By Rich Feitelberg
Well, if you've been reading all my blog posts and perhaps following along, you've come a long way. You've got a map with vegetation and elevation and climate all sorted out. Now you are ready to place resources on the map.
Knowing where the resources are is important because it will determine the cost of items and how common things like wood and iron are. If they are common and cheap then you can have buildings made from wood and you have iron tools for farming, combat, and all the others we need tools for.
It is also start to help you determine trade routes and where nations and roads develop. If all the iron is in the mountains where the dwarves live then humans will be trading with them for it; perhaps trading food or wool or clothe. And control of trade routes has made empires out of small nations so it is something to pay attention to.
You don't need to think of all the possible resources, but you should have an idea of the common ones and note this for the goods and services that characters in your stories need. This may seem like a lot of work for no benefit but this level of details adds realism. Of course it is where you probably need to also apply Tenet 1 (it's there for a reason!).
Once have your resources placed, you can have a look at the political map. We'll talk about that next time.