Taking a brief break from the Hummels I am still in the throes of building, I thought I'd show the map of the particular area of the world in which the 'Latin Wars' (so-called by historiographers) are supposed to have taken place. This map I began putting together over the weekend. By no means complete, it is coming along nicely...
Now, I always imagined an east coast of Latin America, two major rivers forming a species of peninsula, with most of the campaign taking place on this peninsula. But at the same time I wanted a quick and fairly random way of generating the sort of map I wanted.
A hunt among map generators and free downloads unearthed the Greenfish Relief Map Generator. Several goes finally gave me a map I liked, except that I needed to flip it to get the orientation I wanted. Probably I ought to have seen what it looked like with less water, though. The Hungarian place names became upside down, and after resizing down and back again (a mistake) became illegible. Never mind about that.
What the map gives you is a relief map, and a whole bunch of towns and cities and things in white, dark red, blue and green dots. The green areas are plains, yellow hilly, and brown mountainous. I really like this as a map generator, as it does the really irksome bits of the creative process, leaving me with the fun bits...
For the latter, I had recourse to the Windows Paint software - very useful for this kind of thing. With it I've redone the towns and cities, resizing some of the dots, and recolouring as well, according to the following Legend:
White: Towns/cities population > 10,000
Red: Towns/townships 9999 > population > 999
Blue: Villages: 999 > population > 499
Green: Hamlets and other settlements: 499 > permanent population > 50.
I've also added in the rivers, railroads (Black) and roads (Brown); established the borders, and added some place names. As the only common border between Orotina and Gran Bolivaria I wanted to lie between the Amethyst and Topaz Rivers, I had to create a neutral democracy, The United States of Amazonia between the two north of the Amethyst River. The USAz is a peaceable commercial state whose dexterous foreign policy is far more responsible for keeping the country relatively clear of dangerous military entanglements than is its exiguous military establishment.
Followers of Gowan Ditchburn's Oronegro saga will have observed that the three countries shown here share common borders with that oil-rich nation. You are to imagine that in fact that these three extend south beyond the map boundaries perhaps 20 or 30 kilometers into almost uninhabitable mountainous country (the squares being some 16 kilometers or 10 miles of a side) - the southern shore of the Bight of Bolivaria that you see here being just one or two squares off the map. The Pan-Andean People's Republic (Pan-Andea) and Gran Bolivaria extend respectively in the same manner west and north, the former also reaching south deep into the west flank of Oronegro.
I will probably add further terrain features, such as forests, swamps, grasslands and perhaps tracts of desert or semi-arid country; and maybe add such interesting infrastructural elements such as factories, produce processing plants, mines, airfields, shipping facilities and what have you...