The Lakes of Michigami (Jerry's Map) - WIP thread

LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
edited November 2020 in Show and Tell

Hi Everyone :)

This is a WIP thread showing the completion of a map that was started a while back by Jerry Thiel. Jerry has done a vast amount of work for the Community Atlas, but sadly owing to Motor Neurone Disease is no longer able to map. I offered to finish a map of his choice for him, and Jerry sent me the FCW for a map based on the Michigan area south of the Great Lakes where he grew up. I also asked if Jerry wanted this to be a private thing, or if he wished me to do a WIP thread. Jerry chose the WIP thread option, so here we go...

The map (which I have temporarily named "Jerry's Map") is based on the Michigan area around the Great Lakes of North America.

This is what Jerry had to say about the continuation of his map:

"Use any style you want. I was planning on a fantasy world. The big village would have been called "City of the Grand Traverse." The early French explorers called the passage across the large bay from the peninsula tip east, the Grand Traverse, as it shortened their canoe voyage significantly. 

The two villages facing each other on the Upper and Lower Peninsulas I pictured as the capitols of two antagonistic city-states.

The narrow peninsula running north from GT Is called Old Mission Peninsula after a small mission church built to service the local Indian reservation. The northern tip of the on the 45 latitude and there is an Indian legend that warriors would gather there on the summer solstice to shoot at the sun to cause it to turn back to the south so that it couldn't escape to leave the world in eternal darkness."

Jerry - please feel free to comment and guide as we go. It is, after all, your map I'm working on :)

JimP[Deleted User]MonsenTheschabiGThieljmabbottWyvernLillhansRaikoDaishoChikara


  • Thank you, Sue. I miss being able to map, but at least I can do it vicariously through you here. :-)

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    You're awesome, Jerry. Thank you for letting me have a go with your map like this :)

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Here is the FCW with the reference map overlaid and blended with the background for a better idea of the terrain.

    @GThiel - Jerry, can you remember where you got the original from? I would like to see if I can find the missing strip down the Eastern side. Don't worry if you can't. I can adapt a relief map generated in Wilbur from Tangram Heightmap data. It won't be as good a match, but it will be close enough. In fact, if I do that I can use it in the final map if it looks well.

  • I added the section in the lower half by hand to fill in the area better.

  • Here;s a screen grab showing the land area that is to the east of what I sent.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Thanks. That will do nicely for the coastline :)

    There's no real coastline data on the Tangram maps.

  • I absolutely love the concept of turning a real world area into a fantasy world. I have almost finished a map of an area in Canada where one of my friend's lives as a return gift.

    Any map Jerry would like as an extra, I would also be honoured if I could contribute

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Maybe when we have finished this one Jerry might want smaller regional maps. This is a really huge area.

    Or maybe he has other maps that he would like finished?

  • GThielGThiel Surveyor
    edited November 2020

    Have added some Alpha and Numeric tags to map to locate some things

    To give you a sense of scale, A -- Detroit to B -- Mackinac City (pronounced MAC-i-naw)= 288 miles/463 kilometer

    B to C -- Ironwood = 312 miles/502 kilometers

    Points of Interest 1 -- Sleeping Bear Dunes , 2 -- Tahquamenon Falls, 3 -- lots of Iron and Copper minnes (miners from Cornwall settled here bringing their love of Pasties to the U.P., 4 -- Beaver Island

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes "Sleeping Bear Dunes gets its name from a Chippewa legend that tells the story of a mother bear and her two cubs who, fleeing a fire in the woods of Wisconsin on the other side of Lake Michigan, plunged into the lake and began swimming to find safe haven. But the swim was tiring, and the cubs soon fell behind their mother. Upon reaching Michigan’s shores, the mother bear climbed out of the water, turned and watched, waiting for her cubs to join her. The cubs came into sight, but, too tired to finish the journey, they drowned just before reaching shore. The mother then lay down and fell into a slumber, forever awaiting her cubs. A spirit known as the Great Spirit Manitou created two islands — North and South Manitou islands — to commemorate the spot where the cubs’ journey ended, and then covered the mother with sand, forming the famous dune at the lakeshore."

    Loopysue[Deleted User]JimP
  • Tahquamenon Falls "The Tahquamenon Falls are two different waterfalls on the Tahquamenon River. Both sets are located near Lake Superior in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The water is notably brown in color from the tannins leached from the cedar swamps which the river drains" Here's a pic of the

    upper falls

    Loopysue[Deleted User]RaikoWeathermanSweden
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Pasties! I'm feeling really hungry now...

    Those distances go to show how massive this area really is. I was wondering why you had chosen to do the mountain symbols so small, but now I know. The problem with that is that they are barely identifiable as mountains. Do you mind if I scale them up just a bit, or maybe consider an alternative to using symbols?

    That's a really sad story about the bears, and wow! Those really are brown.

  • I wouldn't mind if you removed all the symbols :-)

    At the time I was planning on a dwarven kingdom in the "mountains" in the lower peninsula.

  • Another benefit of using the real world is the ability to use real life photos.

  • At location C, Detroit, add the Great Salt Mines.

    "The Detroit salt mine is a salt mine located 1,100 ft below Detroit, Michigan. The mine opened in 1910 and covers 1,500 acres underground. In the beginning, the leather and food industries were the primary customers. Today, road deicing salt is the primary product.

    Story -- The Dwarven clan of the Straits (Detroit = french "of the straits") have long mined the salt from the depths. Recently, the Duergar have erupted up from the Underdark, drastically disrupting the vital salt trade.

  • Native Indian names for the great lakes

    Lake Michigan -- Michigami

    Superior -- Gitchi-gami

    Huron -- "Named after the French name of the lake – Lac des Hurons. The French named it for the Native American tribe they called “hure” (Hurons – meaning “head”- which refers to the strange way they dressed their hair. The tribe referred to itself as Wendat (Wyandotte), meaning “dwellers on a peninsula.”"

    Erie -- "The lake was named after the Erie people – a Native American group who lived along lake’s southern shore. The tribal name “Erie” is a shortened form of the Iroquoian word erielhonan, meaning “long tail”."

    Ontario -- "In the Huron language, the name Ontarí’io means “Lake of Shining Waters”."

    The body of water to the east of Detroit is Lake St. Clare while bigis not considered a "Great Lake." "Lake St. Clair (French: Lac Sainte-Claire) is a freshwater lake that lies between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Michigan. It was named in 1679 by French Catholic explorers after Saint Clare of Assisi, on whose feast day they first sighted this body of water."

    By the way, the coastline of Michigan is 3288 miles/5300 kilometers.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited November 2020

    Thanks Jerry :)

    I'm thinking of using more of a Wilbur background for the map like this but a more artistic water fill than the flat blue I've managed to produce. This is data from Tangram Heightmaps processed in Wilbur and used as a background for the rest of the map. It will mean that we won't have to use any mountain symbols - cramped or oversized, though I might have to scout around for a top view overland style for the trees and other stuff to match. I've hidden maybe too many sheets to show it off. The lakes you drew are still in the map - just not visible right now, but they match the landforms almost perfectly as you can see from the rivers you drew.

    What do you think?

    Colour adjustments are no problem.

    The scale of the salt mines means that with the size of the map they would be little more than a dot. But maybe someone would like to do a larger scale map of them for you? I can mark them as being there, and even add a cutaway area or a shaded area to indicate the extent of the underworld around the salt mines...

    Entirely up to you :)

    EDIT: I've actually trimmed off the full extent to the east, but the Wilbur map goes about 500 miles further out that way if you want it added...

  • I like the trimmed version better as it puts more focus on Michigan. The lake near the thumb at the SW end of the bay, does not exist -- if it does in the imported data, then their data is wrong.

    I think the photo-realism of the map is nice -- if we were doing a Sci-Fi based map, but for a fantasy setting it seems out of place, unless a mage has been flying really high :-)

    As to mines and other places I've mentioned, labels are fine, we'll let Quenten map them all in detail .. .. ..

    Now off to see the Doctor, not looking forwards to it.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    I will see what I can do about the new lake, which might have been created when I forced the water level in the Great Lakes to become sea level for the purposes of getting Wilbur to shade the land correctly. And maybe I will have a bit of a play with slightly larger mountain symbols - so they can at least be recognisable for what they are.

    What kind of size were you envisaging the final export to be. Some of the trees are really tiny, as if you were thinking of wall size?

    I hope your appointment goes as well as it can...

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited November 2020

    After thinking about this for some time I think I might change style to use Ancient Realms style from the 2014 Cartographer's Annual. This style has several qualities that make it suitable for small scale mapping of very large areas like this one. Firstly there is a good collection of attractive mountains and hills, the fills are about the same colour and tone as the fills in your original map, Jerry, the woodlands are a fill rather than millions of very tiny individual tree symbols, and there are those very attractive circular points of interest markers that will be really handy for things like the salt mine, where they would be too small to show as other than a dot in other styles.

    I know you won't see this for a while, so I will mock up a small section of the map for you.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited November 2020

    Something a bit like this?

    I took the lazy option with the coastline and ran TRACED on the mask from the heightmap so that it matched the bitmap I'm using of the entire area as a guide for where to put the mountains and hills, but I think the Old Mission Peninsula is more of an island than a peninsula the way it appears in the original map. I will have a closer look at that one but this is just a taster to see if you like the style for the map.

  • Yes, the style works.

    err, ummm .. .. .. yes that peninsula does have a "canal" at the tree line by the second 'S' of mission, but that's the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P. 50 years ago when I was last in that area, there was a 2 car ferry to get you from one side to the other of that narrow, natural waterway.

    Old Mission is the skinny peninsula going north from Grand Traverse :-)

    The state motto of Michigan is "Si Quæris Peninsulam Amœnam Circumspice" -- If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you which is highly appropriate for Michigan which is made of many, many, many peninsulas.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited November 2020

    Oh dear!

    Well, it's just as well I'm working with you. I think we can put this down to me not knowing a thing about this area other than what you tell me, and there's a lot to describe. I will put the waterway in and rename the peninsula.

    I think it might be easier if I look at Google Maps and add labels for the real world names, which you can then alter by telling me what you want them to be once I am done?

    For now, I will concentrate on getting the main terrain down...

  • Go ahead and work on terrain. I’ve been thinking about backstory and history and will try to get something typed up. The population consists of many first people tribes that live in small villages scattered about the wilderness. They form temporary alliances between different tribal groups that constantly shifting allegiances.

    the Dwarves have three mayor population centers, one in the salt mines under what we call Detroit, a second in the mountains/hills SE of Keneeway where they mine much irk and copper.and the third is there major hold city east of grand traverse.

    the first foreign humans to reach these lands were the Franks, who came as explorers, missionaries, and fur trappers. Their only remaining settlement in the area is the town located on the north side of the straits separating the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

    the most recent arrivals are the Anglo-Jutes who have arrived to conquer and claim the land. They have pushed the Franks totally out of the lower peninsula and have claimed the town, almost city, of Grand Traverse. They have a secondary trading center at Detroit,and another settlement at the northern tipofthe lower peninsula to keep an eye on the Franks. They arrived from the lands to the east of Lake Huron, where they have a city that has a shipyard where they construct small vessels to sail on the lakes. They have kept relations with the natives guarded,but who knows how long the uneasy peace willlast and whether the Angles,the Franks, or the natives will initiate hostilities.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    So this is going to be a historic fantasy of sorts - a mixture of actual history/legend and fantasy?

    You may have to be a bit patient with me over what goes where, since I have no familiarity with the area at all. I'm also not good with pages and pages of text. Easily lost, you see. Much better with well-timed short bits of info ;)

    Found Grand Traverse and Mission Point. There's not really enough room to add the name of the peninsula as well, but that's probably better done by a smaller regional map when Quenten gets going on them.

  • Sorry about the "text wall" When Icreated maps, I had to tell myself the backstory before I could put down any features.

    The icons for the places look good,but would it be possible to put some transparency on themto allow the underlying terrain featuresto be seen?

    The2 little islands are North and South Manitou Islands, the bear cubs of the legend and Sleeping Bear Dunes are south of them on the coast.

    (Are sick of me and regretting your kind offer yet :-) )

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited November 2020

    EDIT: I think I was working on this comment before you posted yours, so didn't see it till I'd done my own.

    No - I'm not sick of it. I'm quite enjoying myself. I haven't used this style before.

    Original comment below


    Ok. I've only done a bit more and some tweaking on effects, but I want to pause and see if you feel this is going the right way.

    Just to the south of this green area is what appears on the real world map to be an extensive low plateau with mixed farming and forest. There are loads of kettle lakes here. In the real world its all very green and lush. That's all I can make out from the various maps I have.

    Do you want me to do something similar, or go for Mordor? A desert would be somewhat out of place because of the lakes. Maybe just a straightforward moorland?

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    edited November 2020

    I think the place symbols might look a bit weird with transparency. Maybe I can move them to the side and have a little line to the point they refer to.

    Or maybe we can use more traditional symbols from a different set for most settlements, and just have these special symbols for the really important places?

    Re, the text wall. Don't worry about it too much. It's just that I can miss important details if there is a lot of it all at once. I'm better with diagrams, but I know you can't do that so just... don't worry about it. I expect we will have quite a few humorous moments as I continue to get things muddled up. But we will get there in the end.

  • A lot of the UP is cedar swamp, with deer flies and mosquitos the size of elephants.

    that mountain area to the NE is one of the Dwarf holds with mines for iron and copper.

    I like the style, but could the green edging around the forest/swamp areas be blurred a bit?

    When you get closer to being finished, I will be making suggestions as to area names; for example, Washington Island might be changed to "Washing Town Island" suggesting a story hook.

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Is this better?

    The reason I'm adding the real world names is to give us a reference for further instructions. It's easier if you say change "Fred" to "Burt", than if you give me a lengthy description of where you want a label that doesn't exist yet.

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