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!

January 20, 2018

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.

Natural Scene Designer Pro 7.0 Tutorial

Natural Scene Designer (NSD) Pro 7.0, now available for Mac and Windows, offers a slew of new features for creating 3D scenes and shaded relef maps. I review my favorite features and improvements, including tips on their use.

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.