So yeah. I got myself Campaign Cartographer, and got to try it out for the first time with my MapTool Eberron campaign. We're working through Seekers of the Ashen Crown, which I like a lot for its incorporation of both somewhat-scripted and rather free-form roleplaying episodes within the overall plot, between sequences of encounters. The party goes to Droaam, to Graywall, for the last two pieces of the Ashen Crown; I wanted to use more than the one picture of Graywall from the published module.
Keith Baker's article on Graywall from Dragon 368 was the inspiration for this map; I endeavored to incorporate enough buildings to account for all the special locations in that article, but since the group's actual visit to Graywall was coming up, I eventually had to say "good enough" and move on. I may come back to it again if they revisit the city.
My first complete draft (there were many false starts leading up to this, as I was new to the program) was just an effort to get a sense of space -- how to incorporate the major parts of town:
The red buildings are red both because they were special additions rather than buildings on streets randomly generated by the program . . . and because I didn't realize at the time how to change the colors. I also didn't know how what I was doing with the random streets. Streets are crazily curved because of their mind-flayer architect and medusa masons.
Second full draft was an attempt to make a finished product (or finished enough that the players wouldn't laugh, anyway):
Rather than doing a map overlay to highlight the districts, I did an "underlay"; in retrospect, I am undecided on the wisdom of that. The idea was to have as little "on top" of the map as possible. I chose the light red/pink for Bloodstone, which probably wasn't necessary; Little Graywall is to the south, and the Calabas is fairly large. I am not sure an underlay is any better than an overlay; wiser may have been to color the roofs of the buildings differently, for an overview (like this one) that is more detailed than conceptual. Unfortunately, I drew all the streets first, and didn't have the exact borders of the districts decided firmly until later in the process.
The large red building is the House Orien enclave, and the Roar (the big plaza where the skill challenge from the adventure takes place) is the only other really notable structure I put in. There are a few smaller buildings meant to represent the inns and shoppes mentioned in Keith Baker's article, but I decided to leave all of them unlabeled, since it doesn't REALLY matter where anybody puts anything. I guess "real maps" label them all, but a DM is probably going to put them in plot-appropriate places.
I still had one more day to tinker, though:
I didn't like how "bright" the second draft turned out, so I tried to mute the image and increase the contrast . . . it turned the pink of Bloodstone to orange. I kept the overall layout the same, but changed the "background" of the Karda to something darker to make it stand out more. I think if I were to make another pass over this, I would make a few more features stand out, add some more stand-out buildings, and also just fill in the empty spaces more. The Graywall of my map is fairly open and empty; I feel it should feel more claustrophobic. I'd add small plazas at intersections, and maybe a couple structures outside of town.