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    • CommentAuthorCiel
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2020 edited
     
    Or perhaps it really should be version, like... 11, by this point, with how long I've been working on this and how many times I've made major changes! Anyway.

    First off: I don't think I'm THAT well-known here, but I have posted a fair bit so in case anyone knows the name: I was Saito S. Changed it because I haven't used that name in ages elsewhere, but I use "Ciel" a lot around the 'net. Just never occurred to me that I should change it here too until today!

    I posted a WIP of Valocea quite some time (almost 5 years) ago. It's changed a LOT since then and I doubt anyone here remembers that anyway, so I'll reintroduce it!
    Screenshot below, but with this mapping style ("Modern Political", from the 2010 Annual), all the text and details are just crammed in. So for best results (and any hope whatsoever of being able to read most of the text or see the city symbols, etc.), click on the screenshot and view it at full res (which by the way is 8000 x 6858).


    Valocea is a country situated on a large island in the Pacific (the second largest island in the world after Greenland - or third largest if you consider Australia an island, not a continent) and its surrounding archipelago, which are all located just off the coast of British Columbia, Washington State, and Oregon. This project originally started as an avenue through which I could express my extreme geekery over trains and public transport, so naturally, Valocea has some of the most robust and efficient such systems in the world.

    It's STILL a WIP, even 5 years on, but it has come a really long way since the previous posting of it here. In addition to simply adding more stuff and tweaking things, I completely overhauled it a couple of times - the main landmass completely changed shape, some provinces were moved or eliminated, etc. Also as you can see, there are rail lines! The lines you can see on the map represent the mainlines of VSR (Valocea State Railways, the state-owned national railway operating company); there are of course a large number of regional and local lines that aren't visible on the main map (one of these days I need to do some provincial-level maps!).

    You'll also notice there are zero roads or highways of any kind. The country does have a national highway system, of course, I just haven't gotten around to planning that out at all yet, haha. It'll be on there at some point! Still need to add many more cities, names of natural features, etc. as well. Oh, and most of the smaller islands don't have any "border glow" to tell you which province they are a part of, which is also something I still need to work on.

    @Monsen if you happen to see this: I don't know if you'll remember this, probably not since you no doubt see scores of maps from various users every week, but at the time I posted this before, you commented that the colored borders looked too strong, and kind of dominated the "landscape" of the otherwise clean style of the map. Well I came to agree with you on that; I've spent a lot of time tweaking those borders, and while they are still present, they're more subtle now. The color band along the edge of each province is thinner and more faint. Would be curious to see if you like them more this way!

    Factoids because I can't resist throwing some in:
    -Total population: 156.7 million people. The vast majority of this population resides on the mainland, though there are 3 provinces that have no mainland component (Tayuun, Shulanu Island, and the Pathway Islands). Together, these 3 account for about 6% of the country's population.
    -Total land area: 971,131 square kilometers (the mainland by itself has an area of 862,190 square km).
    -The Valocean archipelago is made up over over 2000 islands, but the majority of these are too small to show up on this map (only islands that have an area of 10 square km or greater show up). There are 329 such islands, counting the mainland. I'll probably finish naming all 329 in say... 10 years or so. At best.
    -The country is divided into 24 provinces. Valocea is a unitary state, unlike the US or Canada, so the provinces are just administrative divisions; they aren't states in and of themselves. The largest in population is Pascale, with over 17 million, and the smallest is Orageux, with just over 800,000. In terms of land area, the largest by far is Laluri, at 82,290 square km, and the smallest is Pathway Islands, with 7,789 square km.
    -Valocea is fairly urbanized, with a large % of it's population residing in cities, and there are 10 cities that reach the 1 million+ mark. Of those 10, the largest is Lennvale, the country's most populous city with 4.2 million, located in the central area along the waterways in the middle of Pascale province, and the smallest is Talanora which has 1.1. million and is located in the northwest, at the "corner" of Cassius province.
    -Given an entire other country ripe for trade and tourism just sitting over there, I think it's reasonable to say that in the Valocea Alternate Universe, at some point one of the many proposals to build a bridge between the city of Vancouver and Vancouver Island (all of which fizzled out in real life) succeeded. Another bridge, from Vancouver Island to the Valocean mainland, would have been - by comparison - a much simpler thing to build, as that distance is actually far less than the distance from Vancouver to Vancouver Island.

    Feedback, comments, and questions are all welcome!~
    •  
      CommentAuthorRalf
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2020
     
    That's a very cool map!

    I noticed Valocea seems to have a very high population compared to the neighboring US northwest and British Columbia. Any reason for that in the fiction? :D
    •  
      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2020
     
    You're right. I can't remember the original map. And the images in your old post aren't valid more either (One of advantages to attach the images to the post instead of linking to an external image, they stay around)

    I still prefer non-colored borders for modern style maps, although your borders are quite subtle now, so I don't think it is something I would have picked up on for this map at all if you hadn't mentioned my comment from earlier.

    I really like that map. All the coastline details make it look like a real place.
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2020
     
    Wow!

    Lovely map, Ciel :)

    Just think - the legend of Atlantis started with a story and a map. Maybe in another thousand years people will believe that the Republic of Valocea was real, and make up a ton of stories about why it's not there any more. It looks real enough to me!
    • CommentAuthorCiel
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2020
     
    Oh wow, thanks for the praise all! Happily surprised that the map seems to be such a hit!

    Posted By: RalfThat's a very cool map!

    I noticed Valocea seems to have a very high population compared to the neighboring US northwest and British Columbia. Any reason for that in the fiction? :D

    No single, specific, overriding reason, really. When it comes to things like population numbers, I tend to work "backwards", first figuring out what I want or need, then figuring out some explanation for why it is that way. So in this case, I already knew how big the land area was going to be, and how many provinces there were, and what kind of population numbers I wanted for both the largest and smallest provinces. So I figured out a total national pop figure that would accommodate all that, giving me enough population to work with so I could spread it around as needed.

    In-universe, the country does have a lot of resources to tap, and more varied terrain than the Pacific Northwest - there's plenty of dense forest and mountainous area like you'd find in Wash or BC, but Valocea also has more plentiful large areas with good farmland, as well as not being too harsh climate-wise (for the most part... some of the far north parts get some pretty cold winters, and Orageux - which means "stormy" - has serious rough seas along its coast much of the time), which attracted large numbers of people over the years from the 17th century onward (after European contact). I'm no historian, and figuring out the details of that period of history (that which leads up to the founding of the country) have kind of been beyond me, unfortunately. At some point if I ever find the time, I might try to do some heavier research and see if I can figure out more of that history! But for now at least, the project is basically to envision the country as it exists today, and just assume that the history is there, even if I don't know what most of it is.

    Posted By: MonsenYou're right. I can't remember the original map. And the images in your old post aren't valid more either (One of advantages to attach the images to the post instead of linking to an external image, they stay around)

    Yeah, the image link to the old map is long gone. I didn't think to re-upload it when I made reference to it. But eh, it had a lot of flaws anyway, so no big deal.
    I never even noticed you could attach files! I'll keep that in mind for the future.
    I still prefer non-colored borders for modern style maps, although your borders are quite subtle now, so I don't think it is something I would have picked up on for this map at all if you hadn't mentioned my comment from earlier.

    That's good to know that the borders don't grab too much attention! I do like how they look, but don't want them to be overpowering.
    I really like that map. All the coastline details make it look like a real place.

    Thank you! I spent TONS of time doing very fine work on the coastlines, so it's nice to hear it paid off, haha.

    Posted By: LoopysueWow!

    Lovely map, Ciel :)

    Just think - the legend of Atlantis started with a story and a map. Maybe in another thousand years people will believe that the Republic of Valocea was real, and make up a ton of stories about why it's not there any more. It looks real enough to me!

    Thank you so much! That it "looks real" is gratifying, since that's basically what I was going for lol
    And hey, you never know! This kind of "lost island" legend sounds like a good basis for a sci-fi novel.

    Interestingly, on that subject (and in a way further answering what you asked above, Ralf), this project was started as I mentioned as an exercise in pure world-creation. And like... mundane, "real world" world creation. Basically I wanted to make maps and a big railway system lol So the "core" or "base" version of the Valocea project is just that - a vision of a fictional country which could be just another real country in the real world today. There's no sci-fi or fantasy or paranormal or adventure element to it. The closest thing to a "story" I have is some slice-of-life dabbles I've written for fun of the lives of some characters that could live there.

    BUT, I've been trying (unsuccessfully so far, but I haven't given up on finishing something one day!) to write sci-fi and fantasy novels for a very long time - far longer than I've been creating maps. As I have continued to develop Valocea, I started thinking that even though that "base" version is just set in our regular real world, it could also serve as a setting FOR stories that are more fantastical. Like, if Valocea were a real country, then some sci-fi and fantasy books (as well as movies/video games/TV shows) would simply be set in Valocea, the same way you might have a fantastical story set in Canada, Japan, or France. So despite the "mundane-ness" of the core setting, I do have some ideas for some not-so-mundane stories set there as well!

    Anyway this post ran a little long so I'm gonna end it here. Thanks for the comments guys! Feel free to ask any further questions if anything comes to mind~