Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Generated Maps of Fantasy Worlds

Betsy Mason, National Geographic:

As you travel northeast along the shore of southern Nimrathutkam, the first town you’ll encounter is Ak Tuh, followed by Nunrat and Nrik Mah before you reach the coastal city of Tuhuk, the largest urban area in the region of Mum Huttak.

If these sound like places out of a fantasy novel you read as a teenager, you’re not far off. Nimrathutkan is the result of an automated map generator that was inspired by those novels. The map bot, created by glaciologist Martin O’Leary of Swansea University in Wales, combines imaginary place names with fake terrain to produce fantasy worlds, tweeting a new one every hour from the Twitter account @unchartedatlas.

This is a tremendous accomplishment. My best NaNoGenMo achievement was building a story that would write itself in chapters based on works by or referencing William S. Burroughs. I love this kind of stuff.

Link via Kai Sunderland.