5 Years Mapping and Naming

I failed to commemorate my 5th anniversary on OGF. I mapped my first node on January 31, 2014. Maybe there were a few nodes mapped before this, but they have been deleted, and they were on that same date. Puerto Desolado was my first OGF town.

Only today, I felt a moment of nostalgia.

I keep working, slowly, on Makaska. One thing that’s important to me: the “native” names in the state are the pseudo-fictional Rakhoda language. This is just an alternate name for the Dakota language, as spoken by the native peoples of southern Minnesota in the pre-European era. So all the native names of the state are actual Dakota words. Hence when mapping, I keep this hand book on my desk:

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Music to name things by: Sioux Honor Song

1880 Snapshot, Cash Township

I am intending a historical approach to mapping my FSA state of Makaska.

The contours are in pretty good shape for the whole state – not perfect, but far enough along that I feel comfortable that I can proceed to the next step.

My hope is to map, one by one, each of the state’s 203 townships (in the US, these were surveyed 6 mile x 6 mile squares under the old PLSS system, generally, but they varied because of natural topography sometimes). I will first map each township to the point of a kind of “1880 snapshot.”

I have completed my first township, called Cash Township, in the north-central part of the state. It includes the towns of Apple River and Duy, future suburbs of the Riverton-Uppington Micropolitan Region, the latter of which consists of the whole of Elizabeth Parish (i.e. county).

Here is the map.

Here is the same map in the Topo Layer.

I specifically would like the following feedback: What would make this most convincingly an 1880 snapshot? What needs to mapped? I have a railroad, two rail stations. All the roads are “highway=track” because that’s what roads were in that era – dirt and only dirt. I have a few buildings but will place some more – those which might be historically important when I later catch my mapping up to the modern era.

What else should I include? There weren’t many parks back then – just a few “city parks”, and urban infrastructure outside of major cities was pretty minimal. Maybe a water tower for Apple River? Maybe a few schools?

Music to map by: Sims, “Tape Deck.”

Patreon (?!)

I’m going to try an experiment, since I’m currently unemployed.

I’ve decided to create a Patreon account: https://www.patreon.com/geofictician

My biggest apprehension about this is that I feel that by doing this, I am committing to higher level of professionalism than I have heretofore managed. So I’ll have to work on that, to earn any donations people might make.

Music to donate by: Magnetic Fields, “The Death Of Ferdinand De Saussure.”

Road Trip!

I took a really mind-blowing road-trip around the US (plus a bit of Canada).

I drove 11000 miles (17700 km).

I traveled with an elderly relative, as a kind of assistant or care-taker. It wasn’t bad. I met old friends and relatives I haven’t seen in years, because I’ve been living in Korea for the last decade.

I even got to meet one of our fellow geoficticians, in person. That was interesting, and inspiring. We’ve shared the OGF experience for these past four years, and became sort-of friends – but only online. And then we got to meet in person, and gossiped about the OGF community and all the personalities there and its various issues.

I took a lot of pictures – most of nature, since that’s my thing, and since many of the places visited were rural. I’ll post the pictures here, completely without description or comment. Take it as a challenge, to figure out where they are. All of them are Western or Midwestern North America.

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I have now returned to my new home in Southeast Alaska, where I’ll hopefully spend a bit more time actually mapping and less time snarking on OGF (it’s hard to run JOSM on a laptop while traveling place-to-place).

Music to drive by: Dismantled, “Dystopia.”

Relocation: Phase 2 Complete – Moving to Mahhal

I have moved to Mahhal. Well. The closest real-world place that I know of, and the basis of my Mahhalian concept to some degree: southeast Alaska.

I have relatives here. I didn’t grow up here, but it’s easy for me to think of it as home, and I am now intending to settle here. This is partly because of the demands of family, but also because the Korean project (my living there) was becoming unsustainable, for me personally.

I will hopefully have more time to do some mapping – in Mahhal, Makaska, and Ardisphere.

Out on my uncle’s boat, this morning:

Music to map by: 유승준, “사랑해 누나.”

Relocation: Phase 1 Complete

I have successfully moved out of my home in northwest Seoul. I’m in a temporary situation in Portland, Oregon. I will now be putting the pieces in place to get settled in Southeast Alaska. Moving to Alaska is complicated, and now I need to get my stuff there. I shipped my possessions in Korea directly there, but now I have stuff in the lower 48 that needs to be moved north.

I lived there before once – I have relatives there.

Music to map by: Wado, “Esqueleto.”

Relocating the mapmapmaker

Huge changes are afoot in Lucianoland.

After almost 11 years as a resident in Korea, including a productive career teaching and an intense battle with cancer that nearly finished me, but which my excellent doctors here helped me to overcome, I am forced by circumstances beyond my control to move back to the US.

I am thus currently very busy (overwhelmed) with the preparations for the move. Once back in the US – within a month – I have no idea what my job prospects will be or even what sort of work I will do.

I may be too busy to map or participate in OGF much. Then again, I may actually participate in OGF more, as I seek a way to deal with stress and just to relax doing something familiar and comforting in my down time. I can’t predict.

Anyway, if I don’t respond for long periods, you know what’s happening.

Many Lines

I have drawn many, many lines.

The contour work for Makaska is coming along. I made the decision to complete ALL the contours before placing infrastructure, and so far except for one little experiment at the southwestern border (which was meant mostly to give some hints to my southern neighbor since he’s building a metropolis right across the frontier), I have stuck to my plan.

Overall, I feel happy with my progress. Below is a current screenshot in JOSM. The contour work is divided into 6 separate “degree square” files (you can see the “edges” of each layer file) but I can load them all into JOSM to view my progress, although for actual work I’ll close all of them except the one where I’m working. I also have the “pseudo-PLSS” layer loaded, which is a grid of mile-square “sections” based on the fictional 1841 survey. I think it’s looking pretty good.

I could probably load it right now, except for the band  across the middle, including Freeborn, Battle Plain, Lac Perdu, and Taylor Parishes.

Music to map by: Silvio Rodríguez, “La gaviota.”

Field work for mapping Ohunkagan

I haven’t mapped anything, these last two weeks. But I thought about mapping a lot. That’s because I spent the last two weeks in Seattle and Portland for a family emergency, driving around and thus getting lots of ideas and thoughts for Makaska. Certainly I had already been intending the main metropolis, Ohunkagan, to have some similarities with Seattle (although with a Minnesota climate), situated as it is on an isthmus, but getting to drive around there and around Portland, too, gave me some more ideas, anyway. Call it a kind of “Field research” for eventual mapping.

This is a pretty short entry, then, just to give an update of what I’m up to on the geofiction front.

Now that I’m back in Korea, I may have some more time and opportunity to do more mapping.

Music to map by: Taylor Swift, “Delicate.”

Lakes

I have been working quite a bit on my fictional “US” state, Makaska. But for the most part I am focused on physical geography: refinining the contour files (a continuous work-in-progress), and thinking about the hydrology (rivers and lakes) and landcover (grasslands and woods).

I did set up 2nd order political divisions (counties) which I have decided to call parishes. And I set up a moribund rural township system which will drive things like road layout, farms, etc., when the time comes, and which is intended to replicate the old US PLSS system (see also my previous blog post here). The townships will also be the basis for my landcover relations – a six mile square seems about the right level of scale for a specific landcover relation, not so big as to be unmanageable once a high level of detail is introduced, but not to local so as to be difficult to develop systematically.

I’m pretty happy with the map already. There are so many lakes! And I’m just getting started. Minnesota allegedly has 10,000 lakes – in fact, it’s quite a lot more than that, from what I’ve heard, but that’s the round number used when marketing the state, and if you impose a cut-off at lakes around the size of 5 acres, 10,000 is pretty close.

I suppose I could shoot for a pro-rated number of lakes for the much smaller Makaska. If Minnesota has 10,000 at 86,936 sq mi, that’s 0.11 lakes/sq mi. So if Makaska has 6875 sq mi, then it should have 756 lakes of 5 acres or more. I may be getting close to that already.

Music to map by:  Control Machete, “Andamos Armados.”