Shaded Relief

Creating Elegant Type Halos on Maps

An Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop tutorial describing a technique for creating delicate halos that improve type legibility and blend softly with background shaded relief and satellite images.

Creating Color Coordinated Shaded Relief

This tutorial introduces a Photoshop procedure for applying grayscale shaded relief to map colors without a muddying effect. Relief detail is maintained. The procedure works well with most types of maps, including land cover and hypsometric tints.

Adding XYZ Tiles to MAPublisher Maps

This tutorial introduces a quick way to add satellite images and raster reference maps, available as XYZ Tiles, to Illustrator/MAPublisher documents. The imported images will register with your map regardless of which projection it uses.

Sentinel-2 Photoshop Tutorial

This tutorial explains how to process Sentinel-2 satellite data, released by the European Space Agency for free, into beautiful natural color images. The techniques employ Geographic Imager, a GIS plugin for Photoshop.

Updating and Enhancing Maps with Landsat 8

A guest blog post on the Avenza website. I discuss two map examples: Prince William Sound, Alaska, where I used Landsat to update glacier extents. And the Big Island of Hawaii where I extracted natural textures from Landsat images.

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.

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.

Terrain Texture Shader – Software for Enhancing Shaded Relief on Maps

This software renders DEMs to produce texture shading images that, when combined with shaded relief, accentuate landform details and enhance three dimensionality. You can also create rock textures that resemble rock art on Swiss topographic maps.

Landsat 8 Photoshop Tutorial  

This tutorial, aimed at mapmakers and illustrators, discusses where to get and how to make Landsat 8 scenes in Adobe Photoshop. The focus is on creating natural-color images that look similar to what an astronaut looking down at Earth would see.

Creating Web Map Shaded Relief

In this tutorial you will find a recipe for making multi-scale shaded relief in Natural Scene Designer Pro 6.0. The goals: producing light, generalized shaded reliefs for general-purpose web maps. And creating reliefs with consistent detail and density that would flow seamlessly from one zoom level to the next.

Creating value-enhanced shaded relief in Photoshop

This tutorial introduces a four-step procedure in Adobe Photoshop for enhancing previously rendered shaded relief so that they contain both contrast and detail.

See the light: How to make illuminated shaded relief in Photoshop 6.0

A simple technique for adding illumination to shaded relief using an adjustment layer and the Hue/Saturation dialog.

Resolution bumping GTOPO30 in Photoshop: How to make high mountains more legible

This procedure explains how to manipulate small-scale digital elevation data in Photoshop to give rugged high mountains a more natural appearance on shaded relief and 3D scenes.

Retro Relief Shading with Adobe Photoshop and a Wacom Tablet

An examination of manual/digital techniques for enhancing digitally-generated shaded relief. It includes a discussion of relief shading concepts, before and after illustrations, and a two-minute long animation, from start to finish, of manual shading in Adobe Photoshop.

Colorizing grayscale Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles (DOQs) in Photoshop

Includes a step-by-step tutorial, illustrations, and a downloadable sample file.

Making 3D block maps in Bryce

Techniques in Bryce for presenting DEMs on 3D block bases and extruding geographic shapes as slabs.

Creating Swiss-style shaded relief in Photoshop

This tutorial explains how to convert typical digital shaded relief to the style used on Swiss topographic maps. The site contains a downloadable Photoshop Action to automate shaded relief conversion.

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