ArcGIS Pro

Kandy-Kolored Multidirectional Streamlined Hillshade

There are loads of hillshade algorithms out there, but the two off-the-shelf options that do the real heavy-lifting for we GIS/Map nerds are “traditional” and “multidirectional.”

Here is a teaser animation to give you a sense of the sort of the topographic thrill-ride you are about to embark upon:

I’ll deconstruct what they are, in my small chilly shed with poor video quality (don’t mind though; I’m best viewed with a strong blur)…

Part 1

But what happens when you dig into the individual light sources and apply a range of hues? Some sort of ecstatic multichromatic adventure, that’s what.

Part 2

Please, join me for part two. And share in my embarrassment at discovering well-too-late that a Snap filter was active for the video bits. Learn from my mistakes. If a colleague recommends you install Snap filters for your web meetings so you can look like a talking potato and stuff, just don’t do it. Do NOT let my artificially-piercing irises and baby-smooth skin distract you from the hard science of stacking multiple hues for additional topographic communication.

Here is a more detailed walk-through on the multi-colored bit, if you are curious. It’s a lot of fun. And useful. I was told once, by a cartographer who made maps for special forces teams, that including a color channel to communicate aspect is really appreciated by people who rely on maps to navigate rough terrain.

Here are a couple of examples…

Happy multidirectional multi-colored hillshading! John

About the author

I have far too much fun looking for ways to understand and present data visually, hopefully driving product strategy and engaging users. I work in the Content team at Esri, pushing and pulling data in all sorts of absurd ways -and then talking about it. I also get to spend time with the Story Maps team, working on fun and useful user experiences. When I'm not doing those things, I'm chasing around toddlers and wrangling chickens, and generally getting into other ad-hoc adventures. Life is good. Loads more how-to posts: esri.com/arcgis-blog/author/j_nelson/ My YouTube channel: youtube.com/c/JohnNelsonMaps Loads of Styles for Pro: esriurl.com/nelsonstyles Instagram: instagram.com/johnmnelson/

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