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Three Rivers Region

Started by dedgren, December 20, 2006, 07:57:49 PM

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Good grief.  :o

Amazing.  :o

A magnificent tutorial &apls.

I am truly at a loss for words and for somebody who's kissed the Blarney Stone Linkie (6 Times used to live close to it and had  lots visiting relatives ;) ) thats no mean trick!

Oh the kettle's on too :thumbsup:

Kettle's on. Milk? Sugars?    ps I don't like Earl Grey  $%Grinno$%
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - If you're not part of the solution , you're part of the problem!
"Never knock on Death's door: Ring the bell and run away! Death really hates that!"
Tales at TeaTime      Now A proper NUT      TTC plays GRV II


More progress on the collaboration! This is outstanding news, David! Those quad maps that you've done look simply fantastic! Like Travis, I'm looking forward to seeing the map for my quad, too!


Holy cow, David! I'm VERY excited to see what my quad looks like. I remember you mentioned at one time that you were writing backstories, to give a slight nudge, if you will.

Keep up the great work!


very very cool. I just hope I can live up to all that you have done here when I develop my quad


yeah thats amazing the attention of the people in 3RR, last day I saw in "whos online" most people watching 3RR, i got impressed  &apls &apls congratulations for this wonderful md


I cannot think of a single adjective that even comes close to describing the colossal scope of 3RR and the newly-discovered possibilities it has brought to the game. It boggles the mind to think about what will happen when the collaboration begins.

Until next time...


Part of the topo map development effort involves taking a terrain shot of each quad.  On some of them, I'm doing fine terraforming as I go along.  Adding some drainage of mountain valleys has been a major part of that effort.  Here's some shots of a new valley that drains from the Northern Range off the edge of the region to the north.  I left the grid on so you could better appreciate the ruggedness of the landforms.





As part of the process I'm also assembling a 4,096x4,096 pixel regional terrain map.

My fingers will be getting a workout doing this 256 times.



D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren



Wow, a regional topo about amazing.

I can only imagine what your development must look like!



Nice work on that stream. It is excellent. I cant wait to see that fully tree'd.

&apls &apls
The most astounding and unique aspect of the human race is our fervent application of our ingenuity to kill each other, thus completely defying the near-universally proven fact that the ultimate goal of a member of a species is to ensure the survival of the species.


... and let the games begin!  :thumbsup:

Until next time...


I've said it before, but your patience is astounding...and only surpassed by your talent. Great work, David! Great work.


   The topo maps are looking great.     As always this looks like it is gonna be a lot of work.    Just wanted ya'll to know I'll be on vacation for the next week and will be away from the computer.    Hope everything goes well for the next week.   I'll be in NC visiting my sister.


They say that the memory is the second thing that goes....
...dang , I wish I could remember the first.
WooHoo made Councilman - 05 FEB 07 Yipee made Mayor - 13 MAR 07 Hip Hip Hooray made Governor - 04 AUG 07 Rock On made Senator - 15 MAR 09


All this work on topo maps made me think that this "blast from the past" from 3RR-ST was timely right now...

* * *

So, this post carries out a promise made a while back to matt (threestooges) who observed, on 10-24

...what does this "upscaling" do to the rivers and streams? Will this require a change to the scale of the bodies of water? Just a quick look at your scaled up map shows that one of the smallest parts of your streams now measures 1/6 of the distance across the new large map (this translates to about 1100 feet wide: row 7, column 5 from your recent post) I know rivers are wide, but... at any rate, I wanted to ask this now to avoid the potential for future problems.

I responded

That is truly an excellent consideration to point out.  I will look into the issue of RL river width and it will rate an update of its own in connection with terraforming the imported quads.  Thanks!

* * *

What is the width of the rivers and streams we take for granted?  How does that width relate to the grid system of SC4?  Matt was right- are we going to wind up simply transplanting some of our old problems of scale from the 10 mile (16 kilometer) on a side version of 3RR to our new 40 mile (64 kilometer) by 40 one?  And what RL river we might be familiar with is about 1,100 feet (335 meters) wide?

We started by getting some pics from
Google Map [ linkie ] using the "Hybrid" combined satellite and road view.  These were all collected with the small scale bar down in the lower left hand corner at "200 meters/500 feet" so they would be visually about the same.  You'll see these in a minute.

We then prepared an 800 pixel by 600 pixel rectangle of basic green SC4 gridsquares at the same approximate scale as the maps.  It looks like this.

For reference sake, this measures, at 102 gridsquares, about 5,100 feet (1,554 meters) wide by 78 gridsquares, or 3,900 feet (1,189 meters) high.  These dimensions, however, are not really important in the context of what we are doing.

Our first RL pic is of the mighty Mississippi River just south of the DeSoto Bridge, which carries I-40 from Tennessee over into the wilds of Arkansas.

The island on the Tennessee side is Mud Island, which was seen by millions without knowing it when Tom Cruise [ linkie ] ran across the pedestrian bridge seen in the pic just north of Jefferson Davis Park with the bad guys after him in the movie verson of John Grisham's novel The Firm [ linkie ].  I know about Memphis because my wife is from there, and she's actually visiting her mom there this evening as this is written

Anyway, the Mississippi is about 3,000 feet (914 meters) wide at this point.  Let's look at the same pic superimposed on our grid.

Man, that's a big river!  Too big for 3RR, even at its new larger size.  That's too many grid squares across to even count.

So let's try something half that wide.  Here's the same Mississippi River a couple hundred miles upstream of Memphis at St. Louis, Missouri.  Right in front of the
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial [ linkie ] (see the shadow to the immediate left?) the river is about 1,500 feet (457 meters) wide.

I'm familiar with St. Louis because we used to drive there from the Chicago suburbs every summer when I was fairly small (between 6 and 10 years old) to visit my parents' friends Bob and Shirley, who lived in Kirkwood, a western suburb of Saint Looie.  Crossing the Mississippi on one of the old downtown bridges (I-55 wasn't built yet) was one of the high points of the trip.  I recall thinking that the Mississippi was everything Mark Twain [ linkie ] had made it out to be and more.  Red indians, riverboats, bandits, caves, and escaped slaves were never far from mind on those trips.

Here's the same pic superimposed on our gridsquares.

About 30-35 gridsquares wide "on the bias" so to speak.  Still far bigger than any river we will see in 3RR162.

...Overnight break (to 10-6-06 at 5:15 a.m. AST GMT-9)...

Back again with our next river, this time the Ohio at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For those who are familiar with this area, you may agree with me that this is one of the most dramatic urban riverscapes out there, and especially at night.  It is in the heart of Pittsburgh, and the openness provided by the rivers presents incredible vistas in every direction.  Pittsburgh is set in a very hilly area, and the city development around you is just an amazing sight.  I've never been there other than just to drive through to see the views I'm describing.

The large channel from the confluence leading to the left side of the pic is the
Ohio River [ linkie ]starting its 981 mile journey westward to the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois.  It is, by a series of locks and dams, navigable over its entire length and as a result has been an extraordinarily important artery of US commerce throughout almost the country's entire history.  The portion of the river we see here is about 1,200 feet (366 meters) in width at the left edge of the pic.  The two rivers leading to the right side of the pic are, to the upper left, the Alleghany, and lower left, the Monongahela, important local rivers in their own right. The Alleghany's channel here is about 900 feet (274 meters) wide and the Monongahela's is about 1,000 feet in width.  These are rivers, then, of about the size referred to by Matt (threestooges) in the post that set this inquiry in motion.

Here's the pic superimposed on our SC4 gridsquares.

I see these channel sizes, 900 to 1,200 feet (274 to 366 meters) as being models for the largest waterways in 3RR.  They would be 20-25 gridsquares wide.  We'll hold that thought until we get to a later continuation of this post.

Our next stop is the Hudson River on the waterfront of Albany, New York.  I'm quite familiar with this area, as my daughter Liz graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [ linkie ], located a few miles up the river in Troy, a few years back.  The river is about 800 feet wide just south of the Dunn Memorial Bridge.

As an aside, the Dunn Bridge is interesting for several reasons.  The first is that it ends abruptly at its eastern end...quite abruptly, actually...

Credit: - all rights reserved in original

...due to a cancelled freeway project. 

...those highway engineers...what jokesters they are!

The second is that, in 2005, it broke.

Credit: Gene Kendrick / WNYT News, Albany - all rights reserved in original

That looks like a major, "Aw, sh-t" to me.  That ramp is nine stories (89 feet/27 meters) high.  I have driven on it (note use of past tense permanent).

So, back on topic, lets superimpose the Hudson onto our SC4 gridsquares.

...I'm sure that interchange at the west end of the bridge is in the next NAM...


800 feet (244 meters), about 16 gridsquares wide, appears to be a good width for upstream sections of major rivers.

Our next river is the James at Richmond, Virginia.  Richmond is where I went to grad and law school, getting my Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University [ linkie ] and my law degree from T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond [ linkie ].  I probably drove across the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike bridge at the center of the pic about every day for three years in the late 1980s.

The main channel of the James River to the west of the bridge and south of Mayo's Island is about 500 feet (152 meters) wide.  The Falls of the James (Richmond is one of the fall line cities [ linkie ] for all you history and geography buffs out there) is the wooded area to the west of Mayo's Island.  The river is about 700-750 feet (213-229 meters) wide east of the bridge.  There are places downstream as the James nears Chesapeake Bay [ linkie ] where it is several miles wide.  It's a wonderful and beautiful river in a great state.

Here's a pics with the James appearing against our SC4 gridsquare background.

This width (about 10 gridsquares) appears to be a good intermediate width for 3RR's major rivers.  It is at this point where they would reach the limit of navigability.

Back a little closer to my boyhood home, we next look at a really nice small river, the Kankakee, that rises in Indiana and flows westward about 50 miles south of Chicago into the Illinois River south of Joliet.  We see it here in the city of Kankakee, where it is about 400 feet (122 meters) wide.

Here is the same pic superimposed over our gridsquares.

The eight gridsquare or so wide Kankakee, along with with the Fox River shown in the next several pics, is broadly representative of the hundreds of small rivers you cross on a drive across any US state.  It's not navigable in any commercial sense, but on any given summer weekend you're likely to find all manner of local folks in small boats and canoes out on the water having a great time. 

The Fox River is also close to where I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago.  It rises in southern Wisconsin and flows to the south and then south-west about 50 miles west of the city.  Here we see it flowing through the center of the city of Aurora, which you will recall if you ever saw the movie Wayne's World [ linkie ].


South of Stolp Island (toward the lower left corner of the pic), the Fox flows free through a 300 foot (91 meter) wide channel.  There is a dam in the channel on each side of the Island between New York Street and East Galena Boulevard, with the impounded river upstream being about 500 or so feet (~152 meters) in width.  The Fox River is a very scenic stream, and is a wonderful amenity in the many suburban communities through which it flows.

Here it is flowing across our gridsquares, at about 6 squares wide downstream of the island.

We're now clearly down to the stream level.  The next pic shows the Grasse River as it flows through Canton, New York, where I worked as a county planner in the early 1990s before moving on to Alaska.

The Grasse rises in the northern Adirondacks [ linkie ] south of this gem of a small upstate New York town.  It is about 200 feet (61 meters) wide just south of the US 11 bridge in the main channel east of the island.  Note the falls downstream of the bridge.

Here's the pic superimposed on our SC4 gridsquares.

As you can see, that channel is about four gridsquares wide.  This is a good width for the major tributary streams of 3RR's rivers.

At the 100 foot (30 meter) width, we return to northern Illinois just a few miles south of Naperville, the town in which I lived during my high school years.  The following pic is of a local stream we derisively called the "Roaring DuPage.   Here, the DuPage River flows north and west of the town of Plainfield.


I once spent a long summer day pulling a canoe across gravel beds and mud bars for most of the way between Naperville and Plainfield.  I'd seen deeper bathtubs...

Here's our two gridsquare wide DuPage against the SC4 background.

Further upstream, in my town- Naperville, we again see the Dupage, this time about 1/4 mile (4/10 kilometer) from my old house.  I lived on Oxford Lane, which you see at the  center-right of the pic.  My old house, which was pretty nice (my folks bought it for US$39,500 in 1965 and sold it for a quarter mil in the late 1980s) was torn down in the 90s so a McMansion [ linkie ] could be built in its place.

The blue rectangle is the area of the following pic, which shows the 75th Street bridge over the DuPage.

The bare light colored areas next to the river north and south of 75th are gas stations (a Phillips 66 to the north and an Amoco to the south) that were there when I was a kid and the intersection was just two two-lane roads crossing each other on the edge of the farmlands to the south.

...ahhh, progress...

Anyway, here's the Roaring DuPage in all of its one gridsquare wide glory.

So here's a table based on the foregoing to conclude this portion of the post.

Large River1,000-1,200 feet/300-350 meters20-24 gridsquares
Medium River600-800 feet/175-250 meters12-16 gridsquares
Small River300-400 feet/90-125 meters6-8 gridsquares
Large Stream200 feet/60 meters4 gridsquares
Small Stream50-100 feet/16-30 meters1-2 gridsquares

* * *

That was last fall when I was in the process of terraforming the current region- here's the outcome as applied.

That's Kevin's (unkles27) quad.  The Fox River is about 400 feet/130 meters wide at its mouth on Cold Lake.  The city of Brooks Ferry is on the west end of the bridge along the bank of the river.

I have about half the collaboration quads through this phase, and will be working on finishing up and annotating them over the weekend.


D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren



Talk about an impressive study of waterways widths! So, I assume the Grand River north of Pineshore is about as wide as the Ohio, right after the confluence of the Monongahela and Alleghany Rivers?

I'm looking forward to more...

Also, your Masters in Planning makes a lot of sense...what did you get a degree in as an undergrad?



I like realistic SC4 cities as much as anyone but never thought to make such a stark comparison. Absolutely fascinating idea, David.

Until next time...


Here's Travis's topo.

That's the Grand River draining out of Grand Lake.  The city of Aurora, on of the region's larger outlying cities, is on the east bank of the river where it meets the lake.  The village of Oak Point is across the river just below the point of the same name.

I'm improving each collaborator's quad with basic transportation infrastructure.  Here's a few pics of what Travis will be getting.

As long as the infrastructure entry points are not modified and the basic alignment of routes (hence the upcoming 3RR road map) remains the same, each collaborator can do more or less what he or she wants.  I'm assuming most if not all non-urban freeway will be replaced with the RHW.  We'll also be using an asphalt texture mod- my plugins folder is "bare minimum" as I do this.

Jeez, I hate those "game" freeway curves.  But I love the way that bridge came out.

And there'll be trees.  Millions of 'em.


D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


Looks AWESOME! Love that bridge setup with the approach span. I would widen that stretch of road from the freeway to the road junction to an
avenue, maybe put in a small waterfront on the inlet, with some shops and rowhouses, and some box stores by the freeway. I can't wait!  &dance

PS- Just curious, but didn't you originally assign me the "South Shore" quad? Doesn't really matter, I like this one better.  :thumbsup:


Umm...David...I thought I had Aurora and its environs? ()what()

Quad Selections - Who's Doing What and Where
« on: 29 April 2007, 13:57:44 »
   Reply with quoteQuote
Okay, first piece...

Who's doing what-

I've assigned out the quads based on the categories chosen.  Some of these will require a bit (heh!) more explanation, but here's a raw list in no particular order with a comment or two thrown in.

Owen (Yoman) - South Fork NE (the 3RR International Airport quad)
aaron (pickled_pig) - Barrett SE (the village of Harwell- 3RR suburbia at its finest)
Marius (M4346) - DeLong NW (city of Montgomery/Mullineux Springs RP)
mightygoose - Evendim SE (north side of the city of Pineshore)
Alex (Tarkus) - Camp NW (city of Stewart)
Thomas (barnatom) - Wind SW (Oxbow (place))
Todd (tkirch) - Little Cold SW (Agriculture and a little lake)
Steve (Zaphod) - Grand NW (city of Truman, served by rail)
Kevin (BigSlark) - Grand SE (city of Aurora, town of Riverview, Riverview RP... whew!)
Dustin (thundercrack83) - South Cold NE (Thunder Bay (place), of course!  Also Thunder Bay RP)
Kevin (Unkles27) - Little Cold NE (Brooks Ferry)
Silvio (Rayden) - Pink SW (Rayden Mtn RP, where else?)
Matt (threestooges, esq. (inchoate)) - McKees Rocks NE (Avon)
Travis - High SE (South Shore... ever wondered why it would be named that when it's on the north shore?)
Al (Gaston) - Pratt NE (Willoughby)
John (Darmok) - Diddicks SW (Truro (place, as in very, very nice...))
Luca (meldolion) - Tower NE (farm fields as far as the eye can see)
and last but not least...
Me (dedgren) - Elbert NE (Ash Creek)

...wait a minute, missed Heinz...

Heinz - Long NE (city of Amherst)

Much more info later today.


From a slightly confused Kevin.


Oh, Man!

...I just hate it when that happens...

Watch this space.  I'll make it up to both you guys, honest.


D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


Coming along nicely here, David! I love that highway interchange you've made, too. I remember those from back in the days of 3RR-ST. I'll be looking forward to seeing more of these quads!

By the way...