Mapping Golarion 2E: Putting what we know to latitude and longitude (aka Golarion Geography 2: Electric Boogaloo)


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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Hello, everyone! This is the thread for tracking the progress of mapping Golarion. The goal is to obtain a reasonable latitude and longitude for Paizo's campaign setting maps. This is a continuation of the original thread that was focused on the Pathfinder 1st Edition setting. If you want all the gory details of this process and how we got to where we are, that is a great place to start!

In Pathfinder 2nd Edition, there are some significant changes to the Inner Sea region: we have regional borders (Saga Lands, Broken Lands, etc.) and some new nations. We were also given our first official, to-scale world map in the Core rule book. The goal is to build a 2nd edition data set, and incorporate new campaign material into that data set as it's released.

What can you do with this stuff, and why does it matter?

Once you have latitude and longitude, you can do a number of things that are useful in a game:

* Determine what time the sun rises and sets
* Calculate great-circle distances between far-away locations
* Build interactive maps
* Make reasonable guesses about climate and local weather patterns

Caveats

One thing to keep in mind is that Paizo's game designers are designers and illustrators first, and cartographers second. Their goal, rightly, is to help GM's and players tell stories not produce precision maps of the world. In fact, precise maps actually work against them because they limit options. So there are, and will continue to be, situations where two maps do not agree with one another, or line up perfectly on the globe. That's OK. This project aims for "close enough", and close enough is good enough.

How can you help?

You don't have to help, but if you want to, help is welcome! I can't keep up with every AP, module, campaign setting book or player guide because I don't have that kind of time, much less that kind of money. So, if you see a new region that expands our mapped areas, let me know! Anything that covers the other continents in particular is helpful.

If you want to provide more direct assistance, then you can help by doing any of the following:

* georeferencing maps (see below)
* tracing boundaries and features of georeferenced maps (see below)
* compiling data sets, such as population and demographic breakdowns of major cities
* reporting data errors and tpyos

The first two items on that list will require you to use a Geographic Information System (GIS) software package. If you have used GIS software before, then great! You already know the drill! If not, you can get started with QGIS, an open-source and feature-rich GIS package. Be warned, however, that GIS has a steep learning curve and its own terminology. It's not like drawing maps in Illustrator: GIS software is using complex mathematics to project a 3D world into 2D coordinates. Understanding map projections, map scales, and spatial analysis procedures are the foundation and learning this stuff takes time.

Feel free to post here or reach out to me directly via PM!


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It looks like the Lost Omens World Guide won't be giving us much in the way of global/world map information.

I really was looking forward to that big map.

Shadow Lodge

Dot.


Good to see the project continuing.


Now that we have an official world map, I'm considering getting book 5 of the Tyrant's Grasp AP because of the Gazetteer of Xopatl. Before I fork over the money, can someone who has it tell me if there's enough information inside to place Xopatl on the globe, even roughly? As in, can you tell what part of Arcadia it's in?


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John Mechalas wrote:
Now that we have an official world map, I'm considering getting book 5 of the Tyrant's Grasp AP because of the Gazetteer of Xopatl. Before I fork over the money, can someone who has it tell me if there's enough information inside to place Xopatl on the globe, even roughly? As in, can you tell what part of Arcadia it's in?

I have tried. It's really hard to match perfectly with the big map from the CRB, but I think I have a good idea. You get told who their neighbours are. Only Razatlan is something I had seen before. R

They are south of Razatlan. azatlan once spread all over the Northern part of the continent at very least. So that places Xopatl at the southern part of North Arcadia. It has mountains to the north and east. The Mildanesi Mountains. The east of the nation is along the coast of Lake Tapipallati. The south is open, and jungle-y, but there are desert bits near the mountains, and I suspect more desert to the south off the map. There is some other body of water in the southeast corner of the map over the mountains.

I think this means the big lake in the eastern-central part of Northern Arcadia on the east side of the huge mountain range is Lake Tapipallati, the big mountain range is the Mildanesi Mountains. Xopatl is on the western side of those mountains near the bottom of the lake and near where the continent narrows before becoming South Arcadia. Same lattitude as south of Vidrian and Iblydos (I'm guessing the archipelago south of Casmaron's central deserts is Iblydos).


Fantastic. Thank you, vagrant-poet. That puts this squarely in the "worth the money" category.

From what you describe, Xopatl is at (roughly) 15 deg N latitude.


John Mechalas wrote:

Fantastic. Thank you, vagrant-poet. That puts this squarely in the "worth the money" category.

From what you describe, Xopatl is at (roughly) 15 deg N latitude.

I can't remember where you placed the equator. But that matches the mesoamerican vibes I got from Xopatl too. Glad to help, any little I can do to enable your fantastic map work is time well-spent!


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OK. I am trying to make sense of Xopatl, based on the Golarion World map. The Xopatl map very helpfully has a scale bar, but when I georeference based on that and what seemed like the right place, I got this result.

This doesn't look right. Xoaptl is described as, "Nestled securely between the Mildanesi Mountains and Lake Tapipallati".

I have questions for Paizo's game designers, if any are still lurking:

1. Is Lake Tappallati the long, skinny, north-south lake in the middle of what would be the Western U.S.?

2. Is Xopatl on the coast of the "Gulf of Mexico"? Or is that patch of water in the lower right of the map just a coincidence?

If I am correct about #1 and the first half of #2, the Xopatl needs to be farther north and east, about where east Texas and Louisiana sit. The scale of the map might still be off a bit, but I can work with that. It would also imply that the wide stretch of mountains on the world map is not actually that wide. Either that, or Xoaptl is a mountain region, and it's just not represented on the regional map.

Anyone else have thoughts here?


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I am pretty sure "Lake Tappallati the long, skinny, north-south lake in the middle of what would be the Western U.S."

A thing about the scale here is that paizo maps are funny about mercator squashed distances. So stuff is often slightly inconsistent depending on whether you go north or south. So I suspect that the middle bit of the world map should be fatter, and Xopatl isn't so huge in comparison.

I think it more likely takes up the north-eastern chunk of where you currently have it placed.

Often first draft maps of a region are slightly simplified, so I think it's probably not so neat and square with relation to the mountains on the map, and that those mountain ranges are not skinny.

Finally, Xopatl is described explicitly as residing in space that used to be more mountainous before the hero-gods flattened it, if I'm remembering correctly.

(P.S. I'd love to see you try and place the Distant shores cities after you figure out Xopatl! I'm very confused about Holomog's size and Anuli's location. The land spur close to Geb makes the most sense, but I'm not sure. And Ular Kel's placement doesn't really map cleanly because Casmaron is a totally different shape.)


vagrant-poet wrote:

I am pretty sure "Lake Tappallati the long, skinny, north-south lake in the middle of what would be the Western U.S."

A thing about the scale here is that paizo maps are funny about mercator squashed distances. So stuff is often slightly inconsistent depending on whether you go north or south. So I suspect that the middle bit of the world map should be fatter, and Xopatl isn't so huge in comparison.

I think it more likely takes up the north-eastern chunk of where you currently have it placed.

Often first draft maps of a region are slightly simplified, so I think it's probably not so neat and square with relation to the mountains on the map, and that those mountain ranges are not skinny.

Finally, Xopatl is described explicitly as residing in space that used to be more mountainous before the hero-gods flattened it, if I'm remembering correctly.

(P.S. I'd love to see you try and place the Distant shores cities after you figure out Xopatl! I'm very confused about Holomog's size and Anuli's location. The land spur close to Geb makes the most sense, but I'm not sure. And Ular Kel's placement doesn't really map cleanly because Casmaron is a totally different shape.)

Don’t we have a pretty good idea of where Holomog ends, given that we have the Field of Stone Maidens on multiple maps?


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keftiu wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:

I am pretty sure "Lake Tappallati the long, skinny, north-south lake in the middle of what would be the Western U.S."

A thing about the scale here is that paizo maps are funny about mercator squashed distances. So stuff is often slightly inconsistent depending on whether you go north or south. So I suspect that the middle bit of the world map should be fatter, and Xopatl isn't so huge in comparison.

I think it more likely takes up the north-eastern chunk of where you currently have it placed.

Often first draft maps of a region are slightly simplified, so I think it's probably not so neat and square with relation to the mountains on the map, and that those mountain ranges are not skinny.

Finally, Xopatl is described explicitly as residing in space that used to be more mountainous before the hero-gods flattened it, if I'm remembering correctly.

(P.S. I'd love to see you try and place the Distant shores cities after you figure out Xopatl! I'm very confused about Holomog's size and Anuli's location. The land spur close to Geb makes the most sense, but I'm not sure. And Ular Kel's placement doesn't really map cleanly because Casmaron is a totally different shape.)

Don’t we have a pretty good idea of where Holomog ends, given that we have the Field of Stone Maidens on multiple maps?

For Holomog, I'm wondering if it takes up almost the entire western coast of Garund bounded only by mountains. That would make it huge, espcially because I think the equatorial regions are squashed in the CRB map. So holomog would be as large as Kelesh or other large empires, etc. So I want to know the other borders, not just the field of maidens. I think Anuli is jsut off the map, at the top of the jungle looking bit of the western Garund coast from the CRB map. I'd like to hear other people's guesses etc.


vagrant-poet wrote:
keftiu wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:

I am pretty sure "Lake Tappallati the long, skinny, north-south lake in the middle of what would be the Western U.S."

A thing about the scale here is that paizo maps are funny about mercator squashed distances. So stuff is often slightly inconsistent depending on whether you go north or south. So I suspect that the middle bit of the world map should be fatter, and Xopatl isn't so huge in comparison.

I think it more likely takes up the north-eastern chunk of where you currently have it placed.

Often first draft maps of a region are slightly simplified, so I think it's probably not so neat and square with relation to the mountains on the map, and that those mountain ranges are not skinny.

Finally, Xopatl is described explicitly as residing in space that used to be more mountainous before the hero-gods flattened it, if I'm remembering correctly.

(P.S. I'd love to see you try and place the Distant shores cities after you figure out Xopatl! I'm very confused about Holomog's size and Anuli's location. The land spur close to Geb makes the most sense, but I'm not sure. And Ular Kel's placement doesn't really map cleanly because Casmaron is a totally different shape.)

Don’t we have a pretty good idea of where Holomog ends, given that we have the Field of Stone Maidens on multiple maps?
For Holomog, I'm wondering if it takes up almost the entire western coast of Garund bounded only by mountains. That would make it huge, espcially because I think the equatorial regions are squashed in the CRB map. So holomog would be as large as Kelesh or other large empires, etc. So I want to know the other borders, not just the field of maidens. I think Anuli is jsut off the map, at the top of the jungle looking bit of the western Garund coast from the CRB map. I'd like to hear other people's guesses etc.

*Eastern Garund. Judging from the map in Distant Shores my closest guess comparing them was around the equator but that seems off given that it's said to be the northernmost city and has fought Geb a lot, so separating them by ~15° of latitude would be a bit strange, though I don't think Holomog has to directly border the Field of Maidens.


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vagrant-poet wrote:
A thing about the scale here is that paizo maps are funny about mercator squashed distances. So stuff is often slightly inconsistent depending on whether you go north or south. So I suspect that the middle bit of the world map should be fatter, and Xopatl isn't so huge in comparison.

I am thinking this exact same thing: that Arcadia as depicted is too narrow, and is really a bit wider. I think it also has some spherical distortion as the "flat" image of it on p 418 of the CRB looks a little too much like the one in the little globe right below it. That would imply that, while we got a map that is more to scale than the original not-to-scale map, the world map is only mostly-to-scale.

This also is a very good argument for not stretching northern Tian Xia 10 degrees towards the pole as the world map suggests I "should" do. I really, really do not want to move Tian Xia. Its current placement is sensible, and most importantly the distances are nearly perfectly aligned with those given in the Jade Regent AP.

Quote:
I'd love to see you try and place the Distant shores cities after you figure out Xopatl! I'm very confused about Holomog's size and Anuli's location. The land spur close to Geb makes the most sense, but I'm not sure. And Ular Kel's placement doesn't really map cleanly because Casmaron is a totally different shape.

I have been studying Distant Shores quite a bit recently so that I can do exactly this. I have a pretty good handle on Segada, Anuli, and Aelyosos but those are practically gimmies. Holmog is clearly quite huge as we know how far north it stretches. Given the size of Vudra there's certainly precedent for it.

I have a reasonable guess for placing Anuli. Ular Kel, though, is a mystery for the reasons you state. Obviously it feels very Silk Road-ish. Putting it somewhere north of the mountains in eastern "Tibet" makes about as much sense as anything.


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Darth Game Master wrote:
I don't think Holomog has to directly border the Field of Maidens.

Distant Shores says this, though: "Thanks to an economy based largely on trade with other nations and a hostile border shared with the undead nation of Geb..."

That implies they butt up against one another. And, the army that was turned to stone was fleeing Holomog, so it's reasonable to assume they are next-door neighbors.


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John Mechalas wrote:

OK. I am trying to make sense of Xopatl, based on the Golarion World map. The Xopatl map very helpfully has a scale bar, but when I georeference based on that and what seemed like the right place, I got this result.

This doesn't look right. Xoaptl is described as, "Nestled securely between the Mildanesi Mountains and Lake Tapipallati".

I have questions for Paizo's game designers, if any are still lurking:

1. Is Lake Tappallati the long, skinny, north-south lake in the middle of what would be the Western U.S.?

2. Is Xopatl on the coast of the "Gulf of Mexico"? Or is that patch of water in the lower right of the map just a coincidence?

If I am correct about #1 and the first half of #2, the Xopatl needs to be farther north and east, about where east Texas and Louisiana sit. The scale of the map might still be off a bit, but I can work with that. It would also imply that the wide stretch of mountains on the world map is not actually that wide. Either that, or Xoaptl is a mountain region, and it's just not represented on the regional map.

Anyone else have thoughts here?

There is another detail that has to be taken into account, and I am pretty sure that Luis Loza has enough of a grasp of geographical principles that he didn't mess it up. There is a river on the map of Xopatl in the adventure path that connects a mountain range with the bodies of water on the east and west sides of the map. The only way that can work is if the water is flowing from the mountains and one of the bodies of water into the other -- and the only way that can possibly work is if one of those bodies of water is an inland lake.

I actually had an easier time locating where I thought Xopatl should be on the older world map. I am less sure on the newer map.


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I have something that looks pretty close. I'll post images tomorrow, but the short of it is that I reprojected Arcadia using the little globe image in the CRB to fix the proportions in the world map right above it. What I got, by keeping the northern edge at the same latitude, was an Arcadia that is a bit larger than what's depicted on the Mercator-style world map, and which expands a bit farther to the south.

This expansion lets Xopatl sit right on the northwest corner of the "Gulf of Mexico" and almost perfectly slot in between that and the very bottom stretch of Lake Tapipallati.


John Mechalas wrote:

I have something that looks pretty close. I'll post images tomorrow, but the short of it is that I reprojected Arcadia using the little globe image in the CRB to fix the proportions in the world map right above it. What I got, by keeping the northern edge at the same latitude, was an Arcadia that is a bit larger than what's depicted on the Mercator-style world map, and which expands a bit farther to the south.

This expansion lets Xopatl sit right on the northwest corner of the "Gulf of Mexico" and almost perfectly slot in between that and the very bottom stretch of Lake Tapipallati.

Great! Looking forward to it!


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Image here. The white lines show the old borders. I tried to keep the north and east boundaries where they were, and grow only to the south and west.

Arcadia is about 18% larger (though not uniformly so). There's still a convex shape to the whole continent that I don't like. When projected to something Mercator-like, it feels like the whole thing should be more vertical rather than pinching towards the equator on the eastern side.

Xopatl is also show. It's a pretty good fit where it is, aside from the lake curving in the wrong direction. This placement implies the rest of the "Gulf of Mexico" is just off the southern edge of the Xopatl map.


^For some reason I can't get anything better than a pixelated image, except of the white lines, which seem to be at full resolution. Nevertheless, it seems to me that if you just expanded the white lines from a point up near the north edge, but including some expansion to the southeast (unlike what you just said), you get a pretty good fit.


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The reason it's a pixelated image is because it is literally the globe image from the CRB reprojected, which is not a very high resolution image to begin with.


Awesome! Good work!


Hey John, out of curiosity, do you have the shapefiles for the current state of things posted somewhere? If so, I can try to start working on forking the interactive maps for 2E.


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For the current continents, I do not have them posted yet. I am still splitting out the data sets and trying to clean them up at the same time. But, I can do a quick export in the next couple of days.


Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Hey John, out of curiosity, do you have the shapefiles for the current state of things posted somewhere?

I have updated the Global Layers/golarion_continents folder in the Google Drive share with the new continent shapes. I'm still working on reorganization for my web site's download area, though I may just backport the continents into the Golarion v1 dataset anyway. It technically hasn't changed with 2E, just been more clearly defined.

I ended up redrawing Arcadia and Azlant to make a better fit for Xopatl.


Link to this folder? Unless it's private.


Private, but I keep the shapefiles on my web site, too. I just haven't gotten those updated yet. Too many balls in the air at the moment.


No problem.


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Updated data layer for the Golarion continents has been posted to Dungeonetics.

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