Speculative World Map: online interface
Speculative World Map: download versions
It may appear that work on my Animated Timeline Map project has stopped, but in fact a lot has been going on behind the scenes on two different fronts. First is a huge and complex spreadsheet which details the entire timeline of A Song of Ice and Fire. Work is ongoing with this monumental task but I hope to have the spreadsheet finished before the end of 2012. The second task I've been working on is to create a new map which incorporates both maps of Essos from A Dance With Dragons finished in the same art style as Tear's original Westeros map. I am happy to announce the map is now done.
Of course having just finished this map we now learn that George is working on a new book scheduled to be published later this year (30 October 2012) entitled Maps of Ice and Fire. George has informed me (see below) that the maps in this book will take us far beyond what we've seen before, going as far east as Asshai. So that means in just over six months from the time I write this, my speculative map will become redundant. We will finally have official maps showing the real shape and position of all the known places in George's world.
You may wonder why I am going ahead with releasing the map in light of this information. Well it would be a shame to let all that work go to waste. And most fortunately none of this will be wasted. I am confident that what I've done here can be reshaped according to the new maps so that eventually I will be able to create a full beautiful map which I will be using as the background for my Animated Timeline Map. New versions of my speculative map will be posted on this website at a later date.
One good reason to publish this map on the Internet now is that I have also created an interface which will allow viewers to show/hide the map features they choose. For example you can hide the labels or the city/town markers. It is now possible to see Westeros in it's natural state devoid of the map features which obscure the landscape below. I know gamers have been after this kind of map for a long while and I hope this will be useful to you guys.
The online interface is fairly memory intensive and due to the image sizes involved it is not recommended for users with slow connections to view it. Check the top left corner of the map in case there is an error message with a map layer failing to load properly. Use a hard refresh (shift + F5) to clear the problem and download a full new version of the page, otherwise you may load a cached version which repeats the same error.
In the bottom left corner of all versions of my speculative map you'll find details of the Creative Commons licence with full details of what is and what is not allowed under the terms of the licence. This means that other fans are able to remix this map for their own fan based projects (non-commercial) and I'm sure there will be many people with lots of ideas for new ways to use the map, so that's another good reason to make this available now.
This is very much a speculative map and will remain so until after the Maps of Ice and Fire book is published. Please do not take this as an official map. The non-canon sections of Essos and non-canon city/town locations are clearly marked on the map. Please see the map legend in the top right hand corner of the speculative map for more details about this.
Some of the colour textures and transitions across Essos are a little rough. I must admit to taking a few shortcuts with the Dothraki Sea and the areas north and east of it. In future I hope to smooth some of these rough patches out and blend the colours in a much better way. But that will wait for the big update after the Maps of Ice and Fire book is published.
I'm sure everyone will want to know if George has seen this and if so what he thinks of it. Of course I have already emailed a copy to George and here is what he said in his reply:
Sent: Thursday 1 March 2012
This is a very handsome map. And based on the information you have, it's quite good.
But of course there's lots of information you don't have, so it's not accurate. There are certain things -- the geography and location of the Summer Islands, the placement of Qarth and the Jade Gates, everything east of Slaver's Bay and the Dothraki Sea... that you would have no way of knowing.
> Of course having now finished the map I discover there is to be a Map of Ice and Fire book published later this year which will no doubt contain an official world map. So I may have wasted some of my time here but I'm sure I can adapt what I've done to match the official maps and that will give me a good background to build the animation on.
Yes, I'm afraid so. I've been working on maps for the Bantam map book for most of the last week. Including lots of maps of places we have never seen before, and a "known world" map that goes as far east as Asshai. (Not a true world map, of course. If my world contains analogues of the Americas, Australia, Antarctica, and the like, the people of the Seven Kingdoms are unaware of them, so it did not seem right for the readers to know more than the characters.
> I appreciate you don't have time for more than a cursory look over this and it won't match the real maps you're working on but I thought you might get a kick out of seeing it all the same.
I did. Thanks for letting me have a look.
George RR Martin
I am really looking forward to seeing this new book with all the official maps. It's going to make a big difference to getting everything figured out in the timeline.
All of which means it will be well into 2013 before I make any further progress on the Animated Timeline Map. But I will be using this time to finish off the spreadsheet of data I will be using to build the timeline and also to redesign the entire interface from the ground up. This is now necessary and unavoidable because of the enormous map that is larger than Flash can handle in one piece. I may need to use the Google Maps API to get this to work which complicates things considerably. I am also investigating a move to HTML 5 which hopefully should be a lot more user friendly and will open up a greater potential for new features and details to be added. It will be awesome if and when I ever finish it but its going to take quite a long time so please bear with me in the meantime. Thank you.
UPDATE: New information provided by Ran of Westeros says that the correct name is actually The Lands of Ice and Fire and it will be a boxed set of poster maps. He also tells us that they are proof reading George's sketches (lucky so and so's) which means the artwork has not even been started yet. No artist has been announced yet either which does not necessarily mean there isn't one who has already done the bulk of the work on the maps we already know from the books. If the only maps remaining to be done are the areas east of Slavers' Bay and the full map of the known world then maybe, just maybe, it will make the 30 October pubdate but I won't be at all surprised if that gets pushed back at some point.