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Please teach me how to make maps

Started by bombardiere, September 16, 2016, 05:11:15 AM

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I want to learn how to make SC4 maps. A new region from real life elevation data.

I couldn't find a full tutorial on here SC4devotion and Simtropolis has lost many of the pictures and links seems to be broken. May be there is a tutorial some where, but I didn't find one.

I want to make an Euro map, so USGC data is not useful for me. In fact I want to do a London map. Yes there are many London maps, but I find something lacking from all of them. (Map does not have proper elevations, does not include rivers and waters etc.)

I want something like this:


This look like one I need but this is from wrong place. Way too much on the East. It includes even Tilbury and Gillingham, but from the west it does not include even Hammersmith. I want a map that covers at least Richmond and Kingston on the west.

Can anyone help me?


I'd say DrunkApple's map is probably the best one out there.

The O/S will let you have access to the elevation data for free, but you have to apply via a webform with an e-mail address. I followed a process which managed to spit out something workable, but it's very complicated. I was doing this for the South West though, so I don't have any data east of Swindon.

Even with the height map you get, you'll need to make the rivers. Not to mention, I found a lot of tweaking the heightmap was needed to get good results. But you could splice Drunkapples map with the extension you want to the west, save re-making the wheel and all that. London and the surrounding areas within the M25 are not exactly very hilly landscapes though, so I can imagine with some work in Terraformer, you might be able to manually create the extension.

Have a search for "Create SC4 Heightmap from DEM" to find some tutorials on this. I'd love to help you out more, but I spent a weekend using some tools from the net (Quantum GIS/OSGeo4). Most of this was total trial and error stuff, I've forgotten exactly how I did it long since.


Quote from: bombardiere on September 16, 2016, 05:11:15 AM
.I couldn't find a full tutorial on here SC4devotion and Simtropolis has lost many of the pictures and links seems to be broken. May be there is a tutorial some where, but I didn't find one...

Probably won't help with creating a real life map, but the map making tutorial on one of the SimCity websites that Simtropolis now hosts still has all its pictures


It was written by "Contributor/author(s): Ocean Quigley - Art/Creative Director, D.B. Robinson"

I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?" DEATH thought about it. "CATS," he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE.


Thanks. I have stumble more on this one. :)

This simtropolis tutorial has pictures, so while it may not help me to get the data, at least it shows how to edit the elevation picture file.


Okey, now I need to find the data. Robin, I think you mention O/S before in one of your post. I think I have look at their sate more closely.

While googleing I found this site


Looks interesting, but I have no idea if there is anything that is usable in SC4. Well, I have to register.



Looking into it, I think I used the OS Terrain 50 Data set, which is good to 50m. I'm guessing I downloaded the ASCII data format.

http://r3dstar.co.uk/?p=231 - If you have Photoshop, looks like this plugin would remove a lot of the hassle. In my case I used the previously mentioned tools to get an image from the data. But it looks like this plugin handles that for you, albeit a little slowly.

Don't forget also, if you are splicing maps, you need to rotate the height map you get also, so that it matches the rotated map from DrunkApple.

Actually, maybe forget all that, trying to recall how I got the data into images previously, I stumbled upon this:


Select an area, then it will export a rasterised heightmap for you. After that, you just need to handle the modifications to make it work in SC4. Things like re-scaling the imagine. Adjusting the contrast perhaps and adding in the rivers/lakes/sea. Actually, now I remember a good tip for that... goto Google and make a screengrab of the same area covered by your heightmap. You should be able to overlay this as a new layer. Select the water using the google map and you've a selection to edit so that it is water in-game. You'll probably still need to do some tidying up though.


Thanks. I got an base map for terrain party. It looks a low quality, so I may try O/S later if I am not satisfied.

USGC data would be better, but as the name states, I guess there is a reason that it does not cover Europe.  ::)

From Terrain party image I can trace the outline of the Thames, so perhaps I can do as you suggest and paste the rivers on the image, so that I can use the Thames as baseline. I propably will not try to match Drunkapple as I don't know his methods and it could be simpler to start from the scratch.


Agreed that starting over may be simpler. For the rivers, if you can get a good map clearly showing that, then re-size it to the same scale as your heightmap. Use that to grab a selectable region and paste that area as full black (RGB 0,0,0) onto a new layer. You'll probably want to soften the edges a little, which can either be done in your image editing or by touching it up using SC4 Terraformer.