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

dividersmall1a dividersmall2a dividersmall3a dividersmall4

New and updated stuff!

March 5, 2015

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.

Mountains Unseen: Developing a Relief Map of the Hawaiian Seafloor

An article in Cartographic Perspectives (No. 76) about developing the Seafloor Map of Hawai‘i. The article explains how to depict the huge mountains and canyons of undersea Hawai‘i with multi-beam bathymetry and plan oblique relief.

Mountain Cartography Workshop Maps

My experiments with the new Terrain Texture Shader app to create relief maps with rock textures, presented at the ICA Mountain Cartogtaphy Workshop, Banff, Alberta. The maps include Glacier National Park, Montana, and Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

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.