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About this City Journal

District of Wenzel with capital city of Martin. New realistic city journal from packersfan.

Entries in this City Journal

packersfan

Ouisconsin County - Morgan Town: Rival to the South <DoW Update 116:03.17.15>

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South of Ouisconsin River, Konrad Morgan bought up a large portion of land and settled a town, Morgan Town.

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Morgan and his associate James Smith laid out streets. Settlers soon bought up lots. Audalaus Moorland built a textile factory and development exploded.

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Chester Avenue currently serves as the main road through Morgan Town.

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Moorland Textiles on Ash Street and Prospect Avenue.

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More and more houses are filling the original city grid.

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St. Stanislav Catholic Church.

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Wauwatosa Plank Road meeting up with Abeline Parkway.

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Morgan Town. First crossborder merging of two city tiles for Ouisconsin County.

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Map of Morgan Town. Some maps distributed by speculators and land sellers deny the existence of Cass Town to the north. Cass Town maps also depict the Morgan Town as a swamp unsuitable for settlement for prospective settlers. Of course, anyone with decent eyes could see signs of development of both sides of the river.

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Hope you enjoyed this update. You probably noticed some anachronisms like street lights and cars in driveways. I'm not an expert at this like SimCoug. I think the feeling is there for a old-time start to this city. Any tips, suggestions? Leave comments!

Additionally, the great debate has started - to play SC4 or C:S!? I haven't bought C:S, yet. I barely have enough time to play SC4 as it is, and I've already put a bunch of time into this "reboot". If I do get C:S, I'll most definitely have a city journal for that game...but I think I'll still very much work on this city, too. We'll see how C:S evolves.

Replies:

Mymyjp: Wow...the amount of work required to create a map is amazing...

Makes me appreciate the available maps out there!!!

Excellent tutorial..I am ALMOST tempted...lol

Yeah, but I like it, haha.

packersfan

Ouisconsin County - Morgan Town: Rival to the South <DoW Update 116:03.17.15>

BdiXyxp.jpg

South of Ouisconsin River, Konrad Morgan bought up a large portion of land and settled a town, Morgan Town.

G8GucIH.jpg

Morgan and his associate James Smith laid out streets. Settlers soon bought up lots. Audalaus Moorland built a textile factory and development exploded.

faz6mGU.jpg

Chester Avenue currently serves as the main road through Morgan Town.

1lGflDk.jpg

Moorland Textiles on Ash Street and Prospect Avenue.

WTGWOdw.jpg

More and more houses are filling the original city grid.

XYGWzhA.jpg

St. Stanislav Catholic Church.

Awm4ZkB.jpg

Wauwatosa Plank Road meeting up with Abeline Parkway.

LhNdpwZ.jpg

Morgan Town. First crossborder merging of two city tiles for Ouisconsin County.

WPt0yoE.jpg

VH1Uuf4.jpg

Map of Morgan Town. Some maps distributed by speculators and land sellers deny the existence of Cass Town to the north. Cass Town maps also depict the Morgan Town as a swamp unsuitable for settlement for prospective settlers. Of course, anyone with decent eyes could see signs of development of both sides of the river.

CyX860b.jpg

Hope you enjoyed this update. You probably noticed some anachronisms like street lights and cars in driveways. I'm not an expert at this like SimCoug. I think the feeling is there for a old-time start to this city. Any tips, suggestions? Leave comments!

Additionally, the great debate has started - to play SC4 or C:S!? I haven't bought C:S, yet. I barely have enough time to play SC4 as it is, and I've already put a bunch of time into this "reboot". If I do get C:S, I'll most definitely have a city journal for that game...but I think I'll still very much work on this city, too. We'll see how C:S evolves.

Replies:

Mymyjp: Wow...the amount of work required to create a map is amazing...

Makes me appreciate the available maps out there!!!

Excellent tutorial..I am ALMOST tempted...lol

Yeah, but I like it, haha.

packersfan

Ouisconsin County - How to Make a Map, Part 2 <DoW Update 115:03.10.15>

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Today, we will continue making a map by actually doing some mapping! First, fire up SC4, load up your city tiles and take a screenshot of a traffic data-view.

Outside of the game, open up the screenshot in Paint and make a rectangular selection around the map data-view map...it doesn't have to be perfect.

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Now copy that selection and open a new paint file with a size of 512 x 512 pixels. Paste the selection and immediately resize the selection by 200 percent.

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Move the selection so that only the map appears in the 512 x 512 area.

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Select all and copy.

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Paste the selection in Illustrator onto an artboard the size corresponding to the city tile...in this case a medium sized city is 512 x 512 pixels. Make sure the selection's left top corner is X: 0 px, Y: 0 px and the size is 512 x 512 px.

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Since we are mapping out the rivers, and we want the map tiles to match up, you'll want to paste in adjacent map tiles.

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Now use the ink pen tool to trace a each side of the river. Don't connect the paths, leave them open ended in the adjacent tiles.

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In this example, the river required three separate paths. Duplicate these paths and put them in a sublayer for safe keeping and click the little eye to make them invisible.

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Once you have map the river out over the edges into the neighboring tiles you can save the file under those adjacent tile names for future use when making those map tiles since you will want to use the same paths that cross the tile borders.

Take the visible paths, select all of them, go to the Object Menu, Path, and JOIN. Now you will have ONE path for the river.

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If you want to get the old map effect that I am using for my rivers, duplicate this path four times...otherwise, you can just stop here switch the color from the path to the fill and select your preferred water color.

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To get the "wave" lines, I duplicate the path and place 10 px black stroke.

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Then I duplicate again and place an 8 px same color as the main water stroke.

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Finally, one more duplicate and a 1 px black stroke.

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Your river is complete. Delete any unnecessary layers (SC4 data map). You can add in section lines, label the river, and of course later on streets and more!

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Save your work as an .ai (Adobe Illustrator) file so you can come back and edit in the future, then save as an .svg (scalable vector graphic).

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Now your map should show up where you coded it in the HTML

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The next step is to open up the .ai file of the adjecent tile and continue using the same river paths to get a seemless river on your map. Since you saved this file while working on the previous tile, the previous tile map will be centered on the artboard. Remove this and any other unneeded SC4 map tiles. Selected the map tile AND the water paths and move both together so that the top left corner is at X: 0 px, Y: 0 px. You can then hold down on the pen button to select the delete anchor points tool and remove much of the water paths that are hanging off your main tile.

Now just repeat the process with this tile. Your river should match up to the previously finished tile since you are using the same paths across the edge.

In the next part, we'll add streets and other layers like parks and text.

Let me know if this was clear enough. I'm not always so good at giving instructions...especially in written form (maybe I should make a video, but I don't know how to go about doing something like that! I'd need a tutorial!)

Replies:

Ln X: Ye old! Loving it.

Thanks. I'm trying to be SimCoug...but falling short.

Kim Sunwoo: I'm enjoying this CJ a lot :-)

Thanks. I hope I can enjoy making it.

Mymyjp: Beautiful...love the layout and the fact that you named everything. Love the spacing between homes. Nicely done!

Of course, EVERYTHING must be named....well to a point. Once the city becomes massive, I can't be Google Maps and tell you specifics about EVERYTHING, but at this point, why not?

slickbg56: Fantastic! The filtering adds another cool eye catching level. Great job, lots of great details.

Yeah, subtle and judicious use of filtering breaks up monotony.

packersfan

Ouisconsin County - Cass Town: Founding of Cass Town <DoW Update 114:03.03.15>

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Welcome to Cass Town - the first extensive settlement along the Ouisconsin River. Cass Town is located in Sections 28 and 27 of the Menomonee Township on the north bank of the Ouisconsin River just east of where the Menomonee and Ouisconsin Rivers meet.

The land was covered with forests when Captain Hitchcock surveyed the area. Soon afterward, however, land speculators and developers moved in and began parcelling out the land.

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Land speculators Henry Cass and Samuel Williams bought up the land northeast of the confluence of the Menomonee and Ouisconsin Rivers. They constructed a dock and settlers started to buy plots and a town emerged.

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Some local farms whose owners are in line to earn some cash as the town inevitably expands.

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A map of Cass Town and the surrounding area including land owners, land plots, and acreage.

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I hope you enjoyed our first look at actual settlement in Ouisconsin. Next week, I will post Part 2 of How to Make a Map, actually making a map in Illustrator or Inkscape.

Replies:

TPB: Oh nice tutorial, I love maps!

About plugins, there is a great tool by rivit that will help you determine what is actually being used, by what, if its overwritten by some other mod, etc. It's called dataNode and you can get it here.

Thanks. Yes, I've used DataNode, but it doesn't really do what I'm looking forward, but it is a great tool, nonetheless.

SimCoug: Very informative tutorial, thanks - looking for the next installment.

The next installment will be up next week, and we will actually get into making a map.

jiffy427: Thank you so much for making this again! Great info and tutorial!

No problem. I'll make sure it stays accessible this time around.

Mymyjp: This is definitely going into my favorite so if I ever decide to create a map, I will have access to an excellent tutorial!!! Thank you for this!

Thanks. Yeah, it is one way to do it...and the only tutorial I have seen!

packersfan

Ouisconsin County - How to Make a Map, Part 1 <DoW Update 113:02.24.15>

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I am in the process of trying to figure out a way to keep track of my plugins: what dependencies they have, what dependencies I have. I want to avoid the sort of situation that often occurs when you want to remove a lot or dependency file. First, what the heck is in this file? What is IT? Second, are other things dependent on this file? Third, are there other files that I NO longer need because I'm getting rid of this particular plugin and thus could save even more space? I want to figure out a way to somehow quickly find this information. (I want to have all the readme dependency information available in a big database of some form). Any ideas, tools, or tips? I would love to see your methods.

So, this is another stalling tactic. Tutorials! By now you have probably seen my (world-famous) District of Wenzel - Martin County Street Map, and hopefully have checked out the District of Wenzel - Ouisconsin County Street Map in all its old-style surveying glory.

A few years ago, I posted a tutorial on how I make my street maps. Up until the past six months, I had used GIMP to build my street maps and posted basically a large JPEG mosaic on the web. This did the job but left much to be desired. JPEG is not zoomable. Zoom in and the pixels just get larger and picture less clear. Zooming out isn't as bad. JPEG also compresses the image and leaves artifacts, discoloration, etc.

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In the past year, I started using Adobe Illustrator and discovered Scalable Vector Graphics! I'm not going to get into the specifics of how SVG files work, but they offer better presentation options. First, you can scale up or down (zoom in and out) and the image remains crisp! Second, you get this quality with files that are only slightly larger than lower-quality JPEGs of the same image.

Many areas on the Martin County map are .svg, while the entire Ouisconsin map is .svg. So without further explanation, let's make a street map.

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Creating the Webpage to Present the Map

The original purpose of my street map was for me to be able to see what streets were where and what names they had. With Sessquenna I did this by grabbing the data view of the traffic from in each city tile and then sticking them together in Microsoft Picture It! or some program like that. This quickly became unwieldy and difficult to do accurately.

So I designed a webpage to stitch together all the individual city tile maps into one region size map (like SC4 does to the individual city tiles in Region View).

#1: Open up an HTML editor (HTML Beauty is a nice program). A text file will work, too.

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#2: Set up a TABLE.

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We don't want any spaces or gaps between our map sections so "0" cellspacing, cellpadding, or cell border.

Remember, just like BBCode, you must close each section of code with "/"

#3: Let's add a top border. There is probably a much cleaner way to do this, but we want to set up the table to have columns and rows as big as a small city tile (or the smallest city tile you have in your region --- if you are playing a region of ALL one size, this part is much easier). You must determine what size you want your smallest map tiles to be. I picked 256 pixels. There are 64 tiles on a small city tile, so on the map, 4 x 4 pixels would represent a SC4 square. You will need as many columns and rows as you region is tall and wide (you can use your config file to easily get this information)...my region is 32 x 32, so I need 32 256-pixel columns and 32 256-pixel rows.

This first row will set up the lattice we will base the rest of the table on. We can also use it to make a nice border on the top. For this tutorial let’s assume our region is 8 x 8 kilometers (8 x 8 small cities) Notice the first and last columns <TD></TD> have widths of 3 pixels, while the row <TR></TR> has a height of 3 pixels. This will give us a black border when we tell the row and those columns to have a BGCOLOR="#000000".

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While you are building the table, you can make the table BORDER to "1" so that you can see what you are actually building.

#4: Now you need to build table like your region is arranged. For our tutorial let’s assume our region is just 64 small city tiles. The easiest thing to do is copy the first row we made, but make sure to remove the background color and change the row height to “256”. Now we have a top border row and a row of 256 x 256 tile boxes (8 small city tiles). Make the table border “1”, save your HTML file and check it out.

Now repeat for as many rows as you need. We will need 7 more in this example. Note how in my example, I changed the first and last column in the Border row to have ROWSPAN=”10”. This will save on code space as now these two columns will span 10 rows. We have a top border row, 8 small tile rows, and a bottom border row. Now copy your small tile row seven more times and then add a bottom border row (this row is the same as the top row except missing the first and last 3 pixel border columns…these will show up because of our ROWSPAN=”10”).

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Let’s take a look. If you have the table border set to 1 (YOU SET THIS TO “0” when you actually have map images in the columns), you should see 64 small tiles arranged just like you region!

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What if your region is not all one size tile, but you have a mix of small, medium, and large? ROWSPAN and COLSPAN are the commands we will need.

Let’s make a MEDIUM city tile in the top right corner of the map.

Find the seventh <TD></TD> column in the first map row (second row – since the first row is just the border). Following the “<TD” add ROWSPAN=”2” COLSPAN=”2” and either remove or change the SIZE to “512”. Then delete the eighth column and then the seventh and eighth column “<TD></TD>” in the second row.

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Your map should now look like this (again, this is with table border set to “1”)

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Let’s practice putting a LARGE city tile in the center of our map. Our key <TD></TD> column is the third column in the third row. Now change the SIZE to “1024” and add ROWSPAN=”4” and COLSPAN=”4”. Then remove the next three <TD></TD> columns from the third row. Then we need to remove columns 3 to 6 in rows 4, 5, and 6. (I’m finding that this is a great way to carefully set up your table --- I’ve never done it this way before and it can be a headache trying to figure out what went wrong, what you forgot to delete).

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You should have a nice 4 x 4 box in the middle of your map.

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#5: Add your bottom border row. This row is the same as your top border row. If you included ROWSPANs for the left and right border columns, you do not need to include these columns in this row.

#6: Check your map layout against the configuration file of your region.

#7: Add the image/object to the tiles. We have the structure of the region, now we need to add the content, the map. In the next part of this tutorial I will discuss how to MAKE these individual map images. At this point, we can insert the necessary information so that the maps will display when they are completed.

In between the <TD> and </TD> commands, write this command: <object data=”FILENAME.svg”></object>. Substitute the actual file name for your map objects. If you are using traditional .jpg images put in this command instead: <img src="FILENAME.jpg" width="…" height="…">

If you link to a .jpg that does not exist or is not in the proper folder, a missing image image will appear in your map. However, if you link to a .svg that does not exist or is not in the proper folder, that table cell will just appear blank. My Ouisconsin map is like this. It is ready for new .svg map files to be saved and displayed.

Let’s see what happens when I stick an .svg from my Ouisconsin map into the example and turn the table border off “0”.

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I’m not sure why my side borders aren’t showing up at this zoom level (they work on my Ouisconsin map where I have the border columns included in every row, and I didn’t do the rowspan.)

The .svg file shows up where placed it while all the other tiles are blank. Take my word for it, I initially included a link to a file that did not yet exist and I kept reloading this page with no image showing.

I hope this tutorial was helpful. Next week, I'll have some pictures from the region, and then Update 115 come back with Part 2 of the tutorial.

And one more map for the road. I woke up this morning thinking about the Watertown Plank Road from Milwaukee to Watertown, Wisconsin. I looked up the history and found this AMAZING map of the middle of Milwaukee county. Amazing how all the main roads are already laid out. I also really love how all the land plots in Wauwatosa are labelled by owner (a number of names are very familiar as their names live on as street names in those areas). Do you think I should get this detailed with my old map? Just awesome!

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Replies:

Huston: Beautiful work there. Very organized and looking very interesting! I really like what you did with the 8th pic. Warped images to make it look like a map. I'm going to be wondering how you did that for a while :P

Thanks. I'll try to remember to post a tutorial on how to make an overhead sat view like that when I do it again.

Mymyjp: This was both very informative and impressive. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

Thank you. Dedgren and Three Rivers Region beat me to the punch on this sort of entry, though.

SimCoug: Great entry! Thanks for the history lesson, it was very informative :)

No problem. Glad you enjoyed it.

amazona: wow! this is very reallistic with so much information!

Thanks. I'm always trying to get realism in SC4. Glad you like it!

blunder: Great stuff! I'm a sucker for old survey maps. :wub:

Thank you very much. It has been quite fun looking at old maps from America and figuring out how to make something like that with my region. I would be so awesome if SC4 allowed you to adjust WHEN your region is starting, etc. 17th Century wilderness? 19th Century with a little development and farms already laid out? 20th Century post-WWII expansion?

packersfan

Ouisconsin County - National Land Survey System and Scale in SC4 vs. Real World <DoW Update 112:02.17.15>

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Captain Samuel Hitchcock and his team were soon joined by a number of other surveyors tasked with demarking the land under the National Land Survey System. This system is very similar in most respects to the United States Public Land Survey.

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If you live in the United States or Canada or frequent Google Earth, you probably have noticed that much of western United States is plotted in squares like a chess board. How did this happen?

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Following the American Revolution, the Continental Congress was deep in debt but had little power to tax, and so it decided to use the sale of Western Territories to pay off the War of Independence. This required surveying the land and demarking plots of land for sale. Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1785 and then the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 to control the survey, sale, and settling of the new lands.

Of course, not ALL the land in the midwest and beyond was surveyed under the new system because previous settlements had already divided the land according to Spanish, French, or as is the case in parts of Ohio, with earlier standards.

Here is a map of the French long farms in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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The National Land Survey System was arranged and based on much of the same standards.

First, a baseline, which runs east-west, and a principal meridian, which runs north-south, were established. In the U.S. at a defined distance interval, commonly 24 or 30 miles, standard parallels of latitude were established parallel to the baseline.

Next the surveyors divided the land into survey townships of 36 square miles, 6 miles on each side (10 km). Then the townships were divided into 36 sections of one square mile (640 acres, 2.6 square kilometers). Finally these sections were divided into 4 quarter-sections of 1/4 square mile (160 acres, .65 square kilometers).

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Here we can see land divided up into 36 square mile townships forming a county.

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In the Land Ordinance of 1785, the sections were numbered a little differently with section 16 being near the center of the township. Section 16 was originally set aside as land for education.

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The District of Wenzel was also surveyed and divided into survey townships of 36 square miles, sections of 1 square mile, and quarter sections. Between each section an easement of about 50 feet was left. These easements later became roads.

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Let's get into some SimCity 4 vs. Real-life scale.

One SC4 tile is 16 x 16 meters, or about 52.5 feet x 52.5 feet.

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One acre is 43,560 square feet (4046.86 meters). What is the square root of 43,560? A little less than 209 feet. Divide that by 52.5 feet? And you get about 4. That means an acre in SimCity is 4 x 4 tiles. Amazing that the metric scaling in SimCity very easily coincides with Imperial measurements.

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Now let's figure out lengths. Remember, a SC4 tile is 16 meters in length (52.5 feet). A mile is 5,280 feet. Right. So let's divide a mile by the length of a SC4 tile (52.5 feet). That gives us about 100.5. So in SimCity, 100 - 101 tiles equals one mile in length. This would be a SECTION within a 36 square mile township. Coming back to ACRES, a SECTION (or mile squared) is 640 acres.

A QUARTERSECTION would be 50 tiles x 50 tiles, 1/4 square mile or 160 acres. Let's check this against what we know is an acre in SC4 (4 x 4 tiles). Let's take 50 tiles and divide it by 4 tiles (one side of an acre). We get a result of 12.5. Square that to get the total acreage of the 50 x 50 tile quartersection. 156.25...well that is pretty close to 160.

In Ouisconsin, I marked out every quartersection as 50x50 tiles. Between every quartersection I left 1 tile as the easement for future roads. Remember 1 tile equals 52.5 feet. Again, that is very close to the real-life easement of 50 feet! However, I had to make sure that in the future when areas are filled with gridiron blocks the edge of the SC4 tiles wouldn't be occupied by a street or road, but rather, either the back of a lot or an alleyway, thus only two or three tiles could be left between a potential street and the SC4 tile edge.

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Usually this works out, but occasionally too many or two few tiles will be left on the edge, so I just doubled the easement between two quarter-sections when required. Since the scale is not exact, this occasional adjustment should average out any conversion and scale issues...and human surveying isn't EXACT.

Here you can see a 160 acre (1/4 square mile) quartersection seperated from another quartersection by a 52.5 foot easement and a 105 foot easement to help with future city block placement on the SC4 tiles.

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I hope I explained things clearly. Dedgren did this years ago in Three Rivers Region. I like the history and the topic. It is certainly something to look into. If you are at all interested, check out the links sprinkled through this update.

Finally, here is a completed section of the map. Lines indicate every quartersection while red ink strokes indicate township lines.

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Next time, I will present a tutorial on how to make .svg maps in Illustrator. It will cover tracing the land and rivers between tiles and setting up a simple HTML webpage to present the map.

Hopefully, I can get some organizing done of my plugins and dependencies and build some in-game shots of settlement in Liberty and Hitchcock townships. Check out the new Ouisconsin County map.

Replies:

jacob814: Wow this is by far one of the best historical themed journals I know. Alot of your pictures are stunning. You did quite well.

Thanks. You really think this a historical journal? I mean I did a little at the beginning and now I will be trying a little more in-depth background to my new city...thanks.

Mymyjp: Excellent entry! Your mmp skills are wonderful!

Thanks. My mmp skills are okay. The next guy here has superb mmp skills.

SimCoug: I've always wanted to do a nice 'old' map of my region, but my photoshop skills are minimal. I'd love to know how you worked that out (at least the basics). Looking forward to this.

I think I'll be posting an updated map-making tutorial as I'm now using Illustrator to make my maps (allows for .svg files), however, I did use GIMP to add the old paper look to the map picture. The next few updates might be tutorial / technical updates detailing how to make maps or how the land is divided up and surveyed, since I'm still working out my plugins, something made slightly more difficult because I want to start in a historical period.

By the way, a big thanks to SimCoug for all his help so far directing me towards good 19th century plugins including a bunch of his own re-lots (many which are available here on STEX).

packersfan

Ouisconsin County - Exploring the Ouisconsin River <DoW Update 111:02.10.15>

Welcome to a new phase for the District of Wenzel. We are moving to a different area of the district. This area dubbed Ouisconsin is about 300 miles northwest of Martin County.

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Now we go back before civilization reached the forests of the District of Wenzel. About 300 miles to the southeast, Martin Town has been establish at the mouth of Brittany River along the shores of Sapphire Lake. Surveyors were sent out along the various rivers flowing into and out of Sapphire Lake. One team led by Captain Samuel Hitchcock discovered an even larger river flowing into Sapphire Lake hundreds of miles north of Martin Town.

Hitchcock named the river Ouisconsin meaning the gathering of waters. The team made their way up the lazy river searching for the headwaters. As the trees changed color, the Hitchcock and his men landed on a a wooded peninsula just after discovering a tributary to Ouisconsin which Hitchcock labelled as Liberty River on his map.

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Captain Hitchcock, Lieutenant John Weston, Sergeant Robert Clefton, Courtnay Fisher, Elisha Moorhead, Timothy Baker, Oliver Putnam, and Venton Davis disembarked and began clearing the land to build some winter shelter. Captain Hitchcock and Lieutenant Weston explored further along the river while the other six men established a base of operations at Camp Liberty.

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Hitchcock's men built two small cabins to provide shelter from the winter cold. Hitchcock and Weston continued to survey the area while Venton Davis and Courtnay Fisher, the group's best hunters, provided fresh deer and rabbit meat.

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We are here.

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Welcome to Ouisconsin!

I hope to be able to do a little bit of historical stuff with the region, establishing various outposts, chronicling the settlements growing into an expansive metropolis. I could use a lot of help though with ways to make my region historical...how to have no cars, good lots to use, how to "power" in a time when things didn't have electric power. I hope SimCoug can help me out with some of these questions, and I hope I can do my vision justice.

packersfan

Update 110 - City of North St. Paul, St. Mark High School, and Green Park

Here is a look at North St. Paul and Green Park. This update took a decent amount of prep work and innane details like terrain height on the borders. You'll see why...or hopefully you won't...until I tell you.

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North St. Paul's town center viewed from an approach from the north.

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North St. Paul

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North St. Paul expanding into surrounding farmland.

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South 32nd Street and West Hardee Avenue converging in North St. Paul.

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St. Mark High School and Green Park

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South end of the City of Martin

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Most of the pictures from this update we taken from a massive mosaic I put together from three different city tiles. The border between the St. Mark and North St. Paul tiles is absolutely perfect and seamless. You should be able to see where the border is with the third tile though as I just put that together and missed the terrain height by a y=0.1 ... it really is that important. Can you find the seam? It isn't that line of houses.

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You are here.

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Hope you enjoyed this update. It is SO much fun to stick all the pictures together from bordering city tiles to get and see what the city ACTUALLY looks like. What do you think. Would you be interested in a tutorial on how to do something like this?

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 109 - Maidens Interchange - South I-55 / East I-80 Approach

Here is an update VERY similar to last week. Here is Maidens Interchange from the South Interdistrict Highway 55 and East Interdistrict Highway 80 approach.

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I-55 / I-80 passing south under Maidens Road.

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Exit 71 B.

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I-55 / I-80 passing south under I-255 / I-680 bridge.

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Exit 71A.

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Ramp from East I-680 and South 41 / South I-255 to South I-55 / East I-80.

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Advanced guide sign for Exit 70 - County Highway Q (Cardwell Road). This exit also serves as a route to District Highway 230 to the west

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National Highway 41 joins I-80 and I-55.

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You are here.

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Now I need to get to work building up some more areas to explore! I also need to figure out how to get some traffic generators to work. None of the lots I have work anymore.

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 108 - Maidens Interchange - North I-55 / West I-80 Approach

I am really excited to show off this interchange. Yes, yes, it would be FAR better if I had used the RHW, but it is what it is. I'm more comfortable with the Maxis stuff (I know what I can do). This took a lot of work to figure out the mileage and make signs and then I got really intrepid and stuck the signs into the pictures and the terrain!

Today, we will examine this interchange from the point of view of North Interdistrict Highway 55 and West I-80.

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We'll start as I-55 / I-80 goes under Newbridge Road (District Highway 230).

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I bet other people have done this, even going as far as making IN-GAME props of highway signs, but I'm proud of it.

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National Highway 41 travels along with I-55 and I-80 but at this point exits and joins with I-255.

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Exit 71 A.

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Ramp carrying traffic from South I-255 to North I-55 / West I-80 merging.

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Ramp carrying traffic from East I-680 to North I-55 / West I-80 merging.

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Exit 71 B to West I-680.

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Maidens Road overpass.

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A little overview of the area with some superimposed signs.

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You are here.

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I'm really excited about this update. Once I got the signs and stuff really put together and knew what I was doing, it became a load of fun. I also got this update finished on Thursday, January 8th! That means time to play the game itself and get future updates ready. The next update will be the interchange from either South I-255 or South I-55 / East I-80 approach. The approach from East I-680 will have to wait as I haven't finished building the whole freeway, and I don't know the mileage for this interchange from that approach, yet. WHAT DO YOU THINK!??

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 107 - North of Downtown St. Paul, Centralia

Just a little lazy update showing the area just to the north of Downtown St. Paul.

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Densely populated areas south of the railroad.

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Less dense area north of the railroad.

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National Highway 20 turns south off of Centralia Avenue next to St. Paul General Hospital.

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Centralia area.

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You are here.

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Busy week getting ready for Christmas, trying to stay on top of all the stuff for teaching classes, discovering new Star Wars stuff. Hopefully, I can devote enough time to next week's update. I want to show off the I-255 and I-80/I-55 interchange, but I need to make signs, figure out the proper mileage, etc. We'll see how much drive and energy I have to get that update put together for next week.

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 106 - Building Interdistrict 255 / National Highway 41 in St. Paul

For the next five updates we shift to the Saint Paul area south of Martin. In this update, we see some images of I-255 being pulled through the northwest area of Saint Paul. I think this area turned out beautifully. The freeway weaves over and under roads very naturally like in real life. I hope you like it!

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Preparing land for I-255 / N-41 overpass.

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Completed overpass.

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Preparing County Highway Z for an overpass. I'm having trouble with the special curves in the new NAM.

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Pulling Interdistrict 255 through the northwest area of Saint Paul.

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Completed area with a new terrain mod.

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I-255 / N-41 bridge over South Pershing Avenue.

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You are here.

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Hope you enjoyed this update. Next time, I think I'll show the interchange I just completed between I-255 / N-41 and I-55 / I-80.

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 105 - North of Downtown

Today, we will explore the area just north of downtown south of West Orchard Avenue, west of North 32nd Street, east of North Trinity Boulevard, and north of West Sherman Avenue. This area is full of mid-size wall-to-wall apartments. The Number 6 Purple Metro Line runs over North 32nd Street.

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Here is a shot of Halleck Square and North 32nd Street.

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Passenger rail cutting through the north of downtown area.

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Abandoned buildings due to lack of water. I hate when that happens.

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Some offices and department stores on West Orchard Avenue.

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North Trinity Boulevard.

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More abandoned lots.

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The area at night.

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You are here.

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There have been some requests for updates focusing on the St. Paul area. I intend to do updates in 5 update chunks focusing on a certain area in Martin County. These past five updates have covered an area of Northwest Martin. The next five will focus on the area around North Saint Paul.

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 104 - Halleck Square Neighborhood

Today we will visit Halleck Square Neighborhood. This neighborhood happens to sit on the borders of three city tiles in SC4, so the pictures are all from a massive mosaic/composite created from images from each of the city tiles. I didn't do the best job, and I think I need to slow down my update schedule to once every two weeks. Hope you enjoy this.

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Can you spot the composite? This area blended together pretty well.

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So many churches within this 1/4 square mile.

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Still working on getting some good base textures that will blend nicely with the terrain texture.

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Northwest corner of Halleck Square Neighborhood.

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Southwest corner of Halleck Square Neighborhood, on a different tile.

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West Orchard Avenue. Agh, telltale signs of poor cross border planning, and things that CAN'T be controlled.

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However, the composites are much better with the new trick I learned to make street connections.

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Wow, I never noticed the stained glass detail before!

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Overview of the whole neighborhood and the only picture that contains Halleck Square (the two large flower gardens).

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You are here.

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I need to do a better job putting together these updates before the last minute. I make too many mistakes or find mistakes at that I don't have time to fix at the last minute...ugh. Hope you enjoy this composite image update!

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 103 - Kenilworth Neighborhood - Updating the Flora

Today, we will revisit an old neighborhood on the north side of Martin. Kenilworth Neighborhood is located north of I-80 and northwest of Downtown Martin. It is comprised of mostly single-family homes with a strong industrial presence along the railroad between North and Sherman Avenues. I've gone back and removed grass lots to show off the excellent terrain underneath and updated the flora to seasonal stuff. Hope you enjoy.

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Title Picture: Stylized shot of Grace Lutheran Church at the corner of North 48th Street and West North Avenue.

Old shot of Exit 283B...note the grass lots and traffic generators. I'm having no luck getting traffic generators to work in my cities anymore. Any clues?

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New flora, exposed the terrain underneath.

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I'm in the process of moving D-230 from North Avenue to Washington Avenue. North Avenue has been redesignated County Highway N.

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Finally got the red-brick bridges back.

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That grass looks awesome!

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Nearly the same shot as earlier.

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Beautiful fall colors. Would be ideal to get all the trees to be seasonal...one thing at a time.

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I need to get some even more close-up shots of these great looking buildings. Excellent batting work!

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You are here. Oops, this cut out of the map happened to not grab a single N/S street name (besides McPherson Drive).

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It is always fun to go back to an old area and update it. Sometimes, headaches are involved. Kenilworth proved fun and interesting. Applewood, Lucas, and Luther Neighborhoods will really be a blast from the far past. Hmm...some ideas for future updates!

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 102 - Brittany Town Expanding Along Brittany River South Park

Didn't get much done this week as I was mostly trying to figure out some texture modding. So here is a look at Brittany Town south of Brittany River.

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An old picture of Brittany Town...I think I made it look TOO old. Heck, there are roads and a gas station!

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This is a little bit more believable.

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I love these farm fields.

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Brittany Town expanding north towards Brittany River

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Brittany Town expanding east

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You are here.

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Hope you enjoy this little update I put together. Just felt a little bored with what I was working on this week in SimCity. Hopefully, next week will prove more fruitful.

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 101 - City of Martin: Burnham Park and Portland Creek Neighborhood

I spent much of the week working on maps, but I did fill in some area around Portland Creek. I am trying to resist using grass lots, so I can show off Lowkee's terrain mod. What do you think? Good or bad idea?

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Burnham Park at the end of Portland Creek

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Ugh, for some reason the picture number tab doesn't match in size. What are you doing Photoshop!?

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Portland Creek Parkway fall colors

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Holy Name Cathedral

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The new Portland Creek Neighborhood

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You are here.

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Wow. That is a lot of pictures, and it is so late here! Hope you enjoy this look at an "old" area that has finally been filled in. Tell me what you think about this update, the map, whatever!

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 100 - District of Wenzel (Martin County) History and Census

Well this is the 100th Official Update (though technically there have been 101 as the 27th Update about Martin Downtown West was repeated as the first update was rendered obsolete due to prop pox. It took a while for me to figure out how to put this update together. I spent quite a bit of time going through the last 99 updates and trying to figure out what happened when (especially what has happened in the last 50 updates since the big 50 update.

Needless to say, just skimming through the topics of the updates over the years amazes me. I am surprised at how long ago things were actually done. (I suppose a little of that has to do with one year of not even playing SC4). So many things that I remember as "recent" actually were built two or more years ago. Strange indeed!

First off we have the census of Martin County as the population stands at the time of the 100th Update compared to the 50th Update. Each picture contains a scene from the community (for some this is the ENTIRE community) and then a population bar graph on the bottom. The darker color represents the population at update 50, while the typically longer and lighter bar is the current population as of update 100. The bars make it really handy to see the rate at which the communities have grown.

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Martin County - Population: Update 50 - 775,000 / Update 100 - 1,232,185

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City of Martin - Population: Update 50 - 655,000 / Update 100 - 890,772

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City of St. Paul - Population: Update 50 - 5,500 / Update 100 - 124,423 (30,017 in Jackson County [Not included in Martin County total]

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City of South Martin - Population: Update 50 - 65,000 / Update 100 - 70,134

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City of Hawthorne - Population: Update 50 - 5,000 / Update 100 - 59,293

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Village of Hohler - Population: Update 50 - 15,000 / Update 100 - 40,566

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Village of Bayview - Population: Update 50 - 25,000 / Update 100 - 25,336

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City of Jefferson - Population: Update 50 - 7,500 / Update 100 - 19,081

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City of Trinity - Population: Update 50 - 0 / Update 100 - 10,561

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Village of Penelope Point - Population: Update 50 - 0 / Update 100 - 5,788

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Village of Anchor - Population: Update 50 - 1,000 / Update 100 - 3,644

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City of North St. Paul - Population: Update 50 - 800 / Update 100 - 3,479

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City of Jade - Population: Update 50 - 5,000 / Update 100 - 3,311

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Village of St. Andrew - Population: Update 50 - 1,000 / Update 100 - 1,154

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City of Basil - Population: Update 50 - 0 / Update 100 - 795

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Village of Sussex - Population: Update 50 - 4,000 / Update 100 - 507

Martin County Statistics

Population: 775,000 (1,232,185)

Townships: Charlotte, Sussex, Portland, Jefferson, Brittany, Martin, Hawthorne, Apostles

Cities and Villages:

Martin: 655,000 (890,772)

South Martin: 65,000 (70,134)

Hohler: 15,000 (40,566)

Jefferson: 7,500 (19,081)

Hawthorne: 5,000 (59,293)

St. Paul: 5,500 (124,423 - 30,017 in Jackson County)

Jade: 5,000 (3,311)

Sussex: 4,000 (507)

Bayview: 25,000 (25,336)

St. Andrew: 1,000 (1,154)

Anchor: 1,000 (3,644)

North St. Paul: 800 (3,479)

Fort Orangeport: 400

Axelrod: 300

Penelope Point: (5,788)

Trinity: (10,561)

Basil: (795)

Unincorporated Communites:

Fairchild

Lexington

Kinsman

Trinity (Incorporated as the City of Trinity)

St. Mark (Annexed by the City of Martin)

St. James (Annexed by the City of Martin)

St. Peter (Annexed by the City of St. Paul)

Brandywine Junction (Annexed by the City of Martin)

Interdistrict Highways: 55, 80, 480, 680, 255, 380

National Highways: 18, 20, 41, 43, 45

District Highways: 10, 15, 29, 31, 34, 42, 50, 67, 75, 100, 111, 140, 230, 266, 315

County Highways: H, O, X, BB, N, S, F, T, D, Z, A

Airports: Martin Municipal Airport (2 Runways)

Metro Lines: 9

Waterways: Brittany River, Penelope River, Christina River, Cedarwood Creek, Uttica Creek, Braddock Creek, Orchard Creek, Honey Creek, Portland Creek, Rosmarin River, Mine Run, Basil Inlet, Whitefish Bay, Newberg's Creek, Bitter Creek, Kewaunee Creek

Colleges and Universities: 5 (Parquart University, University of Wenzel - Martin, Martin Luther College, St. Mary's College, Southall College, Brittany River Medical College, Northeastern Martin University)

Stadiums and Arenas: Capital Stadium (Baseball), Staples Center, Hollins Arena, Red Raiders Stadium, Nelson Everest Field, Andrew Marshall Track and Field, Addison Field, Braatz Arena, Northeastern Soccer - Football Pitch, Commonwealth Field

Size: 288 Square Miles

Land: 240 Square Miles (Estimate)

Timeline:

04 June 2010: District of Wenzel launches using Mackay, Australia (increased scale) as region map. Packersfan introuduces District of Wenzel to SimCity community having already covered the region in forests.

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09 June 2010: Update 02. Look at the original style. I used Microsoft Picture It! Wow.

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28 September 2010: Update 05. I went to China near the end of August to teach English. In early September, my old laptop died. This is the first update from China. I then started using GIMP to edit my pictures and introduced the style head that has been used with slight tweaks ever since.

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25 October 2010: Update 06. Nearly four years ago to the day, I introduced an early version of the street map and an overview of the region all farmed up.

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10 November 2010: Completed initial version of street map (no Google overlays)

13 March 2011: Start to convert map to Google style.

20 March 2011: Update 27 Take One. Martin West Town teaser. Not sure what happened during April, but when I went back to China for a visit in May, I had issues!

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Region view from that same update. I did a really good job of replicating what I had here when I had to rebuild West Town. However, that big park on the north part was not replicated.

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May 2011: Prop Pox infects DoW. West Town is lost.

June 2011: At the one year mark, work begins on rebuilding Downtown Martin ravaged by Prop Pox.

20 July 2011: Update 27 Take Two. Downtown Martin - West Town rises again.

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17 September 2011: Update 34. First update focusing on a city besides Martin. Introducing the multicolored title bar based on which city the update is about.

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11 October 2011: Update 37. Well this update is for Rutland Neighborhood and it has a colorized bar. Hmm.

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2011: Trixie for Most Realistic SC4 City Journal

13 February 2012: 50th Update

12 March 2012: Proposed freeways in Martin County

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26 March 2012: Update 57. Introduced first highway to District of Wenzel

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23 April 2012: Update 61. New baseball stadium - Capital Stadium.

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12 November 2012: Update 76. Northeastern Martin University.

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19 November 2012: Update 77. Commonwealth Field, new football stadium for the Martin Crusaders.

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14 January 2013: Update 85. While showing off the northside parks in the Martin County Park System, I really got into making massive composite pictures and skewing the perspective to get some neat shots. Different perspective shots appeared in the next few updates, quite the fad.

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21 January 2013: Update 86. Introduced numbers to the top left corner of pictures so viewers and I could easily identify pictures and also identify if something was missing.

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26 March 2013: Update 92. This has to be one of my favorite updates. Look at this overhead shot of the entire Page Park Subdivision (yeah, I wish I had the new FAR streets in there...). It is composed of two different city tiles! Future things like this will appear even more seemless as I'm using some workarounds to get street neighbor connections, etc.

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01 April 2013: Update 93. Introduced seasonal trees and seasons to District of Wenzel. This has been a time-consuming project removing old trees and replacing them with seasonal versions, but the results are great!

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16 April 2013: Update 95. Last update for nearly one and a half years. Real life took over as I poured myself into my English teaching. In-game factors also led to this hiatus. Tiles weren't loading or performing well. I intended to return to SimCity with the purchase of a new laptop in February 2014.

30 September 2014: Update 96. After a nearly one and a half year hiatus, District of Wenzel returned! I bought a new laptop in February 2014, but it had issues and I didn't get it in China until May or June. Then I sort of forgot about SimCity. Then the bug bit and everything worked out.

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28 October 2014: Update 100. Well, here we are 100 updates! I've made a few tweaks to the title header again and moved the numbers on the pictures to the right side with a background color reflecting the community of interest in the update. I definitely could have put a TON more content in this update, but I've just run out of time this week between creating the new images and uploading old content to imgur and redoing the links in old updates.

Satellite Photos

04 June 2010

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25 October 2010

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10 August 2011

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11 September 2011

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03 November 2011

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16 April 2012

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27 October 2014

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I hope you enjoyed that update. Seemed like a TON of work, but I'm excited to see your responses! Thanks for following for over four years and 100 updates!

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 99 - MARTIN - Brittany River North Bank Development

My next project will be filling out and expanding the City of Martin to the north and west. Today we will visit the North Bank neighborhood on the north bank of Brittany River. I upgraded the flora to seasonal, reinstalled the excellent Appalacian Terrain Mod (as my laptop seems to handle it much better than my old laptop), and upgraded Brittany River Highway and railroad to FAR and FARR. The street map is also getting more and more information included. Gas stations, churches, schools, police, libraries, fire stations are all getting labelled. Insane?

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A new exit is added to I-80. Exit 278.

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Travelling eastward on Brittany River Highway.

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Some old industries along the rail and river.

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First of all, I don't know how to make FAR-Avenues. Second, how do I make this connection? I couldn't figure out how to make the curve from FAR to orthagonal on this end.

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Some high-tech firms.

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An overview of the project area.

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You are here.

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So happy the Appalacian Terrain mod is working smoothly. It really is beautiful and I more reluctant to place grass lots over it as it seems to blend better than the original maxis grass. What do you think of this area? What do you think of the improvements to the street map. Remember, I am working on converting it to vector graphics which allow for more zoomability and allows me to include lots more information that can been seen clearly at high zoom. You'll notice on this part of the map I have two different symbols for libraries. One was self-created and the other is from a pack. Which do you like more? I might even include company logos if I can find vector graphics of them for locations like gas stations and fast food just to make it more and more fun!

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 98 - ST. PAUL - Beachview: Beachview Park, Marina, and Hospital

Back to Beachview where I finally completed the coastline. I'm also working on extending the city along Brittany River but struggling with that...maybe I need to rearrange the roads and rail along the river.

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Beachview Park

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Beachview Hospital and Beachview Marina

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Beachview Hospital at night

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Condos along Waterfront Parkway and South Side Beach

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You are here.

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I'm not in love with the way the beaches look. Any tips?

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 97 - Penelope River South Bank

This was a busy week of learning how to do new things inside and outside of Sim City 4.

First, I learned how to use some workarounds to make true diagonal neighbor connections. This will greatly improve future border composite pictures!

Second, I learned how to do scallable vector graphics for my street map, so now (at least on new map tiles) you can zoom in as much as your browser can handle and everything will look crisp and sharp (make sure zoom levels are multiples of 25. A zoom level like 110% will cause gaps to appear between the map tiles).

Well, I thought there would be a third thing. I guess not! So here is a new area I reworked. The City of Martin south of the Penelope River. I shifted over I-55 and I-80...originally I had it overlapping S 32nd St.

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Industrial area between I-55/I-80, South 32nd Street, and a rail line.

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Cornell Park Neighborhood

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Interregion Highways 55 and 80. I hope you enjoy the flora.

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You are here. I zoomed in to take this snapshot of the map and you can see the contrast between the SVG areas and the old JPG areas.

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I hope you enjoy the updated map (do you like the rail lines? What about the font sizes? What information would you like me to include on the map?). I'm still getting the hang of use Illustrator to do all the things I pretty much got down to a science in GIMP. I'm excited to show it off, though!

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 96 - ST PAUL: Beachview - Updating the Flora

Talk about a long time between updates. District of Wenzel is back after one and a half years! Last time we saw Hawthorne with fall colors. Well that theme continues as I am going through and updating my flora and MMPs to seasonal stuff and just better stuff.

Today we visit the north part of the City of St. Paul, Beachview. Let's finish up this tile and update the flora!

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Old seawalls that just don't hug the coast.

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Oh, some incomplete plopped grass and all the old flora was eliminated when I switched tree controllers.

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Let's replace these with ploppable rocks like in Penelope River (earlier update).

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Now that looks a lot better. This is South Shore Park, part of the Waterfront Parkway.

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A wider shot of South Shore Beach.

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South Shore Golf Course. I don't think it is complete, yet. The rest will be built in the adjacent tile.

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A wider shot of the area. Ooops, I just noticed I didn't merge all the layers and the street labels didn't get included on any of the pictures. Still getting used to using GIMP again and the whole process of getting these updates ready.

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You are here.

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Things are working much better on my new laptop. I had a number of CTDs when I was working on some other maps recently, but this was probably due to not properly switching tree controllers and having phantom flora messing with my terraforming and causing CTDs. That problem has been solved! Now just trying to modernize things again with RHW and stuff...but ughh.

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are. This is A NEW LINK as the old LINK was dead!

packersfan

Update 95 - HAWTHORNE: Penelope River Seasonal Colors

This was my intended update last week, but the Hawthorne tile was not playing well. Fixed the issues (hopefully) and updated the flora to seasonal colors. The is Downtown Hawthorne straddling Penelope River.

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Overview of the Penelope River winding through Downtown Hawthorne.

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You are here.

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I downloaded this patch to increase the dedicated RAM for the game and haven't have any issues so far. I constantly montior the memory usage of the game while playing the large tiles and since installing this patch the memory stays consistent and doesn't explode causing CTDs. Happiness! ... for now.

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are.

packersfan

Update 94 - New Airport Sneak Peak

I've been working on the new international airport for my region, so not much else to show (though I was trying to get some pictures from Hawthorne). Sadly, the new project seems to be downsizing my region from large city tiles to medium city tiles. The Hawthorne tile seems to have some issues and is a possible candidate for being downsized and restarted as 4 medium tiles. It will be a bummer to lose the great work on that tile, but I can't seem to get any time on the tile as it is before a CTD. I'm also converting many other unpopulated tiles to medium instead of large, so future projects are not lost to poor performance. Oh, well.

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So at this moment I am rerendering an alternate region with medium tiles to use to plugin to my actual region in places I want to convert. Hopefully, this works out. Hard to restart tiles and replicate the great stuff, but the second time might be better for Hawthorne (though I hold out hope).

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are.

packersfan

Update 93 - HOHLER: Page Park Subdivision Seasonal Colors

Today is NOT a repeat of last week's update...at least not completely. Same location but new colors! Seasonal trees! And SEASONS...hope you enjoy!

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Dorothy Lane and Shadowlawn Lane during summer.

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Dorothy Lane and Shadowlawn Lane during autumn.

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Page Park during autumn.

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Winter buries Page Park.

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You are here.

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You may be wondering what got me so interested in adding seasonal trees. Well of course I discovered the Jupiter Seasonal Mod which adds seasons to SC4...and if there is snow coming down we can't very well have green leaves on the trees, right? Current project: new international aiport and figuring out how to build my highways around it.

Check out the District of Wenzel Street Map to get an idea where we are.

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