The Quest for the Globe

So, as the first feature for this new development phase of Expedition, I decided to change the world model to simulate a globe instead of a flat surface, what does this mean?

In the current public version of Expedition, the distance between the British Isles and North America is the same as the distance between Africa and Venezuela (see graphics). The distortion at the poles is far higher and more problematic.

Equal distances, right
Equal distances, right

This happens because all positions are coordinates mapped to a Mercator Projection, one of the simpler (to understand) and most useful projections for Expeditionaires. (And pretty easy to translate to a 2D structure for the computer too).

However, as we know our beloved planet is far from flat, and distances grow shorter (relatively speaking, in meters per longitude degree terms) as we get far from the Equator.

Far shorter to the north!
Far shorter to the north!

So, what I have been doing is changing the whole positioning system to obey a sexagesimal system of latitude and longitude minutes instead of flat coordinates. And it’s working now! the bad news is that I’ll need to completely retest everything to ensure all things are working ok. (Anybody who has programmed a game knows this change may completely break the game if not done carefully)

I am aware that this won’t be noted by most people, but it’s something that has always bugged me and I’m glad to see it almost solved. This and allowing “warping” in the poles will allow the expedition engine to support all the ideas I have in mind.

I also spent some time looking for the best way to fill the map with relevant cities. However I stumbled into the need of locating them precisely and thus took the globe map route.

Aprox. Work Time: 227:00 (219:00+8:00)

2 thoughts on “The Quest for the Globe

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