Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Earth Hex Plotting

This finishes the reformat, so that the color scheme and hex reshape has been completed:

At some future point I'll take another pass at this and insert more descriptive labels and properly layer the elements.  Recently I've just been interested in trying to sort out old work and plot all the maps as they would appear everywhere on the globe.  This is a big task, one that I'm not going to complete anytime soon.

I tend to go at my world in phases, so that for a couple of weeks I will work on just one thing to the exclusion of all else.  The blog won't just be about maps, that just happens to be what I'm doing at the moment.

There is something I wanted to show.  These files are the backbone of my map building system. Here's a shot showing partial Rings 66, 67 & 68:

The reader can compare this to the map above. Note the numbers at the right side of the map; these are the ring numbers. Two rows down form line 65 is line 67 ... and there one can see the numbers from the image above, all of them showing '104.'  On the image, the numbers next to Ring 67 show "(70.48-70.76)" are the latitude numbers. The numbers that read in three columns, "90.45 to 91.33", are the longitude numbers east of Greenwich.

Now, this is important. Any hex with a river will show the LOWEST number. Thus these are all 104, even though the lines read 104-269, 104-265, 204-656 and so on. 269, 265 & 656 are the highest elevations those hexes possess (that I have data for).

This next part is tricky. It will seem to the reader that there's been an error; that there should be a '98' to the left of the string of 104 elevation hexes with the river in it. But here's where the hexes change the game. BECAUSE the world is round, and because the center is a hex, every 60 degrees all around the globe the map must 'bend' to fit. This map of the Lower Yenisey includes that bend.

Note that the left most 104 hex corresponds to the longitued 89.55 to 90.44. That's the 90th Parallel, where the map bends. The bend is shown on the map above by the orange line. That is why, in fact, the '98' elevation hex (longitude 88.66 to 89.54) is UP and to the left - and shows '108' on the map, because it doesn't contain a river so the HIGHEST number is used.

I know that's not very clear, but it all makes perfect sense to me. I've been doing this for awhile. If you want to get it, and it's just not evident, please ask a question and I'll do what I can to get this across to you.

My point is from the linked files above (those that go to my wiki), that the whole world is already plotted. I know what is in every hex, everywhere, and what latitude and longitude anywhere corresponds to what hex. This is what makes the mapping possible, and helps keep everything straight and controlled.

Is this beyond normal D&D mapmaking? Oh yeah. But frankly, I think this would make for a spectacular computer generated environment scheme, if I had the money to make it. Imagine a computer image of every elevation, world-wide, plotted using these tables, then merely 'adjusted' for aesthetics. Google Earth would be helpful for that.

But really, I'm not interested in Google Earth for mapping purposes. Google Earth is pretty and lovely, but it doesn't offer me the control that this template offers, where I can plop in what I want and create the 3D world that is my own.


  1. Is your Earth map plotted on the icosohedron hex map?

    Do you have a method of structuring the z-level beyond that of the Send Forward/ Back buttons? Publisher doesn't have a layers function like more formal drawing programs, and I find that I'm missing that.

  2. I did a post earlier on projection; it can be read here.

    Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by 'z-level'; I'm not a graphic artist and the term escapes me. I 'layer' the maps manually.


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