Why does my map look stretched and distorted after I upload it?

Presently, the map system on Obsidian Portal can only handle square maps. This means that rectangular map images will be stretched, squished, or otherwise distorted when uploaded so as to be compatible. We understand that this is not an ideal solution, but for the time being it's the mechanism that must be in place in order to keep things running smoothly.
So what can you do if the map image you want isn't square? Here are a few options, each with respective benefits and drawbacks:
Option 1: Add Padding

Open your map in Photoshop, Paint.NET or another graphics editing program and "pad" the image with blank space on the necessary side(s) to convert it from a rectangle to a square. With this option, you get to retain your map as a single image, but at the cost of having (potentially large) areas of dead space on one or more sides of the image. If you elect to use this option, it is recommended that you also utilize the padded area(s) to add flourishes, a stylized border or another aesthetic.


Option 2: Do Some Trimming

Use image cropping to "trim" one or more ends (or "edges") of your map until it is square. With this option you again keep a single map image, but at the cost of having to cut into the coverage area of the map. It is advised that you review your map carefully before cropping. You don't want to inadvertently remove an area that you had intended (or might want) to use later.


Option 3: Break Things Up

Take your map and divide it into a number of smaller map images that are square or can be made into squares with minimal padding or trimming. Upload each of these sub-maps as a separate map with an appropriate "region" name. With this option, you're not saddled with having dead space on your map (or at least not as much), but the trade-off is that you are forced to have multiple maps to detail what was originally one area.

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