11 September 2012

Mapping and Attendant Quest

I've been busy, busy, busy the last two days tracking down a missing something for an essential part of my software needed to run a program called paint.NET which is going to help design a map for my world.

Being one of the dangerous sort who only knows part of what is needed and then allowed to run amok in the world, I found out I needed to check a lot of the tech support blogs around the net.  I started my search with cartography and joined a forum of cartographers because of a free program, GIMP, which couldn't be downloaded.  When I checked the bug discussion, there was a scrap of dll I would have to hunt for involving something in the system32 which I was horrified at messing around with having just gotten a flashback to the time of "no computer" due to a motherboard being fried. {Another adventure which I think I've referred to elsewhere.}

Searching for maps was taking a little long as I wanted to get my descriptions matched up in my stories.  One can't really have someone(s) going in circles, even though people have been known to do so in "real life."  And one can't have two or three groups being on the same route or the same place without sounding totally lost.  Just makes for a lot of revising and hunting for where one went wrong. {as in trying to find out why certain somethings won't work on my computer.}

I came across a couple maps after going through a process of elimination for ideas on what to use for a map.  This problem has been plaguing me since I started my first book.  Finding aids for my creation process is akin to that which I use in working on traditional arts and crafts.  And having little storage for such aids since books, beads and cloth are taking up a lot of the space in the house, sewing machines are here somewhere as there are four of those,  I tried to find something I could use on the net. Google Earth {and finding my way to Google and Blogger} have been great for some of the process. Now I need specific points in my world. The above maps had been posted on DeviantArt and the maker's use of paint.Net and satellite pics.  Lucky for me was the fact that my search history hadn't been cleared. Unlucky, "application not found."

All of this led to my deciding to use the Microsoft Paint program already installed. Eeyii, what a mess.  I don't draw as my stick figures tend to look like something out of a nightmare which caaaan have its place in a novel.  Just not this time.  The hunt for tutorials to use the program was on.  Enter Paint.Net. and days looking for the missing something on my hard drive.  Weeelll, two days.

The two days were well spent as I know a good deal more than when I started the hunt for a map that looked a little like what I had in mind.  And having this map has aided my imagination so much more.  Reminds me of the exploration and discovery we all study in school, though geography was never a strong point as I barely know mountains, valleys and plains.  The difference between seas and oceans is still hard for me to grasp.  Ridgelines and other such technicalities will have to wait until the light bulb goes on and I don't have to rely on someone explaining such concepts to me. Or til a character takes it into their head to further my education on such things.


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