Generating a new world map

It is always fun to use maps for a project. For an event about open data in education, we started with the metaphor of an expedition. And a map, to plot your journey on. In this journey though, people will embark on a trip into the unknown world of data.

When the participants are starting their quest, it might be helpful to give them some visual support. So, what we needed was a map of a non-existing world, maybe in the fashion of old-fashioned schoolmaps (which are probably all replaced by digiboards by now).

We went looking for a tool that could create a fantasy world map of a respectable size (in the end, it became 170 x 120 cm) and found the Fractal World Generator, based on code by John Olsson.

A good online tool, and you can learn a few things about map projection from it too! After experimenting for half an hour, we made a world that we could use and reworked it in Photoshop. The nice thing is that you can do with it whatever your want, drag it out of proportion for example, as it is a non-existing world, nobody will ever know.

You can also create a gif animation with this tool (although being 6 MB in size):