Scaling size of map objects to your maps scale?


I just recently finished a large campaign map I have been working on. I set the dimensions of the map to be 5200x3300, with a grid spacing of 25. The idea being that each square would represent roughly 1 days travel. Upon completing and exporting, I zoomed in and there is no way 1 of those squares could conceivably be only 1 day of travel. I believe it is because all my map objects are too large for the scale, but I dont know what size they should be. Is there a way to scale my trees, mountains, cities and such to the appropriate size for the map scale? Or do I have to just eyeball it?

I took a look at the user manual and I have not been able to find reference to what I am looking for.

Thank You!


  • Before placing a symbol, right click with a symbol on your mouse pointer, and then click on Set Normal. The symbol will scale to the larger or smaller map. While this works the majority of the time, I have had to occasionaly just decide on a symbol scale for a map.

    Symbols are typically 1.0 scale on 1000 x 800 maps.

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 44 images Cartographer Administrator

    To elaborate a bit on JimP's answer here. Symbols are by default scaled to 1/1000th of the map width in overland maps. There are several good reasons for this, but if you want your symbols smaller, you can permanently change the default symbol scale for a map by going to Drawing Properties. The value found here is the value that will be used when you click the set normal button Jim refers to. The "default" scale for symbols in general is 1, but be aware that trying to map a map of that size using symbol scale 1 will be quite a lot of work. The small symbols may not look as good either when the map is zoomed out.

  • BriwoodBriwood Newcomer

    Thank you for the reply!

    So I tried doing that and it still sets the object very large. A town with the setting they give takes up like 300kms and a single tree takes up 1 whole 25km square.

  • BriwoodBriwood Newcomer

    Thank you for the reply!

    1 does look more like what I was thinking. And It would be super tedious I see to do all the filling with that size.

    I may end up just making the towns the smaller size but keeping everything else their current size. The main issue I was having was mostly with how close towns ended up looking on the maps.

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 44 images Cartographer Administrator

    That could work.

    Keep in mind that symbols on an overland map is a representation of an interesting feature, not a scale model (At proper scale, quite a few things wouldn't be visible at all). The common technique is to think more like a classical paper atlas, don't try to make the large map overly detailed, but instead, make detailed maps for interesting regions. It is extremely work-consuming to make a map that scale that also can be zoomed in to a 25 km square and still look good there. And it also starts to hit performance, making the map unmanagable if it gets too detailed.

    But in the end, that scale value is there for you to use it, the default settings are a good default options for most maps, but people have different needs. And using different scales on different symbol types is a fully legitimate approach.

  • BriwoodBriwood Newcomer

    I appreciate the input! I will take your advice and leave the large map less detailed, more or less highlighting land features. I will make smaller, more detailed maps for the regions of note.

    It is a bit more daunting than I thought it would be, especially since I have already finished, binned and restarted about 10 times as I learn more about CC3.

    Thanks again for the advice :)

  • jslaytonjslayton Mapmaker Moderator, ProFantasy

    Cartography is the art of fixing an abstraction of a place into a medium. It's done for a client and for a purpose.

    The abstraction part is about only adding the parts of the place that are important for the client and purpose. Anything that doesn't serve the map's (and client's) purpose shouldn't be included. A map done for the king that shows the important places in a kingdom is unlikely to show the sewers or slums; a map of the same kingdom that's done for adventurer-type folks might well show those places as relevant, perhaps important. A map done for the purposes of describing land claims for a bureaucracy's will look quite a bit different from an artistic rendering done to show the peoples of a country done for a tourist company.

    The medium part is a little tricky, mostly because the medium puts fairly hard limits on what you can do and largely is determined by the map's purpose and clientele. A copperplate engraving means that the map will be composed entirely of lines and is likely to be done that way to allow for large-scale reproduction for a broad audience. A fresco map allows for much more expression, but the size and location will be dictated by the (likely single) client. An ink sketch has very different limits from a carved wood map or one composed of knotted string or woven into a tapestry. Even in a computer imaging environment, image resolution, color depth, vector vs. raster, and the software tools will all dictate hard limits on what can be done.

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