Download and install Terrain Tools for ArcGIS, which includes different techniques for terrain representation including the Sky Models used here, as well as sample data and a workbook.
The Green River cuts through 91 miles of red sandstone cliffs to form a region in the Western US known as Flaming Gorge. We love how this terrain map captures the landscape’s stark beauty. Custom hillshade adds depth and drama while modest terrain coloring plays a strong contrast to river symbology. This map could act as a background, or stand on its own to showcase the morphology.
Carefully rendered terrain takes center stage. This map works because it creates a realistic landscape with multiple point sources for illumination and shadows based on local lighting. The map authors employ their own Sky Model techniques to generate custom hillshades. This advanced method is available to ArcGIS users, too.
Working in the shadows, Pat strives to create shaded relief maps that jump out and grab the viewer.
Originally working in computer graphics, James tries to provide better understanding of cartographic data through shading and lighting.
If you liked this map, check out these other Maps We Love that explore similar topics.