Author Topic: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]  (Read 6328 times)

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Offline Carl

Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« on: January 30, 2012, 11:32:56 AM »
Here's a resource for anyone making maps of England, Scotland and/or Wales: a huge, geographically correct base-map with which to make your heightmaps.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/r4e4qfkp7gakfqj/GB2012.rar?dl=0
(download size 6MB, unzipped size 107MB)

This map may too large to be used on its own depending on your setup (4400x8200). However, the idea is that anybody who wants to make a map of GB (or a certain region of GB) can use this as a starting point rather than searching for the raw map-data and importing it into an image-editing program, etc, etc.

For instance, you could use this base-map to make a 1700x2000 map of Wales, a 600x1000 map of London, a 1700x2400 map of the North of England, or even just a 600x900 map of the Lake District. Alternatively, you could simply shrink this file and make a very large GB map. Each of these would require a little work (adding rivers, etc), but your job will be much easier than having to start from scratch.

I hope somebody finds this useful!

---

More detailed information: this map was made using STRM-data, MICRODEM, and Gimp. When you merge the raw STRM-data, the resulting image makes Scotland wider than it should be and the South narrower than it should be. I've edited the image so that the distances are more or less consistent throughout -- 100px corresponds to about 11.8km everywhere on the map.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 04:01:00 PM by Carl »

Offline AP

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 12:04:56 PM »
There was an earlier topic where we played around with this (link) - the uk data is very detailed (nodes are only tens of meters apart) - if you take say the Isle of Wight you can make a very good map indeed. The original sourcefiles came from, I think, google earth, were easy to compile but were enormous (~2GB) hence weren't being passed around, instead compiled by each user. There are a few areas on the resultant images which can need manual editing (river gorges being the main offender) but on the whole it's really good.

With the whole UK map, it was identified that the UK landmass works best if rotated by a few degrees (making the east cost vertical) - this reduces the size of the map needed to get it all in, and so the amount of memory needed. The large maps are very demanding to run, eliminating clutter like trees helped a little.

Also, with the big maps, the stumbling block we had was that there is no way to specify river routes and town spawn points ( heightmaps yes, rivermaps no), the time investment to populate them otherwise being considerable. There was a thread discussing how it might be done (link) but I don't know if any headway was made. The idea of specifying town co-ordinate in a list seemed sensible, i don't know if rivers are so easy - but there's no way of uploading the list at map creation at present.

Offline Carl

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 12:18:55 PM »
There was an earlier topic where we played around with this (link) - the uk data is very detailed (nodes are only tens of meters apart) - if you take say the Isle of Wight you can make a very good map indeed. The original sourcefiles came from, I think, google earth, were easy to compile but were enormous (~2GB) hence weren't being passed around, instead compiled by each user. There are a few areas on the resultant images which can need manual editing (river gorges being the main offender) but on the whole it's really good.

Yes, that's the data I've used, and this was my aim -- to remove the need for casual map-makers to go through the Google Earth/STRM/MicroDem steps, and allow them to jump straight in at the image-editing point. The map here is still 100+MB unpacked, whereas the raw DEM files total around 400MB so would not be so easily shared.

I see from your links that my idea was pre-empted by around two years! :) Never mind -- hopefully it will be useful to have this in the general resources section as well as in that pakset-specific thread.

As for rivers: these can be manually drawn onto the map in advance if one is happy for them to appear merely as water rather than with river graphics. Cities, of course, are a problem. I wonder if anything came of the tab-file idea in the topic you linked to?

Offline AP

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 12:41:54 PM »
Good to see the idea still being persued, decent maps are important.

Cities, hmm. Perhaps talk to kierongreen regarding the tab-file idea, I see he was interested, and I think he's got the code skills to set it up. If it uses tabbed text file, even the simplest of us can make it work once the interface is there.

If proper rivers could be specified too ( e.g. as a dot-to-dot series of co-ordinates in the tab file) that would be the ideal. The trouble with sea-as-rivers is that it means lowering the terrain level. The DEM data makes it that inland valleys are most definitely higher than sea level, unless you tell it to make all the hills very flat (and the hilly hills look very good!).

Offline Combuijs

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Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 02:32:16 PM »
Nice one, still missing the Orkneys, Shetlands and Western Hebrides though
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Offline Carl

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 02:37:35 PM »
Yes, I'm annoyed about that too -- but sadly I only had the idea to upload the huge version here after I had cropped the image for reasons of space.

Offline AP

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 03:08:30 PM »
The map rotate trick will bring the hebrides (and northern ireland) back into the rectangle. Shetland is a long way north, though!

Offline ӔO

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Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 01:55:32 PM »
previously, when I made my own version, I've found that a rotation of 12.5 degrees, maybe it was 12.7, clockwise did the trick in getting rid of wasted space.

Is there a chance for one sized to 50%?
I find that 50% size is not so bad, but running it through an image editor always results in a massive amount of artifacts.
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Offline Carl

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 02:02:03 PM »
By 'artifacts', do you mean distortion from compressing the size? If so, this can be avoided by using "scale image" in Gimp and setting the "Interpolation" setting to "none". But sure, I can upload a smaller version if you'd like :)

Rotation is all well and good unless you plan to use the compass points to help figure out where map features should be placed....

Offline ӔO

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Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 02:16:01 PM »
I tried the interpolation set to none, but it seems that what I thought were artifacts, were just a lot of bogs and marshes.

I think this map is way better than what I did previously, but it still seems to have the same problems. It is not particularly the map's fault and it is just the way simutrans handles the heights upon generation. Some mountains near estuaries tend to creep into and cut it off, while other places have geography that is too steep to be represented under simutrans.
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Offline Carl

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 02:21:17 PM »
Ah yes -- it's surprising how much water there is inland (e.g. 'bogs and marshes') when you see it represented on these maps! Some areas, e.g. Fenland, seem to have too much water represented, but on the whole most of this inland water appears to be accurate.

It's true that dramatic changes in height tend to make for unavoidable inaccuracies: for instance, rivers on high ground will often be obscured by the terrain, and coastal high ground never looks very good. One would have to go through the map almost pixel-by-pixel to fix those problems, I think.

Offline kierongreen

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2012, 09:58:51 PM »
I've adapted a version that's 2440x3816 which I'm playing at the moment, tinkering quite extensively with heights to give a good range for mountains, avoiding a crazy pattern of bumps adding about 900 or so towns and most rivers. I'll have to work out how to upload it, it's 70mb for the save (less just for heightmap of course)

Offline The Hood

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2012, 10:23:23 PM »
I've adapted a version that's 2440x3816 which I'm playing at the moment, tinkering quite extensively with heights to give a good range for mountains, avoiding a crazy pattern of bumps adding about 900 or so towns and most rivers. I'll have to work out how to upload it, it's 70mb for the save (less just for heightmap of course)

That sounds pretty epic. I'd love to see it!

Offline AP

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2012, 10:30:43 PM »
It's true that dramatic changes in height tend to make for unavoidable inaccuracies: for instance, rivers on high ground will often be obscured by the terrain, and coastal high ground never looks very good. One would have to go through the map almost pixel-by-pixel to fix those problems, I think.

I seem to recall concluding the same thing. I ended up manually editing the portsmouth area (which I know) and had to manually excavate the avon gorge because the hills either side encroached and prevented the river Avon from following its correct course (even if the river could have been auto-generated).

Offline Combuijs

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Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2012, 10:55:00 PM »
I, of course, would be interested in the heightmap  :) ...
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Offline Carl

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2012, 09:22:59 AM »

I've adapted a version that's 2440x3816 which I'm playing at the moment, tinkering quite extensively with heights to give a good range for mountains, avoiding a crazy pattern of bumps adding about 900 or so towns and most rivers. I'll have to work out how to upload it, it's 70mb for the save (less just for heightmap of course)

Sounds great! I made a similar-sized map a while ago (screenshots etc here), albeit with a much worse heightmap and lots of obvious shortcomings. I'm starting to make a better simulation now based on the above heightmap, since Experimental is much better suited now than it was a year ago to making good simulations.

You might find that your 70MB savegame is much smaller when zipped -- those files tend to compress well.

Edit: Incidentally, while I thought I had simulated the entire network on that previous map, I appear to have missed the Sheerness and Fishguard branches...
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 09:34:12 AM by carlbaker »

Offline kierongreen

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2012, 06:27:45 PM »
Ah, yes well I'm actually playing a pakBritain game with mine. So far at 1888, with a fairly accurate representation of the network at that date. Some areas (coincidentally south west and mid Wales, including Swansea to Fishguard) I haven't got round to developing - though I have started on nothern France now to give Dover, Portsmouth and Poole some more passengers (also as forward planning for the  introduction of the Eurostar in over 100 game years time). The 70mb was one of the versions I looked at a while ago (I had to hack the save to change station coverage, not realising it was 4 by default...). It is far more reasonable in zipped format for sure - creeping up steadily from 1.2mb for just the cities to 4.2mb now :)

Interesting to compare some sections with your screenshots... On my map London Bridge has 6 platforms of which 4 continue through to Charing Cross), yours as 2 for both, both games give Waterloo 4 platforms, however I've left out Victoria. We both miss out Waterloo East... Elsewhere in London I don't have Fenchurch and St. Pancras stations (and I'm not late enough to include Marylebone not that I think I will).... I do have the Sheerness Branch :p

What size overall was that map?

This is probably going bit off topic here thanks to my hijacking, maybe from a few posts up should be split off somewhere (mod, please?) :)

Offline Carl

Re: Great Britain Gigantic Map [Resource for map-makers]
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2012, 06:55:41 PM »
The size was something like 2500x3600. Note that most London terminals have more platforms underground, in order to save space, on the map in that topic.