Date: 1992-07-08
From: John
Subject: Alex Shoreline Scattering

My Dear Mr. Duk:

I have come up with a rather elegant approach that MIGHT solve our smoothing problem. Basically the idea is to first generate the map in the usual way and then:

  1. Go back and identify the "shoreline zone", all coordinates that are either land adjacent to sea or sea adjacent to land.
  2. Delete all shoreline zone assignments and consider the new blank space AT TEN TIMES THE RESOLUTION as a new world. That is, each deleted coordinate is now treated as a ten by ten block of unassigned micro-coordinates.
  3. Insert one land micro-spark adjacent to the inland for each deleted land coordinate.
  4. Apply the standard growing algorithm to that set of sparks until the entire unassigned coastal space is filled!
In essence, what we are doing is growing micro continents along the edges of macro continents. Since each micro-spark starts adjacent to the exiting landmass, new microland will extend into the sea.

What do you think? If I get a chance, I will try to experiment with this technique in HyperCard, but that will probably take eons.

I'm hoping that this algorithm will not be too difficult to execute in C. You should be able to use existing subroutines to do the micro-generation with only minor refitting. You will need some kind of micro/macro mode to switch between the two coordinate systems.

Please get back to me ASAP with comments/questions. If needed I will try to provide more specifics. I am eager to see if this technique will actually work!

Your humble algorithmist,

Epicurious J.