back Author Index Title Index Track Index  


Using ArcGIS to Apply Textures and Materials to Relief Backdrops in Cartographic Presentations
Track: Cartography and Map Production
Author(s): Jeffery Nighbert

Shaded or "painted" relief backdrops add tremendous visual interest and value to cartographic products. The addition of relief backdrops to maps has proven to be an effective technique for portraying realistic landscapes and geographical situations, and it is widely practiced in cartography today. However, the beautifully smoothed and colored shaded relief surfaces commonly seen as "backdrops" on many maps often do not reveal the true character of the ground being shown. By enhancing painted or shaded relief with textures and materials, more realistic information can be displayed. This provides map users with a better sense of the geographical situation present in the map. The information required to develop these geographic textures and materials can be derived from a number of widely available digital sources including digital aerial photography, satellite imagery and other GIS thematic data. Incorporation of this additional information is desirable and possible while still maintaining visual balance and readability. This presentation will discuss the concepts and philosophy behind the use of "geographic textures and materials." It will also provide a step-by-step application example showing how landscape-based textures and materials can be applied to cartographic backdrops using ArcGIS to create a dramatic, interesting, and informational cartographic presentation.

Jeffery Nighbert
Bureau of Land Management
1515 SW 5th Ave
Portland , OR 97208
Phone: 503-952-6399
Fax: 503-952-6419