Posts Tagged ‘shaded relief’

Natural Earth 1.1 update + 1.2 preview

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The 60+ individual themes that received edits in the 1.1 update of Natural Earth are now available for ala cart downloading on the NaturalEarthData.com site. The 110m country boundary lines theme is now available in 1.1 (somehow it was left out of the original release). The combo 110m-cultural download has been updated to include that missing file. In case you’re wondering, there is no 50m country boundary lines update, even though the 50m admin-0 polygons were updated as their boundaries did not change, only the attribute tables were updated to version 1.1.

Jill finished editing ~1,900 or half of the 10m admin-1 polygon data attributes for name and thematic codes for the larger, more populous countries. We’ll start merging that with the new, topologically valid linework in April.

Tom got a cache of old hand drawn relief and is busy nudging it in Photoshop to align to Natural Earth drains.

Preston finished adding tapers to the North America drains. Those will go live on the site in early April and will quadruple (4x) the amount of hydrological data there. We’re about 50% done with Europe.

If you have a few hours to help out, please drop me a line at nathaniel@kelsocartography.com.

Terrain Bender (Jenny @ ETH Zurich)

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

terrainbender1
[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.

terrainbender2

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 . . .

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

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

pia12090-browse

[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.

Tóth Graphix Blog

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Tibor Tóth has been creating shaded relief maps (see examples below) for many years for National Geographic among others and has made himself a little blog talking about some of his projects to make the occasion of his seventy-second birthday.

Post topics include:

Continue reading to Tóth Graphix Blog . . .

Natural Earth III – Data for Visualizing Earth from Space (Patterson)

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

[Editor's note: I am pleased to announce Tom Patterson's new Natural Earth III. This dataset is optimized for 3d visualization of the earth from space and includes an optimized cloud layer and enhanced colors for broadcast. iPhone and desktop wallpapers are available. Tom will formally present this new dataset at the SoC summer school in Scotland next week. I'm guessing they'll be a repeat at this year's NACIS conference as well.. Dig in!]

Republished from ShadedRelief.org.

Natural Earth III is raster map data for creating illustrations and animations of our planet with a plausibly realistic appearance. Using the data requires 3D or mapping software. Legibility is a key feature. Compared to photographs of Earth taken from space, Natural Earth III offers brighter colors, fewer clouds over land areas, distinct environmental zones, 3D mountains, and continuous rivers. Other features include:

  • Interchangeable data files that align precisely with each other.
  • Georeferencing information.
  • Seamless edge matching at 180 degrees longitude.
  • High resolution: 16,200 x 8,100 pixels (80 arc second).
  • Natural Earth III is free and without use restrictions.

Tom Patterson, US National Park Service (Disclaimer)

Data hosted by: Springer Cartographics.