Jofwu

Mapping Scadrial

16 posts in this topic

It occurred to me today that the Elendel Basin map has a graticule on it... and we know that it maps onto the larger Final Empire map... And I don't think I've ever seen anyone do anything with that info. (If you're aware of somebody who has tried to do this, let me know!) I started to hail @Otto Didact and beg for him to do something with it, but I figured I'd take a stab at it myself first :D

Here's the Elendel Basin overlayed on the map of the Final Empire. If it's news to you that they fit like this, I was not the one to figure this out. You can find several images of this overlay online. But I think I'm the first person to do it since we got a proper, high quality electronic upload of the Final Empire map on Brandon's website earlier this month.

Final Empire with Elendel Basin overlay.png

For the most part the match between these maps is dead on, but note the overlay isn't perfect at the northern edge of the coastline. Sazed must of made SOME adjustments beyond the Elendel Basin. (I mean, beyond raising the mountains around the edges of the Basin, tinkering with rivers, leveling the ashmounts, etc. etc.)

Anyways, the fun thing I wanted to look at is the fact that the Elendel Basin map shows coordinates! So, if we make the big assumption that these maps are using the same projection, we can extend the Elendel Basin coordinates to the Final Empire map. It's not a terrible assumption, because the maps obviously fit very well ... But the Final Empire map is a lot bigger, so it's entirely possible that there's error with the overlay that's just too small to see at that scale, and the further we get away from the basin is compounds significantly. Generally, I think Brandon and his team prefer these maps to be intuitive, so I'm guessing the projections aren't terribly different.

Longitude on the map seems to be quite simple. The numbers at the top of the page, from left to right, read "1, 0, 1, 2, 3" with the 0 longitude passing through Elendel. (Steel alphabet for reference) Obvoiusly they're using the longitude of Elendel as their prime meridian.

But what's the interval exactly? I was going to guess that each of these is one degree, but the map also gives us a scale at the top left. I've measured the 100 mile scale to be 149 pixels. If I measure the distance between latitudes (which should be constant at all latitudes) I get something a little over 200 pixels (they vary slightly, which I take to be imprecision in the artwork). This means the lines of latitude are showing about 135 miles each. Now, Scadrial is supposed to be Earth, more or less. I think we can assume their miles are equivalent to our imperial/US miles for all practical purposes, and that Scadrial is the same size as Earth. If that's the case, I think this strongly suggests that each of these ticks is actually 2 degrees. The arc distance between latitudes on Earth is about 69 miles, or 138 miles between every two. I figure these numbers are too close to be a coincidence. So I'm going to assume that every line on the map marks every TWO degrees.

The distance between lines of longitude varies depending on latitude. I measured the topmost line of latitude and got 96 miles and the bottom one to get 104 miles... Unfortunately, when I do the math on this it suggests these latitude lines are only 1 degree apart, with the map covering 46 degrees North down to 41 degrees North... And they clearly aren't, as explained above. They should span 2 degrees each. Anything else basically undermines the map scale entirely. I think my problem is that I'm abusing the scale. Scales on a map like this are always misleading because the scale changes depending on where you're at on the map... If horizontal distance a the top of the map is being stretched out and horizontal distance at the bottom of the map is being compressed (to give more of a rectangular grid) it means 96 miles at the top is too high and 104 miles at the bottom is too small...

If I measure the distance between longitudes in the middle of the map I get about 101 miles, or 50.5 miles between degrees. This suggests that line of longitude is 43 degrees North. Taking every tick as 2 degrees, the top of the map is at 49 degrees North (and the scale here is stretched by a factor of 6%) and the bottom of the map is at 39 degrees North (and the scale is compressed by 3%). That's roughly in the latitude range of western Europe, so that seems reasonable.

elendel_basin.png

But then I'm seeing a snag with these latitude labels... The one I have at 43 degrees North corresponds to electrum, which is "12". And I'm struggling to reconcile those....

The latitude numbers down the side of the map are really weird. From top to bottom they read: "atium, malatium, gold, electrum, chromium, nicrosil". The last 4 are known to represent four numbers: "11, 12, 13, 14". You might assume atium and malatium represent 9 and 10, but in Era 2 they use cadmium and bendalloy for 9 and 10. I did find that Hero of Ages (original and leatherbound) just use ALL of the metal symbols (plus some unknowns) in sequence up to 23, and then repeat starting at 1 again. And in that case, they do use atium and malatium as the 9th and 10th. Maybe the map is just... using some older system of numbers? If we continue to assume every tick is 2 degrees, atium at the top would give 18 degrees and nicrosil at the bottom would correspond to 28 degrees. They're measuring latitude down from the geographic north pole, apparently. Using our system, this means the map spans from 72 degrees north to 62 degrees north. This means the map straddles the arctic circle, which... obviously isn't the case.

So I figure, maybe these latitudes are implicitly the second set of 23? We're not going from 9 (atium) to 14 (nicrosil), but rather from 9+23=32 to 14+23=37. Assuming each tick is 2 degrees again and flipping to our system, that puts the map between 26 degrees and 16 degrees. Which... puts the map mostly in the tropics, which I also don't think is right.

My best guess beyond this is that they're using some third system of numbers, which only counts up to 16 before repeating??? That would put it from 9+16=25 > 40 degrees north to 14+16=30 > 30 degrees. In other words, it fits right in the middle of the United States (in terms of relative latitudes). That fits well with the temperate climate... But that interpretation of the numbers is quite a stretch I think.

My only other guess is that the metal symbols were just added for flavor. :lol:

I was hoping to map the overlay onto a (earth) world map for comparison. Of course we don't know how much changed during the Catacendre... Does the former region of the Final Empire still look anything like what it used to, outside the Elendel basin? Does the latitude of the Elendel Basin region match with where it was during the Final Empire or did Sazed shift it? I don't we know for sure on these. So there would certainly be a lot of caveats...

Unfortunately, with the latitude still a mystery it's hard to guess...

Well... assuming my first guesses about latitude are correct (and the numbers on the side are nonsense?) I'm getting this:

2021-10-18 16_22_50-Window.png

2021-10-18 16_24_48-_Untitled Project - QGIS.png

2021-10-18 16_25_40-_Untitled Project - QGIS.png

Curious if anybody else has helpful thoughts about what the latitude numbers might mean???

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I would guess the latitude numbers don't mean anything. I think maybe they are more of an artistic choice and less of a cartographical one. But that is just a hunch. 

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I would also guess that since the map is hand drawn there is some error in it.  Also remember that the North Scadrians have neither circumnavigated the globe nor developed flight technology.  It is likely that the only truly accurate sources of longitude are Harmony and the Lord Ruler.  If these maps are based on old maps from the Lord Ruler, it is possible also that errors may have been deliberately introduced either by the Inquisitors or by Ruin itself in order to keep certain locations secret.

Also, keep in mind that measuring in relatively small pixel counts is very prone to error.  A 2-pixel difference can create about a 1.4% error in your estimate.  This error increases for each pixel error in your measurement.  Did you do repeated measurements to control for measurement error?

Lastly, you are assuming that these ticks correspond with earth measurements.  If Scadrial used 200 degrees as the measure of a circle, how would that change your numbers?

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On 18.10.2021 at 10:26 PM, Jofwu said:

The latitude numbers down the side of the map are really weird. From top to bottom they read: "atium, malatium, gold, electrum, chromium, nicrosil". The last 4 are known to represent four numbers: "11, 12, 13, 14". You might assume atium and malatium represent 9 and 10, but in Era 2 they use cadmium and bendalloy for 9 and 10. I did find that Hero of Ages (original and leatherbound) just use ALL of the metal symbols (plus some unknowns) in sequence up to 23, and then repeat starting at 1 again. And in that case, they do use atium and malatium as the 9th and 10th. Maybe the map is just... using some older system of numbers?

The map says "Canton of Cartography". This sounds very much like the Final Empire's terminology. It is safe to assume that it predates the discovey of all metals.

On 18.10.2021 at 10:26 PM, Jofwu said:

If we continue to assume every tick is 2 degrees, atium at the top would give 18 degrees and nicrosil at the bottom would correspond to 28 degrees. They're measuring latitude down from the geographic north pole, apparently. Using our system, this means the map spans from 72 degrees north to 62 degrees north. This means the map straddles the arctic circle, which... obviously isn't the case.

Scadrial is not in an ice age and the poles at least the north pole are free ocean. You can expect temperate climate far further north.

2 hours ago, Brgst13 said:

Lastly, you are assuming that these ticks correspond with earth measurements.  If Scadrial used 200 degrees as the measure of a circle, how would that change your numbers?

Using base-16 we should expect 256 degrees in a Scadrian circle.

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On 10/23/2021 at 0:18 PM, Brgst13 said:

I would also guess that since the map is hand drawn there is some error in it.

I think they would have enough technology to determine longitude pretty well? I'm willing to bet their knowledge Scadrial comes via Sazed in the Words of Founding, but that's just speculation.

On 10/23/2021 at 0:18 PM, Brgst13 said:

Also, keep in mind that measuring in relatively small pixel counts is very prone to error.  A 2-pixel difference can create about a 1.4% error in your estimate.  This error increases for each pixel error in your measurement.  Did you do repeated measurements to control for measurement error?

Yeah, I think I mentioned this in the post. There was a bit of variation--seems like maybe up to 5 pixels in one case, though most were the same measurement, or within 2 pixels of it. There's definitely room for a few more percentage points of error there. Not enough to change the premise of the main mystery though, I think.

On 10/23/2021 at 0:18 PM, Brgst13 said:

Lastly, you are assuming that these ticks correspond with earth measurements.  If Scadrial used 200 degrees as the measure of a circle, how would that change your numbers?

Brandon has reiterated time and time again that Scadrial is very Earth-like, so I think we need to assume it's effectively the same circumference as Earth and that a Scadrian mile is effectively the same as our mile. With my measurement of 135 miles between "Scadrian degrees" (two lines of latitude), that gives 184 Scadrian degrees. As you pointed out... there's... I dunno, let's say a cumulative potential error of 10%? So we're looking at between 165 Scadrian degrees and 203 Scadrian degrees?

@Oltux72 pointed out they're using base-16 (at least in Era 2), and it's probably more likely that they're using a factor of 16 than 10. So assuming my wild guess on potential error is correct, maybe they're using anywhere from 16*10=160 to 16*13=208 degrees in a circle? I don't think Oltux is right that it could be 256 as that's well outside the error range I'm guessing. The map would have to be extremely amateurish to have that much error in the scale and lines of latitude as they're drawn... I suppose my personal guess would be that they're using 16*12= 192 degrees in a circle. It's on the high end of my assumed error, but it's not unreasonable. 12 is a nice number with a lot of factors. You can divide up a 192 degree circle, with prime factors of 2^6 and 3.

So if it's 196 Scadrian degrees in a circle, Elendel at 12.5 Scadrian degrees down from the north pole is the equivalent of 67 degrees north. So... just over the arctic circle. :unsure: Doesn't help much.

On 10/23/2021 at 2:46 PM, Oltux72 said:

The map says "Canton of Cartography". This sounds very much like the Final Empire's terminology. It is safe to assume that it predates the discovey of all metals.

I don't think that's safe to assume. It's a reasonable assumption, but it's easy enough to imagine that the term persists into contemporary Scadrial. We haven't seen the word used in Era 2 like this, but that's not evidence to the contrary.

I think it's just as reasonable to imagine they are just use an older style of numbering, for example. Lots of natural, cultural reasons. After all, the map uses lerasium and that's no less of a mystery to the Scadrians in the early post-Catacendre days than the metals Sazed alluded to.

On 10/23/2021 at 2:46 PM, Oltux72 said:

Scadrial is not in an ice age and the poles at least the north pole are free ocean. You can expect temperate climate far further north.

It's not just a climate issue. At the arctic circle there's a point in the year where the sun doesn't rise/set. It's possible Scadrial is less tilted than Earth and the arctic circle is higher... This is getting pretty weird though, and Brandon has always seemed very emphatic to me that Scadrial is VERY similar to Earth. Unless we get evidence to support something like this, I'm very hesitant to believe it.

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4 hours ago, Jofwu said:

@Oltux72 pointed out they're using base-16 (at least in Era 2), and it's probably more likely that they're using a factor of 16 than 10. So assuming my wild guess on potential error is correct, maybe they're using anywhere from 16*10=160 to 16*13=208 degrees in a circle? I don't think Oltux is right that it could be 256 as that's well outside the error range I'm guessing. The map would have to be extremely amateurish to have that much error in the scale and lines of latitude as they're drawn... I suppose my personal guess would be that they're using 16*12= 192 degrees in a circle. It's on the high end of my assumed error, but it's not unreasonable. 12 is a nice number with a lot of factors. You can divide up a 192 degree circle, with prime factors of 2^6 and 3.

We have this cultural factor of having 12 months in a year, which Scadrial lacking a moon does not have. So I'd say the next obvious number after 256 is 160. And I'd rather take mountains, rivers or interior seas for matching. Scadrial had nasty tsunamis at teh Catacendre, so I'd expect the coastlines to be least stable.

And of course to us a circle is a circle. To a Scadrian a spinning circle may be a different thing to a static circle, though I think that this is an assumption you must make.

And while we are at it, you need not start counting at the pole or the equator. It is possible that they consider the southern hemisphere empty and of theoretical interest only, so they start counting midway between poles and equator, or even at the arctic circle or the tropics of cancer.

Quote

It's not just a climate issue. At the arctic circle there's a point in the year where the sun doesn't rise/set. It's possible Scadrial is less tilted than Earth and the arctic circle is higher... This is getting pretty weird though, and Brandon has always seemed very emphatic to me that Scadrial is VERY similar to Earth. Unless we get evidence to support something like this, I'm very hesitant to believe it.

Winters are reported to be mild in Elendel. Though it is right at a coast, but if anything this points to less axial tilt. And secondly even the Earth's axial tilt is not constant.

And while we are at that, there is an obvious glaring gap in Scadrial's terrestiality. It has no moon. So the applicability to astronomy is patchy.
Though the basin has snow on a rare but regular basis. I don't think that you'd find a good fit for a terrestial planet with our axial tilt and regular snow in the tropics. But a condition with little snow even in the polar regions is not unusual for Earth. Even a Scadrial that is very earthlike can be different to our Earth, as we are currently in an ice age. You can make the argument that Scadrial is closer to a typical Earth than our planet at this time.

Edited by Oltux72
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(Oh, by the way, I did notice that the map of Elendel itself says it is also by the Canton of Cartography, and it's dated to year 341, so I think it's very safe to say the map itself isn't older. But I think it's reasonable to imagine they would use an older numeral system in some contexts. Sort of like using Roman Numerals in modern times. It probably lends the map a sense of gravitas.)

9 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

We have this cultural factor of having 12 months in a year, which Scadrial lacking a moon does not have. So I'd say the next obvious number after 256 is 160. And I'd rather take mountains, rivers or interior seas for matching. Scadrial had nasty tsunamis at teh Catacendre, so I'd expect the coastlines to be least stable.

And of course to us a circle is a circle. To a Scadrian a spinning circle may be a different thing to a static circle, though I think that this is an assumption you must make.

And while we are at it, you need not start counting at the pole or the equator. It is possible that they consider the southern hemisphere empty and of theoretical interest only, so they start counting midway between poles and equator, or even at the arctic circle or the tropics of cancer.

Winters are reported to be mild in Elendel. Though it is right at a coast, but if anything this points to less axial tilt. And secondly even the Earth's axial tilt is not constant.

And while we are at that, there is an obvious glaring gap in Scadrial's terrestiality. It has no moon. So the applicability to astronomy is patchy.
Though the basin has snow on a rare but regular basis. I don't think that you'd find a good fit for a terrestial planet with our axial tilt and regular snow in the tropics. But a condition with little snow even in the polar regions is not unusual for Earth. Even a Scadrial that is very earthlike can be different to our Earth, as we are currently in an ice age. You can make the argument that Scadrial is closer to a typical Earth than our planet at this time.

I think the reason to use 12 over 10 is one of practicality rather than cultural. Twelve is a very convenient number while 10 is very inconvenient. Other than having ten fingers and ten toes, ten is really an awkward number unless you're using a base ten number system. (which they aren't) Twelve was used in a lot of old number and measuring systems specifically for this reason. (like 12 inches in a foot) It's also at the extreme ends of my error range, implying Scadrial is a good bit smaller than Earth or the map accuracy is really poor--and I'm just skeptical that's the intent I guess. (to be fair, very possible they just didn't look into these details so extensively... I think they gave it SOME thought though because it would have been easy to leave those latitude/longitude lines off the map or leave them unnumbered) But I would agree well enough to say that 160 makes the most sense after 196, to me.

With regard to Brgst13's question, if you go with 160 that's still pretty far north... Elendel up at 61 degrees north or so, just north of Oslo. Maaaaybe it's actually that far north... and Scadrial has less tilt, and an ocean current keeps the area warm... Also, great point about how the lack of a moon is a rather glaring difference from Earth. It's very possible I'm taking my insistence on comparing it to Earth too far. But... I dunno... Note that the area of the Roughs where Wax lived is up at 70 degrees North (using 160). I don't get the sense the climate up there is supposed to be more "arctic" either. :D This ALL just feels to me like a big stretch. The idea of Elendel being so far north I mean, with lots of little arguments to explain the problems away. My read of the books is that Elendel is simply down in the 30-40 degrees North range on a planet similar to 20th century Earth (geologically). Maaaaybe up to 50 degrees with a favorable current coming from the ocean, like Europe enjoys. But that's just my gut feeling...

It seems rather odd to me that their latitude numbering would start somewhere more arbitrary than the North pole... but I agree that it's plausible, and it would certainly put us into latitudes that FEEL more right. Hard to guess what the basis might be though, if it's something like this.

I guess I still feel like the most likely situation is that these are implicitly a second set of 16. So... Okay, presuming they use a 16-based number for degrees really helps here. Let's say they use 192 "degrees" in a circle. That means 48 degrees of latitude from the equator to the poles, which is three 16s. Maybe the upper 16 is "arctic" (60-90 degrees), the lower 16 is "tropic" (0-30 degrees), and in between you have the middle latitudes (30-60). If this is the case, I feel like it would be very reasonable for them to number each set of latitudes separately. Not terribly different from the way we count 0-90 north and south separately rather than numbering 0-180 from one pole to the other. They'd have a way to note which set of latitudes they're talking about of course, but in a map like this where the context is clear there would be no need.

And that puts the whole map of the Elendel Basin between... 34 degrees north and 43 degrees north, with Elendel around 36 degrees North. (North Carolina, central California) That feels really reasonable and fitting to me.

If that guess about latitudes is correct, I'm getting something like this... (took the liberty of shifting longitudes over to the US)

2021-10-25 12_29_34-Window.png

2021-10-25 12_31_45-Window.png

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18 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

I think the reason to use 12 over 10 is one of practicality rather than cultural. Twelve is a very convenient number while 10 is very inconvenient. Other than having ten fingers and ten toes, ten is really an awkward number unless you're using a base ten number system. (which they aren't)

What they are using is confusing. We have indications of both number bases 16 and 10.

18 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

Twelve was used in a lot of old number and measuring systems specifically for this reason. (like 12 inches in a foot)

If you care about subdividing a larger unit. I really doubt that you talked a lot about things like 1/3 of a year.

18 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

With regard to Brgst13's question, if you go with 160 that's still pretty far north... Elendel up at 61 degrees north or so, just north of Oslo. Maaaaybe it's actually that far north... and Scadrial has less tilt, and an ocean current keeps the area warm... Also, great point about how the lack of a moon is a rather glaring difference from Earth. It's very possible I'm taking my insistence on comparing it to Earth too far. But... I dunno... Note that the area of the Roughs where Wax lived is up at 70 degrees North (using 160). I don't get the sense the climate up there is supposed to be more "arctic" either. :D This ALL just feels to me like a big stretch. The idea of Elendel being so far north I mean, with lots of little arguments to explain the problems away. My read of the books is that Elendel is simply down in the 30-40 degrees North range on a planet similar to 20th century Earth (geologically). Maaaaybe up to 50 degrees with a favorable current coming from the ocean, like Europe enjoys. But that's just my gut feeling...

Again I have to point out that until a dozen or so million years ago Antarctica was forested.

18 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

It seems rather odd to me that their latitude numbering would start somewhere more arbitrary than the North pole... but I agree that it's plausible, and it would certainly put us into latitudes that FEEL more right. Hard to guess what the basis might be though, if it's something like this.

Now, you are raising another issue. What justifies the assumption that Scadrians put degrees on maps? How can we know that they don't number their maps like in units of 256 times of a unit of length?

 

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I don't disagree that what they're using is confusing. This is all guesswork and assumptions. I just think 192 is a more logical number than 160. Being able take clean fractions of a circle is very useful. 192 presumes less error in the map and less deviation from the size of Earth. Just my opinion though. I'd certainly like to ask Isaac.

As for Antarctica being forested a few million years ago... Sure. Like I said, I agree we can make it work with Elendel at a more extreme latitude if we want. I'm just extremely skeptical that this is what Brandon has in mind. I think Brandon is writing a story that takes place at familiar latitudes. Maybe not... But I'm personally going to need a WoB or evidence to the contrary before I go a different direction with my assumptions. I would guess it's more likely that Isaac just made up the numbers, if anything.

I don't follow the question on units. There are extremely practical mathematical reasons for using angular measurements on a globe. (and again, an alternative wanders into the realm of me being extremely skeptical Brandon is doing something highly unconventional for no particular reason) Furthermore, I'd say the changing distance between lines of longitude is a pretty clear indicator that this is what we're looking at.

As for using arc lengths like you describe, that's effectively the same thing as an angular measurement, for a given radius. In any case 256 divisions of any kind just doesn't really work. 256 of the divisions shown--at the scale shown--yields a planet much larger than Earth (or else implies the map is highly inaccurate). I don't believe either either intended.

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1 hour ago, Jofwu said:

As for Antarctica being forested a few million years ago... Sure. Like I said, I agree we can make it work with Elendel at a more extreme latitude if we want. I'm just extremely skeptical that this is what Brandon has in mind. I think Brandon is writing a story that takes place at familiar latitudes.

Familiar to whom? I guess being in Europe 60 degrees north is not that extreme.

1 hour ago, Jofwu said:

Maybe not... But I'm personally going to need a WoB or evidence to the contrary before I go a different direction with my assumptions. I would guess it's more likely that Isaac just made up the numbers, if anything.

OK, there is two more things (rather assumptions - sorry about going for absurd stuff, but unconcious assumption are most trouble.) I can come up with

  1. Do we know for sure the older map is oriented with a pole upwards? Did Sazed rotate continents?
    Yes we have directions from a map of Luthadel, but does that convey absolute direction?
  2. Projection. I admit it is a long time since I did spherical geometry, but we project our maps so that the true east west distance is correct at the equator, don't we? As far as I understand this is pure convention and any great circle would do. Is it possible that Scadrians are egocentrical enough to use Luthadel and Elendel respectively?
1 hour ago, Jofwu said:

I don't follow the question on units. There are extremely practical mathematical reasons for using angular measurements on a globe. (and again, an alternative wanders into the realm of me being extremely skeptical Brandon is doing something highly unconventional for no particular reason) Furthermore, I'd say the changing distance between lines of longitude is a pretty clear indicator that this is what we're looking at.

Right. Sorry, I went into mentally strange territories.

 

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12 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Familiar to whom? I guess being in Europe 60 degrees north is not that extreme.

OK, there is two more things (rather assumptions - sorry about going for absurd stuff, but unconcious assumption are most trouble.) I can come up with

  1. Do we know for sure the older map is oriented with a pole upwards? Did Sazed rotate continents?
    Yes we have directions from a map of Luthadel, but does that convey absolute direction?
  2. Projection. I admit it is a long time since I did spherical geometry, but we project our maps so that the true east west distance is correct at the equator, don't we? As far as I understand this is pure convention and any great circle would do. Is it possible that Scadrians are egocentrical enough to use Luthadel and Elendel respectively?

Right. Sorry, I went into mentally strange territories.

Familiar to Brandon. :) And we're talking further north than 60. (I think it was up near 70 for the Roughs?) The latitude isn't weird, but it's certainly weird (on our Earth) for somewhere at those latitudes having mild winters.

Not sure about the directions. I would assume the compass is trustworthy, but the dominances ARE named oddly, knowing the directions they're supposed to be in.

I don't THINK they'd do that with Elendel and Luthadel, but its wild enough that I'm not sure how I'd argue against it. XD Who knows, maybe.

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7 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

Familiar to Brandon. :) And we're talking further north than 60. (I think it was up near 70 for the Roughs?) The latitude isn't weird, but it's certainly weird (on our Earth) for somewhere at those latitudes having mild winters.

Yes. You need to assume some axial tilt. The seasons need to be explained.

7 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

Not sure about the directions. I would assume the compass is trustworthy, but the dominances ARE named oddly, knowing the directions they're supposed to be in.

I never doubted the compass rose. I doubted that we are reading the steel alphabet for the cardinal directions right. Specifically if you came out of a bunker and the geography and the direction the sun rises no longer match, what do you do? If you knew the way to Lake Tyrian as "west" and it was towards the morning sun, do you, when you find that you need to go with the midday sun to your back, rename the direction polewards to "west" or do you change your mental map? (assuming that in your language the connection between east or west to words for sunrise and sunset is no longer obvious)

The cities on the surface were razed. We just know that the directions between maps of the Final Empire match. But only that. We have no evidence that north is up on their maps.

7 minutes ago, Jofwu said:

I don't THINK they'd do that with Elendel and Luthadel, but its wild enough that I'm not sure how I'd argue against it. XD Who knows, maybe.

Scadrian maps are most unlikely to be world maps. What would they show? They have ships, so we must assume that they know the outlines of their continent and the nearby islands. But for them the best map, in the sense of fewest distortions, is one with the line of projection going through the center of their continent.

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11 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

I never doubted the compass rose. I doubted that we are reading the steel alphabet for the cardinal directions right.

Ah, sorry I was responding to this way too late last night.

Yeah, we know that north is up on the map. I'm sure there's dozens of similar references, but the easiest one off the top of my head is that there are tons of references the Terris mountains are in the north.

The Elendel map has no compass rose of course, and it's possible that Sazed rotated it around... Well.. actually, I guess we probably do have some direction references in Era 2... Yep, the bay adjacent to Elendel is described as being to the west. He still may have shifted the continent around, but apparently didn't rotate it (at least not significantly).

11 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

Scadrian maps are most unlikely to be world maps. What would they show?

Good question. I guess my instinct is to imagine maps like this where things just fade away. (but to a greater extent) Maybe a bit of best-guess extrapolation in some cases. They have enough technology to know the size of the planet, if Sazed didn't spell it out in the Words of Founding, so I think they should know where the Elendel Basin sits on the globe. They just apparently haven't had incentive to fill in the rest.

I certainly imagine that maps like this of just the Elendel Basin (maybe also with the Roughs) are far far far more common than mostly-empty world maps.

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I might be remembering wrong or maybe this does not affect what you are talking about, but I thought that the well of ascension was way far north and that the lord ruler moved the final empire around to hide it. All the maps being discussed would have been drawn after this, but surly the language they use is older than the final empire. So maybe this is causing additional confusion. 

Edited by KnightsOfHonor
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1 hour ago, KnightsOfHonor said:

I might be remembering wrong or maybe this does not affect what you are talking about, but I thought that the well of ascension was way far north and that the lord ruler moved the final empire around to hide it. All the maps being discussed would have been drawn after this, but surly the language they use is older than the final empire. So maybe this is causing additional confusion. 

Actually the Well of Ascention was at the north pole, and TLR moved the crust of the planet, so that it was further south. 

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Yeah, in Era 1 the magnetic north pole and the Well are far from the geographical north pole. Hard to determine what latitude range it is: not really arctic since no midnight sun/polar night, but climate in Era 1 seems pretty heavily driven by ash and such, so hard to tell.

Also, Scadrial is unnaturally hot in Era 1, so the apparently quite mild climate of Luthadel - the dangerously bad winter in WOA does not actually sound that cold by usual temperate zone standards  - doesn't necessarily imply a low latitude.

While not actually arctic it could well be at a mid 50s latitude like Dublin (above 53 degrees north) or Copenhagen and Edinburgh (about 56).

Given how intense the unshielded sun is at the end of HoA I think it is tricky to make the Final Empire climate livable even with both ash shield and high latitude.

I think it is pretty likely the continent was moved significantly in latitude.

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