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Fictional map of a county in the Catskills

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#1
ravells

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I'm making a fictional map of a Region in the Catskills in New York state (In the map Newgrave = Poughkeepsie / Hawthorn = Kingston). The map is to be used in a fantasy gothic horror role playing game set in the 1920's. Much of the vocabulary in the map is borrowed from Van Loam's beautiful map of the Catskills (which can be found at the Harvard online library).

It's been really fun to do, you can go mad with font choices. This is my work in progress so far and I wondered if anyone had any comments about anything which leaps off the page which doesn't belong to that era or which is worded wrongly for that era, symbol choices etc. Does this look like a map which might have been drawn by a somewhat amateur cartographer of the time?

The one thing that doesn't feel right to me are the forest symbols, but I'm struggling to find something that works but which doesn't occlude the contour lines, but still has a hand drawn feel to it. The Van Loam map doesn't show forests (but does show mountains as hatchures) but it's important that I show them in this map.

All criticisms and suggestions warmly welcomed.

A full size version of the map can be found here:

http://www.mediafire...a84xde40ysb1808

Cheers

Ravs

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#2
Dennis McClendon

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It looks pretty good. The type is perhaps a little too perfect. The face used for point of interest does seem anachronistic; too informal. They would have used a grotesk.

Presumably the production method was wax engraving, so there are names that would have been moved a little rather than interrupting the feature lines: Watford, Cannonbury, Upland, Red Biddy, Pepper Ridge

It bothers me that the streets of Hawthorn and Newgrave just wander into the countryside and then end. That seldom happens. Streets generally end at other streets, or consolidate into the few cross-country roads.

Why didn’t the railroad cross the Hudson at its narrowest point in Newgrave? Bridges were expensive compared to regrading a hill. Does the New York & Western just run from Hawthorn to Ealing and back? Why no railroad along the west bank of the Hudson?

The road up Primrose Hill crosses the contours at right angles. No 18th century teamster would ever have urged his oxen straight up the hill like that. I can’t tell what happens with the zigzag road recrossing the railroad on the hill’s northeast shoulder. I’m also a little unclear how there’s a fen in between the saddle of Primrose Hill. What kept it from draining away? The road south of Preston is awfully twisty for swampy lowlands.

What are the counties on the east side of the Hudson?

The scale seems way off. Lake Droplet is three miles across! The Indian Burial Ground is 14 miles from end to end? And it’s 42 miles between small hamlets along the Hudson, hamlets established when 20 miles was a day’s journey. October County is 124 miles across, making a long trip to the court house. I doubt the Dutch would have called a watercourse two miles wide a Kill. Oh, what’s the name of the stream that runs past Cannonbury and Willow Falls?

In 1917, the Newgrave Aerodrome wouldn’t have had defined runways. It would have merely been a flat field, and pilots would have taken off into the wind. And how did St. John’s Church end up out in the country instead of in the middle of town?

Fort Chitty should probably say “Restricted Entry” instead of “Entrance Forbidden.” The boundaries are also a bit odd, following neither roads nor county lines.

The prices are a nice touch, though no publisher of this era would have included the date, making all his inventory out-of-date 12 months later. An address of this era would always abbreviate N.Y. rather than NY and would more likely be something like Curtis & Co., Publishers, The Hoagland Block, Ravencliff, N.Y.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#3
ravells

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Thank you Dennis!!!! This is exactly the sort of advice I was looking for.

I didn't mention I had some constraints - the two main ones being that the guy I'm making the map for has decided on the location of many of the features and that this is being designed to be printed landscape on letter sized paper so I've had to exaggerate some features which I would have loved to have made smaller.

I'll mention all of your points to the author and will post up the next iteration when I've had his feedback about changes.

Thanks again!

Ravi.

:: Edit :: Sorry, should have mentioned that this is incompletely labelled and the names are mainly placeholders so I could check typefaces and the general design.

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#4
Dennis McClendon

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I just realized that you might also be looking for the wording an American would have used in this era. I suggest:

The Curtis
new and revised
VISITOR'S MAP OF
OCTOBER
COUNTY
and vicinity, including
The Catskill Mountains

Compiled, engraved, and printed for
The Curtis Co.
Catskill Visitor's Guide

The Curtis Company
Publishers
The Hoagland Block
Ravencliff, N.Y.


The word aerodrome is a bit rightpondian, though in 1917 it's not inconceivable to find it in New York or New England. However, I would probably use Flying Field or Airfield.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#5
ravells

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Excellent Stuff!!! I'll pass that on too!

Being rightpondian myself I was afraid I might be using non-US wording, and particularly of that time.

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