Mapping the Hidden History of Oz
Creating a map is an interesting process. I like to have things accurate, so that I can trust the facts. When it came time to update my map for the Hidden History of Oz stories, I had my work cut out for me. I did a lot of research on the Cartographer’s Guild to understand how good maps work. The Cartographer’s Guild has a great website with a lot of knowledgeable folks providing comments, critiques, and advice for creating accurate maps. I looked at the original map of Oz, and I saw some features that needed more explanation. Let’s take a look.
Original Map of Oz
First, here is Baum’s original map.
There aren’t many mountains. There are a few rivers, but rivers always run downhill from mountains (Rivers always run to the sea, but Oz is surrounded by deserts, not seas). The primary rivers end up in the central lake. It looks like the center of the land is lower than the edges. The only way this could happen is if there were some mountains that weren’t displayed.
Secondly, the borders of the lands seem pretty arbitrary. Generally, countries use natural features to divide national boundaries – be they mountains, rivers, deserts, or bodies of water.
There aren’t many forests. That seems odd, considering that many of the stories reference forests and trees.
Hidden History of Oz map
Let’s take a look at the Hidden History of Oz map, circa 1854.
First thing to notice is that there are a lot more mountains. The borders of the lands follow natural terrain. Brick roads connect the various lands. The lands are divided much the same way that Baum decided. There are some slight differences in territory, but this map has almost fifty years of story time before Baum’s map becomes reality. There could very well be some territorial disputes in the future for the Winkies and Quadlings. And Munchkin Country is smaller than Baum’s version also. Perhaps Kalinya, the Wicked Witch of the East, has her sights set on ruling more than just her portion of Oz.
There are more forests visible in this map. A few forests specifically named in The Hidden History of Oz stories are Sparkwood Forest (in the North), Ugreather, the Great Oak Forest (north of Porcelain City, in the South), and the Garden of the Rising Sun (named as Garden Tree, in the West). Adding forests helps give place to some of Baum’s chronicles of Dorothy’s adventures.
Creative Commons 4.0 International License
I like maps. This map was a lot of work to make, but it meets my requirements and it works for the story. Additionally, this map comes in three flavors, with a nice bonus. The map is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Baum’s map is in the Public Domain. The Hidden History of Oz map is based off of that map, but there are significant changes. Now the changes can be yours to improve upon.
The Hidden History of Oz stories are intended as a foundation to make Baum’s stories possible, plausible, and add layers of depth to his imaginative works. This map is a snapshot of Oz before the Wizard’s dreams changed everything in Book Three: Emerald Spectacles.
Maps of The Hidden History of Oz
Now available for download:
- Map of The Hidden History of Oz – Colored Regions (4800 x 3300, 11 MB)
- Map of the Hidden History of Oz – Tan Overlay (4800 x 3300, 10MB)
- Map of the Hidden History of Oz – Black and White (4800 x 3300, 5MB)
Map of The Hidden History of Oz by Tarl Telford is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.