10 February 2009

Imagination, Part III

Last September, I posted a small piece on this blog about a lifelong hobby of mine: the detailed study of a country called Honoleo (see the map by following the link).

So this last weekend, I finally did something I've wanted to do for a long time...but I have lacked the skills and time to do so: I drew a regional map in Adobe Illustrator, based on sketches and notes I've taken over the years.

Here it is (click for larger version):

This map is of the Honbaar/Iamhamuhr region. Honbaar (population 18 million) is Honoleo's most populous city, and Iamhamuhr is the nation's capital. This roughly 6,000 square mile region is home to over 30 million people, making it one of the world's most populous urban regions. Originally an Amnaean fishing village, Honbaar was seized by the British East India Company in 1737, and the town was redeveloped into a port city -- Lancaster. Renamed Honbaar in 1912 upon its return to the Honolean Republic, it grew and industrialized rapidly. In the last 50 years, Honbaar has become a center of trade, industry and finance in South Asia. It is a prosperous, diverse, and extraordinarily vibrant city. Like many Asian cities, the divide between rich and poor is extreme.

Iamhamuhr (population 5 million) is the second largest city in the region. Unlike Honbaar, which sits on marshy flatlands and an estuary, Iamahmuhr is in the foothills of the Pashan Tazhid Mountains. Traditionally used as a summer retreat by the Honolean emperors, Iamhamuhr was designated Honoleo's political capital (the Imperial capital remains at Saebaan) in 1912, the same year that Honbaar was returned to Honoleo. Iamhamuhr, at least initially, was a master-planned capital city. But it too grew rapidly, spilling over into the surrounding valleys.

Shahansarkhindi and Toru Inkateran are the population centers of the Inkaterani Raj region, in the Commonwealth of Northern Honoleo. Connected to Honbaar by regional trains, they function as suburbs of Honbaar. Due to Northern Honoleo's favorable tax climate, these cities have become centers of Honoleo's manufacturing industry in the last fifteen years, and are home to the largest concentration of automobile manufacturing jobs in the nation. Together, these cities are home to 5 million people.

This is still, of course, a work in progress. I'm still working on the map. I've been surprised at how long it's taken me to do. Rather than creating a fantasy or science fiction world, which has its own constraints but is unbound by our reality, I've found myself trying to create something as plausible as I possibly can. It's been an interesting process. The map is an effort to produce something as realistic as possible. The above image is my first real crack at it after years of thinking about it. I'm happy to share it with you.

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