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#1
rockieshome

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Hi everyone,

I was sent this link (http://3dskimaps.com/) to check and just wanted to show it to Cartotalk members and generate some discussion regarding your impression(s) of the work presented, its quality, etc. Although I don't add much to the overall discussion here, I was compelled to post this as an example of how, "not" to make maps... and there's many other examples out there :lol: This one really sent me for a spin!

Although the map-maker made a good start by draping some remotely-sensed imagery and slope data over a DEM, to show ground cover and topographic variability, the colour ramp used to show slope really hurt my eyes. The data could definitely have been shown in a much more informative and engaging manner, and much more done to improve the overall aesthetic presentation, indeed. And to top it off, nary a legend, scale bar, or N arrow! Hopefully noone paid for this mess! A sad day...

If the the map-maker is a member of Cartotalk, I apologize if my criticism sounds harsh, but frankly, I was a bit alarmed at what I saw.


Regards,

r

#2
MapMedia

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Well its 3D, and the point is to highlight the slope differentials, also notice in the About section the caveat (a little too GIS-y for average skier I imagine ;)

"About The Data

It's just the free stuff, so data points are 10 meters apart. Slope values will be under or overestimated for features that are smaller than 10 meters.

I haven't been to most of the places I've mapped, but I know there's a place at Taos that's way off because it's a Beginner trail but the data points fell at just the wrong places so on the map it looks like 40 degree incline. Catwalks hardly ever show up because most of them are narrower than 5 meters.

Think of it like a blurred image of what the slopes really should look like, so any peakiness will be smoothed out, but the overall picture will still be helpful. Your speed on the mountain will be between 3 and 30 meters per second, so somewhere in between that speed you will traverse the USGS data points in one second or so, you might hit a rise or a dip between those points, but from one point to the next the slope will be accurate.

To me this is more like 3dSkiMaps 0.9. I'll consider it 1.0 when I can get money to buy 1 meter or finer data."

#3
frax

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I don't know, I don't think it is that bad. The colors are made to look cool, alternative and different, and add a new perspective + additional information. I think they are intended to be used as a compliment to "ordinary" ski maps, and not on their own.

The map I looked at had a north arrow and legend. Scale bar does not really make sense on an oblique map, and trees and houses give some impression on the scale. I don't think a north arrow is really needed on a ski map, you don't really use the cardinal directions to orient yourself on the slopes, do you?
Hugo Ahlenius
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#4
natcase

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If the the map-maker is a member of Cartotalk, I apologize if my criticism sounds harsh, but frankly, I was a bit alarmed at what I saw.

Dale M Greer (also here) is the man behind the imagery. I also didn't think it was that bad. It's certainly an interesting way to look at such a slope-intensive lanscape. And actually I think there'd be too much noise if it got much more detailed.

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#5
Derek Tonn

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I think the concept and the information is very cool (a new way of looking at and communicating about something that a lot of people care deeply about)...but I think from a "design" standpoint, it looks like an undergraduate art project rather than something "professional."

Maybe it's just the fact that I am getting tired of seeing people importing data from third parties and then running stuff through a "brewer" or two and calling their work "design." INFORMATION?! Absolutely! DESIGN?! Not so much...at least not "good" design. Part of making maps, in my opinion, is making something that is also easy on the eye (both attractiveness AND being able to discern a map's meaning/information without needing a complex key). Is attractiveness more important than accuracy? No. However, if something is "noisy" or less-attractive to look at, people might not be able to (or want to) see past some aesthetic shortcomings to process and understand the information which lies behind it.

I would love to see version "1.0" or "2.0" of this concept though...as I think it is a very interesting idea for conveying that information.
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#6
James Hines

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When I saw the maps the data after really looking at it was good except the fact that ouch my eyes hurt, way too dominant & very bright. It's really too bad because the colour effects took alot from the hillshade.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#7
3dskimapper

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However, if something is "noisy" or less-attractive to look at, people might not be able to (or want to) see past some aesthetic shortcomings to process and understand the information which lies behind it.

Yeah, I don't have any training in this sort of thing, so I decided to just make what I found useful, assuming that there would be other people who would find it useful as I do. I don't get many negative comments, but it could just be that people who would make such comments are frightened and confused, and run away as soon as they see my stuff. One of my favorite comments was "Cool stuff, but MY EYES!"

I made the color mapping to yield the most perceived data, and by now I've gotten so used to it, it doesn't look bizarre to me at all. I don't know if anybody wants to give free advice on how to improve my maps, but if so I'm open to any suggestions.

Originally I had the color scale going from blue to red the way almost all scientific color mappings go, but people were confused about the "blue is green" and "green is blue" thing, so I flipped it and shifted it to put green at the bottom and yellow at the top. Then I found an error in my slope calculation, I had been accidentally truncating everything over 45 degrees. So I added the white to black at the very top because otherwise the scale was too stretched.

Also, I've added N arrows and 100 meter grids to all recent maps. Not being a professional cartographer has its disadvantages sometimes!

Do you think just pastelizing my color scale would improve the look without sacrificing accuracy? Also, a mention was made that I was washing out the shadows. Yes, I started doing that even more recently because I felt strong shadows were making the colors look wrong, so I probably made the skylight too strong in the model so that it overpowers the sunlight. Again, I think that's all about getting used to the garish colors so I can't tell anymore that they are garish.




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