Arandil's picture

I've been out of the loop here for some time, but I'm wondering if map products will provide contour maps of geography? (Perhaps the layered PDFs already do?)

I'm a Terragen/World Machine/Leveller/Wilbur/soon-to-be Global Mapper user, and contour maps would be quite handy for generating 3D terrain maps for rendering photo-realistic images of Kèthîran terrain (at some point anyway, I've got other projects in the works ATM).


Robin's picture

Some maps will have contours and some will not. Some will have benchmarks (or spot heights). It's all about the context and what provides the best (or cleanest) information yield.

Arandil's picture

Gotcha, that makes sense Robin. I was curious about visualizing geography in 3D, a la Nasa's Worldwind or Terragen, but I'm so far from giving that a try that I'll likely just inquire again personally should I get to a place where I can make an attempt at this sort of thing.

Cheers, and Happy New Year!

Damian's picture

I've been dabbling in converting maps to 3d terrains using Vue 6. I haven't really delved very deeply, but I think there is great potential.

Contours and/or spot heights can be used to create Digital Elevation Maps, which I haven't really explored yet. So far I have I've experimented with creating greyscale maps using contours, then using these to create topography in Vue. It's time consuming but the results have been quite pleasing so far. Problem is, I haven't finished anything yet (vegetation, roads etc.)

Maybe we should swap notes?

Robin's picture

Our new maps are meant to give the best possible feel for the nature of 'what's on the ground'. This seems to work best with heavy use of relief shading and fairly light use of the kind of technical data you might find on a traditional topographic map. This is not because we don't like technical data; it's because the Vegetation & Relief maps are 'art' and technical data tends to mar their beauty.

Nevertheless, with layers, it's possible to have the best of both worlds, but not necessarily both worlds at the same time.

I suppose what I'm saying is that I am trying to produce data-enhanced ariel photographs rather than maps in a traditional sense.