All4Ɇn wrote:Does anyone have any recommendations on how to make county/municipality maps for an area on Earth?
Don't know if this will satisfy.
Counties in England, at least, were based on ancient kingdoms, from before the heptarchy.
The famous "seven leagues" of 7-league-boot fame, was about the distance a person could travel on horseback in a day.
So a kingdom in those days was likely to be about seven leagues or 21 statute miles in radius, about the seat of government.
Maybe you could make your counties be nearish to 21-mile-radius circles, or at least not contain any territory more than a day's ride (or conworldish equivalent) from the county seat?
Constantine reportedly laid out the boundary of New Rome (aka Constantinople aka Byzantium) by marching all around it in a day.
So in those days the biggest defensible city was whose circumference was about as far as a fairly in-shape fairly well-trained soldier could march all the way around on a fair-to-good day.
Maybe your municipalities should have a circumference of about a day's march?
Not sure what a day's march is, in statute miles or nautical miles or kilometers.
Let's say a day's march is 18 (statute) miles; then set up your municipalities to fit into areas with a circumference or perimeter of 18 miles (or less).
Subdivisions of municipalities:
In the Viet Nam war, the Viet Cong used a principle from Mao Tse-Tung's book, that the field-headquarters during any operation should be where any soldier/guerrilla could trot to it in half-an-hour (or less).
If, like the Mormon founders of Salt Lake City, you want every neighborhood to be defensible itself in case the city's perimeter were breached, you might want to divide your city into defensible neighborhoods with a radius not greater than a half-hour's fast walk or trot; maybe about 1.8 miles? maybe just 1 mile?
Call those "marques" or "barangays" or whatever the right word is. Maybe "sokes"? Maybe just "districts" or "vicinities" or "neighborhoods"? Maybe "wards" or "precincts"?
Maybe you could arrange that each of them contained at least one hundred (or your conlang's or conculture's equivalent) warriors, able-bodied individuals equipped to fight.
Then you could call them "hundreds" or "centuries" or something like.
IMO it makes sense to have judicial precincts (sokes), voting precincts (wards), and civil-defense precincts, all be the same thing. YMMV.
You might try to make sure that each one was also economically independent for at least a minimum amount of time.
Maybe they would be public-school districts, at least for lower grades (primary school and/or elementary school).
Maybe they'd each have their own retail market-area.
Maybe they'd each have their own water-well.
You'd want them to be able to withstand a siege for a certain minimum amount of time; at least a day, at most a-year-and-a-day, is my guess.
So they should have walls and gates and towers, though they'd probably be much less impressive than those of the city-as-a-whole.
How to draw the maps?
The need to include certain resources, such as water-wells, would influence the locations and even the shapes of the counties, municipalities, and districts.
The need to be able to reach the headquarters or seat-of-government by horseback or on foot in a certain maximum amount of time, would make the physical ease or difficulty of traveling the ambient terrain, have an influence on the shape and the boundaries of the counties and municipalities and districts.
The need to include a minimum number of able-bodied well-equipped residents would also influence the sizes and shapes of the districts, and probably the municipalities, and maybe even the counties.
So I would include roads; other routes (canals or navigable streams or what-have-you -- do your people brachiate? then include aerial paths); sources of potable water; stores of food; stores of other necessities; arsenals (weapons caches, armor storage, etc.); walls, gates, and towers, as well as ladders or stairs for going up and down them; any physical terrain that makes travel or defense easier or harder (e.g. free-fire-zones or dense thorny hedge-rows or moats or woods that can't be run through or rough ground horses can't cross); locations of law-courts and judges' offices; locations of local law-enforcement stations.
Anything else? I'll be plenty surprised if I've thought of everything.
Oh! Restaurants and cafeterias, in case the power goes out or there's a firewood shortage or the water is contaminated or there's a water-shortage or food needs to be rationed or whatever!
Edit: Actually what I've really done is nothing so sensible, or at least nothing so fitting RL history.
I just divided the globe into "nations" or "countries" about 1800 nautical miles east-west by about 900 nautical miles north-south;
divided those into "states" or "provinces" or "regions" about 150 nautical miles east-west by about 75 nautical miles north-south;
then divided those into "counties" or "townships" about 12.5 nautical miles east-west by about 6.25 nautical miles north-south.
Where population density is high, but either transportation technology is low, or communication technology is low, or surveillance technology is low, it might make sense to divide those "counties" or "townships" into yet smaller "patrols" or "beats" or "neighborhoods" or "blocks"; maybe a bit longer east-west than 1 nautical mile, and a bit wider north-south than half a nautical mile.
As you can tell; that makes no attempt to take the terrain into consideration, nor the resources, nor all those other things I mentioned earlier.