Tag: Hillshade

How To: Fake Plastic Maps


Existential Introduction This post will show you how to make realistic-looking fake maps by faking realism over something real, in order to make it look realistically fake. Got it? Let’s do this! I’m a big fan of using transparency-laden color … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Pro, Cartographic Design, Imagery, Mapping, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Introducing Esri’s Next Generation Hillshade

Swiss Alps

Recently, we released an update to the Esri global collection of multi-scale, multi-resolution and multi-source World Elevation services. These global elevation services enable you to create stunning visualizations, calculate aspect or slope, and provide a baseline for analysis and other … Continue reading

Posted in ArcGIS Online, Cartographic Design, Community Maps, Hydro, Imagery, Local Government, Mapping, Migrate, National Government, Services, State Government, Water Utilities, Web | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

An alternative to overlaying layer tints on hillshades

By Rajinder Nagi, Esri Cartographic Product Engineer

Overlaying rasters - thumbnail

A common cartographic technique is to transparently overlay a colored raster, called a layer tint, over a grayscale raster, like a hillshade or a panchromatic aerial or satellite image. When you display a colored raster transparently over a grayscale raster, you lose the intensity of your colors and that it is harder to see the hillshade details. Continue reading

Posted in Imagery, Mapping, Migrate | Tagged , | 44 Comments

Mosaic Datasets: A new way to help speed up Community Basemap production

This blog post is intended to show two process improvements developed to produce hillshade and the vegetation layer for the Community Basemap.    Both use the new ArcGIS 10 mosaic datasets.  Benefits of using mosaic datasets include no duplication that saves disk space, no modification of the source rasters and the ability to update the mosaic dataset as new data comes in.   The mosaic dataset allows for on-the-fly processing of the whole mosaic dataset that allows you to apply NDVI function or Hillshade function for Community Basemap layers. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Determining a Z-factor for scaling linear elevation units to match geographic coordinate values

It is common to see data in a geographic coordinate system (GCS).  It’s an easily understood, world-wide coordinate system, and many datasets use GCS as part of their spatial reference.  However, there are drawbacks to using a geographic coordinate system. One of the most prominent is evident when doing surface analyses over terrain with X,Y coordinates stored in latitude longitude and with elevation values stored in linear units such as meters. This is a problem because degrees of latitude and longitude are angular units measured on a sphere, and meters are linear units measured along a plane. Degrees of longitude are also of variable length, depending upon the latitude, and degrees of longitude represent significantly larger distances than meters over most of the globe (except very close to the poles). Continue reading

Posted in Defense | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Updated hillshade toolbox

By Aileen Buckley, Mapping Center Lead

I just posted a newly updated Hillshade toolbox on the ArcGIS Resources – Models, Tools & Scripts page. This replaces the toolbox of the same name that was there earlier. The new toolbox includes:

  1. The addition of some sample data that you can try the tools out on,
  2. Corrected path and environment settings, and
  3. Updated and complete documentation Continue reading
Posted in Mapping, Migrate | Tagged , | 21 Comments

Choosing color ramps and displaying for hillshade rasters

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer


Using ArcMap to symbolize a hillshade raster layer (the output of the Spatial or 3D Analyst’s Hillshade tool) is pretty straightforward, and the default symbology (black to white ramp) doesn’t look too bad. In fact, if your hillshade layer is the only layer in your map, and if you don’t mind not seeing some of the details that have been visually absorbed into the darker tones, the default symbology is okay. To be fair, the default symbology for hillshades is useful for much more than just terrain depictions, so it’s good to know what might be helpful when depicting terrain with a hillshade. The image to the left is an example of a hillshade using the default color ramp. Continue reading

Posted in Imagery, Mapping | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Suggested workflow for creating hillshades

By Charlie Frye, Esri Chief Cartographer


A few months ago I wrote a blog entry called setting the Z Factor parameter correctly, and I used the Hillshade tool as the example. Since then several people wrote into Ask a Cartographer with questions related to using the Hillshade tool, and we’ve responded additional guidelines that are worth sharing more broadly. Together, these guidelines form the basis our standard workflow in producing hillshade datasets.

Continue reading

Posted in Mapping | Tagged , , | Leave a comment