Archive for the ‘Mountain Carto’ Category

Natural Earth Browser from Thematic Mapping

Monday, January 4th, 2010

[Editor's note: Bjorn over at his Thematic Mapping Blog has done up a Natural Earth tile set using open source tools. How have you been using Natural Earth?]

Excerpted from Thematic Mapping Blog.

My holiday project, apart from skiing, was to play with the new Natural Earth dataset. By combing raster and vector data you can make a variety of visually pleasing maps. You can use my Natural Earth Browser to study the great linework of Natural Earth.
Natural Earth Browser was created with a variety of open source tools. Map tiles from raster data was created with MapTiler and optimised with pngng. Map tiles from vector data was styled with Mapnik and pre-genereated with TileCache. The map interface is based on OpenLayers, Ext JS and GeoExt.
Continue reading at Thematic Mapping Blog . . .

Obama’s apparent low-key approach to Kashmir disappoints some in disputed region (Wash Post)

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

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[Editor's note: The map uses Natural Earth vector and raster imagery to parse the mixed administration and claims in the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.]

Republished from The Washington Post.
By Emily Wax. Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SRINAGAR, INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR — Every day, Irfan Ansari sorts through dozens of résumés from young Kashmiris seeking jobs at his call center, seen by many here as a haven from the turmoil caused by militant Islamist forces seeking to uproot the government of Indian-administered Kashmir.

“Many young Kashmiris today just want a good life,” said Ansari, who has 300 employees. “I have more than 10,000 résumés on my desk. I wish I could hire them all.”

A new generation of Kashmiris is weary of five decades of tensions over the future of this Himalayan region, which has been a flash point for India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers that claim Kashmir as their own.

But Kashmiris have been caught in the diplomatic dilemma facing the Obama administration as it tries to persuade Pakistan to take on a stronger role fighting Islamist extremists and simultaneously seeks to improve relations with India, Pakistan’s arch foe.

Many Kashmiris celebrated when President Obama took office nearly a year ago, because he seemed to favor a more robust approach to bring stability to Kashmir, where human rights groups estimate that as many as 100,000 people have died in violence and dozens of Pakistan-backed militant groups have sprung up. At one point, the Obama administration contemplated appointing former president Bill Clinton as a special envoy to the region.

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

Terrain Bender (Jenny @ ETH Zurich)

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

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[Editor's note: Bart-Jan Dekker reminds me I've been negligent on mentioning Bernhard Jenny's latest project (and congrats to Bernie and Helen for their second child!). Bernie's previous work includes Flexprojector and Screepainter. The new update released 24 November fixes launching on some Windows OS machines that was semi-common.]

Republished from Terrain Cartography.

Terrain Bender applies progressive bending to digital terrain models for 3D cartography. It offers interactive tools to add a bent base to a digital terrain model.

Terrain Bender is free and open-source software. Version 1.0.4 of 24 November 2009 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Please see the system requirements, and download an example terrain model.

About Progressive Bending
3D maps with progressive bending show the landscape using a varying viewing angle from steep in the foreground to flat in the background. The result is similar to the way in which passengers in a plane perceive the landscape, first looking straight downwards and then raising their gaze towards the horizon.
With progressive bending, 3D maps gain display depth, and landscape elements in the foreground are less obstructed from view than on 3D maps using a central perspective. More >>Terrain Bender Features

Terrain Bender offers specialized tools for bending terrain models.

  • progressive bending
  • curved horizon bending
  • vertical exaggeration adjustable in foreground and background
  • preview with perspective camera, parallel camera, and 360° cylindrical panoramas
  • illumination settings
  • hypsometric tinting, haze simulation, and texturing
  • import and export of terrain models in ESRI ASCII grid file format

Terrain Bender features interactive previews of 3D maps, but final rendering is best done with ray-tracing software.

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SatValMod Color-Greyscale image integration (Viljoen via ESRI)

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

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[Editor's note: This VisualBasic script from David Viljoen, Geological Survey of Canada, for ArcGIS solves a transparency flattening issue when trying to blend color into a grayscale shaded relief image. Often the colors become distorted during the merge. This tool preserves the color (hue) and moderates the saturation and value instead. I've used HSV color adjustment layers in Photoshop with relief masks to accomplish the same thing, nice to know it's available in ArcMap, too. Aileen mentioned it at NACIS Sacramento earlier this month.]

Republished from ESRI.
By David Viljoen.

I developed the SatValMod (SVM) method to address the problems associated with traditional methods of integrating color with gray-scale raster data (e.g. layer transparency, multiplying color by gray-scale values, etc.).

The main problem with traditional methods is color loss or corruption. SVM does not change the original hue and modulates the saturation and value so that the final output has the same rich colors of your input data.

SVM does not require Spatial Analyst. It supports Grid, BIL, and TIF formats for input. It outputs a BIL file.

The SVM method involves a pixel-by-pixel transformation of RGB color coordinates to HSV space, modulation of the saturation and value color components, and transformation of the orginal hue and modulated saturation and value components back to RGB space. More details are available in the PowerPoint slide show included in the ZIP.

This technique can work with rasterized polygon layers. You will need to create a CLR file that relates pixel values to the polygon colors.

I hope you find SVM useful in creating your color/gray-scale image integration products.

Download from ESRI . . .

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Scientific Visualizations from Hillside Pictures, CA

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

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(above) Vegetation Removal: Removing vegetation from a LiDAR dataset reveals the highly detailed bare-earth topography.

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(above) Gabilan Mesa: Landscape renderings based on high resolution LiDAR data for Gabilan Mesa, an old erosional surface featuring gently sloping plateaus strongly aligned with each other along the eastern side of the Salinas Valley, CA.

[Editor's note: Scientific data visualizations and presentations using GIS data from Dorel Iordache, a northern California visual designer. Check out the videos. Thanks Sebastian!]

Republished from Hillside Pictures, Calif.

Hillside Pictures was born out of the desire to blend my lifelong passion for moving pictures and graphic design with my background in computer science and remote sensing. The results are complex visualizations of landscapes and natural environments with emphasis on both scientific accuracy and visual aesthetics. My work is grounded in broad technical expertise, highest attention to detail and years of work experience in the academic environment. Stepping outside the field of data visualization, I enjoy working on motion graphics and visual effects projects, including animated DVD menus, titles or intros.

Continue to Hillside Pictures artwork gallery . . .

On the Map: Five Major North Korean Prison Camps (Wash Post)

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

[Editor's note: This interactive map from The Washington Post examines political prison camps were opponents or fallen favorites of the regime in Pyongyang are forced to do slave labour. Great use of Google Earth to generate the 3d scene, combined with Natural Scene Designer. Kudos to Kat and Laris for a great presentation.]

Republished from The Washington Post.

North Korea has operated political prison camps for more than 50 years, twice as long as the Gulag in the former Soviet Union. People suspected of opposing the government are forced to do slave labor in the camps, which hold an estimated 200,000 prisoners. Great use of Google Earth to generate the 3d scene, combined with Natural Scene Designer. North Korea’s government says the camps don’t exist, but high-resolution satellite images show otherwise.

Interact with the original at Washington Post . . .

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Scree Painter (Bernhard Jenny, ETHZ)

Monday, July 20th, 2009

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[Editor's note: Bernhard Jenny, of the Swiss ETH in Zurich, has released a new software application for generating Swiss-style scree (rock) patterns for topographic maps. It fills user-specified polygons with scree stones. In years past, this technique was a very slow, time consuming manual process. Because of this, most modern maps have abandoned scree depiction or rely on out-of-date raster scans of old maps. This new stand-alone software for Mac, Windows, and Linux allows many GIS inputs like DEMs (DTMs) and settings customize the graphic treatment of dot size, density, and shape. Scree is useful for depicting mountainous areas, often rocky and devoid of vegetation. The rock pattern can indicate gullies and compliment relief shading for sunny and shadow areas by modulating the size and density of dots. Export is provided to PDF format. I hope we start seeing more scree on maps as a result of this software. Thanks Tom!]

Republished from ScreePainter.com.

Inputs and settings include:

Scree: the generated scree dots.
Scree Polygons: the polygons that are filled with scree dots.
Gully Lines: flow lines extracted from a digital elevation model.
Obstacles Mask: No scree dots are placed where this mask is black.
Shaded Relief: Modulates the size and density of dots.
Gradation Mask: Where this mask is dark, the contrast between bright and dark slopes is enhanced.
Large Stones Maks: Dots are enlarged where this maks is dark.
Reference Image: An image that is not used for generating scree dots. The reference image included in the sample data sets shows a map section with manually produced scree dots for comparison.

Read more and download application at ScreePainter . . .

40th Lunar Anniversary with Richard Furno and the National Geographic “Moon Map”

Friday, July 17th, 2009

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This week marks the 40th anniversary of the first human landing on Earth’s Moon, over 250,000 miles distant from our “mother ship”. Apollo 11 was launched into space July 16, 1969 and on July 20th Neil Alden Armstrong and Edwin Eugene ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr., became the first humans to “moon walk” while fellow crew member Michael Collins orbited above.

This past January I published several blog posts (listed below) highlighting my friend Richard Furno’s involvement with the National Geographic “The Earth’ Moon” map which was published during this amazing time in history. Follow along with Richard’s first hand narration of how historic events shaped the map, the cutting edge science involved in assembling the photographic base material, and the many explanatory notes included on the final design. The wall map is a piece of art, please enjoy :)

Race To The Moon with Richard Furno, Part 1
Race To The Moon with Richard Furno, Part 2
Meet Richard Furno
View map online from National Geographic

NASA and the President John F. Kennedy Library have a fun (historic) real time recreation / interactive of the four day mission.

New Global 30m DEM Topographic Data via ASTER (NASA)

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

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[Editor's note: NASA and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and industry (METI) released new 30 meter resolution Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) to the worldwide June 29, 2009. The new dataset covers the high latitudes with increased precision over SRTM, although the cloud cover problems that plauge ASTER can prove problematic. The servers were being hit heavy on Monday and data download is convoluted. The preview of the data uses a curious data exploration color ramp with inverted shading. Thanks Tom and Laris!]

Republished from NASA.

PASADENA, Calif. – NASA and Japan released a new digital topographic map of Earth Monday that covers more of our planet than ever before. The map was produced with detailed measurements from NASA’s Terra spacecraft.

The new global digital elevation model of Earth was created from nearly 1.3 million individual stereo-pair images collected by the Japanese Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or Aster, instrument aboard Terra. NASA and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, known as METI, developed the data set. It is available online to users everywhere at no cost.

“This is the most complete, consistent global digital elevation data yet made available to the world,” said Woody Turner, Aster program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This unique global set of data will serve users and researchers from a wide array of disciplines that need elevation and terrain information.”

According to Mike Abrams, Aster science team leader at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., the new topographic information will be of value throughout the Earth sciences and has many practical applications. “Aster’s accurate topographic data will be used for engineering, energy exploration, conserving natural resources, environmental management, public works design, firefighting, recreation, geology and city planning, to name just a few areas,” Abrams said.

Previously, the most complete topographic set of data publicly available was from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. That mission mapped 80 percent of Earth’s landmass, between 60 degrees north latitude and 57 degrees south. The new Aster data expand coverage to 99 percent, from 83 degrees north latitude and 83 degrees south. Each elevation measurement point in the new data is 30 meters (98 feet) apart.

“The Aster data fill in many of the voids in the shuttle mission’s data, such as in very steep terrains and in some deserts,” said Michael Kobrick, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission project scientist at JPL. “NASA is working to combine the Aster data with that of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and other sources to produce an even better global topographic map.”

NASA and METI are jointly contributing the Aster topographic data to the Group on Earth Observations, an international partnership headquartered at the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, for use in its Global Earth Observation System of Systems. This “system of systems” is a collaborative, international effort to share and integrate Earth observation data from many different instruments and systems to help monitor and forecast global environmental changes.

NASA, METI and the U.S. Geological Survey validated the data, with support from the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and other collaborators. The data will be distributed by NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., and by METI’s Earth Remote Sensing Data Analysis Center in Tokyo.

Aster is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched on Terra in December 1999. Aster acquires images from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, with spatial resolutions ranging from about 15 to 90 meters (50 to 300 feet). A joint science team from the U.S. and Japan validates and calibrates the instrument and data products. The U.S. science team is located at JPL.

For visualizations of the new Aster topographic data, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/20090629.html .

Data users can download the Aster global digital elevation model at: https://wist.echo.nasa.gov/~wist/api/imswelcome and http://www.gdem.aster.ersdac.or.jp .

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov .

JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes (Corcoran in Washington, DC)

Friday, June 12th, 2009

[Editor's note: If you travel to DC this summer, check out this installation from renowned contemporary artist and architect Maya Lin of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial fame. There is a fee to enter the private museum.]

Republished from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Run dates: March 14, 2009 — July 12, 2009

This spring, the Corcoran Gallery of Art will present Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes—a dramatic installation of major new works by this renowned contemporary artist and architect.   On view from March 14 through July 12, the exhibition addresses contemporary ideas about landscape and geologic phenomena.  Lin’s second nationally-traveling exhibition in 10 years, Systematic Landscapes explores how people perceive and experience the landscape in a time of heightened technological influence and environmental awareness.

Lin (b. 1959) came to prominence in 1981 with her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and has since achieved a high degree of recognition for a body of work that includes monuments, buildings, earthworks, sculpture and installations.  Traversing Lin’s constructed landscapes in this exhibition—moving around, under, and through them—we encounter a world that has been mapped, digitized, analyzed, and then reintroduced by Lin as actual, physical structures.  Her work blends a typology of natural forms, from rivers to mountains to seas, with a visual language of scientific analysis represented by grids, models, and maps.  In doing so, Lin merges an understanding of the ideal and the real, encouraging an encounter with conceptual, sculptural and architectural modeling.

Systematic Landscapes is centered on a trio of large-scale sculptural installations: 2×4 Landscape (2006), Water Line (2006) and Blue Lake Pass (2006).  Each sculpture offers a different means for viewers to engage with and comprehend a schematic representation of landscape forms.  In these projects, Lin examines how people’s modern relationships to the land are extended, condensed, distorted and interpreted through new computer technologies.  She translates a series of dramatic landscape environments selected for their inspiring beauty and connection to life-supporting habitats into spatial environments where viewers can engage with them in an art gallery setting.

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