Fantasy Book Illustration Maps in ArcGIS Pro

As is the case with most map adventures, I started out working towards something else entirely, and the dark magic of GIS swept me in an altogether different direction. Here is a map from that unexpected journey…

This map was made entirely in ArcGIS Pro, using a NASA Digital Elevation Model (what?) and a vector coastline shapefile courtesy Dylan Moriarty from Project Linework.

There are three things conspiring to make this map sort of look like (I think) a hand-drawn insert ripped out of a fantasy novel…

1. Mountainification via a hand-drawn lumpiness trick.

2. The scratchy rendering of vector linework.

3. The use of a touchable textured background and picture symbols.

If you are feeling ambitious, here is an ArcGIS Pro project package with all or the stuff to follow along. Get ready to live!

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  1. says:

    Great post, love it. Made me dig out all my old hand-drawn maps that I used for D&D and Warhammer Fantast RPG! Am always drawn to games with maps; currently diving back into MechWarrior and EVE Online. Now, if there was a shape file for the Inner Sphere and New Eden.
    Very much looking forward to your next posts.

    • John Nelson says:

      Thanks much! Say, if you find those old maps you should add links here in a comment; I’d love to see them.
      You can find the posts in this series in the links listed, above. At the time of this comment, I’d written 2 of 3.