In this Wonderdraf Quick Guide, I’ll show you how you can save a lot of time when you have a map, made in a different tool or taken from the internet, and want to import it in Wonderdraft. Wonderdraft has a great import tool for this, as you can see in the top menu:

The are some condition for the image you want to import:

  • it can be either a PNG or a JPG
  • the size ratio (width x height) of your Wonderdraft canvas must be the same as the image you are importing. Otherwise the land in your map will be skewed. So if your input image has a resolution of 1000 x 2000, your Wonderdraft map must have the same resolution (or at least the same ratio. 1500 x 3000 will work too)
  • The lower the resolution of the image you want to import, the less detailed your Wonderdraft map will be. Try to get an image with a high resolution
  • Your import image must be black and white, with the water being black and the land being white. This is the trickiest part of importing since most likely, your image won’t be 100% black and white yet

Preparing an image for import

Let’s take an example. We want to make a fantasy map based on the Caribbean. To prevent having to trace all the land, we want to import the landmasses.

First, we need a suitable image, so let’s check what Google has to offer.

This image seems good for what we want. Land and water are easily distinguishable, so with an image editor it shouldn’t be too hard to make the water black and the land white. 

The image also doesn’t have any labels, lines, decorations or anything that can make it harder to make the land white and the water black.

For the next step, I’m using, but any image editor (GIMP, Photoshop, etc) can be used for this.


Turning it into a black and white map

To turn an image such as this into black and white, first adjust the settings of the image as a whole to black and white (in ‘adjustments’ >> ‘black and white’).

After that, use the paint bucket tool to fill any grey areas either with black or white. You can change the tolerance settings if the wrong parts turn black or white as well.

With some input images, it’s harder to clearly distinct dark from light or black from white. In that case, you can try playing with the brightness and contrast of the image which will often make things easier.

But keep in mind, that even though the import tool can save you a lot of time, there still might be some manual work required. For example, on this Caribbean map, I still manually clicked on each lake to get them black as well, since they’re not connected to the main body of water.

Importing the map into Wonderdraft

Now that the map is ready to be imported, we create a new map file in Wonderdraft with the same dimensions as the image that we just created. It doesn’t matter if it’s a PNG or a JPG file.

In your new map file, go to ‘import’ and find and select the correct image. It will automatically show up in the theme that you’ve chosen for your map file (in my example, the paper theme).

It’s now up to you how to proceed with colors and geography. At least you don’t have to go to the painstakingly slow process of tracing the lands

Good luck in creating your own maps. And if you want to skip the importing part altogether, check out my webshop for some free Wonderdraft source files of earthly places!