Some Useful Tools for Mapping

Well, my wednesday links are only a day late. This time around, I’m putting up some links to useful graphics tools for fantasy cartography.

Image Magick is a very sophisticated suite of command-line image editing tools. CLI isn’t necessarily most people’s favorite thing, but once you figure it out, there are a lot of things you can do with simple one-line commands that would be difficult, impossible or at least very expensive to do otherwise. The MacPorts download option is compiled to handle 16-bit images. For those using Windows®, you should download a Q16 version. I assume UNIX and Linux versions default to 16-bit. Theoretically, you can compile Image Magick for 32-bit floating point HDRI, but I’m not up to compiling a major app with lots of dependencies like this, so you are so on your own with that!

Once you’ve downloaded Image Magick, you need to know how to use it. When I get down to posting more work on Shtakamashkan and Sadwillow I’ll tell more about how I am using the program, but for now I’ll put up some more generally useful links and tutorials.

A few trivial tips of my own.

You can get all kinds of information about your image with the following command:

identify -verbose first_dist_MTNS.png

Which returns:

Image: first_dist_MTNS.png
Format: PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
Class: PseudoClass
Geometry: 2000x1000+0+0
Resolution: 28.35x28.35
Print size: 70.5467x35.2734
Units: PixelsPerCentimeter
Type: Grayscale
Base type: Grayscale
Endianess: Undefined
Colorspace: Gray
Depth: 16-bit
Channel depth:
gray: 16-bit
Channel statistics:
min: 0 (0)
max: 65535 (1)
mean: 3778.01 (0.0576487)
standard deviation: 12736.9 (0.194353)
kurtosis: 11.9188
skewness: 3.55829
Colormap: 65536
Rendering intent: Undefined
red primary: (0.63999,0.33001)
green primary: (0.3,0.6)
blue primary: (0.15,0.05999)
white point: (0.31269,0.32899)
Interlace: None
Background color: black
Border color: gray(223,223,223)
Matte color: grey74
Transparent color: black
Compose: Over
Page geometry: 2000x1000+0+0
Dispose: Undefined
Iterations: 0
Compression: Zip
Orientation: Undefined
date:create: 2011-03-16T16:23:14-07:00
date:modify: 2011-03-16T16:23:14-07:00
signature: 35e2d7ba48e93351c10466065d2281364eb815af39a1ac560d41ba8944a31c08
Profile-icc: 3144 bytes
IEC 61966-2.1 Default RGB colour space - sRGB
verbose: true
Tainted: False
Filesize: 302KBB
Number pixels: 2MB
Pixels per second: 20MB
User time: 0.070u
Elapsed time: 0:01.100
Version: ImageMagick 6.6.8-1 2011-03-16 Q16

As you can see. There is a lot of information here. Stuff I’d be interested in would be basetype grayscale, depth 16-bit, the image stats(min, max, mean, standard deviation, kurtosis and skewness), page geometry(this is a 2000×1000 image), possibly filesize and number of pixels.

Next post, we’ll explore how these tools can be used in the creation of conworld terrains…

Thank you,
The Astrographer

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1 Response to Some Useful Tools for Mapping

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday! | Astrographer

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