A better looking map


Wow. That took a long time! I spent the whole evening working on making a better looking map. I almost had a bit of a scare as well, that all the work I put into tracing the outline of the land masses and the country lines would not turn out. My Flash skills are quite rusty. But thanks to a few tutorials from WebWasp, I figured out the need to draw in ‘Merge Drawing’ mode rather than ‘Object Drawing’ mode. I had drawn all of the lines with the paint brush using ‘Object Drawing’ mode. This made it impossible to use the paint bucket tool to fill in with color. Fortunately, WebWasp came to the rescue with a tip on how to overcome that problem. I simply selected all of the paint brush lines which were objects. Then in Modify->Combine Objects, select ‘Union’. This makes all of the objects into one object. Then in Modify menu again, select ‘Break Apart.’ This makes all of the lines behave, and I could use the paint bucket to fill the land masses with grey and the water with blue. It look pretty snazzy now.

What did I learn of historical importance today… Well, it struck me how arbitrary the dividers and barriers are that humans place on each other. There are divisions such as speech, but really, why did the border between Norway and Sweden end up where it did and not elsewhere? Only because that’s where humans decided it should go. The only real border is between water and land. I thought back on a geography class I had as an undergraduate. That was a really cool class. I love maps. I’ll look at them for hours if I could. That class would totally have convinced me to switch majors to geography, if it wasn’t the very last class I had to take to graduate with my BA in History AND BA in German. It was the only class I had that semester, too. Despite the great temptation to goof off and just get a passing grade, I worked hard and pulled my overall GPA up by enough points to graduate Magna Cum Laude. Well, I digress…

Next step… Probably put some real data into the map. Have the flash points line up with real events. Then add a bubble of text to explain which event the flash point refers to. I’ll change the flash point too. Perhaps I’ll use the hamsickle (the hammer and sickle).

Ah, yes. Almost forgot. Here’s the next version of the 1989 map.

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