Idea for Fields

Don't know if I have seen this posted before, so I thought I would share...

For realistic looking farmed fields, I used Google Earth and zoomed in to actual fields. Central United States, England, or France all work well. I then used screen capture to grab a small (roughly 150 pixels square) section from a number of different looking fields like these:


Interestingly, the fields in the U.S. tend to be oriented on the compass points, while those in Europe are more random. I'm guessing they were originally laid down before widespread use of the compass and those in the U.S. were made to follow N-S and E-W roads. Anyway, take your small PNG and use it to build a new bitmap files fill style.

I scaled each to 40' in the direction of the furrows to get the size right and 100' in the perpendicular direction to reduce the tiling effect.

Here are the results (obviously using U.S. oriented fields)


- Matt


  • Nice. I've been using zooms on corduroy cloth and have not been happy with it! These look good.
  • I wonder what the license on the Google Earth images are?
  • Hmm... I don't know for certain, but it might depend on which satellites were used.
  • Yeah, I thought about that. Google's license terms state: "You can use Google Earth imagery for personal use, but cannot sell it to others." So non-commercial use seems to be permitted.

    Also, I am snapping such a small portion, much too small to even identify where it came from, that it's functionality as a map or aerial photo is nil. Fair use terms do take the amount of information into account. Google states that "use of a single map screenshot may be fair use, but the use of detailed map images for an entire country may not be." Based on that, these tiny snaps are way over on the "fair use" side of the equation.

    - Matt
  • edited November 2010
    Matt - If I were you, I would use NASA / JPL, NOAA, U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture, U.S. Forestry Service, and USGS imagery. A majority of it is public domain, you only have to attribute the images if they are in an unaltered / original state, and you can use them for absolutely any purpose that you want to artistically (NO COPYRIGHT / NO HASSLE / FIRST AMENDMENT COVERAGE). Even artists who are not United States citizens are covered under the United States Bill Of Rights concerning amendments that can be translated to be universal human rights principles - Freedom Of Speech (The First Amendment) is one of them.

    That would be far better than dealing with Google, especially since most of their satellite images are probably derived from NASA satellite systems anyway - which in a round about way would imply that - in that specific instance - they themselves would be guilty of "pirating" public domain materials, and slapping Alexandrian intellectual property claims onto them (if and only if -indeed that's what's happening, If however - they own their own satellites - or are contracting someone who privately owns a satellite(s) - or have altered the images once they have obtained them - even minutely -then they would be completely in the right about it).

    Generally - mega huge "empire class" corporations like to savagely absorb the public domain like Ghengis Khan absorbed peasant villages - and are not generally known for contributing a great deal back into it. Of course - there are rare exceptions - but good luck conveniently finding them. As far as being creative is concerned - remember one thing and one thing only - PUBLIC DOMAIN = PEACE OF MIND!!! Just make sure that the materials that you are using are really either public domain, or restrictionless / near restrictionless use. Sometimes that - in and of itself - is a difficult proposition. I have seen instances where morons (or crooks) have posted something - declaring it "PUBLIC DOMAIN" - only to place a fine print proviso under it that asserts "PERSONAL USE ONLY" - or a licensing fee, or some other rule or stipulation that totally violates the core principle of "Public Domain" to begin with. PUBLIC DOMAIN - means ANY USE WHATSOEVER, PERIOD! There are no "ifs", "ands", "buts", "maybes", or "Only under the condition thats" - to be subtexted or implied!

    PUBLIC DOMAIN essentially means - "I WAVE ALL OWNERSHIP AND RIGHTS TO THIS MATERIAL UNIVERSALLY - HERE - YOU CAN HAVE IT - IT'S ALL YOURS!!!" Placing conditions on a public domain contribution is like declaring that you are "a little bit pregnant". It's assinine, idiotic, and flagrantly incorrect!

    Remember that when you see a "PERSONAL USE ONLY" stipulation - it roughly translates to "USE FOR PRIVATE WEB SITE DECORATION, AND BIRTHDAY PARTY INVITATIONS FOR LESS THAN 30 PEOPLE ONLY!" In my own opinion - for the artist - materials that are labelled "PERSONAL USE ONLY" should be avoided like a rabid, wounded skunk. They are functionally useless, and pointless, as any kind of stock material whatsoever. This includes Clip Art and Fonts that are labelled "Personal Use Only". The fonts that I create are all SIL / OFL - which means - more or less - that they are practically Public Domain - but you just can't say that you claim ownership to the original, un-derivated, un-altered font - otherwise you can do whatever the heck that you want to with them - royalty free - attorney free - pain free - worry free! Buy, sell, trade, barder, and give away whatever you create with them = including derivative versions of the fonts themselves!

    I would appreciate a "DON'T USE THIS AT ALL!" Message far more than a "PERSONAL USE ONLY" message any darn day of the week! "Personal Use Only" is a cruel tease, and a devious imposter.

    Some "Super Corporations" out there would slap ownership onto the color red - and claim intellectual property and patent rights to the chemical composition of water if they thought even remotely that they could get away with it. A long time ago I believe there was a U.S. federal court case involving the Crayola Crayon company where a competing company came out with an identical color to one of Crayola's - but placed it under a different psuedonym. The Crayola Company is NOT a bad company - is NOT a "corporate tyrant" - and it is NOT "lawsuit thirsty" either - the case was more or less about misunderstanding what can, and cannot be defined as "intellectual property". This case finally resolved the fact that - at least in the United States - YOU CANNOT GET A COPYRIGHT, PATENT, OR TRADEMARK ON A COLOR OF ANY KIND! Technically - not even letter styles / fonts are copyrightable in the U.S. - although they most certainly are in the European Union and Australia.

    ALSO - beware of some GNU and COPYLEFT licenses. They seem to be public domain or restrictionless - but in truth - can retroactively rob you of the rights to control the use and distribution of your own works if you use them - which can be far WORSE than dealing with traditional copyright licensing - because it's like trading in a Pit Bull for a Timber Wolf. Over the years - I have grown to bitterly despise that smirking Ox with a seething, ughly passion that goes beyond the realm of hatred into the even darker, more festering and boiling realm of "anti-love", lol.

    If you are considering declaring your work "COPY LEFT" - then you had might as well declare it "PUBLIC DOMAIN" - because either way, you are basically forfeiting the "exclusive" rights to your own works anyway - so you'de might as well be nice about it - and not spread a "poison pill" license around like GNU Copy Left, CC Copy Left, or any of the other toxic "Copy Left" mistakes out there.

    Whenever I see the "smirking Ox" GNU symbol - I imagine it mounted to my wall with a horrified expression on it's face - and an army boot shoved firmly in it's jowls, lol.

    "CopyLeft" licenses are generally designed to be "retroviral" litero-political / psuedo-socialist assaults upon the "imperialistic" concept of the private ownership copyright. They are meant more to be a way to "stick it to the man" and to "throw a monkey wrench into the works" - than they are to give YOU more creative freedom or options. As such - they should be considered "false storefront" dead ends - and avoided thusly.
  • Yeah. I remember someone writing a shareware program for Amiga computers back in the late 1980s. Not many people sent in the fee, so he made it public domain. Someone added to it, he got upset and tried to stop it. He found out that releasing it into the public domain lost him all rights to determine what was done to it.
  • edited November 2010
    Actually Jim - my position is that public domain stuff is really what you want to look for as far as collecting stock materials are concerned, and not stuff that is from commercial entities or corporations - or stuff that is labelled "Personal Use Only" - or that carries a "communolicense" like Copy Left. - But yeah - your right - when you do truly declare a work as "Public Domain" - you have completely given it up to the world at large - and you then cannot then go back and play "indian giver" (an old expression - no offense intended for fellow native Americans [I'm only partially native american, but it counts], or people of far eastern indian decent) and place conditions on it's use - or snatch it back from public hands.

    Public Domain - however - is a VERY GOOD, GLORIOUS, WONDERFUL thing indeed - because without it - good luck finding any free stock materials to create things with that you can use, that won't cause you to pace the floors getting grey hair and crow's feet worrieing about whether or not somebodie's going to be a grouchy Gus about it - and sue you into the poor house - or worse - prosecute you into jail time for copyright fraud or infringement. That's why I invented my "Roachian Futhark" font - and slapped an OFL (Open Font License) license on it - because I was darn tired of looking for some nice "Tolkienish" runes to put on my stuff that the Tolkien estate, or other font makers didn't lay iron chains upon - and I didn't want anybody else to have to deal with the same headaches that I've had to. Never mind the fact that it's questionable if whether or not the Tolkien Estate has any real foundation for claiming ownership to the "Cirth", "Dwarvish", and "Moon Runes" anyway - because everyone who is familiar with Futhork / Futhark / Nordo - Celtic / Anglo - Saxon runes will tell you that the Tolkien runes are just a mixture of real historical forms anyway, and they may not even qaulify as a legally tangible derivation in a lot of places.

    The most valuable treasure that any artist can have is a fat, chunky collection of public domain images and materials. I religiously collect and keep all of the PD stuff that I can get my grubby little paws on! lol. I honestly - sincerely mean it when I say "Thank God for the Public Domain!" lol. I would advise everybody to collect as much PD stuff as you can (preferably saving them in lossless formats) - and burn them to CD / DVD ROM disks - and then horde those disks as if they were glittering gold and precious gems.

    Qouting your entry "Yeah. I remember someone writing a shareware program for Amiga computers back in the late 1980s. Not many people sent in the fee, so he made it public domain. Someone added to it, he got upset and tried to stop it. He found out that releasing it into the public domain lost him all rights to determine what was done to it." Well - then he should have placed it under an open software license with an attribution clause, or just released it as "Freeware / Royalty Free".
  • edited November 2010
    Wow, that's quite the tirade! :)

    For anyone that wants to brave the chance of Google breaking down your front door, here are the textures I ended up using:
  • edited November 2010
    Oh golly gee Matt - sorry about the tirade. In the future when you ask for other people's input, I'll kindly spare you the trouble - and spend my two cents somewhere else.
    Peace - and happy trails pal...
  • Well, more folks need to learn the differences between copyright, copyleft, public domain, for personal use only, etc.

    The differences can make or break a person's, or small cmopany's, budget.
  • Posted By: Terraformer_AuthorIn the future when you ask for other people's input, I'll kindly spare you the trouble - and spend my two cents somewhere else.
    Didn't mean to sound like a complaint, just didn't expect a treatise on intellectual property rights in response to some textures for farmed fields!


    - Matt
  • sdavies2720sdavies2720 Traveler
    edited November 2010
    Posted By: MattM...
    For anyone that wants to brave the chance of Google breaking down your front door, here are the textures I ended up using:
    Thanks! These are very nice.

    Thanks to MattM, Google, (unnamed plane cameras), anonymous farmers, and mother earth! Any or all of whom might have claims on the files :)
  • 1 month later
  • I have a comment about the textures (rather than the sidetrack into intellectual property rights). I really like this idea. However, the orientation of the furrows in your sample disturbs me: farmers plough their fields based on the alignment of the enclosing hedges and ditches rather than the compass. This implies that we would need to remember to create a set of images aligned every 10 degrees, say, rather than just north/south or east/west.

    This idea really does add to the "look" of the map, though, doesn't it. Cool!
  • Agreed. While there is an option for rotation on symbol fills, I wasn't able to find anything comparable for bitmap fills. Maybe someone that is more of a whiz with CC3 can figure it out.
  • Don't forget that in non-technology times, the rows tended to follow contour lines, as it was difficult with manual or livestock-drawn ploughs to work up or down a hill very well.
  • And that folloing the contour lines was a lesson learned after the US 1930s Dust Bowl.
  • Here is my two cents worth. Here is a link to a federal picture library that shold have some aerial photos of fields.
    It is public domain so it's free to use.

    Thank you
  • 1 year later
  • Hi folks - this is Terraformer_Author - i.e. Bill Roach, coming to you from two years (2012) after this forum thread first appeared, and I just rediscovered it - and came to the painful realization that hindsight is indeed 20 / 20. At the time that I responded to this thread - and basically babbled on tiresomely like a rabid fool - I was at the time - well - a bit
    stressed out, and in somewhat of a nasty mooood, lol. I am deeply embarrassed about this thread, lol, and I apologize...Better late than never, lol.

    Please do not judge me by this thread. I am not a preachy psycho, lol :) ...I am actually a pretty level headed dude.

    Apparantly on November 11th / 12th of 2010 - I was racing on double cappachinos and Coka Cola, and was obviously on a "caffiene crasher" when I participated in this thread at the time - and it's a pretty good bet that I was also struggling with sleep deprivation due to insomnia. I was also involved in a lot of life priority / transitional junk during that period - which led to the increased caffiene intake, and of course, the subsequent afore mentioned insomnia, lol... Anyone will tell you that smoking and excessive caffiene intake - combined - will eventually turn you into an exposed nerve ending, lol. Such is the case...

    I generally only incoherently babble when I'm ticked off about something - or I've been drinking too much mud ( a concoction of 50% coffee, 25% water, 25% creamer, and 176% sugar, lol).
    Rarely - I'll do it when I'm under the delusion that I have useful information about something that I actually know little or nothing about - which is typically when I'm either intoxicated, sleepy, exhuberantly enthusiastic about the subject matter - or some bizarre combination of all of the above, lol :).

    Again - I apologize - and I digress...

    Regards - B.R.
  • VintyriVintyri Newcomer
    They might not be what everyone is seeking, but there also are field fill patterns in our free Vintyri (TM) Fills & Textures set for CC3 in the Cartographic Collection at:
  • 6 days later
  • @terraformer_Author/Bill Roach. I grant you it was a bit preachy 7 caustic, but I still thought it was worth the read so thank you for the information. Also thank you for having the graciousness to apologize for going a wee bit over the top. I do appreciate it.

    tusen takk,
  • 2 months later
  • IthrilIthril Traveler
    @ Terraformer_Author

    Not to digress from the thread, but...
    I've read your 'tirade' as someone else put it several times, and have always chuckled at it a bit. This is a prime example of how something on a forum can be misconstrued, and a good reminder (for everyone an all sides) to take these things with a grain of salt and not get too wound up about something someone wrote.

    I hope things have relaxed for you. I wouldn't be too embarrassed about the thread, I've seen far worse. All in all, thank you for coming back to own up to any hurt feelings. Sven isn't the only one who appreciates it.

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