Newest Book ...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mapping Kobol

When writing a novel about events that span an entire planet, it helps to have a solid concept of where everything is so you can keep it straight.  A map was needed.

I knew I'd have to draw one, so I pored over the latter season one/early season two episodes of BSG, looking for space shots of Kobol.  They were all of the same shot, displaying the same portions of the same continents:

With a sufficiently large screenshot of Kobol, I opened up Photoshop Elements and tweaked the hues to try and make the landmasses stand out.  Then I traced over them:

Obviously, that only gives me about a third of the planet.  Since I would need a full Mercator-type map of the planet, I needed to distort the lines I traced and then BS stuff on the other side of the world.  I don't have any intermediate versions of Kobol, so here's the final map (click it for a huge version):

(The actual nations themselves are in the bolder colors; the territories allocated to the nations by the gods later on are more pale.)

Mountains, desert, islands ... much of it based on the shot of Kobol from the show.  Only three continents to worry about with names I took from ancient Greek maps I found online and elsewhere: Galatia (the primary continent and home to the original Twelve Tribes), Scythia in the south and Illyria on the other side.  Most of the cities, oceans, seas, mountain ranges, etc., also came from those old maps.

Also, note "Theonpolis" in the northwestern part of Galatia, within the Capricorn nation.  If you speak Greek, you may have already figured it out, but "Theonpolis" means "City of the Gods."  Why did I locate the City of the Gods there?  Well, Chief Tyrol had a line in one of those Kobol-centric episodes where he mentioned the ruins being located in the north-northwestern part of the continent.  Plus, since the camera seems to focus on that part of the planet, it made sense.  (And that's about where Vancouver kind of is, too.)

Lastly, just a thing of interest, I made this time zone map of Kobol, too, since I occasionally needed to know what time of day it would be when events were transpiring elsewhere.  (The shape of the continents changed after I made this time zone map.)

(In case you're wondering, I've redacted some of the place names on these maps to preserve a measure of surprise.)

I made other maps for other parts of the book, but this is the first one I did for the first portion of LoK.


  1. Wow this is a labor of love..... i just read the first book, and cannot believe it was offered as a freebie. This, to me, was worthy of major publisher attention and release. I found the series by accident while foolimg with a Nook app that listed free (and not so free) Nook books. I'm glad i did. The maps look great. I have to check it out later on a PC since i'm on a Nook right now and want to see it full sized.

    I'm done typing i have book 2 to begin.

  2. I appreciate that, Mike.

    I hope you enjoy the rest.

  3. Wow. Incredible. Though I would suggest changing "Theonpolis" to "Theonopolis", because apart from the fact that the extra vowel makes it easier to say, it also follows historical precedent of the naming of greek cities (Constantin-o-polis, Adrian-o-polis etc).

  4. This is a great endeavor, my own love for maps would have led me to do a similar thing. Kobol does seem to be a good size planet, my guess would be slightly larger than Earth. Depending on my mood at the time, I probably would come up with a similar continent to Illyria, or maybe just leave the other side of Kobol a great ocean, if I was really lazy. :) I will have to read your LoK books soon. I just recently got into Edgar Rice Boroughs Barsoom series. Started "Gods of Mars" a few days ago, which is book #2.