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I'm starting to work on ideas for a Planetary Empires-stype campaign. Since the actual, physical map is not going to be in a place people can see it constantly, I'd like to be able to create a computerized version of it to post online for the players' reference.
What cheap/free hex-mapping software tools do you folks use? It doesn't have to be terribly sophisticated, just good enough to reproduce a PE-style hexmap in a comprehensible manner.
For my campaign I just used a search engine to find a simple hex pattern on the internet and used MS Paint to copy that hex pattern onto my campaign map. For planetary empires I'd just use such a hex pattern image and color each hex with the appropriate terrain and put icons for special features on them (cities, space ports, etc) and then just paste in the players' flags on any concerned hexes every time something changes...
It's no specific hex mapper software, but it works well for our purposes, and I can imagine it'll work for you too.