Ambilzi & Grasshopper's 1940 Global Map (Video Added)



  • @tchenao:

    Congratulations on the amazing job. Just got the file printed and it looks amazing. Thank so much for all your efforts.

    My question would be, what if I wanted to make it a bit more wide. Lenght is perfect, I just think that a bigger map will make it easy to place all the units in smaller territories. In your experience with printing, is that recommendable?

    I think the file would have to be modified which gets tricky because all the color profiles could get reset. You would have to find a printer guy who is well experienced with print files and ask him to stretch it. The last time a print guy modified the file on his computer, all the colors went wash and I had to get my money back.



  • Makes sense. Thanks for the heads up.



  • I just ordered my map from a local socal print shop. They are printing it on PVC so its very solid. They showed me a few samples of different signs and labels that had been printed on PVC and they look pretty good. The price was a little higher than most @ $190.  Should have it in about 5-7 days.  I’ll post some pics when it gets here.  Still considering actually build a full fledged gaming table.  For now, it’ll just sit on top of my folding table.

    Thanks for the map image Ambilzi & Grasshopper.



  • Thank You m8 for this beautiful map. Nice work. If you want to visit the Netherlands / Germany, your welcome !!!
    sincerely NAM1971



  • @XxNeilxX:

    Hey Guys,

    If you’re looking for a good place to get these maps printed, I would suggest BannerBuzz.ca.
    I got one of IL’s maps done by them on a 3’ x 6’ vinyl sheet for $52.49 all in.
    Quality was good and I got the map in less than a week (Shipped to Canada). From what I can tell the banners are made in India.
    From their website it looks like they serve the U.S, Canada, UK, & Australia.

    anyone else go this route with decent results?


  • 2018 2017 2016

    I just downloaded the one I wanted and took it down to a local print shop on a memory stick (plus you can check the quality before you fork over your money). I had this one printed on paper and then laminated. If I had to do it again I would get it done on vinyl instead because the laminate provides glare that blinds you when the curtains are open on the windows. I got Imperial Leader’s 1914 map printed on vinyl at the same print shop as well. It was actually a bit cheaper to go the vinyl route. Both maps were ready the next day.
    Once you start using one of these maps you’ll never want to go back to using the boards with all of the creases in them. Ambilzi & Young Grasshopper did a wicked job recreating Global 40 and putting player aides on the sides of the map.


  • 2019 2018 Customizer

    After our first game of AA Global a week ago, I decided I want to have a slightly bigger map consisting of one piece and no folds. Hence, I found this thread and the great scan of the original boards.

    But I did notice the scans are from a well used copy of the game as the file shows scratches and stains and some borders seem to miss align due to stitching the different scans together to one large map.

    I’ve started to go over the full map in detail and restore those ‘battle scars’ which is very time consuming but rewarding. I do however wonder if the original files are still around and could be shared. This will speed up my process of cleaning the map and the quality might be better than starting from the jpeg. As jpeg is a lossy format unfortunately so some details are gone and I’m facing some so called jpeg artifacts during my restoration work.

    And off course I’m more than happy to share the results with the community, but with my current post count I’m not able to post some wip pictures for your reference.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Due to the nature of a .tiff extension, by all means we need to contact the maker of the original source file and have it uploaded in .png or .pdf because this allows anyone to stretch it to any size they want. 72 x 33 is almost OOB size. The whole idea of the utility of a larger map is not found in this file as its only like an inch longer than OOB.

    Then also people can toggle off the air bases or IPC chart, or whatever. I personally prefer nothing but the map except perhaps a combined arms chart and a purchase/ unit attribute box. I CANT WAIT A YEAR FOR THAT OTHER GUYS MAP FILE TO BE FINISHED!!



  • To be fair, we make our maps to our own liking and than we share them with the community, there’s no obligation past that…. Besides, Ambilzi probably disappeared because everyone was bugging him (including me).


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Its too bad he never gave you the original file so if you wanted a larger print and without distortion, it could be possible. Yea and he does not return PM’s


  • 2019

    @Imperious:

    Its too bad he never gave you the original file so if you wanted a larger print and without distortion, it could be possible. Yea and he does not return PM’s

    I’ve just recently completed some tweaks to the YG/Ambilzi map file, so I’m familiar with the level of detail it provides. That .jpg is 72"x33" at 300dpi, which is a huge file. Since the resolution is so high to begin with, you would be able to have the printer scale the map up to say 96"x44", and although the resolution would drop accordingly (just over 200 dpi), it would still provide a high-quality print from a flat bed printer.

    In fact, I would venture to say that most of us probably couldn’t easily tell the difference between a graphic printed at 200dpi vs 300dpi, at least not a distance further than 12"…


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Well for starters can you post a either .png or .pdf because tiff’s and jpegs are always pixilation?

    Also 48 x 96 would be great. the 73 inch thing is too short. I did have my printer scale it but to just post the larger file would help others who have printers that wont do that, or charge extra for it.

    I can easily tell the difference in losing 100 DPI. Its almost worse than going from PDF to Jpeg.

    Jpeg=distortion/pixilation


  • 2019

    Hi IL, thanks for your reply. Hopefully my explanations here can give those people on the community here who are working with these large map files a bit more understanding when dealing with their printer. Please understand I’m in no way wanting to come across as high-minded or a know-it-all; I simply have worked for 20+ years in the graphic design/print industry - and more often than not have learned the hard way! lol   *By the way, ppi = resolution on a display, dpi = resolution on a device that reproduces an image (printer) - let’s keep it simple and use dpi… it’s not technically the same thing, but let’s not overcomplicate what can be a confusing subject!

    It’s important to first of all understand the difference between vector and bitmap (rastor) graphics. Vector graphics are resolution-independant, meaning as long as they are kept in their vector format they can be scaled to any size without loss of detail or clarity. Many vector graphics are created in programs such as Adobe Illustrator… Common vector formats are .ai, .eps, and .pdf.

    Bitmap graphics often originate from a camera (continuous tone photograph), scanner, or from bitmap software programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Bitmap graphics always have a fixed size at a specific resolution, and the two factors have a dependant, inversely correlating relationship. So, when size goes up, resolution goes down. When size goes down, resolution goes up. Common bitmap file formats are .jpg, .gif, .png, .tiff, etc. Even a .pdf might actually be a bitmap image… you can always convert a vector image to a bitmap image (rasterize), but never the other way around.

    Bitmaps can be either expressed as a certain size @ a specific resolution, or at their pixel size (which expresses neither the size or resolution, but simply the amount of detail in the image). The key difference with a bitmap is that if you try and upscale the image, you keep the same amount of detail, but due to the larger size (same detail over a larger area), you lose clarity. The net effect is a loss in quality.

    So, in the map file we are referring to… the size is 72x33 inches at 300 dpi, or 21600 x 9900 px. Just now, I opened that image in Photoshop, and when I changed the dimensions to 96"x44", the resolution dropped to 225 dpi - but it’s important to note that the pixel size stays the same - it’s the EXACT same image. It would be pointless for me to lock in that size, and up the resolution back up to 300, because there would be no visible increase in image detail or clarity. You can’t create resolution (detail) from nothing… it’s either there, or it’s not.

    With this map from Ambilzi, I don’t know what resolution his source file was at - it would depend on the resolution that he did the original scans in. But the image YG/Ambilzi have provided us is 21600 x 9900 px, and so we won’t ever get a more detailed map without redoing the scans - no thanks!!! However, as I mentioned in my earlier post, 200+ dpi is still sufficient for this process. In this case we have a working resolution of 225 dpi.

    Example: If I was to send a magazine advertisement to off to be printed by an offset printer on high-quality, gloss stock, I would never provide a bitmap graphic at a resolution higher than 300dpi, because that printer is not capable of printing more detail than that resolution provides. In fact, most people would not be able to tell the difference between a continuous tone image (photo or artwork with gradients) printed at 300dpi and one printed at 200dpi. When asked to make a side-by-side comparison, sure - but they would never pick it out on their own accord when browsing a magazine.

    So, this brings us back to the map. In my experience with flat bed printers on vinyl, anything over 200dpi is pretty much superfluous. In fact, I’ve included bitmap images in tradeshow banners that were only 100dpi (because that’s the best source image I had to work with), and no-one ever knew. Having said that, if I have a 300 dpi image to send to the printer, that’s what I’ll use! And if I have to convert a vector image to bitmap, I’ll convert it to 300dpi at the right size - no point going higher in resolution.

    IL, you mentioned “…I can easily tell the difference in losing 100 DPI. Its almost worse than going from PDF to Jpeg.” I need to point out that I never said it was hard to tell the difference in losing 100dpi, I said it was hard to tell the difference between 300 and 200 🙂 Even my grandma would be able to tell the difference between a 72dpi image and a 150dpi image (if she were alive…!)

    The bottom line: the map file that I edited and sent back to YG is the same size that I received it in - and we won’t ever be able to make it bigger (add detail) - but I think it’s big enough. The only other major factor on our side of the equation when sending to a printer is choosing the best file format for the job… and that’s my next post. 🙂

    *Hopefully I’m not disseminating any technical heresy here, I’m sure there’s someone on this forum who will be able to debunk something that I’ve shared, lol.


  • 2019

    Ok, on file formats. I’ll try to keep this more brief since there are so many resources online where one could find similar information.

    JPG/JPEG - Often the best choice to display continuous tone images on an electronic device, as it compresses to efficient file sizes. Not as good when creating graphics to be printed. When working from a high-resolution image and saving as a .jpg, you have the option to choose what level of compression you want to use. Higher compression = lower file size, but also lower quality - often called “jpg artifacts”, and likely what IL has experienced, and has referred to as “pixelation”. So, JPG is a balancing act… how high can I bump the compression (to reduce file size) and still be satisfied with the image quality…?

    TIFF - A much better choice when printing a high-resolution image, but file size can get way out of hand quickly.

    .GIF, .PNG - Bitmap image formats that are useful when you need transparency in your image. PNG files are also great for when you have really high contrast, sharp artwork - like a black logo on a white background. PNG would give you a far crisper image at a smaller file size than JPG for example. However, if you take a image like a photograph (or a map file) in Photoshop and export it as a PNG, you will avoid JPG compression (artifacting), but your file size will ballon. In some cases the image can take on a “dithered” appearance that is actually inferior to that of a .JPG.

    PDF - Technically a vector format - it’s a platform and software independent format, so printers often prefer you to send artwork in PDF. Here’s the thing, You can save a bitmap image from Photoshop as a PDF - but it’s still a bitmap image! It’s just a bitmap image wrapped up in a PDF coat - and it is limited to the resolution that the original bitmap contained. Of course, some files are a composite of bitmap and vector graphics. I can create an advertisement Adobe Illustrator, the text will be vector but the accompanying photo would be bitmap - and of course I would save the whole thing as a PDF (which also can have levels of compression btw…). But, I can take that PDF, open it back up in Illustrator, scale it up to double it’s size, the vector elements will stay clear and sharp - remember they are resolution-independent, while the bitmap graphic elements will lose resolution… I should also add that any time you can send a file in true vector format to get printed, that is ALWAYS going to give you the best image quality. IE, you would never want to create a business card in Illustrator, then convert it to a bitmap format before sending to your printer. You would save your working AI file to a PDF (press quality), and send the printer the vector PDF.

    So, back to the map. It’s totally fine sending it to the printer as a JPG, because we don’t have any better format to use. You could take that JPG and export it as a bitmap PDF, and would achieve no increase in quality whatsoever! Further, since the source image was a JPG, there would be no point in converting to PNG, as the PNG can’t add detail or fix artifacting that is already present - at best it will merely represent the JPG image at a higher file size.

    It all comes back to what level of JPG compression was used. For the YG/Ambilzi map, I exported it from Photoshop at level “9 - high quality”, resulting file size was 138MB. Since the original image I started with was approx 115MB, I’m probably saving it at a higher quality of compression (bigger file size), than is necessary - remember you can’t add back detail, you can only prevent loss of detail).

    *I need to point out that I’m limiting my recommendation to how to print that map. For a different image (say one of us created a custom, hi-res map), if there was no gradients or continuous tone imagery, then PNG (wrapped as a PDF if preferred) could very well be an ideal choice.

    /how’s that for my 3rd and 4th posts ever, haha! Been a member of this forum since 2007, but I’m the ultimate lurker (mostly because I know I’m too easily tempted to get long-winded!)



  • WOW!… I learned more from this than I did at an Adobe night class program at my community collage, but they charged me $500.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Jpeg is abhorrent for basically any large format project. If your not using a vector based artwork, at least save it in PDF or PNG. NEVER SAVE IT AT TIFF OR JPEG, OR BMP. You basically are playing with fire.

    If your original source material is scanned images of jpegs, then you still benefit from a pdf or png because it can be stretched to your size and it wont turn into crap.

    The size of the file is not revelant, 4.7 GB would be the upper limit so it fits on a DVD, the file can be uploaded on dropbox so the size is not an issue.

    Also,the source file may or not be Jpeg. The Tiff file that’s presented in a link is just what its saved as. The creator of that file may someday show up here and give is a pdf or something. My copy of Amblizi file is a Tiff, not a jpeg anyway. A Tiff is a raster based using RGB colors, while i only work with CYMK which is superior for this application, so that conversion sorta messes with the colors of the OOB board. I think a TIFF does not really mess with pictures if they are stretched or shrunk. The problem i see is when the printer stretched the TIff file, something was lost and i think it was the crispness of the image but very minor.



  • @Imperious:

    Jpeg is abhorrent for basically any large format project. If your not using a vector based artwork, at least save it in PDF or PNG. NEVER SAVE IT AT TIFF OR JPEG, OR BMP. You basically are playing with fire.

    If your original source material is scanned images of jpegs, then you still benefit from a pdf or png because it can be stretched to your size and it wont turn into crap.

    The size of the file is not revelant, 4.7 GB would be the upper limit so it fits on a DVD, the file can be uploaded on dropbox so the size is not an issue.

    Also,the source file may or not be Jpeg. The Tiff file that’s presented in a link is just what its saved as. The creator of that file may someday show up here and give is a pdf or something. My copy of Amblizi file is a Tiff, not a jpeg anyway. A Tiff is a raster based using RGB colors, while i only work with CYMK which is superior for this application, so that conversion sorta messes with the colors of the OOB board. I think a TIFF does not really mess with pictures if they are stretched or shrunk. The problem i see is when the printer stretched the TIff file, something was lost and i think it was the crispness of the image but very minor.

    If it’s huge maps you want printed, why not start from scratch and create your own original source file by scanning the oob map like Ambizi did… it might be worth the trouble because I don’t think he’s coming back (or else he would have by now).


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    If it’s huge maps you want printed, why not start from scratch and create your own original source file by scanning the oob map like Ambizi did…

    I already did that when AAE40 and P40 came out, i thought we were going to see yet another version. My versions cant be linked due to memory overload and i wanted a unified global


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    Nice explanation Intrepid! Thanks for sharing your insight.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    @Intrepid:

    /how’s that for my 3rd and 4th posts ever, haha! Been a member of this forum since 2007, but I’m the ultimate lurker (mostly because I know I’m too easily tempted to get long-winded!)

    You have exercised an extreme amount of restraint posting 4 times in almost 10 years. Glad you chimed in here.


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