This means you can digitally smash, for example, hillshade pixels into imagery pixels, resulting in all sorts of interesting cartographic concoctions.
Chiffon uses CSS filters to amp up the contrast of the World Imagery tiles then blends the World Hillshade tiles layers using “luminosity”. The result is a swoopy light hillshade layer tinted with elements of the land cover below. Here are some examples.
Bumpify, or terrain-augmented imagery, is a longstanding love of mine. In the past I’ve applied some variable opacity to a hillshade’s color scheme in ArcGIS Pro, but using the multiply blend mode you can apply it en masse in the browser. So simple. It helps give an extruded effect to the landscape, illustrating the terrain of a place not necessarily apparent in standard imagery.
Lastly, I made a dark styled basemap that reminded me of the big plaster maps behind a conclave of generals in grainy WWII movies. It uses CSS filters to brighten and twist the hues of the World Imagery tiles. World Hillshade tiles are then inverted (another CSS filter) and given a “luminosity” blend mode atop the imagery. The result is a dark and whispy topographic map with brightly reflective terrain and deep land cover hues. All this seems like magic to me. But API-possible magic.
Here is an app where you can explore these three styles live. Zoom and pan to your heart’s content. It’s pretty fun.
Here is the source code for that app. Note, there is varying browser support for blend modes. We’ve found that the browsers that are the most accommodating of them are Chrome and Edge. Firefox has issues rendering Chiffon fully. Opera has issues rendering War Room. So keep that generally in mind if you try out the blend mode parameter in the API for your apps.
Happy Blending! John