easy solution for making alternative world maps?

I’m creating a bit of an alternate history world as a back story for some projects of mine. In this world the geopolitical spheres of influence are very very different from the real world. I want an easy solution to colour all of the different countries of the world one of four colours to represent the three great powers in this world plus neutral buffer states.

any free mapping software or website that will let me do this and output a nice high res image? I am guessing google earth or google maps can probably be made to do this, which would be cool but its probably over kill. any simple solution that just lets me click a country and assign it a color, then output an image?

google is failing me. best option I can find so far is to download a nice outline world map from here:

Then use the paintbucket tool in photoshop to colour the countries the way I way. That works but I’m amazed theres no website to do this anywhere… maybe I’m searching for the wrong phrases in google?

One of the best places is DeviantArt. Here is a link to a search for “world map”:

I have used several in my games. They are usually high quality, and don’t come with any strings, except maybe for a mention of where you got the map - if what you are doing is a public thing.

Easiest way is probably to start with a blank map in Photoshop. Google outline maps and choose one you like, then invert the image in Photoshop so you have black countries with white borders. Now the paint bucket tool can be used to change geopolitical alliances as you wish.

Next step up: start with a world political map in PDF format, which you can open in Illustrator (or Inkscape) and manipulate one polygon (country) at a time.

If you want a large, detailed version, there’s sources for those too.

thanks, yeah I have access to the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite (legit) so I will try and make a nice vector version in Illustrator. If anyone is interested, there will be a website about the alternate history world and a short film has already been shot in this world and is currently in post production (editing, color grading and VFX all to be done). I’ll post a link when it’s up in Cafe society if there’s interest.

If you’re using Illustrator then Wikimedia Commons has a nice collection of blank SVG (vector) world maps.

Are all of the national borders the same in your world as in ours?

mostly yes, there are a few exceptions which I can manually color but 95 percent are the same.