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Name of contour-ish lines for water bodies

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#1
tangnar

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Two questions:

 

1) Is there a term for the contour-ish lines that were sometimes used for water bodies, especially on some USGS topos (example in linked image)?  They are not really contours, more just a fill of parallel like lines. 

 

2) Does anyone know of an automated method, in a GIS or graphics program, for creating this effect? 

 

Thanks!

 

map_usgs_topo_underwood_mountain_1929.jp



#2
hasecbinusr

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Bathymetric contours. http://en.m.wikipedi...thymetric_chart

You can make these in Arc with a bathymetric DEM.

 

EDIT:  Use the normal elevation contours tool in Arc, but run it on the bathymetric data.  Set your break points and voila. Just realize that depending on your dataset, the values will be negative or positive, but both represent depth from MSL (again, depending on the dataset's zero-reference).

 

EDIT 2: In lieu of bathymetric data, you can use compound strokes in Illustrator to achieve a mimc effect, but it will be deceptive because it would not accurately represent the depth changes.



#3
David Medeiros

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So what you are asking about are coastal vignettes specifically, and not bathymetric contours as they don't follow the bathymetry in any way.

 

In Arc you'd simply use a series of buffers off the coastline set at and increasing interval away from the shore. The same is more or less true in AI (except it's jus plain easier). You can use the path offset tool in AI.


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#4
Hans van der Maarel

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Here's some old topics covering how to create them:

http://www.cartotalk...?showtopic=5644 (Ortelius)

http://www.cartotalk...?showtopic=3385 (ArcMap)

http://www.cartotalk...?showtopic=2483 (Illustrator/MAPublisher)


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#5
tangnar

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yes, looks like one term is coastal vignette. However, it looks like this refers more often to a color gradient rather than just a set of lines. 

 

After some searching, I ran across someone calling it 'water lining'. I series of buffers may work for this, but i'm not sure what will happen when they intersect, say in the middle of a river/lake. 



#6
hasecbinusr

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So what you are asking about are coastal vignettes specifically, and not bathymetric contours as they don't follow the bathymetry in any way.


I must've misunderstood OP. I thought the goal was achieving an accurate depiction of the geospatial data, not artistic noise. As I noted in my edit 2 of my last post, you can create these from bathymetric data if accuracy is desired. If you merely want the effect and don't care about potentially confusing the map viewer, vignettes would be your way to go. I would recommend noting somewhere that the vignettes do not imply depth changes though, especially if you have elevation contours on the land.

#7
David Medeiros

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yes, looks like one term is coastal vignette. However, it looks like this refers more often to a color gradient rather than just a set of lines. 

 

After some searching, I ran across someone calling it 'water lining'. I series of buffers may work for this, but i'm not sure what will happen when they intersect, say in the middle of a river/lake. 

 

Coastal vignette is the typical term for either approach to accenting the shorelines, 'water lining' is what you say when you can't remember the other term. ; )

 

As the buffers around bays or near-shore islands approach other lines they coalesce or merge into one another so there are no overlapping or intersecting lines. Also I would not typically run them across an entire body of water but just some distance from shore. See the image below for a rough example of this technique in AI. Notice that in addition to increasing line spacing the lines also thin incrementally away from shore.

 

chnf5wtedot1b40j3kn880pn81yati4m.jpg


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#8
David Medeiros

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So what you are asking about are coastal vignettes specifically, and not bathymetric contours as they don't follow the bathymetry in any way.


I must've misunderstood OP. I thought the goal was achieving an accurate depiction of the geospatial data, not artistic noise. As I noted in my edit 2 of my last post, you can create these from bathymetric data if accuracy is desired. If you merely want the effect and don't care about potentially confusing the map viewer, vignettes would be your way to go. I would recommend noting somewhere that the vignettes do not imply depth changes though, especially if you have elevation contours on the land.

 

 

Yeah that was the main reason for my reply, to help clarify for the OP the difference between these methods.

 

It may be an artistic detail, but I don't think I'd call this 'noise', especially if done well. If your coastal vignettes are being mistaken for bathymtery you don't need a note, you probably need a different approach to styling them, or just leave them off all together.


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#9
tangnar

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 Notice that in addition to increasing line spacing the lines also thin incrementally away from shore.

 

Nice note on the decreasing thickness, that's a good touch. And thanks all for clarifying the 'vignette' term for this.

 

 I've noticed that many older USGS maps fill lakes and rivers with these lines rather than with solid color, which I would guess had to do with printing.  



#10
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It may be an artistic detail, but I don't think I'd call this 'noise', especially if done well. If your coastal vignettes are being mistaken for bathymetry you don't need a note, you probably need a different approach to styling them, or just leave them off all together.

 

 

One reason to use coastal vignettes is to improve the figure-ground, e.g. to make the visual hierarchy clear for the viewer.


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#11
tangnar

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If anyone is interested, I made a little python script tool for doing this quickly in Arc.  It's just a series of buffers created and then merged.  The tool takes a base value for the increments and increases it exponentially for the number of steps you specify. You can adjust these values based on your scale and desired effect. I can send the tool to you if anyone wants, or even just the code.  Examples from it are below. 


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#12
Adam Wilbert

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The forum provides code tags for just this sort of thing & they never get any attention here, unfortunately. I'd encourage you to post the script for posterity, maybe we can get a trend going! Look for the < > icon when posting.

your code goes here

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#13
tangnar

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Adam, sure thing.  Here's the code.  Note that this is written to be added to an Arc Toolbox and run from there.  Arc Help on adding python script to toobox.  I am also attaching the toolbox with script embedded if someone wants to just pick it up and use it. Suggestions gladly accepted, or modify in any way for yourself. 

#~~~~Python script for quickly creating a water body vignette in Arc.
#~~~~Set up for use in an Arc toolbox. 

import arcpy
import math
import os

#Get variables from dialog
workspace = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0)
waterbody = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)
waterName = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(2)
base = arcpy.GetParameter(3) #long int
steps = arcpy.GetParameter(4) #long int
power = arcpy.GetParameter(5) #double

#set workspace
arcpy.env.workspace = workspace

arcpy.AddMessage("Creating buffers based on base and steps...")

#Complete buffer analysis using user-defined parameters
def waterLining (base, steps):
    count=1
    for x in range(0,steps):
        #formula to calculate intervals between lines. is negative for Arc buffering inside polygon
        distance = -(base*math.exp(power*count))+base
        #same formula as above but positive for adding to attribute table.
        distancePos = (base*math.exp(power*count))+base
        arcpy.Buffer_analysis(waterbody, "buffer"+waterName+str(count), distance,"OUTSIDE_ONLY","ROUND","ALL")
        arcpy.AddField_management("buffer"+waterName+str(count), "bufferDist", "FLOAT")
        arcpy.CalculateField_management("buffer"+waterName+str(count), "bufferDist", distancePos, "PYTHON_9.3")
        count=count+1
        
waterLining(base, steps)

arcpy.AddMessage("Merging buffers...")

#Merge buffer feature classes to single feature class and delete individuals
fClasses = []
i=0

fcs = arcpy.ListFeatureClasses("buffer*")

for fc in fcs:
    fClasses.append(fc)
    i=i+1

arcpy.Merge_management(fClasses, "waterLines"+waterName)

arcpy.AddMessage("Deleting individual buffer feature classes...")

for feature in fClasses:
    arcpy.Delete_management(feature)

arcpy.AddMessage("Finished creating water lines!")    

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#14
hphillips

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'Waterlining' was an elegant solution to a technical issue in printing when maps were produced from artwork engraved on copper plates.  At print time the plate would be liberally inked then the excess ink completely wiped off. Ink in the engraved linework and engraved text was protected from wiping and retained by capillary action. No solid areas of color were possible because the ink would get wiped away. Waterlining was a work-around cartographic solution to depict areal water features that was both elegant and artistic. 
 
The USGS probably printed very few maps directly from copper plates because it was a slow process and the pressures involved and repeated wiping would quickly destroy the plates.  Most of the USGS maps that exhibit waterlining were printed lithographically using transfers taken from the engraved plates then transferred to lithographic stones. The process used to produce a transfer was similar to direct intaglio printing except that a special transfer paper and especially greasy ink was used. The waterlining in the resultant printed maps reflected their lineage from a copper plate master. 
 
Modern printing techniques can easily depict areal features in solid color. The use of waterlining now lends only an old-tymey feel to a map without any technical need to do it. And has been pointed out, waterlining is sometimes confused with bathymetery when there is no basis in depth data. I still kind of like it though!

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#15
David Medeiros

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I was being flippant about waterlines before, but looks like I was mistaken about the terminology. I actually thought waterlines more specifically referred to the kind of horizontal lines used to fill water bodies in older lithographic maps while vignetting referred to the radial fading lines (as well as the gradient). Both waterlines I guess.

 

_81833276_isleofwhite.jpg

 

1915-sf-bay-map.jpg


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