Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lewis and Clark Ain't Got $&!# On Me

Cartographers. If you're wondering about the Lewis and Clark reference, its cartography. This is your American History lesson of the day. Louisiana Purchase, go west, you remember that whole story right? Well, besides being explorers, they made maps. Thus, the addon I'm spotlighting today is Cartographer. I was going for clever, but perhaps fell short.

You see, Lewis and Clark would have perhaps made something like the Blizzard default map. It's large, takes up your whole screen, and is just sort of clunky. Technology being what it is... we have made advancements. Cartographer is one of those advancements.

One of the things I hated most about the out-of-the-box map function in the game is that I can't see what I'm doing while checking my map. What if I was keeping one eye on the map and the other on where my trusty steed is leading me (or the person beating on my poor horse's flanks)?

Enter Cartographer, the map replacement addon of your (or maybe just my) dreams. Here at the pics:

Full Screen

Zoomed In

As you can see, the map appears now it's own window. You can drag the window around to a position of your choosing. You can zoom in and zoom out with your mouse wheel. You can drag your cursor around to see other parts of the map. It even works with questhelper. In short, it does everything your Blizz map does... only better, without taking up your entire screen.

It also has some of the dungeon maps pre-loaded with locations of bosses, etc. These can come in quite handy I've found. Usually they don't get the new ones right away though. Also, it can show you the location of guild members in the same zone. There are all sorts of neat tricks I'm sure I haven't figured out myself.

This is an addon I highly recommend and use a ton, if only because it doesn't take up my full screen. Besides, isn't a map an explorer's best friend?


  1. I tried the new Cart 3.0 a while ago but I still have a lot of issues with the way that it works. With the old Cart (there is an update to the old Cart) the zones are discreetly shown where as the new Cart it's continuous, much like the goggle-style wow map and it was a bit hard for me to adapt to. The one really awesome thing I liked about the new Cart, and you highlighted that on your screenshot, is the ability to make the window size of the map smaller, like a bigger mini map (ideally I would rather get a mod that allowed me to make my mini map to my own chosen size).

  2. Yeah, it'd be nice if I could drag and zoom on the mini-map like I enjoy doing in Cartographer 3.0. I like the size feature as well... I'm playing on a decent sized screen and just don't need a HUGE map in my way. It makes it really nice when you're knocking of groups of quests.

    I never used the old Cart, so I can't say I ever had any adaption problems :-).