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:

Battlegrounds
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:

Dannan-insolation
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.

6 Comments

  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.

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