[MUD-Dev] Re: MAPPING: Creating a bitmaped graphic from map

John Bertoglio alexb at internetcds.com
Fri Apr 24 22:58:53 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon A. Lambert <jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com>
To: mud-dev at kanga.nu <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Date: Thursday, April 23, 1998 8:45 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: MAPPING: Creating a bitmaped graphic from map

On 23 Apr 98 at 18:25, J C Lawrence wrote:
>> Jon A Lambert<jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>> > Hmm.  Good answer.  Also GIF format is already HTML browser
>> > supported and not only that, one might do away with tables and have
>> > the server dynamically generate a hotspot graphical map.

(I know there are some professional graphic artists in the group with
vastly more knowlege on this subject. However, I though our experience with
mass market web sites and the "need for speed" might have so value here.)

In our work developing internet sites for newspapers, we have worked
extensively with GIF and JPEG formats. As a rule, we use JPEGs for photos
and GIFs for line art. For map use there are several issues.

Great for high accuracy rendering of line art and other images with large
blocks of solid colors. Also good for small images like control buttons,
etc. This would be a logical choice for a map which featured a high
accuracy image. The file size is hard to control. I would never use GIFs in
a commercial product involving software which created or converted GIFs. My
firm had extensive dealings with a company which was once very active in
creating graphical front ends for BBSs. They claimed that the royalties
demanded for the GIF license came close to matching their annual sales.
While probably an exageration (this firm had (has) a very low credibility
factor), it is enough to scare me away form attempting to produce GIFs for
public consumption in a consumer product. (Of course, you can USE GIFs on
your web site as far as I can tell without royalty. Again, as far as I can
see the GIF license would allow me to run a program to create a high res
GIF as an editing and world proofing tool.)


The strength of this format is is ability to render complex, high color
density images with a small file size. We use (or recommend their use) for
all the photos in our real estate and auto programs. JPEGs have a serious
problem with large areas of solid color (like a traditional AAA-style map).
The compression process produces visual artifacts which mess up these
areas. However, the maps I intend to publish as game tools will be designed
to have a kind of "soft focus" which is easily achieved with JPEGs. The
goal of the large maps are not to fully answer questions, but to create
interest in further exploration. Small maps created by player with the
mapmaking skill (I can't spell cartography) could be accurate, but will be
very small.

>> Quite.  It would be fairly trivial to back the graphic with an
>> imagemap.  After a little research I suspect that PNG might be a much
>> better way to go.  It doesn't have the patent questions that GIF has,
>> and looks to be both smaller/more efficient sa well as a more direct
>> translation from his storage formats.

I want to thank everyone who helped me on this question.
The response was overwheming. I have more solutions to the problem than I
have time to implement. I hope I can return the service to the group in

>I've just sent John a piece of C source that generates fractal maps
>and converts them into .GIF format.  It's an older format GIF-89 and
>appears to be free of restrictions.  It does display nicely in my
>mostbrowser.  If anyone else is interested drop me an E-mail.  I've
>enclosed an attachment of a sample .GIF that it generated (8K).

BTW, I experimented with fractal maps and found JPEGs rendered them great.
These fractal maps tend to have the soft edges (more of a photographic
look) that JPEGs like.

--/*\ Jon A. Lambert - TychoMUD     Internet:jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com /*\--
--/*\ Mud Server Developer's Page <http://www.netcom.com/~jlsysinc> /*\--
--/*\   "Everything that deceives may be said to enchant" - Plato   /*\--


John Bertoglio

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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