claimed it was authoritative. I named the source knowing that it is nowhere near peer-reviewed territory. Looks like they were off by an order of magnitude - quite a large error in this case. Besides correcting their misstatement, you've illustrated the difference between media hype and dependable fact.

    Which brings us back around to claims for this map's accuracy: adverts & media releases vs. what cartographers would say about it. More accurate visual presentation of relative land area than other available equal-area projections is quite different from the claim of a "faithful representation of the world" to quote the headline. Based on my own visual semiotics work I know the vast majority of people will read the headline and look at the pretty pictures then move on. They won't read on to the penultimate sentence quoting the awards description: “The map needs a further step to increase a number of subdivision for improving its accuracy to be officially called an area-equal map.” I seriously doubt a plurality of people seeing the page on the SBS site Ozy originally linked to will click through to the awards site then navigate that site to discover that the map won an award where it was competing against things like a tractor and a touring exhibition of work by disabled people. Not quite the same as being deemed more worthy than maps produced by the Ordinance Survey, USGS, and other organizations of their ilk.

    From that point of view it can't even be said to be a more accurate representation than other equal-area projections. Most people are not very sophisticated when it comes to interpreting maps. There is still visual distortion to be compensated for by the viewer on the fly. Mentally rearranging the tesselation and keeping that in mind while using the map (or at least maintaining a skeptical eye based on experience with globes vs. flat maps) is hard work. Someone unaware of the way the map projects a sphere (already a distortion) onto a rectangular 2D space (distortion of a distortion) would perceive the sea area bounded on the North by Australia and on the South by Antarctica as far larger than is the case. The map is good enough for use in a game.* Not sure I'd hang it in a middle school classroom as the primary wall chart to use for instruction.


    ------------
    * A game where the tessellations are rearranged as the player scrolls around would be wonderful. As long as the game engine computes movements and distances similarly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  17. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,225
    Location:
    Columbus
    I decided I might as well see what happened when I ran this through the Import from BMP functionality. So you can now download the BIQ. It's definitely not ready for play, but the continental outlines survived mostly intact, and even a few islands such as Cuba and New Guinea made it on the larger map sizes. All landmasses are grassland (except Antarctica, which is tundra) due to the political nature of the map making it impossible to automate terrain types, and mapmaking not being a specialty.

    If anyone wants to enhance the map, please go ahead, and feel free to re-upload it as well. I figured this might jump-start the map, and give it a better chance into seeing the light of a fully playable version. It also gave me a chance to see how the XenForo upload system works for new resources - still not sure how to get a main icon that isn't the cogs though.

    I've included the MiniMap of the larger size (232x200) below; there is also a 116x100 version.

     
  18. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    11,040
    Location:
    Timeless Isle
    Thanks, Q! If you wouldn't mind, could you upload your bmp as well? Might be handy for people who want to do additional sizes, or refine coasts before conversion. Or did you save the time of recoloring the political map and just tell your editor to use a whole bunch of imported colors as plains?
     
  19. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,225
    Location:
    Columbus
    I'll see if I can upload it to the file-sharing on my e-mail account, or if compression will make it small enough for CFC. I did indeed save the time of recoloring the political map, since I couldn't have recolored it to terrain-accurate colors in a reasonable amount of time anyway, and made all the colors except a couple for oceans and the color for Antarctica on the map be Grasslands.
     
  20. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    11,040
    Location:
    Timeless Isle
    No point in uploading it if it's not recolored then. :) People can use the original image to adapt from then.
     

Share This Page