Scaled Town Raster Mapping with FM8

edited February 2010 in Maps and Symbols
Some comments from another thread back in October:
bblackmoor wrote:
I guess not. I don't see the value of raster mapping, frankly. The whole point of using a computer rather than just drawing with colored pencils, in my opinion, is so that everything is vector, and scalable..

And in a later posting:
bblackmoor wrote:
MarkOliva wrote:
Raster maps, if done well, are quite scalable.
Raster images do not scale. If the images are of sufficiently high resolution, you might not notice this fact. It is, nonetheless, a fact. On the other hand, if the resolution is sufficiently high, the fact that raster images don't scale might not matter.

I couldn't do anything more with this old thread until now, but we've reached the point where we can clean up some myths. The point above is incorrect. Raster objects always are in scale unless you intentionally distort their proportions. The point most people would tend to make is that raster maps made with other programs tend to pixilate on tight zoom-ins. However, that's not the case with FM8 if it's used properly.

Unfortunately, most FM8 users with whom I've had contact don't understand what the program can do or how powerful it is compared to other cartographic programs. In a properly made FM8 map, the map's resolution is not an issue. FM8 preserves the resolution of the raster graphic objects that it uses rather than converting them to some kind of internal FM8 object. The result is that if your raster object is made well, it won't pixilate.

Brendan wanted to see a map back in October, but I couldn't release one at that time. However, the FM8 raster mapping tutorial that we're doing is in a very advanced stage now, and I can release a map from the tutorial that shows the powerful scalability and zoom properties of an FM8 raster map. First of all, let's look at the complete map, which has a scale size of 5760 by 4500 feet:


Next let's zoom in on the village center itself:


And, finally, let's just take a look at a few farms within the map:


In our tutorial, we will lead you step-by-step through the creation of this map, with loads of screen shots, to make it as simple as possible.


  • I received an E-Mail query asking just how far one can zoom in on an FM8 raster map. One really should post such questions here for everyone rather than sending them off by private E-Mail. One answer is, as far as you want to. Another one is, as far as the quality of the object's creator makes possible. FM8 doesn't decide that; the quality of the original graphic decides that. However, to take the comparison further, we last look at a group of farms. Okay, taking the same town map scaled to 5760 by 4500 feet, here's a zoom in on the bell tower of the town hall:


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