If this is your first time trying your skills in making illustrated maps, the task could be daunting. There are many different map making programs available and you have no idea what to choose. You have different questions in mind such as map making manually by hands with the aid of a standard image as an editing program and you are not sure if you should plan by using pen and paper at first. To help you decide and answer these questions, here is a beginner’s guide:

  • The most basic decision that you should decide on first is the scale of the map that you plan to make. Do you have plans of putting on emphasis on a single building or two or do you plan or mapping the entire city or a specific area? You should also decide on the details that you wanted to put in the map. If you are planning on a small scale map then it can be made with the use of hand very easily or with the help of simple software on your computer. If you are planning to make maps that constitute a bigger area then the level of accuracy that you wanted to achieve as well as the amount of detail that will be included on the map should be the determining factor.
  • The next thing that you have to decide on is the software that you are going to use. There is specialist software available and there is also the popular Photoshop software. If you are planning on specialist software then consider campaign cartographer as it will help you map out fantasy themes, buildings, and wooded areas very easily. It is not recommended if you are making maps that have details that are of the real world. If you plan to use Photoshop then remember that it could take you a while since the software was not intended specifically for map making.

If you are planning to print out your illustrated maps then keep in mind that the resolution should be as high as possible to get the desired effect. After you have printed it out and planning to embed it on a website or upload online, then you can always scale it down for a smaller file size.