Animated Relief Shearing

Enhancing terrain perception for interactive maps

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Relief shearing exposes depth and shape information in terrain maps using ephemeral animations in 2D maps.Relief shearing improves depth perception when compared to standard 2D and perspective views.
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ElasticTerrain.xyz is a demo website with worldwide terrain shearing by Jonas Buddeberg.

Plan Oblique Relief

Seeing the third-dimension on flat maps

Plan oblique relief is a digital technique for rendering three-dimensional terrain on otherwise planimetric (conventional flat) maps. Landforms shown realistically in side view have an illustrative quality that appeals to readers.

Explore the interactive Plan Oblique Europe map or the static Crinkled Watercolor Map.
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Plan Oblique Europe
Map by Jonas Buddeberg, FOSS4G Map Gallery Most Unique Map Award 2014, FOSS4G People’s Choice Award 2014, NACIS Student Dynamic Map Competition.

3D Natural Hazard Maps

Communicating natural hazards with 3D maps

The recommended response to floods, tsunami, and volcanic hazards is for people to seek high ground, and many hazard maps produced for the public emphasise the safety of higher elevations. Because traditional contour maps are difficult to read for many, we evaluated more effective 3D perspective hazard maps.
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Lahar hazard zones and arrival times for Mt Hood, Oregon.
Map by Charles Preppernau, National Geographic Award in Mapping 2015, CaGIS Map Design Competition.

Projections for 3D Maps

Manipulating terrain to increase its readability

Why not deform the terrain for 3D maps? Watch the movie above to see how the size, orientation, and shape of individual landscape features can be adjusted to adjust their visibility and make the map easier to read.
Terrain Bender applies progressive bending to digital terrain models. It offers interactive tools to add a bent base to a digital terrain model. Terrain Bender has been used by National Geographic cartographers to create maps for their magazine, for example, a map of Mt. St. Helens.
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Map with progressive projection created with Terrain Bender

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Strip format panorama map along a train track. The train track was rectified to a straight line along the central axis.