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Mapcraft - Fantasy map designer

WorldGen - SciFi universe generator

Mapcraft Web - Web based fantasy map designer

All code for the project is released under the GPL, and is copyright Samuel Penn.

The text on this wiki is dual licensed CC-BY-SA and GPL.

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This is an old revision of the document!

Mapcraft Web

Since Mapcraft was begun ~10 years ago (it went through several iterations before the version now on Sourceforge was started) things have changed a bit. The most important change is that I now have access to my own web servers, so the requirement of generating static images is no longer there.

This then is a holding page for ideas on how to move Mapcraft into a more dynamic, web based, environment. Navigation similar to GoogleMaps would be good, with support for much larger maps stored in a database.


This supersedes the Initial Ideas section below. We have hex based tiles, with an assumed resolution of 1 tile = 5km. The map is divided into sectors - each 32×40 tiles in size. Dynamic resolution is based on the sector/sub-sector etc.

A sector is sized so that it fits nicely onto a single sheet of A4 paper. The back end also supports a caching mechanism to we read/write whole sectors at a time for hopefully better performance.

Initial Ideas

  • Map data stored in the database. Possible use Hibernate to get away from my 10 year old set of database libraries.
  • Maps can be displayed online, and can be scrolled/zoomed/searched dynamically.
  • A single world will have one very big map, with dynamic resolution.
  • Should editing use a thick client, or web front end?
  • Still tile based, or possibly just a big pixel image?


Maps will be organised into sectors if 32×40 hexes, in the same style as Traveller star maps. Each sector consists of 16 (4×4) sub-sectors, each of 8×10 hexes. This latter fits nicely onto an A4 sheet of paper, hence the choice.

Each hex represents an area 5km across.

An entire sector can be represented by a single hex (0101). If no other hexes are defined in the database, then the entire sector is assumed to be the same as this hex.

A sub-sector can be represented with a single hex in the same way. There is the possibility of falling back to sub-sub sectors (4×5 hexes).

This saves space in the database in areas with little detail.

Current Status

Currently SVN has code which can display a basic map - things and paths aren't yet supported. There is a REST interface for this, which works nicely for getting tiled map images.

There is also a utility for importing maps from the old XML files, which is being used for testing. How best to do actual editing has yet to be decided.

mapcraftweb.1288817764.txt.gz · Last modified: 2015/02/04 22:39 (external edit)