Cartography tools for Fantasy Maps

... with Google Earth

Mapping your Fantasy Cartography in Google Earth...

What you need

NB: this tutorial is made with Google Earth v.7.3.0

Ready-to-use maps:

Place marks

Determine a known distance on you map. For instance, I know that the scale bar in my image is 480 miles (see figure A).

Fig. A

Open Google Earth and place two place-marks exactly at this distance. Better if you position yourself not far from the equator.

Obviously, the place-marks must be in the same orientation as the known distance on your map. My 480-miles bar is horizontal, so also the place-marks must be horizontal.

Image overlay

Right-click to "My Places" (where you should also have place-marks A and B), then "Add" > "Image Overlay", as in figure B.

Fig. B

Browse to your image and import it. Now (with the "Properties" window open), you can adjust the image in size and position.

To move the image, click and drag on the middle green cross.

To resize the image, hold down the "Shift" key and drag one angle. Important! Hold down "Shift" key and use only angles, so you can preserve the aspect ratio of your map!

Fig. C

Your goal now it's a bit tricky and boring. You must try until your known distance overlay exactly on your two place-marks.

In my example, I have to move and resize the map until the 480-miles bar goes from "Placemark A" to "Placemark B".

Fig. D

Saving your work

Right-click on "My Places" and then "Save Place As...". You will be prompted to save a ".kmz" files. Do it.

You can load this map anywhere now, just start Google Earth and "File" > "Open" your .kmz file.

You can download mine here: Faerun.kmz


Now you can browse your map as if it was the Earth!

You can pan and zoom and explore it...

You can use the ruler to measure distances and paths... and so on.

For example, going from Reddansyr to Starmantle is some 200 miles...