I've been slowly working on a map, and it will serve as a practical demonstration of terrain interpretation as it relates to TOAW scenarios.
First up were design decisions. I wanted a map of Europe with some of the surrounding areas. The region I settled on stretches from the coast of Greenland to the Red Sea, and northwest Africa to Russia a bit beyond the Urals.
A key decision is hex scale, and that hinges upon the scenarios that may be able to employ the map. Scenarios I may work on using this map are intended to be corps-level with some smaller units, using turn durations of half a week to one week. For this, I opted to use 25 kilometers per hex as the scale. This scale allows for a fair depiction of items like coastlines while ensuring that places like Russia are still a huge sea of hexes.
I can't get the map export to image file to work from the map editor, so here is a partial of the map, zoomed out. Note that this is the first stage of map-making: land and sea. I intend to keep different versions of the map reflecting the various "layers" that will be placed on it: arid and sand tiles, mountains and hills, inland waters, forestation, and finally, cities, transportation facilities, and international frontiers. The "why" of keeping these different versions is that it simplifies major edits if I wish to go back and start over on a given layer. Equally important, as Lobster noted, is that things change ... and more rapidly than we often realize. For example, the Zuider Zee in The Netherlands was considerably larger in World War II than it is today (the Dutch reclaimed land after the war). Cities grow in extent, road networks change, etc.
Okay, as to interpretation for the first layer (arid and sand tiles), this isn't something that one might easily find on a standard map. But it is a topic that a good atlas will cover. My "good" atlas will be an older version of Goode's World Atlas, as well as satellite imagery to judge how "green" the regions are. Data on annual rainfall could be used as well to indicate the location of drier regions. Once I've finished applying the arid and sand tiles, I'll post in this thread again.
< Message edited by cathar1244 -- 6/21/2019 6:30:22 AM >