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Wall map of Colorado's Terrain - plan oblique relief with landcover

- - - - - Colorado wall map poster plan oblique relief landcover NLCD NED relief

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#1
jdvarner

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I've been working on a new wall map of Colorado (41 by 31 inches) that shows the terrain in plan oblique relief, combined with landcover coloration, with labels for all the major landscape features, towns, ski areas, etc.

I used Natural Scene Designer to render the plan oblique relief. I'm also experimenting with Patrick Kennelly's hillshading techniques using sky models: https://speakerdeck....terrain-metrics, which makes for a nice effect -- I like how it accentuates the shadows in deep canyons.

 

I showed an earlier version of this map (which used hypsometric tinting instead of landcover) at the NACIS poster gallery in Greenville.

 

Please let me know what you think! Is this relief portrayal effective? I'm trying to make the terrain easily interpret-able, with an immediately recognizable "3D" effect. What do you think about the label density, especially in somewhat crowded areas like the Front Range? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

 

Cheers,

Jesse

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  • DaveB, chris henrick and Natural Graphics like this

Jesse Varner

NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)

and Visible Terrain

Boulder, Colorado


#2
Anton van Tetering

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Hi Jesse,

 

I love the oblique 3D effect: the mountains are very clearly visible as higher points. The oblique effect gives the impression that you look from the south but the map is clearly a 'normal' geographic map. That's a very nice effect! I don't think the label density is too high in the Front Range: all labels are easily distinguishable. Because you use different colors for the different types of features, there's never doubt about what label belongs to which feature.

 

Anton


Anton van Tetering

Studio Haverstraat maps and panoramic photography
http://www.studio-haverstraat.nl

#3
Natural Graphics

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Plan oblique relief does a nice job of outlining the tops of ridges and peaks, which makes it well suited for mountain ranges. Several years ago, Tom Patterson suggested that I add it to Natural Scene Designer Pro, and I'm glad I did. 

 

...I think the label density is fine. They might show up better by lightening the forest green -- but it's hard to judge on the screen vs. print.

 

Brett Casebolt

Software Developer

Natural Graphics



#4
Dennis McClendon

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I'm bothered by the highway shields, which visually pop up above everything.  I'd try making them the same dark red as the highways, with the numbers in white, to see if they lie better on the ground.

 

In addition, I think the symbology for various towns is a bit too complex, requiring a legend to understand.  I'd suggest just using three or four different-size circles or squares.  I don't know that many people still use a map like this to determine the exact population of a municipality.

 

Finally, the shape of Colorado is so symmetrical that the layout looks a bit unbalanced. I think you might like the effect of making the title big and all-caps across the top of the state, in a crisp serif face like Trajan, rather than fighting for legend space.  Maybe in the blue of the state flag.  I assume you plan this as a poster to be sold.  The legend could also be organized to be wide and not very deep, centered at the bottom.  


Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#5
Agnar Renolen

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Perhaps, a lighter shade of forest green will make the labels more legible.

#6
EOSGIS

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Pretty map Jesse, and a lot of work well done. Perhaps, just to "fine tune" the relief, I would sugest to use what Tom Peterson m
Named bump mapping. I mean, rendering the plan oblique with a generalised dem with the vertical scale exagerated, and another one with a finer detail dem. A third one using the first dem with the fine one as a texture. Then.... Play merging the three images in photoshop.
I mention this because i see that the terrain relief looks with too many "peaks".
I normally use this technique with Lan Oblique relief.
Best regards

#7
ELeFevre

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Nice maps Jesse. I think you could eliminate some of the city classes. It takes some decoding when I'm not sure it's necessary or really adds anything. As far as label density goes, I'm fine with what's shown. If anything I don't think you need to show so many streets and roads - especially on the Front Range. At this scale most of the street level information isn't usable. I'd trim it down and show the majors. As far as the relief goes, I think it looks great. You may want to tone down the Coniferous forest class. It's a bit strong. Well done! 

 

Erin





#8
Gretchen Peterson

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Just a quick thought, and completely my own opinion, but I thought it was too green. I live in Colorado and I really never think of this state as being green. Lots of white right now. :) Lots of brown when there isn't snow on the ground, and maybe a bit of green in the summer. Color is so subjective though, so you can take it or leave it, as the saying goes.



#9
Dale Sanderson

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... I thought it was too green. I live in Colorado and I really never think of this state as being green. Lots of white right now. :) Lots of brown when there isn't snow on the ground, and maybe a bit of green in the summer...

 

That's true, but then why not just drape an aerial photo over the relief to get the background coloration?  Now that would be an ugly map.  Rather, I think his coloration was intended to give some indication of the variations in land cover, and I think he's done a nice job.


Dale Sanderson
professionally: cartographics manager for Dex One
personally: cartophile and road-geek (my website)

#10
Matthew Hampton

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Great map Jesse.

 

I think incorporating the 10 different classes of "land cover" on the PlanOblique really makes this map live and breath.  I wouldn't change much at all except for maybe add some curvature to the North Park label (which seems to have an odd angle/placement) and working out some of the "marketable layout" issues that Dennis mentions.  

 

I would like to buy a copy.


co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Colorado, wall map, poster, plan oblique relief, landcover, NLCD, NED, relief

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