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Now with no spoilers!

As the show catches up with the books - there are basically no spoilers left in this map. It shows all the character paths up to the end of Dance With Dragons - paralleling (roughly) the progression of the show. Catch up with them here.
The last map from the Lands of Ice and Fire is the map of Journeys – all the paths taken by the characters in the novels of A Song of Ice and Fire (up to the end of Dances with Dragons). This map contains spoilers, so don’t look too carefully if you’ve not read to the end … Continue reading "Journeys – the lifelines of Westeros"
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This path map shows a hard work. I feel your pain doing it, great job :)
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How to draw hills: 4 easy styles

A bunch of people asked how to draw hills. The answer is - it depends upon the map style. Here's four easy hill styles that I use for different types of maps. The article includes a link to the raw photoshop file, and a very short video of the process.
Drawing hills on a map can be a challenge - there are no hard edges. Here's 4 different easy styles of hill for different types of map.
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Just started viewing, and reviewing your YouTube tutorials. Thanks so much!
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It's coming.
These are the official maps of Game of Thrones, created for The Lands of Ice and Fire. They are canon - and the only maps to cover the far east to Asshai.
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Nice. Looks like a project that'll pay the bills for some time.

cough #hexallthethings cough
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Typography on Maps

Musing some general cartography issues at work and I went down the rabbit hole that is typography on maps. I have a lot of highly recognized work and a lot of my work just uses Arial and Times New Roman and frankly they work quite well especially in a corporate/government world.

But there are lots of options, generally most maps use 2 font choices, a Serif Font for use typically with Hydrography and Sans-Serif for everything else.

Some Resources I'm digging into:
Gretchen Petersons Blog (below)
-- Specifically this multipart discussion

Related an ancient discussion thread at CartoTalk:

Of interest to +John W. Sheldon +Brian Patterson 
I made this map a few months ago. At full size it's 8.5″ by 11″ and meant as a handout. There's a slightly different, but mostly matching, digital companion map at the bottom of the Hood Canal Coordinating Council's Where We Work page that I made in conjunction with this.
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+Jay Bryant Ah!!!  I have to tell you... my student was super excited when I gave him the list of sites and info to explore! He was headed off for a weekend of good times! :)  (I forgot to print it for him after I had mentioned it, and he actually approached me to MAKE SURE I did it before the end of the school day.) I will share this with him on Monday.
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Some very nice illustration tricks that work on paper with pens, but equally well for digital mapping. I love the double line walls inside the earth hatching - that works rather well.
Line weights, gray pens, white pens. I am an old dog, and these are new tricks.
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Nan Yan
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This is relevant to your interests.
Tomorrow, March 8th, at 11 AM Eastern & 10 AM Central I'll be chatting live with +Sam Flegal and +Peter Mohrbacher on "One Fantastic WEek"
We'll be discussing the nuts and bolts of illustration, cartography, and managing a career in the arts.

If any of those topics interest you, than tune in and give a listen!

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Now this is the kind of work that forces me to up my game. Beautiful.
Last year, I was commissioned by Harpers Collins to make two maps for author Heidi Heilig and her new book "The Girl from Everywhere". In this book, the main character lives aboard her father's ship, sailing across tne centuries and the world. As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time and any place.
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Yesterday's sketch map - the dockside dive.

I wanted a fun bar map with interesting options for intrigue - and the inevitable bar fight. There are chandeliers, ropes, balconies, and even a ballista (for crowd control).

Illustrated in procreate with the iPad Pro.
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+Fantastic Maps - Found it, thanks!
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How to draw simple trees on a map

It's really easy to draw trees on a map and make them look pretty. It's also really easy to get close, decide they look rubbish, and stop. Here's a quick method for drawing a Middle Earth style forest on a map.


Here I'm using Procreate on the iPad. The only piece that involves digital trickery is the blend modes - and they can be achieved in Gimp (free) or Photoshop (not free). If you're using pen and paper, you can do the same by using a dark pen for the outline, and then a mid-grey or mid-brown pen for the shadows. Then age the paper in the oven (and don't set it on fire).

Step 1: Draw the Basic Shapes (clouds on sticks)

The first step here is to draw a simple outline. This can, and should, be incredibly simple. If you get too convoluted, you'll hate yourself. You'll be drawing a lot of these, so make sure it's a simple shape, and don't sweat it. Here I've gone with simple cloud shapes for the deciduous forest. I try to make the base (the lower edge) a little flatter. For the forest, I always start at the leading edge (the edge closest) and work up from there. For the trunks, I've used a simple line and a thicker line weight.

Adding different trees is easy. I've got a line of poplars, and a line of conifers. Now, if you look at any of these trees individually they look nothing like an actual tree. Don't worry about it - you're creating a pattern that a user will recognize - and that they will necessarily associate with the type of forest you want them to. These are caricatures of trees, and they all work.

I've added a road in here to show, simply, how these features could integrate into a broader map.

So are we done? We could be. If you draw a forest like this at scale on a map you'll find out two things: (1) it'll look pretty good and (2) you'll have a sore wrist. But we can do better (not the wrist - that's a given).

2. Use Blend Modes To Make It Pretty

There's a cheap trick to turning a simple map into something prettier. Get an old paper texture, lay it under the lines, and switch your layer blend mode to overlay. Here my background texture is pretty light, so I actually have three layers of my lines to get this effect: 1. normal blend mode at 4% opacity, 2. overlay at 100%, 3. overlay at 100%. The balance between the normal layer and the overlay layers determines how brown the lines are, rather than black.

We can certainly leave it here, but we're missing some form. This last step is really really quick:

3. Add Simple Block Shadows

Add another overlay layer, take a larger round brush (ideally still with pressure sensitivity determining size) and lay in simple shadows. You're just aiming to roughly fill in the side of the tree away from the light - here I'm taking the light source as top left. For the deciduous trees I fill in from around 1-2 o'clock, round to 7 o'clock. For the tall trees, I fill down the right hand side, and across the base of the foliage.

As a separate exercise, I fill in a cast shadow. Here I try to reference the shape of the tree. The poplars cast long shadows. The deciduous trees cast a bulbous cloudy shadows. The evergreens cast pointed shadows. Note that all the shadows start from the base of the tree trunk - and if you draw a line between the trunk, and the tip of the shadow the lines will all be parallel.

And there you have it! It's simple enough - and when you fill a map with these you map will be full of beautiful forests.

See the full original post of this here (which includes a video, and the original .psd file):
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Great review on the iPad Pro from Par
This will be a rather long post since it turned out to be my review of the iPad Pro.

It's been three months since I bought my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. So I've had some time to test it thoroughly.
My expectations for the iPad was really high when I bought it. I had seen a lot of reviews of it and had also tested it shortly at the Apple Store. But even though my expectations were high I was really surprised and a bit shocked on how extremely well it worked.

I've had a Wacom Cintiq for nearly three years and most of my maps have been made using it and Photoshop on my computer. The Cintiq works really well but you still have some parallax while drawing. That means that when you press the pen to the screen the actual line comes a bit to the side. In the beginning that was a bit awkward, but I soon got used to it and you could also fiddle a bit with the settings so that the parallax almost disappeared.
So the first thing I realised while using the iPad Pro was the lack of parallax. You put down the pen and that is where the line will appear. This might sound like a very small thing, but believe me if you draw digitally it is a very big thing.
It is also amazing how Apple in their first try can accomplish something that Wacom is still struggling with.

The second thing to do after getting my hands on the iPad was to find the right application for me. I tried out quite many different ones like paper53, Photoshop sketch and Procreate. Quite soon I realised that Procreate was by far the best app for the needs I have. The program runs fantastically smooth even when you have quite many layers to work with. Also the different brushes in the app are really good.

So now when three months have gone by I must say that I found a new fantastic tool in the iPad Pro when it comes to drawing maps, and that I miss my computer and Wacom Cintiq less for every day that goes. I'm actually trying to do most of my work on the iPad these days. But there are some things I still miss. You can't do everything on the iPad.

I do still miss full Photoshop, it has some really good tools that will speed up your work, tools that don't exist in Procreate. Also it is hard to add text to the map while using the iPad. But hopefully one day Adobe will release a full version of Photoshop to the iPad, or I think that in the end they will loose a significant amount of users to Procreate. Because Procreate is developing in a very good speed and I guess that some of the tools I miss in the program sooner or later will show up. And for every tool that shows up I will miss Photoshop less.

So is the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil something I recommended for others to try out? I would absolutely say yes, but there is a small but. The iPad Pro is very expensive and if you're not using it for professional work it is quite some money to host up. If you think it is worth it it is up to you to decide, if you use it for professional art work I think it is a must buy!

The attached map is completely made in procreate, and then fiddled a bit with in snapseed.

#ipadpro #applepencil #procreate #maps
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So pretty!

This style is lovely and clean, wth minimal tonal work - and yet you can read all the elevation. Minimal is hard, and this is an exercise in consummate skill.
If you like hand drawn battle maps, please enjoy the Tropical Island I drew today (and let me know what you think!)
The remains of your ship bob and roll in the light waves, gradually collecting on the white shore. You spit the taste of salt from your mouth and walk a slow circle, scanning. The horizon is as bleak and blue as ever.
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Beauty from Maxime
This is a map done for a challenge (theme : map a novel). I picked up the Elder Isles from Jack Vance's Lyonesse Trilogy.
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The cartography, illustration and tutorials of Jonathan Roberts
I illustrated the official maps of the Lands of Ice and Fire for Game of Thrones as well as maps for BMW, Wizards of the Coast, Will Smith's After Earth, and many more.

I post tips and tricks on how to create your own maps, here's a collection of some of the tips I've posted. I got into map making through RPGs, and I run a store of maps that you can buy for use in your own games. To see more of my work, check out my site.