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Po Valley Panorama

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#1
Hans van der Maarel

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This is another project that I've done as a hobby, for my portfolio. It's a panorama of the Po Valley in Northern Italy. The panorama itself was produced in Visual Nature Studio, using ETOPO1 elevation data and the 250 meter TrueMarble satellite imagery.

Attached File  PoValleyPanorama.jpg   297.11KB   274 downloads

The camera is situated somewhere over Northern Albania at an elevation of 300km. Vertical exaggeration is 600%, which leads to some pretty wild river courses (look closely to the right of the second E in "Western"). I've tried to enhance the sense of depth by setting up a volumetric atmosphere with haze in the far distance. Also, text labels (which were added in Illustrator) are somewhat hazier as they are further away from the camera.

The production process is:
  • Rendering in Visual Nature Studio.
  • Some manual edits in Photoshop (enhanced the rivers a bit and cleaned up cases where the resolution difference between the terrain and imagery caused the sea to run uphill).
  • Added text labels in Illustrator.

The font used is Cisalpin, which was discussed here earlier. I though it would be quite appropriate here. It's the first time I'm using it and I must say I quite like it.

Any comments would be much appreciated.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#2
Rob

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very nice hans. you do that in the new v3?

and I always thought Jungfrau was the tallest mountain in Europe... maybe b/c their marketing pitch is "The Top of Europe"! damn marketers...

#3
François Goulet

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Superb!!

Perhaps a little North arrow? I may be a little tired (I finish work in half an hour), but it took me a "big" 10 secs to figure out the orientation ;)

Otherwise, I'd buy that and put it next of my desk as an inspiration :)

Love it!!! :D

#4
Hans van der Maarel

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very nice hans. you do that in the new v3?

and I always thought Jungfrau was the tallest mountain in Europe... maybe b/c their marketing pitch is "The Top of Europe"! damn marketers...


Yes, that's VNS 3 in action there.

And depending on your definition of Europe, the highest mountain is either the Mont Blanc or the Elbruz in the Caucasus.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#5
Hans van der Maarel

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And here's one with a north arrow, especially for François ;)

Attached File  PoValleyPanorama.jpg   298.43KB   104 downloads

You know, I've been looking for a suitable image that I can get printed at a decent size (this one I'm thinking of doing A3) and then sell them or use them as a handout.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#6
ELeFevre

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Very nice Hans! My only suggestion might be to make the city and water body labels a little more subtle in the design. The black city labels come across as slightly heavy. And my eyes really want to focus on the terrain first and the labels second. The Adriatic label is especially prominent. Either way, this is great. Print it up!



#7
François Goulet

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And here's one with a north arrow, especially for François ;)


Yaaaayyyy!!! Thank you! ;)

#8
DaveB

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Very nice!

A couple of minor things about some of the labeling strike me:
1. Is the Istria label referring to the physical feature (penininsula?)? If so it seems a bit off-topic, but is prominently labeled. I had to look it up (so maybe it's educational ;) ); my first thought was it was a political feature.
2. To my eye the river labels seem a bit weak in their placement. Some letters are close or even overlapping the rivers, other letters are much farther away from the rivers. Maybe curve them a bit to better fit the river curves? I wonder how the labels would look if you could make them "stand up", so they look vertical in relation to the map's perspective? May come off too "gimicky"?

Since the map title is "The Po Valley and the Alps" you might consider zooming in more and making that the focus of the map (and maybe de-emphasize the rest of the labels). I guess Lago di Como and Lago di Maggiore don't quite show up at the current scale...
Dave Barnes
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#9
Hans van der Maarel

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A couple of minor things about some of the labeling strike me:
1. Is the Istria label referring to the physical feature (penininsula?)? If so it seems a bit off-topic, but is prominently labeled. I had to look it up (so maybe it's educational ;) ); my first thought was it was a political feature.
2. To my eye the river labels seem a bit weak in their placement. Some letters are close or even overlapping the rivers, other letters are much farther away from the rivers. Maybe curve them a bit to better fit the river curves? I wonder how the labels would look if you could make them "stand up", so they look vertical in relation to the map's perspective? May come off too "gimicky"?

Since the map title is "The Po Valley and the Alps" you might consider zooming in more and making that the focus of the map (and maybe de-emphasize the rest of the labels). I guess Lago di Como and Lago di Maggiore don't quite show up at the current scale...


Dave,

I deliberately labelled features close to the camera more prominently than features far away (if you look closely you'll see that city and river labels, albeit all the same size, go fainter as they are further away), so that's why Istria gets top billing.

The river labels were added quite late in the process and could do with a bit of work indeed. Standing them up would probabely be a bit too cheesy, yes (though I did do a drop shadow under the north arrow)

Lago di Como is hidden behind the mountains, there's a little bit of Lago Maggiore visible, feeding the Ticino. From this angle it kinda looks like a river so I figured I'd not label it.

I'm thinking of doing a version of this for print, higher resolution of course. That'll give me more room to play with labels and positioning.

What's the verdict on black for city labels? I thought it looked pretty good until I got to Bolzano... :rolleyes:
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#10
razornole

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Hello Hans,

Nice perspective map, I don't have much to comment on that which hasn't already already been covered.
My concern are with the elements outside your map, especially if you do print. Are your production techniques so important that they have to compete with your title? To me it is a huge distraction and slows me down in my process of reading the title and moving on to the map.
Another problem I see is a weight issue, this map is very heavy on the top with the title, codicil, Alps, and larger border (a result of having to fit your codicil).

I would suggest moving you codicil to the lower left (left justified) and align it with the title, and shift your name to the lower right (right justified and use two lines if need be). To me this would distribute your weight so much more effectively, and not mess so much with my eye-train.

kru
"Ah, to see the world with the eyes of the gods is geography--to know cities and tribes, mountains and rivers, earth and sea, this is our gift."
Strabo 22AD

#11
woneil

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Wonderful. Beautiful and illuminating.

"Lago di Garda" but "Lake Constance"?

Somehow the snowcaps don't quite settle on their mountains for me. Perhaps it's only me.

By contrast with the land the sea seems quite flat, a dull mass to be taking up so much visual space. With that said, I don't know what to suggest to make it better.

Would it be helpful to put a small index map in a corner, overlaid with an outline of the frame of the scene? It depends on the sophistication of the intended audience, of course. I do think that the directional arrows are useful, and it was a good idea to include orthoganal directions.
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#12
Jean-Louis

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I love it, Hans

I just had to restrain myself from playing with it and add a trail of Hannibal's elephants

I,ll have to check out that V3
Jean-Louis Rheault
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#13
Hans van der Maarel

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Wonderful. Beautiful and illuminating.

"Lago di Garda" but "Lake Constance"?

Somehow the snowcaps don't quite settle on their mountains for me. Perhaps it's only me.

By contrast with the land the sea seems quite flat, a dull mass to be taking up so much visual space. With that said, I don't know what to suggest to make it better.

Would it be helpful to put a small index map in a corner, overlaid with an outline of the frame of the scene? It depends on the sophistication of the intended audience, of course. I do think that the directional arrows are useful, and it was a good idea to include orthoganal directions.


Yeah, maybe I should go with Bodensee... :)

The resolution of the terrain is 1 km, the resolution of the satellite imagery is 250 m so there might be some discrepancies there. I had to do quite some editing in the islands along the Croatian coast to fix that. Maybe I should try this with 90m SRTM?

As far as the index map, I've been thinking about that. I found it quite difficult to place certain cities, or even to relate the rivers I see in the scene with an atlas map.

The whole chunk of text across the top is definately going to move in the print version. And be smaller...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#14
woneil

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The resolution of the terrain is 1 km, the resolution of the satellite imagery is 250 m so there might be some discrepancies there. I had to do quite some editing in the islands along the Croatian coast to fix that. Maybe I should try this with 90m SRTM?


It would be interesting to try, I think. A different look, no question.

Can you do the 90 m in the foreground and the 1 km in the background? The computational and memory load from using the 90 m throughout would be terrific, I should think.

It would be nice to have 270 m and 540 m datasets available as well as the 90 m and 1 km (really 900 m, I believe). Of course it would be nice if politics didn't make it impossible to release the 30 m data, too.
Will O'Neil
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#15
Hans van der Maarel

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Can you do the 90 m in the foreground and the 1 km in the background? The computational and memory load from using the 90 m throughout would be terrific, I should think.


I've been thinking about that too, but there would have to be a seam somewhere and I'm afraid it might be visible.

I could also try downsampling the 90m SRTM to 250m so it matches up with the satellite imagery.
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