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Welcome to Giant Earth Map (GEM)!


GEM modder
Dec 16, 2005
Hong Kong
Giant Earth Map (GEM)

What is GEM?
Giant Earth Map (GEM) is a mod developed for fulfilling the desire of playing historical scenarios on a giant-sized Earth map. Not only it is Giant, GEM is a map that doesn't use a standard projection of the Earth. This is because most human activities in history were concentrated in certain areas only and using a standard projection will result with a map containing many regions of not much use (such as the Pacific Ocean). In contrast, GEM is completely free hand sketched with proper enlargement to those areas of interest.

Other than the two plain maps, one with Modern and one with Ancient resource allocation, in version 6, there are 4 scenarios coming with the mod, 200BC, 1500AD, 1860AD and 1940AD. The scenarios are made with many references on nations to be included, city allocations, city names, city sizes and military sizes. GEM is also a good platform for modders who share the same philosophy to develop historical scenarios.

How the map looks:
Spoiler :

More on background story of GEM
Spoiler :

The first version of the Giant Earth Map took me on average two hours per day for half a year to develop it. Without using any map generators, I first drawn layout of the continents to the ratio that I felt most balanced. This gives me the flexibility to upscale the size of any interested region on the map. Then I adjusted/fine tuned the map, for every tile, so that the map looks realistic even in the local scale – something which usually cannot be achieved by map generators. It took me about 3 months to have a map ready for me to fill in resources.

Another great feature of GEM is that it references real statistic of resources for resource placements. This allowed the map to be less 'biased' towards any regions. However, the time needed to search for the correct statistic for each resource, scale the source into the number of icons on the map, correctly draw the border on the tiff map and lastly placing the sources on the civ map with the correct amount and correct locations was unexpectedly long. It took me another 3 months, almost the same amount of time for drawing the entire map.

After the first version, I received much feedback from this forum and have updated the GEM accordingly. The map you now downloading have been commented, reviewed, tested and balanced. I hope you will enjoy it.

Current Release: Version 6.4.1 (Released on 28 Jun 2011)
(Minor release)

1) Fixed a bug in 1940AD.
2) Game balance changes for 1942AD - US starts with a much larger military force. The commonwealth, Japanese and Chinese also increases a bit.
3) Added one more important city to Russia and changed some Russian city names to their historical names.
4) Added Sentry promotion (+1 visibility) to scout and explorer.

Version 6.4 changes:
Added two scenarios, 1936AD and 1942AD, which are derived from the 1940AD scenario. There are also some minor game balance adjustments in the other scenarios too.

I have reverted most unique unit's ability to BTS default just to make the game less different from the original. But I have made an important change on movement speed - the base movement of all land units is now 2, just like Civ 5 does. With the increase in movement, the warring aspect of the game is just plain faster.

N.B. Don't forget about the add-on pack for more leaderheads. It hasn't been changed but you will need to extract it to the GEM folder again every time you use a new version of GEM.

The download for BTS: (only compatible with patch 3.1.9)
http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=7790 - Version 6.4.1

The download for Warlords: (only compatible with patch 2.0.8)
http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=2682 - Version 4.1

The download for Civ4 vanilla: (should be compatible with any patch)
http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=7803 - Version 4.1

Details about what the download includes:
Spoiler :

1) Scenarios:
200BC on GEM
1500AD on GEM
1860AD on GEM
1936AD, 1940AD and 1942AD on GEM
2) Plain maps:
GEM ancient resource - resources allocated as pre-1500AD setting.
GEM modern resource - allocated with modern resource distribution.
3) Generic modifications: Combined with RevolutionDCM mod. There are also other minor changes.

Download Instruction
Download the rar or zip file and extract it to the following path (note that the following path should be changed according to where you have installed Civ 4):

"My Documents\My Game\Beyond the Sword\MODS\"
"C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 4\Beyond the Sword\Mods\"

After you placed the folder in the above path, start your game normally. Then click "Advanced" in the menu, click "Load a mod" and select "Giant Earth Map”. The game will restart but with the mod this time. Then go to "Single player", "Play a scenario" and pick a map that you like.

From GEM 6.2 onwards, the download is provided in rar format, which compress files better than zip. You will need WinRAR to extract the file, which can be freely downloaded from http://www.rarlab.com/.

WARNING: the map is Giant in size and it will strain your PC. RAM seems to be particularly important. In particular, the 1940AD scenario is a RAM killer! I won't try this map on a PC with less than 1G of RAM. Having that said, it would only cause, in the usual case, a long waiting time between each turn; in the worst case, your game would quit without saving because it is running out of ram.

Lastly, please come back and put a rating and drop a comment. If commenting, please try to be precise and constructive so that I know exactly what you want it to be.

More Downloads
Scenarios by other authors:
Other than the scenarios bundled with the GEM mod, there are a number of scenarios, developed by other authors, that you can download separately. These scenarios offer you the experience of other ages in History on the Giant Earth Map. You can easily found more about these scenarios from the corresponding threads within the GEM forum.

Graphics and performance Add-on:
From version 6.2 onwards, the leaderhead add-on is highly recommended since there are simply not enough leaderheads in the default game. Without the Add-on, some scenarios will have duplicated leaderheads.

Other add-ons can be found in here:

Release history
Spoiler :

Version 6.4 (Released on 26 May 2011)
Version 6.3 (Released on 05 Dec 2009)
Version 6.2 (Released on 07 Jul 2009)
Version 6.1 (Released on 23 Mar 2009)
Version 6.0 (Released on 25 Jan 2009)
Version 5.3 (Released on 17 Sep 2008)
Version 5.2 (Released on 18 Jul 2008)
Version 5.1 (Released on 10 Jul 2008)
Version 5.0 (Released on 15 Jun 2008)
Version 4.2 (Released on 14/02/2008)
Version 4.1 (Released on 29/12/2007)
Version 4.0 (Released on 09/12/2007)
Version 1.0 to v3.1 http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=184684

Change log
Spoiler :

Version 6.4 Change log
1) Added the 1936AD and 1942AD scenarios.
2) Changed the base movement of units to two.
3) Slow down road and railroad movements to balance the new movement ability of units.
4) Reverted most of the unique units’ ability to BTS default just to make the game less different to the original game (except increasing movement speeds since this is a giant map).
5) Added a machine gun unit to most cities in the ww2 scenarios to give some minimum city protection.

Version 6.3 Change log
1) Reversion of grassland for the long-time debatable use of desert terrain for those fertile river basins. Those tiles will have floodplain that will now add +2 food instead of +3. Therefore, grassland/floodplain will be generating 4 food as compare to 3 food for desert/floodplain in previous versions.
2) Removal of a few useless islands that are costing huge maintenance cost to some nations in the scenarios.
3) Expanding 1860AD scenario to have 50civs.
4) Power rebalancing to both 1860AD and 1940AD scenarios.
5) Using RevDCM version 2.5.

Version 6.2.1 Change log
1) Fixed the max turn bug in the plain maps.
2) Fixed an error in the diplomatic setting in 1940AD - Italy was started out at war with Russia and China.
3) Make Turkey and Russia more furious towards Germany. They will no longer open border to Germany.
4) Spain and Italy are no longer willing to open borders to nations that are worse than cautious.

Version 6.2 Change log
1) Combined with RevolutionDCM mod.
2) BTS patch 3.19 compatible.
3) Expanded 1940 scenario to have 50 civs.
4) Included more islands in all of the maps.
5) British Isles has been expanded and improved.
6) Gran Colombian region has been improved.
7) Many minor gameplay changes have been used. See “Mod changes v7.0.xls” for details.

Version 6.1 Change log
1) Fixed the missing flag problem for the 1860AD scenario.
2) Using Better AI v0.6.

Version 6.0 Change log
1) Added a new scenario – 1860AD.
2) Basically all the other 3 scenarios have been updated.
3) Unit support cost from 1 increased to 2. Moreover, the unit support cost ratio has increased in most difficulty level.
4) Using Better AI v0.45

For 1940AD scenario:
1) Shanghai is now controlled by Britain.
2) Added a few cities in US.
3) Changed the location of some cities for more accurately representing them.

For 1500AD scenario:
1) Reduced city population in many cities across west Europe, China and India.
2) Added some great people in west Europe.

Version 5.3 Change log
Generic changes:
1) Added many new leaderheads, which are mostly used for the 1940AD scenario. The leaderhead graphics can be downloaded separately.
2) Landsknecht: Strength: 8, +50% vs Mounted; +50% vs Melee.

For 1940AD scenario:
1) Polish skirmisher still exist around Polish area.
2) A new player is added - the Chinese Communist! It will control the Communist ruled area in history + Sinkiang. That's a total of 9 cities and ~30 units in the scenario. The leader will be Mao. Friendly towards Russia (but remain independent), hated Chiang to the guts (same goes to Chiang) and at war with Japan. Hated by most western countries.
3) India is now fully controlled by the British. The Indian Civ is now replaced by Nepal, which control all the Himalayan cities. Nepal is neutral in the war. It controls a total of 5 cities and less than 10 units.
4) South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada are all independent states (i.e. not vassals of Britain). They are still at war with the Axis.
5) Commerce, Research, Production, Culture, Espionage and Gold are all rebalanced for better realism.
6) Germany has half of its forces situated in Poland.
7) Russia is at war with Japan.
8) Britain has no forces landed in France yet.
9) All the fascism nations now uses Free Market instead of State Property (only the 3 communist nations use this).
10) Most western countries now starts with Universal Suffrage instead of Representation.
11) Germany now owns the Mining corporation and Japan owns the Sushi corporation.
12) Switzerland is now owned by Sweden. That is to make Germany unnecessary to invade Switzerland.
13) Added city Stettin and Konigsberg in Germany.
14) Added city Vichy in France.
15) Added city Huanshang, Hanchung and Ganchow and removed city Linchuan in China.
16) Added city Gwalior and Indore and removed city Bhopal in India.
17) Changed some of the city sizes for population balance.
18) Added some defensive units in eastern Germany and western Russia.
19) Some Japanese marines now relocated to Haikow for easier invasion on Indochina.
20) Added many artillery to many nations.
21) Added two anti-tanks in Russia.
22) Added many rebellion culture to those cities that are owned by foreign nations. For example, Warsaw has minor nation's culture and Aleppo has Turkey's culture.
23) The minor nation flag will use Poland's flag (since Switzerland no longer represents minor nations).
24) The order of the scenario will be permanently arranged for multi player game.

For 1500AD scenario:
1) Holy Roman Empire is strengthened. Vienna (now capital of HRE) and Cologne are added.
2) Hungary is weakened. Zagreb is removed.
3) Naples is added (owned by Spain); Toulouse is added (owned by France).
4) Ottoman is strengthened.
5) Macau is added (owned by Ming); Goa is added (owned by Bahmanid).

Version 5.1 Change log
1) Updated to BTS patch 3.1.7.
2) Included Solver’s unofficial patch and Better AI mod.
3) Borrowed flags from “Road to War” and used to created more pseudo civs.
4) In 1940AD on GEM, India is now significantly reduced in power.
5) In 1940AD on GEM, the western front army distribution has been changed.
6) In 1940AD on GEM, modern flags borrowed “Road to War” have been incorporated.
7) In 1940AD on GEM, added some minor religions to some American cities.
8) In all 3 scenarios, the diplomatic relationship setting among each state, reduced by a factor of 10. For example, Germany was -100 to Britain, now it is -10.
8) Harbor and Cothon now produces +1 commerce on water tiles and reduced to +25% increase of trade profit
9) Gunship’s movement is reduced to 4.
10) As according to 3.1.7, attack submarine now cost 200.

Version 4.2 Change log
1) Modified the landscape of Canada, USA and Australia. (See the attached map for more details).
2) Minor changes in resource placement. (See the attached xls for more details).
3) Bundled with the 1500AD scenario on GEM.

Version 4.1.1 Change log
Fixed some 'floodplain issues'. There should be no tiles starting with more than 4 breads in this version. Nothing else has changed.

Version 4.1 Change log
1) Floodplains and resources were added to some of the civilizations starting locations. These civs include: Maya, Aztec, Inca, Arabia, Mongol, Ethiopia, Persia and India. (See the attached xls for more details).
2) Many new islands are added to the map. These islands include: Malta, Ionian Islands, Hong Kong, Outer Hebrides, Zanzibar, Iwo Jima, Midway, Netherland Antilles, Cayman Islands, etc. (See the attached map for more details)

Version 4.0 Change log
1) Developed base on v2.2.
2) Used the new CvGameCoreDLL.dll for 40 Civ BTS developed by Mikel Olson in the civ fanatics’ forum.
3) Resource changes – refer to the excel file.
4) Modified Southern French coast by shifting Spain one tile south west. Spain and morocco are modified because of this change.
5) Eastern Europe is modified. Slightly increased the size of Romania and Hungary and decreased the size of Germany and Poland.
6) Increased the size of East Coast USA.
7) Increased the size of Indochina Peninsula.
8) Removed all floodplains on grasslands and plains. Floodplains can now exist on desert tiles.
9) Using the new civs and new leaders in BTS, 36 civs are placed on the map. China and India both have an extra civ to fill in the area.
10) All civs started with Noble difficulties.

Version 1.0 to v3.1 http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=184684

References and Acknowledgement
Spoiler :

[1] Collins, Complete World Altas, 2005.
[2] The Jacaranda Atlas 4th Ed., 1992.
[3] Australian Geographic, Antique Globe.
[4] BGS (British Geology Survey), World Mineral Production 2000-2004, 2006, http://www.bgs.ac.uk.
[5] World Biomes, http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/world_biomes.htm.
[6] Elephant Care International, http://www.elephantcare.org/stats.htm.
[7] Rhye, Earth map, 24 civs [for Warlords]. http://forums.civfanatics.com/downlo...do=file&id=175
[8] BP, Statistical Review of World Energy, http://www.bp.com/statisticalreview

A special thanks to Kswoll for his MapEditor. Without it, I can't possibily do cut and paste sooo many times to get the right scale I want for building this map. http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=144414

[9] WHAT'S AN ALPACA? http://www.belleauwood.com/What.htm
[10] Copper From the Bronze Age to the Fall of Rome http://www.unr.edu/sb204/geology/rome.html
[11] Llama http://www.wildanimalsonline.com/mammals/llama.php
[12] Perseid New Civilization: Thailand - Version 1.1. Used for Thai city names and other civ texts http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=155837
[13] Whaling History. http://www.whales.org.au/history/index.html

Wikipedia was used for miscellaneous purposes that are sometimes not recorded.

[14] Cyprus-Island of Copper. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cyco/hd_cyco.htm
[15] Marble and More, World Stone Industry: Leading Quarrying Productions. http://www.marbleandmore.com/econ/quarrypro.asp
[16] StoneWorld, Year End Statistic (2005 Year-End Statistics). http://www.stoneworld.com/SW/Protect...5yearstats.pdf
[17] University College London (2003), Horses in Ancient Egypt. http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/fo...ion/horse.html

Wikipedia was used for miscellaneous purposes that are sometimes not recorded.

[18] Wikipedia, Athabasca Oil Sands, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athabasca_Oil_Sands
[19] USGS, International Minerals Statistics and Information, http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/
[20] UNEP-WCMC, Global Distribution of Original and Remaining Forests, http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/original.htm
[21] USGS, Global Land Cover Characteristics Data Base Version 2.0, http://edcsns17.cr.usgs.gov/glcc/globe_int.html
[22] DK, Atlas of World History, 1999.
[23] Hamed A. Ead, Ancient Egyptian Science, http://www.touregypt.net/science.htm.
[24] Early iron in China, Korea, and Japan, http://www.staff.hum.ku.dk/dbwagner/.../KoreanFe.html

Thank goes to the test play team: Lord Oden, DodgyDave, alaskanfred and Marmoteo

[25] The economist intelligence unit and the cartographic department of the Clarendon Press, Oxford Economic Atlas of the World, 3rd ed., 1965.

[26] Population Statistic, http://www.populstat.info.

A special thanks to Ace of Spades for helping to compile the 40 civ dll.
This version also “borrowed” the flags from Road to War.

[1]CivGold for the leaderheads and civipedia.
[2]Road to War for the flags and leaderheads.

[1]Using Better AI v0.45. Thanks the Better AI team and Ace of Spades to compile it for GEM.

[1]Using Better AI v0.60. Thanks the Better AI team and Ace of Spades to compile it for GEM.

[1]Using RevolutionDCM as the base. Thanks the RevolutionDCM mod team for the great mod.



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FAQ related to GEM

Q: The game is very slow, it takes XXX minutes between each turn!
A: This is a fact we need to live with when playing Giant-sized map. Nothing I can do about.

Q: Can I modify GEM and incorporated into XXX mod?
A: Everything is possible. However, depending on the mod you want to merge into, the time and effort required can be significant. You will need to spend your own time to find out how to merge them. The good news is that, everything from this civfanatic is open sourced. The bad news is that I will not be able to give you any assistant in that aspect.

Q: Is GEM Multiplayer compatible?
A: Yes. It should. But it is always problematic when playing MP with mod.

Q: What is civ "Yue"?? Is this Cantonese??
A: Yue people:
In ancient time, Yue is used to refer to the people in southern China. Southern China contains hundreds of different tribes in ancient time. I have used "Bai Yue" as the long name, which means "A hundred Yue" boardly referring to all the southern tribes.
Cantonese could be considered as one of the Yues but assimilated into Han Chinese culture.

Q: The mountains in Germany confuse me. Besides the Alpes seperating Germany from Italy in the south Germany has hardly any real mountains.
A: Actually, I did not define Mountains by their absolute height, but by their relative height in this map.
The reason is that, I want to enable city placement in the highlands. For example, if you look at those regions like Tibet, Andes and Rocky mountain, you will see a lot of hill or plain tiles surrounded by mountain tiles. That's because in relative terms, the tiles that are surrounded by mountain tiles are not as tall. Most of these tiles, however, I used tundra to represent that they are actually highlands.
For Germany, since it is mostly plain land in reality, smaller hills might featured as mountains in this map.

Q: Argentina, Brazil and all of south america has no cows! The thing is that the region is the second biggest exporter of meat.
A: There are two versions of Plain GEM. The ancient resource version will simulate the resource distribution on Earth before the 16th century. At that time, all of south america really doesn't have any cows. However, according to wikipedia:

There were two animals called "llama" and "Alpaca", which were domesticated by native americans, like Sheeps and Cows correspondingly from the Old World. So what I thought was, to give some sheeps in the Americas to represent these animals.

For Oceania, since there was no domestication, I've used deer to represent Kangaroos and Emus, that Australia has plenty.

Q: Why doesn't XX resource included in XX area? It was necessary because ...
A: Firstly, there are only limited number of tiles and we can't represent everything on the map. Secondly, it is difficult to obtain an objective and world-wide statistic for any time earlier than a century ago. For example, the stat I used from FAOSTAT gives info back to 1960s (mostly for food resources). The BGS stat I've used for mineral resources gives info only back to 2000AD. But in either case, I've already used the highest production year for any region to mitigate effects of abnormal production rate at a certain year.

Q: I can't view the top players in the list to the right, you can only view roughly the bottom ~25 players.
A: This is a problem for people playing at normal resolution. I am ok because I am playing at 1680 * 1050 resolution so I can see all 36 civs on the right. There is a mod to include a scrolling scoreboard that you can install yourself. See the suggested add-ons for more info.

Q: Why does Ottoman started in the central Asia? Is it not Istanbul?
A: I have changed Ottoman to mean Turk in GEM. Some other civilizations are also changed, Byzantine -> Hungary; Holy Roman -> Poland; Portugal -> Brazil; Celt -> Australia.
Suggested add-ons

Disclaimer: I recommend you to consider the following add-on. But most of them requires some computer knowledge and CIV modding knowledge. I suggest if you are not comfortable with doing any of the add-on, either just forget about it or make these changes in a very cautious manner. I can only provide limited support with these issues as well as I cannot guarantee the add-ons will work on your computer.

GEM Add-on leaderhead:
This is the only add-on that is managed by me. Provides lots of new leaderhead graphics that are compatible with GEM v5.3 or later. Follow the instruction listed on the site:

Crash to Desktop fix:
Thanks for gidds for reporting:
"There is a solution for the crash to desktop due to "Bad Allocation Memory". I have been using this on your map, and only crashed once as I used the graph settings on Max. After switching it a notch back, no probs ever arose anymore:


Blue Marble:
This graphics mod doesn't affect gameplay but improves the graphics of Civ 4.


Note: from version 6.2 onward, RevDCM is included in GEM as a default, and hence it is no longer required to install BUG separately by yourself.
BUG is mod that improves the interface of CIV and it doesn't affect gameplay. Note that BUG will cause a conflict with GEM if you just install it in the custom asset folder. It is because GEM uses Better AI and the two have some conflicts in python. But the two can be merged relatively simple.

First, install BUG from here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=274636.
Then followed exactly the method mentioned in here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=296534
and use the method "If you installed BUG 3.5 to CustomAssets and want to install Better AI as a standalone Mod:"

Then you will get BUG to work with GEM!

Scrolling diplomatic Screen:
Note: from version 6.2 onward, RevDCM is included in GEM as a default, and hence it is no longer required to install this separately by yourself.

Include this if you don't like BUG
Thanks for JEELEN for reporting:
"It seems to me it might fix the civs scrolling off screen"


I don't want to include it in GEM by default because I don't have a problem with it and don't want to waste my visible gameplay screen space for the scroll.

It only has one file so it should be a easy merge. But remember, use WinMerge with the existing file in GEM if you want to keep everything.
Information about the future update
As I am thinking of phasing out from CIV, I am not anticipating to release any more new scenarios. But if time allowed, some more scenarios could be done for a GEM version 7 and tops in my list are 2010AD, 600AD and 1200AD. Currently, no expected date of release.
Looks great!

One point on the resources though - as far as I'm aware, it's possible to program in a script which spreads resources to and from the new world at around the age of discovery (I know Rhye has done this, so you might want to see him about it).
Looks great!

One point on the resources though - as far as I'm aware, it's possible to program in a script which spreads resources to and from the new world at around the age of discovery (I know Rhye has done this, so you might want to see him about it).

Thanks for your suggestion. Thats something good to do but at the moment not my priority.
Dear Genghis,

do you have an idea when version 5 is ready for download? :)
cant wait to try your 200bc-scenario ... i realy love playing the romans and make them survive untill modern times ...
Hi...when i load your mod its give this error....reading error....what is that?
how can i fix it??
Progress update: Version 5.0 - Expecting to release on 15 Jun 2008!

With the 200BC scenario moving along quite well the last two nights, I am anticipating to complete it by this coming weekend. Then one more week for my own testplay and final touchups. I am relatively comfortable with the release date this time.
Can you implement latest Bhruic pach 1.21 in GEM version of DLL please?I use Lt.Bob 1.11 GEM modification of Bhruic patch on your maps,but he did not implement new 1.21 Bhruic patch.Can you do it Genghis Kai?
Great! I guess I won't finish conquering the Earth as the HRE on the old map now :) Can't wait to try the new version, thank you for your efforts!

Best Regards,
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