A hex map of England!

I’ve been using (and testing) my new hex-map library. Here’s a map of England.

Hex map of England

It was generated by a little program that uses NASA’s SRTM data as input. The light brown hills are just high ground, but the dark brown hexes are both high and hilly – my program samples the elevation, and calls a hex hilly when the elevation’s standard deviation rises above a set limit. The rivers are drawn by selecting sample locations and then finding an optimal route to the sea. The routing is done with something like Dijkstra’s algorithm – it mostly wants to go downhill, but will jump over small rises if necessary to get to the sea.

The rivers look plausible, but there are quite a few problems, if you look closely. For example the Welsh headwaters of the Severn flow North into the Mersey on this map, but in real life they turn South.

Anyway, the map looks pretty good. It’s certainly good enough to form the playing surface for my online game (don’t ask). Writing the program was way more interesting than generating maps by hand. I only found a single bug in libhex, which is heartening.

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  1. Pyre said,

    13 January, 2009 @ 03:08

    Nice map of England… [ahem] and Wales and Cornwall and a bit of Scotland [/ahem] !

  2. Joseph said,

    10 January, 2010 @ 05:06

    Very nice indeed! What’s the scale?

  3. Mark Gomer said,

    15 April, 2011 @ 02:17

    Would it be possible to get a copy of your hex map of England by chance? I am an amatuer at map making and run a game set in ancient Albion and I have tried to create a decent hex map of england but I suck at it…:(

    Mark valwyn@tampabay.rr.com

  4. Alex said,

    10 September, 2011 @ 02:25

    Hmm…it would be nice if you could provide the source code for this example, or give some tutorial on how to use this library.

  5. Jason said,

    15 May, 2012 @ 12:07

    A very interesting map, thank you. As I have no programming skills at all, would you be so very kind as to upload another version of this but with much more detail. Idealy also including a little more of the island, up to say Edinbugh- Glasow.

    I can thick of several good uses for such a map, (with double or triple the number of hexs wide and high,) but even with your instructions I can not do it myself. I hope this enlargement would just require adjusting some of the programmes peramiters.

    As an aside, if you could package up some easy-ish program to convert maps to good hex maps like the one on this page you could probably sell it. Alternatively you could charge a modest sum to create such maps. There are more people interested in this sort of thing than you might imagine.

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