I absolutely love this one. Unlike some of the others, it is not a map making software. Instead Fantastic Maps is a place where you can get lessons on making maps. Mostly for the RPG GM/DM there are maps that you can buy as well as some for free and while those are incredible, that’s not what caught my interest with this site. What caught my attention were the map making lessons.
You see, I like to draw. I don’t have the patience with it to be very good at it, but there is just something about putting pen to paper or in the case of much of my artistic endeavors, pencil to paper. It’s relaxing and a lot of fun to see what I can create whether it be the blueprints to an apartment my characters live in or a brand new alien race for one of my sci-fi stories, I love to see what I come up with when I am drawing.
How to Draw a Map
The first thing of interest is a rather long post on the site with detailed instructions on how to make a map in Photoshop or Gimp. It’s not quite drawing on paper, but it is very informative and it does have a nice look to it, very professional looking. It also has a very hand drawn quality to it despite using a software and I think it would be quite useful to anyone wanting to make a map from scratch.
In that post he works on a map of a forest and the area around a town. It references another map lesson he did on how to make a town map. It’s really incredible and not only does it show you how to make one, but it explains why it should be a certain way, such as the landscape around the town and where you can find resources.
Tips and Tricks
In a section entitled Tips and Tricks, he had several guides on how to draw various parts of a map from coastlines and canyons to trees and roads, there is a lot to take in and a lot that a writing needing a map would find useful.
With finding this site, I have found a lot I will want to think about the next time I need a map and I think that’s great. What do you think of this site and the resources it provides for map making?