There are lots of reasons to cloak your terrain in a fluffy ephemeral layer of mist. It gives an overall sense of the slope and elevation trends in your view, it showcases meandering river valleys in a charming realism, hilltops peak through with clarity and drama…and it just provides a strange emotional buzz. Clarity through shrouding. Knowledge through obfuscation. It shouldn’t work, but it does.
Here’s how to wrap your ArcGIS Online map in an intriguing layer of fog…
0:11 Adding the elevation feed from Living Atlas
0:35 Inverting the grayscale gradient so white is at the bottom
1:06 Screen blend mode to en-mistify the elevation
1:30 Transparency and Gamma to tweak the effect
Here are some before-after examples of adding mist to ArcGIS Online (over the World Imagery basemap).
Give it a shot! You should know, that because the elevation layer is an image service it will fetch the whole map view as a single image. Unlike the rapid fetching of tiles, this might take a moment. But if rapid rendering performance isn’t your goal, then this tradeoff might be well worth it.
And here’s a demo from Jeremy Bartley showing dynamic range rendering of tiles (I didn’t know you could do that!), using elevation data on the Iberian Peninsula: https://jsapi.maps.arcgis.com/apps/mapviewer/index.html?webmap=180fb4ca13e4477bb6a5f87ccefe1575
If you are wondering how to do this in ArcGIS Pro, here’s a one-minute video.
Always learning and frequently surprised! Have fun with this method and breathe some terrain energy into your maps.