ArcGIS 10.2: Mosaic Dataset for Guild Wars 2 World Map

Tyria world maps stitched in Photoshop

Click to enlarge.

I'm stitching high resolution bitmap images of the Zone maps of Krypta from Guild Wars 2. The goal is to create a seamless transisition across the individual zones. However I'm reaching theoretical limitations of Photoshop cache as the file sizes are ridiculously large. This one is at 12.6GB! I will create separate files for each region and export to TIFF, and then stitch them using mosaic dataset tools in ArcGIS.

I created a local Cartesian projection for Planet Tyria. Stitching some of the zone maps together in photoshop will make it a little easier to manipulate later with a 3 point transformation (X, Y, Z).

The biggest challenge is actually extracting the zone maps from the game, or finding it on the internet. The client data files are encrypted and i haven't been able to find anything to datamine the maps for an app i'm creating. The GW2 dev team suggests using their APIs but I don't want to link to their servers because I can't keep an audit of changes. The zone map featured below is of Lions Arch before (spoiler alert) someone did something and made a mess to it. This is what it looks like before that event.

In game, Lions Arch looks completely different to the one you see below. If i didn't archive this set of maps, the game would change and I wouldn't have a record of the changes. Ideally I want to keep both.

One of the biggest challenges to returning players to Guild Wars 2 right now is not recognising important landmarks or features in the game because things inevitably change over 2 years since the game launch. I applaud the game developer for actually going to the trouble of doing the thing to one of their largest cities for player interaction. That takes a lot of pioneering and motivation because this is a massive space in Guild Wars 2.

What i am attempting to do in ArcGIS is to simulate a system to record temporal data (changes that are made to the world at different periods of time) similar to what you would expect from say changes to the development patterns of major cities and urban development (the aerial and satellite imagery of Shanghai in China would be very different today compared to say 10, 20 or 30 years ago).

I'm also building up static attribute information for things like waypoints, landmarks, places of interest, skill points, spawn locations for world boss events, location of NPCs and dungeons etc.

More on this later.

arcgis, 10.2, mosaic dataset, raster, guild wars 2, tyria, world map