Much of my work in history in general is being driven by the addition of cities, which prompts the development of nations, although I am feeling the need to connect to details of social mechanics and institutions. This doesn’t work so well for examination of prehistory, since so few of the major cities of the world can be traced back that far. Likewise, the important cities of antiquity have not maintained their former size and importance. The development using cities applies best to modern history.
The size and number of communities has been forcing me to take a closer look at at China, since so many of the cities of the world, especially the largest, are Chinese. China’s capital of Beijing is located in North Central China, and to get to this has involved quite a bit of development of modern history. I’ve developed this far enough that I can start closer examination of classical and medieval history. This still won’t be enough without covering other aspects of Chinese history, but it’s a start.
Details of modern history and current events involve looking at the 19th century, 20th century, and early 21st century. I’m not pushing these hard, but I am advancing them,
I still want to examine my local community, but this is far down the list of cities that need to be examined.
I’m still working on cartography. In my Mercator globe project, I’ve been plotting more of the outline of the continents, and have southern and Eastern Asia and Africa now looking recognizable, though not yet perfect. I still need to work on the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, as well as adding more islands.
I have been extending my plans into history and have about 30 of the largest cities of the world, and their corresponding nations. I got a fair amount done in modern history. Prehistory is a different beast. I can’t really use modern cities, and concentrating on the Middle East means that I skip over a lot of history that influences the study of prehistory. This means mostly that I need to keep connecting cities to modern history, and do what I can extending them to classical and medieval history as well.
My cartography exercises are continuing. I’m not ready to show another image here. There are several styles of overland maps, a few styles of city maps, and a few styles of dungeon or local maps that I’m more or less working on learning.
Plans are continuing to evolve. At the most general level of history, I am further outlining sketches of the history of smaller nations of the Middle East. For further work at this level, I will be adding cities. Work in prehistory really depends on work in antiquity and in classical and medieval history, but I have better plans for development of these. Modern history is approaching the point where I can start adding in cities. I also have plans for most of the major peoples of the world.
I haven’t dropped my efforts in cartography.
This was produced using Fractal Terrains 3 and Campaign Cartographer using data from the National Geophysical Data Center. I imported data from the ETOPO1 Geophysical Relief model into FT3, dropped the sea level about 425 feet, used a segmented Lambert Equal Area projection, and exported the coastline into Campaign Cartographer, (with a little help from people at the ProFantasy forums and the Cartographer’s Guild.).
The map is almost familiar, I didn’t show the ice caps. Even at this scale, It’s possible to see such features as the land bridge between Russia and Alaska, the attachment of Britain to the European mainland, that most of the Indonesian archipelago was above water, the absence of the Persian Gulf, and the greater extent of Australia.
One of the difficulties in developing my Knowledge base is that I have multiple inconsistent, incompatible approaches that I am trying to balance. Not necessarily in order, these are: 1) Begin at the beginning. This begins with prehistory. This is held back by the need to develop nations and peoples through later periods, 2) Current events. This is held up because the weight or emphasis of the best reported events does not match the general development plan. 3) Development of societies. This is held up because development in order of size or population doesn’t meed the demands of either history or current events. 4) Local interest. This is held up because those events of greatest local interest don’t meet the requirements of the other approaches. 5) Emphasis on non-historical or geographical approoches. This is held up by the need to develop history and peoples, of the world.
The general plan or scheme for development I have been using is often too inflexible to meet the varying requirements. I am trying a new plan, one which offers a “softer”, more flexible approach of identifying areas that need more work.
For history in general, this involves filling in more information on smaller nations and larger communities and cities. This has been heavily influenced by the needs and information available from modern history, but for various purposes, I need to focus more on Asiatic peoples, and especially those of the Middle East.
The plan for prehistory at present requires more attention to later periods. I have so far been concentrating on Asian and African prehistory and not given much attention to European prehistory.
The development of the area I have called Sociology also needs a plan. I am doing a review of history, which is so far more satisfactory than my previous attempts. At a later stage, I will be attempting to follow this to its roots in institutions, culture, and anthropology.
One of the tools I have been meaning to use is the making of maps. I’m using a program called Campaign Cartographer (CC3+) from ProFantasy, which I can adapt to real-world maps. I’ve been intermittently playing with it for about four years. It has a steep learning curve, but I hope this time around it will be more useful.