Talk:Book:The Discworld Mapp
Like the admirers of the Emperor's new clothes, no one seems to have remarked on the obvious deficiencies of The Discworld Mapp. Like the smartass kid in the story, I ask: why is The Streets of Ankh-Morpork so good, and the world Mapp so bad?
The Streets is amazingly detailed and I've never heard of or found a fault with it, but the Mapp doesn't come close. Lancre is a featured location in six books and mentioned elsewhere, but it can't be located accurately on the mapp, and where it seems most likely to be is nearly twice as far from Ankh-Morpork as the text tells us. Quirm appears to be much farther from Ankh-Morpork than we were told. Few locations can be determined more closely than the equivalent of "Vienna is somewhere in the middle of Europe". Omissions abound, too, but they don't matter very much when the included material is so weak. --Old Dickens 00:10, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I can agree with this. It isn't easy to work out a scale, for one thing, save the more-or-less agreed starting point that the Disc is ten thousand miles in diameter (can't remember which book). And it all seems a little arbitrary and ill-worked-out in places. I do have a suspicion that to fit in everything which the books explicitly say should be in there, Howondaland (for instance) should be a lot bigger than it is. (This is even before adding the bits which are conjecture and speculation, however well-founded...)
Then there are the bits which seem to vary from book to book: for instance in Unseen Academicals, Sto Lat seems ridiculously close to Ankh-Morpork if a slow-moving horse-drawn bus, which is not in much of a hurry, can get there in a matter of two or three hours. (At a speed described as not much above walking pace? This makes Sto Lat fifteen - eighteen miles at most from A-M). Earlier books have left the impression that the closest Sto states are a bit further out than this. Again I forget the reference, but Buddy and the band's tour in the Sto plains comes to mind, the one where travelling between Ankh and the Sto cities involves quite a few overnight stays. Soul Music Anyone constructing a map out of contradictory references like this is, I think, going to run into trouble.
I wonder if the Discworld Mappe is meant to convey something of those almost-right mediaeval maps of our world, the ones we look at where we see the cartographer has got the basic shapes roughly right, but to modern eyes they're out of balance with each other? (so that Africa is ridiculously small - that Howondaland thing again - Asia a bit too large, India just a pimple rather than a peninsular, and the Americas barely hinted at...) Being on the flat, though, Discowrld cartographers will be spared all that tricky stuff about compensating for curvature and getting the projection right.
All those mediaeval maps have large empty spaces on them, give or take the odd Here be Draggonnes, so the logical assumption with hindsight is that they're a sort of first attempt at making shape of the world - but desperate for a redrafting...--AgProv 00:36, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
- Sto Lat has always been twenty miles from A-M. Did it really say two or three hours? I thought it was most of the night.
Howandaland and Klatch in general are too small; the Circle Sea is too big, on and on. --Old Dickens 00:46, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
To my mind I don't understand how there can be sea-trade between Genua and Ankh-Morpork. Out through the circle see, around Howondaland and Cape Terror and along more than a quarter of the circuference of the disc with a load of (unrefrigerated) SHRIMP? --Iron Hippo 10:10, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
- Nobody said it was easy. (I think the Patrician was using a facetious example with the "pint of prawns". Shrimp actually arrive on the Sto Plains in short, sharp showers.) --Old Dickens 14:10, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
All the "joke countries" that Terry created as one-shots, back in the days of the fourth book in the series when the title-page disclaimer was "This book has no map. If this bothers you, feel free to go and draw one of your own" (Sourcery).
I think I've divined another problem with the Mappe (as well as the first ever quibble with The Streets of Ankh-Morpork). Especially in the early books, Terry was generating names for faraway countries as one-shot jokes or as background filler, without ever considering that one day some bright spark was going to ahve to come along and obsessively-compulsively draw a map that fitted them all in.
So of course, once named, they now exist, and have to be found places on the Mappe, despite the fact that Rehigreed, Vanglemesht, Chirm, Orohai, Ymitury, Kythia and so on, are hardly likely to be mentioned again and are just occupying valuable real estate that could perhaps better be taken up by other nations that have played a more active part in the canon. As time allows I've been trying to do a redraft - presumptuous, me, but I've kept it strictly canonical - which I hope addresses these problems. --AgProv 01:10, 12 November 2010 (CET)
The Rehigreed Problem
The article on reannual plants says:-
"the Rehigreed Province in the Agatean Empire is another. The reannual Vul Nuts are mentioned in The Colour of Magic as being grown in the latter place, and when harvested they make a drink called Ghlen Livid....."
The problem is, The Discworld Mapp places the Rehigreed Province in the opposite corner of the Discworld from Agatea - the two could not be further apart if you tried. Either the Rehigreed is a "lost colony" of the Central Continent originally settled by Agateans, or else in between The Colour of Magic and The Discworld Mapp this fine detail was lost. If the intention was the laudable one of creating a Discworld Mappe that is as close to the detail and locations given in the books as it possibly can be, then it fails here, I'm afraid, and this is another argument for redrafting the Mappe. --AgProv 20:45, 14 November 2010 (CET)
Scales and Things
We are told as a base datum that the diameter of the Disc is 10,000 miles from edge to edge.
In The Fifth Elephant, we are told, in a discourse on expanding the Clacks, that the distance from Ankh-Morpork to Genua is four thousand miles.
- On the other hand, in Going Postal, we are told that it's two thousand miles. If we go by that book, the distances in the calculations below should be halved. Jennyaxe (talk) 11:12, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Sticking with imperial units, when these two distances are compared on the Mappe, the diameter of the disc on the Mappe is 25 inches. The distance between A-M and Genua is 8 inches.
But if this scale - one inch = 500 miles - is applied to the Discworld as a whole, then it becomes 12,500 miles in diameter (Going Postal: 25,000 miles).
On the basis of the diameter of the Disc being 10,000 miles across and 25" on the Mappe, 1 inch on the Mappe therefore equals 400 miles. And those 8 inches separating A-M from Genua then represent 3,200 miles.
There is a bit of a discrepancy here of an order of ±20 - 25%.
Also, if Lancre is said to be five hundred miles away from the big city, this should be less than an inch on the Mappe - even allowing for the hazy location of Lancre on the Mappe. In fact, a generously measured distance (linking A-M to the "29" that identifies Leaping Mountain) is 2" (which matches the Going Postal distance to Genua, not the The Fifth Elephant one Jennyaxe (talk) 11:12, 8 July 2017 (UTC)).
Conclusion: the Mappe makes the Central Continent too short on its Widdershins-Turnwise axis, and too long on its Hubwards-Rimwards axis? (or vice-versa). This might support the contention that the Central Continent takes up too much space, and Klatch/Howondaland too little...--AgProv 22:21, 5 January 2011 (CET)
Given that both these are canonical distances, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the Mappe is out of scale, inconsistent, and disproportionate.
- The discrepancy in the Genua trip doesn't seem that bad, considering the difference between "as the crow (or broomstick) flies" and surface travel over rough country. Crows and broomsticks will also suffer some windage. I think Lancre-to-Genua was also described as 3000 miles, but both figures could be considered round-number estimates. --Old Dickens (talk) 14:42, 7 October 2013 (GMT)
Speed and Distance Covered
Wikipedia tells us the daily distance covered by even the best stagecoaches was only 70-120 miles per day. This varied according to factors like weather, quality of road, and severity of climb. The 120 mpd figure is in fact at the high end of the scale because it was so difficult to attain given the limiting factors (and no horse is going to be at its best after 18 hours in the traces) - it took the better roads of the late 1700's and 1800's to get there, and even then this was a one-off record for a light mail coach doing the run between London and Bristol.
On the Discworld it is logical to propose that the very same horse-drawn coach built to parellel technology standards and drawn by perfectly recognisable equines, and subject to the same limiting factors, would attain the same sort of speeds and performances. In Thud!, recall Vimes' trip to Koom Valley in the Ramkin family coaches: Willikins has never really sustained speeds of over 11mph before: this suggests 8-10mph is a reasonable speed. (This supports the idea that a slow horse-bus drawn by an old jade not in much of a hurry can cover the route to Sto Lat in 3-4 hours). Therefore that figure of 70 miles per day, representing a total of ten hours at 7mph (not allowing for relief stops, changes of horse, slow progress on bad roads, which might make the total journey time far longer) does not seem too bad. Wikipedia also tells us that with halts and stops, a typical coach in England could look forward to a travelling day of 16-22 hours depending on urgency - but British roads prior to Macadam were legendarily awful.
Therefore, that journey to Genua from Ankh-Morpork. In the context of the race between Moist in a coach versus the clacks. how long would it have taken a coach and is this consistent with the 4,000 miles distance we are quoted? By my reckoning = 57 days at 70 miles per day; (that 57 again) but only 40 at 100mpd. Must check Going Postal. If any other times are quoted, what implications are there for distances cited on the Mappe? --AgProv 17:10, 6 January 2011 (CET)