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3D trail map of the Big South Fork NRRA

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#1
Boyd

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This is a 3D map that is printed at 18.5x13.5in. It is a bit an experiment in making a stylized but usable trail map. It is bundled with 1:32k topographic trail maps, which I posted here last year.

The biggest problem was making the rendered terrain not so richly colored. I think next time I'll try some more photoshop before I drape my terrain. Any suggestions on techniques to make a better looking terrain? I kinda hit a wall and had to move on, but I'll probably reprint in a couple months. Also, looking for another park to do.

This is a Zoomify flash file:

http://www.outragegi...southfork/demo/

Thanks,
Boyd

#2
Clark Geomatics

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Hi Boyd - Nice map!

One question for you: I noticed that you have the put the sun in the southern hemisphere to create your shaded relief - for most people, this creates the illusion that the peaks and valleys are inverted. What was your reasoning here?
Cheers,

Jeff Clark
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#3
MapMedia

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Now that is very nice. wow.
Is it Kentucky? Am not familiar with terrain, but it seems like yellow tones are mixed farmland and greens are forested?

I will let others weight in on the terrain options, though I agree SVG re: inverted terrain due to sun azimuth. South Fork Cumberland seems to be winding on top a high ridge.
- Is the scale bar oblong? It say that the diameter = 1 mile, but my eyes are telling me the circle is a little flat, so that would need to be changed.
-N.P.S. GIS
-other typos but it sounds like you are not at that stage of review yet?

It's an awesome map, really!!

#4
Boyd

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Thanks for the quick feedback.

That sun azimuth issue is a big one, however I bucked with tradition because of a couple factors. The main consideration was that this 3D view was oriented with a southern viewpoint. If I illuminated from the northwest, you'd be looking in shadows.

The second consideration was that this 3D map came with other maps that had aerial photography. In Kentucky, our winter sun is pretty low in the south (when the aerials were shot) and I wanted visual compatibility with those maps. A lot of people have difficulty reading aerial photos, because of the inversion, but it is useful information. The problem is well noted, and I'll probably try a different shading next time. I do believe though, when you're using aerial photos maps in the wild, your brain adapts quite quickly.

That oval is an actual circle rendered in the view. I'm using a projection with no perspective convergence, so the scale is constant over the map, however each axis is different.

The terrain color is purely hypsometric tinting. I'd like to use forest type, but I didn't have that data. I'm not pleased with the yellow, but that's a gradient map issue that I'll be sure to fix it go around.

...and typos...I find them every time I look at it. Yikes!

Thanks again. This site and it's many contributors are fantastic.

Boyd

#5
Clark Geomatics

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Thanks for the quick feedback.

That sun azimuth issue is a big one, however I bucked with tradition because of a couple factors. The main consideration was that this 3D view was oriented with a southern viewpoint. If I illuminated from the northwest, you'd be looking in shadows.

The second consideration was that this 3D map came with other maps that had aerial photography. In Kentucky, our winter sun is pretty low in the south (when the aerials were shot) and I wanted visual compatibility with those maps. A lot of people have difficulty reading aerial photos, because of the inversion, but it is useful information. The problem is well noted, and I'll probably try a different shading next time. I do believe though, when you're using aerial photos maps in the wild, your brain adapts quite quickly.

Yes - all understandable considerations and I'm sure you probably tried several different azimuths to see the different effects. Most maps are oriented with north at the top, yours notwithstanding. My understanding then, is that your map is more of an overview product for the area and hikers / users will concentrate on the aerial photo-based maps for navigation. Inversion doesn't affect everyone to the same degree - I know people that aren't affected at all.

I had the same issue with a map I created in the Coast Mountains near Vancouver, Canada (see http://www.clarkgeomatics.ca/zoom.html). The map was partially generated from low-angle southern sun Landsat 7 imagery. I couldn't get away with leaving the sun in the southern hemisphere as the inversion was very intense (due to high angle slope). I had to process the imagery to remove most of the shadow and merge it back into the Landsat scene to extract as much land cover info as possible.

One suggestion you might consider is decreasing the intensity of your shadow - it's very dark in places. This is likely the result of the sun's inclination being fairly low to provide the contrast necessary in the rounded Appalachian hills. You could also increase the inclination and move the sun to the WNW quadrant - that should emphasize the banks of the Big South Fork River nicely.

All said, it's very easy to look at - you've managed to aggregate a lot of info into the product.

What 3D software did you use to create the view?

Cheers,

Jeff
Cheers,

Jeff Clark
Principal
www.clarkgeomatics.ca

#6
A. Fenix

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WOW!

I just had to chime in with an enthusiastic response... Very beautiful map!

Analisa
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#7
Boyd

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What 3D software did you use to create the view?


POVRay on a Mac. Command line, no previews, but it can create very large renders.

I had the same issue with a map I created in the Coast Mountains near Vancouver, Canada (see http://www.clarkgeomatics.ca/zoom.html). The map was partially generated from low-angle southern sun Landsat 7 imagery. I couldn't get away with leaving the sun in the southern hemisphere as the inversion was very intense (due to high angle slope). I had to process the imagery to remove most of the shadow and merge it back into the Landsat scene to extract as much land cover info as possible.


Very nice looking map. I especially like the legend and it's a great 'learn-by-example' tool. I tried using landsat imagery, but it is almost too much information. I wish I could manipulate it better since it's a great resource. How's it selling btw?

Boyd

#8
CHART

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I had a quick look at your map.

My comments:

I was unable to find a spot height or any elevation values. You do have a elevation gradient representation in the legend, however maybe a few spot heights could be useful for the end user.
...
I like the map edge effect and the overall 'hand drawn' effect of your product. The scale representation is interesting. You used a lot of neat little font techniques not normally seen on more conventional 'topo' maps. Always refreshing to see new map design techniques.
Chart

#9
tellett

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Great maps, really like them. Nice and easy to understand but you haven't compromised on quality.

#10
westcoastmapguy

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Hi Boyd,

That is a nice map. How are your sales numbers? More online or in stores?

Jason

#11
Boyd

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Hi Boyd,

That is a nice map. How are your sales numbers? More online or in stores?

Jason


Thanks Jason,

Sales are climbing as the trees are budding. Mostly we resale to wholesalers, but the online sales are good. We face the great map by Trails Illustrated, but our maps inlcuded aerial photography and UTM LAT/LON gps grids; stuff off-trailers like. We experimented with the printing in this edition...we did 6 spot colors...so that adds some uniqueness. However, we'll never design for or print with 6-spot colors again. Ouch, was that painful.




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