Two Who?s

Ravi Felicity starts making maps with two who?s

Take a look at Google Maps. Their satellite images give us stunning detail but are next to useless as road maps. To make a road map of the same area, Google removes extraneous information not concerned with roads and direction finding. They exaggerate the size of roads, colour-code road types for easy identification and label places of interest.

Google is an example of a good map-maker taking the information available to them and choosing what to include and, equally importantly, omit to make their map most useful for the reader.

So, when creating fantasy maps, the First Who? to ask yourself is Who drew this map?
It tells you how much the cartographer knows, what they would consider noteworthy, their map style and accuracy. Dragons may not consider lesser dragons to be noteworthy, but you probably would.

The Second Who? is Who for?
A miller wants to know about wheat fields, granaries, mills and markets; their map shows a skull to avoid but the dragon living under Scaremonger Hill is sadly omitted. A military map for a general shows terrain, fortifications, resources and enemies. Adventurers simply want rich pickings but are oh so easy to fool.

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