Illustration Tutorials and Advice Superthread

So uh, i have a few questions.

1) Is there a website where you can find greyscale heightmaps (like this one:
) but for specific locations, and/or more importantly, not in an equirectangular projection? Even if it's a non equirectangular world map it's ok

2) Can you do this with Arcgis or Qgis? Can you download elevation data and make a grey scale heighmap from it?

3) Is there a way to change the projection of a high quality worldmap? I know about G Projector but it only goes up to 7500 * 3500 px, is there a software that can do it for much larger maps (20,000 px large or more)?

Thanks for your answers.
 
So uh, i have a few questions.

1) Is there a website where you can find greyscale heightmaps (like this one:
) but for specific locations, and/or more importantly, not in an equirectangular projection? Even if it's a non equirectangular world map it's ok

2) Can you do this with Arcgis or Qgis? Can you download elevation data and make a grey scale heighmap from it?

3) Is there a way to change the projection of a high quality worldmap? I know about G Projector but it only goes up to 7500 * 3500 px, is there a software that can do it for much larger maps (20,000 px large or more)?

Thanks for your answers.
Yes to all of those questions and I can tell you how! Send me a private message. :)
 
Pardon me, but how would I interpret the RGB value for a colour in a colour scheme/key if it doesn't show the RGB value of a colour in that scheme?
 
Pardon me, but how would I interpret the RGB value for a color in a color scheme/key if it doesn't show the RGB value of a colour in that scheme?
NOTE: The following advice assumes a default menu (and keybindings) for each respective Graphics Editor, and does not cover other editors like Photoshop, as I neither own such programs nor have any experience with them.

In Paint.net, there is a "Colors" window, with a "More >>" button located in the top right of the Color Wheel. Clicking this button will expand the window to the right, providing a section bearing additional information regarding the selected color, including, first and foremost, RGB values. Using the color picker tool (keyboard shortcut: K), select a color of choice in the scheme, and voila! The expanded window should have within it the RGB values of said color.

Interpreting the RGB values in GIMP is a slightly different process. The color picker tool (keyboard shortcut: O) should be used first, as the RGB values of the selected color can be interpreted by clicking the active foreground color, located below the tools menu, whereupon color selection dialog should appear, displaying to the top-right RGB values; each individual value is displayed as a percentage of 255. I have three words after that. Do the math.

I hope this will be of some help to you, and perhaps, other members of the forum...
 
NOTE: The following advice assumes a default menu (and keybindings) for each respective Graphics Editor, and does not cover other editors like Photoshop, as I neither own such programs nor have any experience with them.

In Paint.net, there is a "Colors" window, with a "More >>" button located in the top right of the Color Wheel. Clicking this button will expand the window to the right, providing a section bearing additional information regarding the selected color, including, first and foremost, RGB values. Using the color picker tool (keyboard shortcut: K), select a color of choice in the scheme, and voila! The expanded window should have within it the RGB values of said color.

Interpreting the RGB values in GIMP is a slightly different process. The color picker tool (keyboard shortcut: O) should be used first, as the RGB values of the selected color can be interpreted by clicking the active foreground color, located below the tools menu, whereupon color selection dialog should appear, displaying to the top-right RGB values; each individual value is displayed as a percentage of 255. I have three words after that. Do the math.

I hope this will be of some help to you, and perhaps, other members of the forum...
Thank you for helping me out
 
I remember once seeing a DeviantArt album that had a bunch of blank map templates and tutorials. Does anyone know where I could find that?
 
A very small question.

First, a lot of the mapmakers that I look at use numbers to mark important features. They do all of this in fonts that look good even when they're small. However, on GIMP, all the fonts try look horrible and blurry. I figure that I need to download some online, but which ones do you recommend?
 
A very small question.

First, a lot of the mapmakers that I look at use numbers to mark important features. They do all of this in fonts that look good even when they're small. However, on GIMP, all the fonts try look horrible and blurry. I figure that I need to download some online, but which ones do you recommend?
I think that means you have to make the font aliased (anti-aliasing disabled), it makes lines and stuff not blurry. I feel like you can do this on GIMP, though I have refused to touch it in ages.
 
A somewhat esoteric question for people what use GIS and other programs that turn numbers into pictures: I have a set of coordinate data that I'd like to turn into a vector image so I can mess with it in Illustrator. I've tried using spreadsheets to just create a scatter plot but a) there's enough data points that the program pretty much soft-locks and b) no matter how I try to fight it I can't get the grid to square up properly. Does anyone have any suggestions on software for a relative-to-complete neophyte that might at least reduce my angst?
 
Probably a super-basic question, but does anyone have advice for inserting text legibly onto a map? Specific font recommendations or anything?
 
Probably a super-basic question, but does anyone have advice for inserting text legibly onto a map? Specific font recommendations or anything?
You want your text to be as large and as simple as possible. Often people think fancy map = fancy text but you want the opposite. Text should be read without being noticed. You want immersion in the map first. In my IRL work (as a cartographer) I use fonts mostly from Google Fonts: https://fonts.google.com/. Merriweather, Lato, Roboto and Bitter are all good choices.

Try to follow a series of thoughts when placing text. First, know what you dont need to label. Anything you dont need text on, is more space to make the text you do have more legible. If you have a map with a lot of provinces, dont say "province of..." 15 times. Just use the name, for example. You don't need a legend entry for what mountains are. Assume your audience has a general understanding of what ...things, should look like and you'll rarely go wrong. No need to sacrifice good design out of worries you'll alienate some mythical idiot reading your map.

Then, place your text in the most open areas you have. Or, alternatively, where they are most central in the feature they describe.

Then, size your text to fill up as much space as possible without being so large it covers the thing its supposed to describe.

Then, color it. Black, White, or a slight off-shade of either. No need to get terribly fancy unless you have lots of differently colored features that you want to accentuate in contrast to each other. For stuff like labelling mountain ranges, oceans, roads, etc. keep it basic.

Then, highlight it. A very moderate drop shadow / a light outer glow around your text does wonders.

For stuff like legends, titles, descriptions, all the same rules apply. Focus on readability, always, above everything else. If someone can't read something, they won't care much how fancy the letters are. And really crazy fonts 99% of the time look like shit anyways.

Hope this helps!
 
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