Anyway, here's some more, uh, cartography fan-fiction, since it's just so easy to copy and paste and blow up some section of the map-shape I already have and start noodling in more details. I guess this habit is kind of a zooming-dual to Jerry Gretzinger's approach of starting with a seed and growing outward. I'm being much less careful about consistency though, I think; I've got no spreadsheet of city-statistics, as he alluded to having, or indeed no sense of what scale anything is at, really. I just like the shapes and textures and different styles of maps and coastlines and rivers and excrescences of urbanity on the landscape.
This time I tried vectors for a change instead of pure raster; although the coastline is a potraced version of a bitmap doodle. I like how this one turned out but I'm kind of appalled at Inkscape's text-handling abilities. Is there no way to set the interletter spacing? I couldn't find it. I just added extra space characters to the water feature labels.
Oh, derp, spacing options were up on the toolbar the whole time. Dunno how I missed 'em.