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Best Software to create Terrains from DEM

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#1
DHissemGISCARTO

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Hello folks

Still relatively new to Cartography so my question is this... in the opinion of developers out there, what are the better software to use to take a DEM and make it so that you can export out to programs such as Illustrator with Mapublisher 8.1 so that I can make those beautiful maps I see so often that have shape file road systems and analysis applied to them, over top of the coloured terrains? I'm pulling my hair out here.

Thanks for any help.

Darryl
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"The virtue of maps, they show what can be done!"

#2
David Medeiros

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Hi Darryl, I was just about to email you back when I saw your post here. I'll copy my response here so others can add to it.

I generate my shaded relief in a program called Natural Scene Designer using a variety of source elevation data. I post process the relief image in Photoshop a bit then place it in my Illustrator work space through Avenza's MAPublisher. I'm usually using a TIF image with a world file generated by NSD. The key to proper placement is making sure your relief image and Illustrator workspace share the same co ordinate system and projection. If you know the image coordinate system and projection, you can set your map to match it in the Map View palette in MAPublisher. Keep in mind that MAPublisher can not re-project images only scale and place them so you must set the MAP to match the image first.

One issue that I've encountered with previous versions of MAPub was that if after setting up a Map View you changed the ruler origin (the 0,0 of the ruler bars) you would effect the map origin as well changing the co ordinates of all map elements. This would cause newly placed map features (including images) to show up in the wrong location. It's been fixed but not sure as of what version.

I still get hung up myself when placing relief in MAPub especially after I've done a lot of other work and made a few co ordinate transformations. The best thing to do is make sure you know exactly what projection the image is in (re project in Arc as needed), choose and empty workspace in Illustrator, use MAPub to bring in one geo-referenced map layer (I usually use a national or state boundary), set theMAp View to match the image, place image, use filter> register to match the image to your map view. Now you ready to start add the rest of your map elements. Thats not the required workflow but it helps me know from the start that I have a match between my relief and map work space.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#3
DHissemGISCARTO

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Wow thank you very much David, are you using NSD Standard or Pro? After looking at the specs. the Pro version being more pricey but you pay for functionality, seems the way to go. Add the World 90 meter 3D Terrain disk and you have quite a supply of data and software power. I will seriously take that into consideration, an if I have any questions I'm sure someone here will have an answer. Thank you again...
Darryl Hissem
"The virtue of maps, they show what can be done!"

#4
David Medeiros

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Wow thank you very much David, are you using NSD Standard or Pro? After looking at the specs. the Pro version being more pricey but you pay for functionality, seems the way to go. Add the World 90 meter 3D Terrain disk and you have quite a supply of data and software power. I will seriously take that into consideration, an if I have any questions I'm sure someone here will have an answer. Thank you again...


I started with basic but upgraded to Pro after a year. The primary difference being the ability to re project and geo reference. Before dropping cash on the data CDs think about what your immediate data needs are and look around online, there's a ready supply of free elevation data available for most locations.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#5
Andrew Patterson

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One issue that I've encountered with previous versions of MAPub was that if after setting up a Map View you changed the ruler origin (the 0,0 of the ruler bars) you would effect the map origin as well changing the co ordinates of all map elements. This would cause newly placed map features (including images) to show up in the wrong location. It's been fixed but not sure as of what version.


I'm the guy who put in that fix and I can't remember what version it was either :) Definitely earlier than 8.0 though, so if he's using 8.1 he should be fine in that regard.
Andrew Patterson
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Avenza Systems Inc.

email: andrew@avenza.com
phone: 416.487.5116

#6
Ted Florence

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With reference to the original post in this thread from DHissemGISCARTO, I feel obliged to mention the through the use of our Geographic Imager plugin for Adobe Photoshop, you can also import a DEM to Photoshop and produce a geotiff from there that can be used in MAPublisher and elsewhere. Indeed, as David Medeiros pointed out, MAPublisher's raster functionality is limited to automatic placement and resizing, but reprojection, mosicking and other spatial raster operations can also be done in Photoshop via Geographic Imager.
Thanks
Ted

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#7
Dustin Edge

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Hi Darryl

If you are after freeware, then I would definitely recommend MicroDEM and if you dont mind paying a few dollars ($350 USD) then I'd suggest GlobalMapper. It's got great support and alot of functionality...

To make skewed terrains (fish-eye effect) I found "TerrainBender"
http://www.terrainca.../terrainbender/

Enjoy
Kind Regards,

Dustin


Dustin Edge
Snr GIS Analyst
AECOM Australia

#8
DHissemGISCARTO

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Thank you so much everyone for the information, I'm still fighting it out trying to get my ArcGIS, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator with MP 8.1 to work all together to make a presentable shade relief but the problems continue to arise and getting quite flustered. May need to take a break from cartography and well be a house painter of something...

CIAO
Darryl Hissem
"The virtue of maps, they show what can be done!"




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