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    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2017 edited
     
    Hello everybody,

    I wanna discuss with you my current project, a Middle Earth map for my daughter. She is 5 years old, since nearly one year we tell her stories from middle earth. She likes it very much (what a surprise...) and I showed her the maps in the books, but they don't work for her (to much text and abstract symbols). So I started doing a map for children (non-abstract symbols instead of text). Most of the basic work is done, now I do the finetuning. The to-do list ist still long (e.g. where the river go to the sea still looks ugly, I need to do a Saurons eye smbol etc.) but this is the right moment to ask the experts here for feedback.

    I have made a 1m x 1m test-print from the current version, using the "large exports" annual, which worked fantastic (120 MB big and with awesome level of detail). I put it on the wall of our living room and really enjoy seeing her standing in front of the map, tipping with her fingers around and criticising me ("Dad, why is there an Orc at Isengard, Saruman has Uruk-Hai!" :-)).

    Now I wanna aks you for hints and if you see mistakes (are the symbols where they should be? Do you have ideas for better symbols? etc). I used the maps from the LotR books (the big one from the first 2 books and the Gondor/Rohan map from the third part) and the "Atlas of Middle-Earth" from Karen Wynn Fonstad as guideline.
    All symbols in the map are from CC, Casuac, Ralf Schemmanns "Dark Fantasy" symbol set or are self-made in CC.

    As the jpeg provides not much details I give you a download link to a better version (around 35 MB big):

    https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ak-JjeRFvmSPo0umQeaNc1pjoEii

    Every feedback which makes the map better is welcome! My customer should enjoy the map :-)

    Regards, Jensen
      Mittelerde Lisa.jpg
  1.  
    Very nice! :-)
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2017
     
    Brilliant - and a huge amount of work already done, it's fair to say!

    Love the Mûmakil especially!

    Blending rivers into the sea is always tricky. I've experimented with putting the sea sheet "higher" than the land, using patches (hand-drawn polygons) on their own sheet to hide the join, and also drawing the coastline so it includes all the broader stretches of rivers even far inland (then you just need to draw the smaller rivers so they look identical to the coastline effects; so, pale blue in this case). Each has merits, depending on what you want to achieve, and what style of map you're working on. And I'm sure others here will have more and better ideas on this point.

    For Saruman's orcs, just add a white hand symbol somewhere - on the axe blade, face or chest, perhaps - or add a shield with one on.

    Maybe add some corsair ship symbols off the southernmost coasts?
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2017 edited
     
    Great idea with the corsair ships. Done. Thanks!

    Thanks also for the ideas on the rivers and Sarumans white hand. I will work on that!
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2017
     
    A brilliant map - i downloaded the large version, and am astounded at the sheer beauty of it.
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2017
     
    Thanks Quenten for the encouranging words! They motivate to continue
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTime3 days ago edited
     
    Hello everybody,
    I nearly finished my middle-earth-for-children map. Now I make the last review and in a few days I will print it. If someone has advice on how to improve it I would be thankful.

    find here a link to a better version: https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ak-JjeRFvmSPo2gUiaebHyBB_l-D


    Monsen asked me to use this map for a child he knows – of course he may. I will give a download link to a high res file in a few days in this thread from which everybody who likes it can print a poster for their kids.
    But sharing the map with the community makes it necessary to say some words about it:

    General approach:
    The map is made for little children (my daughter is 5) who cannot just read (that’s why you won’t find text on the map). I also avoided abstract symbols (like three points for ruins), instead I used big colorful comic like symbols which invite kids to slap with their fingers around on the map and ask the question of all question: ‘Dad, what is that?’

    How to read the map
    If you see a symbol on the map and don’t know what it is, just open your Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books and check the maps included there. E.G. if you don’t know why there is a dragon with an egg north of Erebor, you can find on the map in Tolkiens books the entry ‘Withered Heath’. When you search for this term you find that this region is a breeding ground for dragons and Smaug grew up here. Or when you wonder why there is a man standing at an igloo at the northern border you find in the maps the term ‘Ice Bay of Forochel’ which leads you to the Lossoth people and their (small) role in history of middle earth. This works for the very most of the symbols but if you have read your Tolkien you don’t need to do any research :-).

    To draw it I used the map from the LotR and Hobbit books, the version of these maps from the Tolkien Society which includes some complements and the ‘Atlas of Middle Earth’ from Karen Wynn Forstad (esp. the layout from the shire, the brown lands and the wold as well as the location of the ruins of Ost-in-Edhil and Lond Daer I took from here), but with the maps from the books you get the most details explained.
    If you ask why the shadows of Mordor are as they are, why they go in the north up to Erebor and from Dol Guldur to Lothlorien, you can find the reason for this in the LotR Appendices.
    The only symbol for which you won’t find any reason is the sea monster. But what is a map without a seamonster?

    About the symbols:
    As I have absolutely no skills in free hand painting I used the symbols and tools the PF universe provides us with. I used symbols from CC3, annuals and built some with Perspectives and DD. The only external source I used is Casuac and Ralf Schemmanns Dark Fantasy Symbols set. When you look at the southern theater (which is by far the most crowded) you see that Helms Deep and Edoras are done in Perspectives, Isengard and Barad Dur I draw in Symbols Catalog Editor, Minas Tirith is a patchwork from different symbols, Morannon is made with Dungeon Designer, Durthang, Minas Morgul, the tower of Cirith Ungol and Carach Angren is from Ralf Schemmanns Dark Fantasy Symbols set (which I love), Shellob from Casuac and Saurons eye is a fireblast from a dungeon trap in which I made an ellipse with ‘volcanic hot’ bitmap fill.
    Of course this is eclectic and doesn’t looks as great as all symbols are out of the same symbols set. But I won’t go for an art contest, I needed a map for my daughter and I believe it is doing the job.
    The characters which represent the different countries and cultures are made in Character Artist.

    Experience:
    Some time ago I printed the beta version, put it on the wall in our living room and it works fantastic. My daughter regularly stands in front of the map and calls me to come: ‘Dad, why is the Balrog living in Moria?’ – which is a fantastic question to start her telling the stories of the ‘war of wrath’. The day before she asked me why the fellowship did not move across the misty mountains in the north, which was an invitation to tell her about the Orcs of Mt. Gundabad. Every day comes new questions - since I have this map I don’t fear rainy Sundays anymore :-).

    Best, Jensen
      Mittelerde Lisa95.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorDogtag
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    Posted By: Jensenfind here a link to a better version: https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ak-JjeRFvmSPo2gUiaebHyBB_l-D
    Hm. I can't seem to connect to this address.

    Regardless, the map looks great! Strangely, although I like everything on the map, especially the little figures/icons you added, I really like the color for the map title.

    Cheers,
    ~Dogtag
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    Heyo DogTag, its a OneDrive link. I was able to copy and paste and get there. Could your copy and paste be one character short ?
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    Thanks dogtag, try this link for map https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ak-JjeRFvmSPo2gUiaebHyBB_l-D
    •  
      CommentAuthorDogtag
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    Posted By: JimPHeyo DogTag, its a OneDrive link. I was able to copy and paste and get there. Could your copy and paste be one character short ?
    Nope.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDogtag
    • CommentTime3 days ago edited
     
    Thanks Jensen. I still can't connect (even with different browsers). I use a VPN so maybe Microsoft is blocking VPN traffic? Oh well.
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    I can't connect properly either so it's not just you Dogtag. While I do connect, I just get a blank white page.

    I love this map Jensen! What a fantastic idea. I very much want to be able to zoom in to examine it more closely. :D
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    Does the Dropbox link also not work Shessar?
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    I'm sorry. I missed the dropbox link. Yes, it works for me. THANKS!!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorQuenten
    • CommentTime3 days ago
     
    Just wunderbar.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTime2 days ago edited
     
    Very nice, loving it.

    For reference, the onedrive link works perfectly for me. Probably just an issue with that weird little country Dogtag and Shessar lives in. I seem to be hearing lots of weird stuff about their ruler.
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTime2 days ago
     
    Just added a last feature: I hide mice in the map, hopefully making it a fun game for kids to search for them. The size of the mice is made to be challenging but not impossible to find in 1m x 1m poster. Here an example of an easy-to-find mouse:
      Mittelerde Lisa mice.jpg
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTime2 days ago
     
    Posted By: Monsen
    For reference, the onedrive link works perfectly for me. Probably just an issue with that weird little country Dogtag and Shessar lives in. I seem to be hearing lots of weird stuff about their ruler.


    Sigh. The government of the US has gone bat shit crazy.
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTime2 days ago edited
     
    As promised, here is the link to a high res version (130 MB) of the map - ready to print a poster from it. I changed the map title to English and the scale to Miles, a German version will follow soon. https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ak-JjeRFvmSPo2vSG_jE5W3HJWQl Unfortunately I only have enough space on onedrive, my dropbox is full. Does anybody has a possibilty to upload the map that our US friends also may download it?
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTime2 days ago
     
    Posted By: JensenDoes anybody has a possibilty to upload the map that our US friends also may download it?
    I've put it on the atlas site. http://atlas.monsen.cc/atlas/middle%20earth%20for%20children.png

    Posted By: JensenI changed the map title to English and the scale to Miles
    You're walking down the dangerous paths of complication here :) Not everyone who uses English will prefer miles.
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTime2 days ago
     
    Great, thanks for uploading Monsen! I changed the scalebar to Miles as Tolkiens map is in Miles. Do you want an English version with kilometer?
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTime2 days ago edited
     
    Posted By: JensenDo you want an English version with kilometer?
    Nah, doesn't matter to me, kids needs to learn. The kid I am thinking to give this is 6 years old, and already knows Spanish, English and Norwegian, so I wouldn't have worried about giving her a German version either, that only servers to add interest.
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTime2 days ago edited
     
    Here is the link to the German version with kilometer scalebar: https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ak-JjeRFvmSPo2xpUxz5LCFYqzHb
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    Well, this is simply wonderful! Slightly evil not to say how many mice there are to find though ;D

    Hope those struggling with OneDrive have managed to access Monsen's thoughtful alternative. If you're going mouse-hunting (with apologies to Loopysue...), that high-res map is a real help!
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    40 mice :-) but unfortunately not all appear in sufficient quality in the png.