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[Maplift] Union County, Oregon (how much is too much?)

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#1
LaceyMoore

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This is my first maplift map, I'm hoping to add a few more but since this is where I live and work I have easy access to a lot of data and was able to do this on my lunch break.

https://www.dropbox....tyMap.png?dl=0 

 

 

I was wondering what other maplifters/carto talk members thought about this draft. I'm wondering is this is more detail than is appropriate for Wikipedia?

 

The important components that I wanted to communicate were that:
La Grande is the largest town.
There are 3 large mountains surrounding the populous area.
The Grande Ronde Valley is the where most of the population lives.

 

I left out agricultural lands, rivers and didn't touch on the beginning of two of the mountain ranges in the southwest and southeast corners.

 

I got really excited about my hillshade and elevation tint blending and might have missed the larger picture.

 

 

Thoughts/comments/suggestions would be greatly accepted!  



#2
David Medeiros

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Hi Lacey,

 

I think the hillshade is too dominant for a county reference map.

 

I'd reduce the Z factor (or make sure you are rending from a DEM that has been re projected to a system in the same linear units as the z units). An exaggerated Z factor is ok, but this looks more like a factoring error form mismatched linear units or an unprojected DEM.

 

I'd tine down the colors or even switch to a single color to reduce conflict with the main elements of the map, hte locations within the county. I think you'll find that a light hillshade in a single color ramp can still give a very good impression of the local topography.

 

With a lighter hillshade you may not need the big text halos. Otherwise the labeling looks good.

 

There is an ‘island effect’ here with the omission of any surrounding detail. I’d add terrain, boarders and labels for the surrounding counties, but use a mask to lighten the hillshade to place emphasis on Union Co.

 

Thanks for sharing, and contributing to MapLift. Post back your revisions if you make any.

 

David


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#3
LaceyMoore

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Thank you for the feedback! I really appreciate several of your suggestions, I will repost the updated version taking those into consideration.



#4
Matthew Hampton

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That is indeed a very richly tinted and dramatic hillshade that expresses the amazing topographic variability in the area.  Since the vertical relief is about 1500 meters, using a multi-color hypsometric tint isn't unwarranted but subtlety makes things more elegant.  I agree with Hans about experimenting with pulling back the hillshade and tinting and I think adding the Interstate and State Hwy would be a nice addition.

 

This makes the Grande Ronde look like an emerald valley!


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#5
Evan Derickson

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I think major roads would be a good addition, if only to show how the communities are linked. Did you decide to exclude rivers to keep the map uncluttered, or to avoid acquiring and reconciling the data? I think they are a good thing to have on a general reference map, but they can be a pain to line up with your hillshade.



#6
LaceyMoore

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Thanks Matt! Hope things are well over at Metro. :) 

 

 

Dericke, I definitely have lots of riparian data... What I don't have is anything newer than Illustrator CS4, so I've had a really hard time finding a work around for adjusting the line widths on rivers, to indicate flow from small tribs to the larger mainstem. Do you (or anyone else) know of a good work around?



#7
Dennis McClendon

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I never have tried the tapering lines; I just cut the streams into reaches (usually at a confluence or a big bend) and narrow the line weight, 0.1 point at a time, going upstream.  Near the source I end up with a 0.3 pt line (which was the practical lower limit in the early days of PostScript imagesetters).  When you're zoomed way in, you can see the shift in line weight, but at viewing size you don't notice it at all.


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Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#8
LaceyMoore

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Thank you everyone for your suggestions! In the end I couldn't find a great change to the hillshade/tint. I did play with some of the levels, saturation and opacity but couldn't find a direct substitute color ramp that I was happy with. I did try re-projecting the hillshade raster but found it was actually even more exaggerated. The raster I'm working with comes from a federal agency, and I have a bit of faith that they've done things right on the processing end but I may be missing a very obvious step on the cartography side.

 

The roads made a great addition, and surrounding counties/terrain, mountain ranges and rivers removed the isolation effect of the Grande Ronde Valley info. Rivers could probably use some work but slicing the vectors in illustrator is all I've actually had some success with although they are pretty pixelated.

 

https://www.dropbox....ntyMap.png?dl=0



#9
David Medeiros

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Good job with the surrounding area details. I think that really helps place the valley now.

 

I don't know the area although I can see it does have a lot of relief. It's possible the DEM actually has z exaggerated values as opposed to the raw values, or I'm just reading it as exaggerated from the shadows. If there is ever a question about a data source it can be a good idea to go back to the original source as you never know what has been done to your data as it passed though another agency (even an federal agency - or especially a federal agency depending on how cynical you are). The National Map Viewer wold have the raw NED files for this area, but it may not be worth the trouble unless you just want to experiment.


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#10
Evan Derickson

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The rivers and roads could probably use some simplification. I agree that they add to the map, but now they're a little complicated for the purpose and scale.

 

Also, how are you applying the hillshade? If you're currently using transparency, see how it looks using full opacity and a "Soft Light" blend mode instead. My personal preference is to put the hillshade over roads and rivers, so that they have an effect of following the contours of terrain.

 

If you're using NED/3DEP data already, the z-factor could be getting exaggerated if you reprojected it to state plane. NED/3DEP uses meters for vertical units, while your coordinate system could be using feet. That would exaggerate a generated hillshade.



#11
LaceyMoore

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David--thank you for that tip! I'll check out the National Map Viewer if nothing else to have good information for the future.

 

Okay so here's the details I can provide about the hillshade:
I reprojected to NAD 1983 UTM 11N (meter), which is the same linear unit as the DEM, although it really didn't make much of a visible difference.

The hillshade is blended using soft light, and I had cranked it down to 60% opacity. 
 

I think I'll spend some time looking for additional elevation data, rather than the stuff I had in my library and see if that makes a difference. The feedback is all very much appreciated!



#12
David Medeiros

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Hi Lacey, not to keep pushing this, I think it looks fine. But how did you create the hill shade? Is this in ArcGIS? Did you use the hill shade tool or just turn it on in the layer properties? For ArcGIS users, you will get different results from the tool and the layer properties based on screen size and map scale I think, where as you should get a correct looking hill shade from the tool (assuming same linear and vertical units).

 

For what it's worth to any one following this who may be interested in terrain work, Natural Scene Designer does a very good job with hill shades and is relatively inexpensive for what it does.


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#13
LaceyMoore

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David, this is ArcGIS to Photoshop project. And although I did this a couple years ago, it was created with the hillshade tool. It's a fairly large raster so I was trying to work with what I had, but I might need to start from scratch and/or see what the National Map Viewer can help me out with.







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