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 worked as a cartographer for the US National Park Service, Harpers Ferry Center, until retiring in 2018.

For additional shaded relief information I recommend:

Tom Patterson...Bio


Disclaimer and copyright

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New and updated stuff!

February 2, 2019

Equal Earth - Physical Wall Map

Download a high-resolution world map featuring the Equal Earth projection. The focus is on the natural world—terrain, rivers and lakes, vegetation, land cover, and the ocean floor—free of obscuring country boundaries. The map is free of charge.

Equal Earth Map Projection

The Equal Earth map projection is a new equal-area pseudocylindrical projection for world maps. Created as a visually pleasing alternative to the Gall-Peters projection, Equal Earth shows continents and countries at their true sizes relative to each other.

Adirondack Park Wall Maps

Two large, detailed maps of the large New York State park. One map depicts the physical environment—mountains, lakes, and rivers—and the other depicts state lands and cultural features. The high-resolution maps are ready to print on a large-format plotter.

Producing Manual Small-Scale Shaded Relief

My article published in the ICA 10th Mountain Cartography Workshop proceedings. The April 2016 workshop was held in the Alps near Berchtesgaden, Germany. For a PDF of the full workshop proceedings, click here.

Making 3D Terrain Maps

Here you will find ideas, advice, and tips about creating obliquely viewed 3D terrain maps, including examples of national park maps. The emphasis is on preparing small-scale scenes with Natural Scene Designer Pro and Adobe Photoshop.