Shaded Relief

Ideas and Techniques about Relief Presentation on Maps


The goal of this site is to assist cartographers with the presentation of shaded relief, 3D panoramas, and related raster art on maps. I work as a cartographer for the US National Park Service, Harpers Ferry Center.

For additional shaded relief information I recommend:

Tom Patterson...Bio

Disclaimer and copyright

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New and updated stuff!

October 24, 2015

Designing an Experimental Visitor Map of Grand Canyon's South Rim

View step-by-step slides about designing a map for the millions of people who visit the park for only four hours or less. Borrowing from transit maps, the new South Rim map employs variable scale and depicts roads diagrammatically.

World Political Map

A map of world countries that is in the public domain. You can download a PDF or an Adobe Illustrator map file with editable layers, including MAPublisher georeferencing. The map is available in your choice of three projections.

Manual Shaded Relief of the World

This page describes a generalized shaded relief that I drew, intended for making small-scale maps of the world and continents. The relief image registers with Natural Earth vector data. It is available as a grayscale GeoTIFF (10,800 x 5,400 pixels).

Patterson Cylindrical Projection

The Patterson is designed for general-purpose mapmaking. It has a relatively compact 0.57 height-to-width aspect ratio that fits nicely in reports, web pages, or any project needing a world map with a rectangular format.

Gallery of US National Park Bird's-eye Views

Peruse an image gallery showcasing 3D oblique views of cultural, historical, and natural sites nationwide. The art represents some 35 years of work by NPS staff and contract illustrators, in both traditional and digital form.