3D Geography - Settlements 101

I found this page very interesting. If you’re in need to create an environment in which your characters will develop, this is a good way to start. After all, their traits and ways of interacting will be influenced by the type of environment that surrounds them. 

Sometimes, rivers or other features divide a community into different groups. Mountain ranges can isolate cultures, and while plains help communication and trade, it also facilitates military movement and can generate territorial conflicts.

Mountains lack arable land, so people depend more on herding.  Seaside steads can fish and access trade, but they are vulnerable to pillaging if not well-defended. Forests provide fruits for food and wood for building and making tools.

Often, whole regions will lack certain geographic features. This means some resources are scarcer, and thus more valuable. If the region produces little leather, then clothing won’t include much of it. If there are no woods, you can expect buildings made of stone or adobe. Wood would be used for some tools and fire.

Isolation can have different effects on people. They may become leery of strangers, but they might also grow curious of what lies beyond their homes. People from more integrated territories live in a more complex world, full of different cultures and lands. Blooming trade helps settlements grow faster and exchange knowledge and technology with other cultures.

Keep in mind what’s the reason for placing a settlement. Rivers and plains are good for farming and trading towns. Bays and straits are good for fishing and sea trading ports. Mountain communities are usually created around mining. 

The environment can influence the development of politics and religion. It can define a culture, its customs, and its members. It’s not meant to look like a nice background when it can tell the reader so much more.


A couple more shots of Gros Morne (the mountain) from the car window while driving The Runner and The Optometrist to the airport. Gros Morne is the mountain we hiked around a couple days ago. It’s made up of really sharp rocks that were left untouched as the glaciers moved through during the ice age. It’s also home to the most-southern Arctic landscape.

According to Hanna-Barbera, Holland is...

1. A place where giant apes ride on windmills

2. A place where tulips shake like an earthquake for no reason

Wow, I can’t understand why the Hanna-Barbera Geography 101 course never caught on….

Tom Cotton fails Geography 101

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Sunday cited Iran’s control of their own capital, Tehran, as a reason that the country had to be stopped from obtaining a nuclear weapon.


“Moreover, we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance,” he continued. “They already control Tehran and, increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad. And now, Sana’a as well.”

How is that new face of conservatism working out for you, Republicans?