Mapping the Ground

The pro­cras­ti­na­tion fog wears off and I’m tired of end­less ani­me marathons. I play Dia­blo II LOD a bit to let my brain rest and switch to the nec­es­sary top­ics. Though it is ful­ly impos­si­ble until I have my lat­est book edit­ed — I will be return­ing to that sto­ry soon to pre­pare it for pub­li­ca­tion.

This week I final­ly got my hands on the maps and installed Frac­tal Ter­rains to get some work done for the Rjg. The map is fresh­ly re-gen­er­at­ed, and I need to fix places where con­ti­nents stick togeth­er and place moun­tain chains where they actu­al­ly belong and not in the cen­ter of each con­ti­nent.

The World (Planet Dannan)
The World (Plan­et Dan­nan). Top and bot­tom of the map are actu­al­ly left and right side of the plan­et with its tilt at 86.7°. Select­ed: the part where the sto­ry takes place.

This world is still in a state before some great geo­graph­i­cal dis­cov­er­ies were made, so all my folks stick to the same con­ti­nent. Some of them attempt to trav­el the seas though. This is the part of the globe the sto­ry takes place in:

Select­ed: Bat­tle­grounds. Plen­ty of stuff to do on land and at seas!

Impor­tant work to do: give every­thing names. I have only a cou­ple of geo­graph­i­cal names so far (I add them as I write and the third chap­ter requires more work in that depart­ment).

Dan­nan is a huge plan­et, with a mass of 2.7 Earth mass­es and mean radius of 8854 km. Its orbital peri­od equals 0.52 Earth year’s and sur­face grav­i­ty is high — 13.73 m/s². Cur­rent land cov­er­age is at 38%. I’m using my old notes and cal­cu­la­tions, and I have to admit I no longer remem­ber what was what and why I crunched some of the num­bers — that was all done in 2010!

And speak­ing of plan­et being on its side, the amount of solar ener­gy received per day per unit area by sea­son and lat­i­tude (Kilowatt-hours/meter²) it gets can be summed up like this:

And before peo­ple ask me what mag­ic is this — it’s done in MS Excel. There are large tables with data, yes.

Even with it’s dim star (cur­rent lumi­nos­i­ty 0.27 solar) the cli­mate of Dan­nan is actu­al­ly mild enough to sup­port life. Oceans store heat that is released into atmos­phere dur­ing polar win­ters. Polar sum­mers aren’t dead­ly either, since the orbital peri­od is quite short and there’s that cloud cov­er­age too. Along with ocean cir­cu­la­tion, all these things add to the weath­er and wind pat­terns, and how bio­mes and peo­ple had evolved, so think­ing about it is quite fun.

I haven’t decid­ed on cal­en­dars yet, main­ly because of that short year and how it impacts all cul­tures there. And that’s what I’m going to work on next.

Jeno Marz
JENO MARZ is a science fiction writer from Latvia, Northern Europe, with background in electronics engineering and computer science. She is the author of two serial novels, Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements and Falaha’s Journey into Pleasure. Marz is current at work on a new SF trilogy. All her fiction is aimed at an adult audience.


  1. Woah… that’s a real­ly cool pro­gram. I’m afraid to ask, but I bet it’s only for PCs… I love how deep your world-build­ing goes, down to the amount of solar ener­gy your plan­et receives. I think that’s amaz­ing! True ded­i­ca­tion. 🙂

    1. Well, yeah. And it’s Win­dows-only, not even Lin­ux sup­port in sight, not to men­tion a Mac: Pro­fan­ta­sy Frac­tal Ter­rains 3.

      This kind of world­build­ing keeps me focused. I wouldn’t be adding a map to the book, these are just for me. I’ve read a num­ber of fantasy/sci-fi books with maps in them, and those maps didn’t do any­thing for me, I looked at them a cou­ple of times just to enjoy the draw­ing. I pre­fer to read about des­ti­na­tions and imag­ine them. My spa­tial think­ing is pret­ty fine in that depart­ment I wouldn’t get lost on a new loca­tion. 🙂

      But that inso­la­tion chart is impor­tant. An earth­like plan­et rotat­ing on its side will be very dif­fer­ent from Earth.

      1. Oh, I’m sure it is… but it’s real­ly cool. Just, real­ly awe­some. I love that soft­ware exists like that for cre­atives! How fun. 🙂

        PS- For some rea­son, I can reply to you from my noti­fi­ca­tion win­dow on my mobile, but not from my brows­er win­dow. I’ve nev­er had this prob­lem before on any web­site… real­ly strange! 😛

        1. Mine is a self-host­ed blog, I have the same issue with reply­ing through a noti­fi­ca­tion tab from a brows­er win­dow. So I usu­al­ly do so from the post page or from the dash­board.

          1. That must be it… it’s just a fun­ny bug. 🙂 I don’t mind com­ing back to your blog (Yay! +1 View” Par­ty! Hahah.) Just thought I’d men­tion it.

            1. LOL. Ok, back to edits. I revised only first chap­ter of editor’s mark-ups so far. 23 more chap­ters left. My Eng­lish gram­mar still sucks! 😀

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