I submitted this map to the student poster competition at the 2013 NACIS Conference (my first!). I designed the map as a final project for an intro cartography course at the University of Minnesota. I used the assignment as a chance to explore techniques for using shaded relief and bump mapping to make a realistic/intuitive map of a place I know intimately. Initially, I set out to design a tourism-style map, but the project evolved into a more personal documentation of my favorite spots in this landscape, highlighted by pictures I've taken.
You can view the map and download the full PDF on my site here: http://mtaylorlong.c...ch-and-environs
To make this map I unabashedly mimicked the shaded relief and vegetation bump mapping techniques promoted by Tom Patterson of the National Park Service. I love this natural style of mapping because it's so intuitive and approachable.
Seeing some of the other maps in the gallery (especially Aaron's winning poster) reminded me that I still have a lot to learn. My goal is not only to get better at using these techniques, but to become more efficient in their construction. With little more than a DEM and landcover, we can design intuitive, engaging, (dare I add beautiful?) basemaps. The only excuse not to make your own is time. I'm especially interested in designing in this style for scaleable tiled basemaps. I saw some inspiring examples of this at NACIS, and I'm eager to try it for myself.
Let's beyond the Google basemap. Let's make our own tiled basemaps, carefully designed to meet our audience's needs, and let's not forget to also make them gorgeous.