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Relief maps with gps tracks

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#1
Dan Hickstein

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I've been struggling with this problem for a while, so I thought I would finally ask some real mapmakers. I am working on a mountain biking guidebook (in Colorado) and I would like to plot the GPS track of each ride onto a nice map for publication.

I've tried some simple solutions, like using USGS topo maps, but the contour lines often get squished together when I resize the map and the result is terrible. One of my collaborators is experienced using Adobe Illustrator, and we've created several nice vector maps of the roads and bodies of water. However, I would really like to have some sort of background map that would give some indication of the landscape.

I'm thinking that a colored elevation map with shaded relief would look great, but I can't figure out how to get one of the resolution needed. The maps that I need are anywhere from 1-mile-by-1-mile to maybe 20-miles-x-20-miles. The raster maps on http://www.naturalearthdata.com/ look great, but they are not nearly high enough resolution for a map that is only a few miles wide.

Is there software available that can do this easily, or am I better off paying a GIS professional to create a map?

I'm looking forward to any advice you all have.

Best regards,

Dan

#2
David Medeiros

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Natural Scene Designer (http://www.naturalgfx.com/newnsd5.htm) is a relatively inexpensive program that allows you to create shaded relief maps from readily available online DEM data. You can overlay geo-referenced topo images in NSD and output them to Illustrator or just use NSD to create the shaded relief to place behind images in Illustrator or Photoshop.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#3
Nick H

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You might care to try MICRODEM for rendering your DEMs, it's free, see:

http://www.usna.edu/...em/microdem.htm

Regards, N.
Caversham, Reading, England.

#4
Dan Hickstein

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Thanks for the advice!
Am I correct in thinking that NSD does the terrain shading while MICRODEM only does the elevation coloring? (I'm on the mac laptop right now, so I can't test out MICRODEM until later.) Also, would the normal version of NSD suffice, or would it be necessary to buy to "pro" version in order to line up the shaded relief map with a topo map (is this essentially what "geo-referencing"means?). Can you download elevation data from the internet to use in NSD or must you purchase their data CD's?

Best regards,

Dan

#5
Nick H

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Thanks for the advice!
Am I correct in thinking that NSD does the terrain shading while MICRODEM only does the elevation coloring? ....


Hi Dan,

MICRODEM will do elevation colouring and terrain shading very nicely (and a lot else too!).

Regards, N.
Caversham, Reading, England.

#6
David Medeiros

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Thanks for the advice!
Am I correct in thinking that NSD does the terrain shading while MICRODEM only does the elevation coloring? (I'm on the mac laptop right now, so I can't test out MICRODEM until later.) Also, would the normal version of NSD suffice, or would it be necessary to buy to "pro" version in order to line up the shaded relief map with a topo map (is this essentially what "geo-referencing"means?). Can you download elevation data from the internet to use in NSD or must you purchase their data CD's?

Best regards,

Dan


Basic version of NSD will do overlays of any geo-referenced image on the corresponding elevation data for the same area. A geo-refernced image is one that has geographic data attached to it in a separate world file or embedded like a GeoTIF. You can buy one of his CD's to make it easier but al lot of elevation data is available online for free. The basic version of NSD imports a number of elevation formats. The primary benefit to using the Pro version is the ability to re-project your outgoing shaded relief and overlay.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#7
Dan Hickstein

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Many thanks for your responses. I will have a go with the elevation coloring and terrain shading using MICRODEM and see if it's what we need and if I should pay for NSD.




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