Custom shaded relief maps

After a few weeks fiddling with the Blender 3D application to make smooth shaded reliefs, I decided to create raster tilesets that could be used with web mapping applications for a unique look. While the shading is not as accurate as multidirectional shading techniques used in GDAL and ArcGIS Pro, it makes a more artistic rendering.

To view a web page with samples, check out boydx.github.io/hugo-maps and also learn about the New Maps Plus program at the University of Kentucky).

Examples

Open ground features (click for high-resolution 13k version)
Kentucky bare-earth hillshade (click for hi-res 23k image)

Eating a PB&J by oak tree

Point cloud of kid eating lunch by a tree
Lidar point cloud from a handheld sensor

Having fun with lidar

Lexington has a awesome fall event called, Paint by Nature, which encourages folks to create artwork around notable trees in the city. These trees aren’t necessarily the largest or showiest in their area, but are highly suitable plantings for their ecological settings.

While I didn’t make a submission, I did map the trees and used various lidar sources to visualize them. Visit this 3D visualization powered with Potree point cloud renderer. A growing list of similar visualizations can be found here.

Map of trees

Visit the trees in the Paint by Nature program on this page.

Web site of maps

Sheltowee Trace elevation profile

Working on the 2020 update of the Sheltowee Trace maps using high-resolution DEMs derived from lidar point clouds. An elevation profile was created by sampling elevation every 264 feet along the 343-mile trail. This profile shows the proposed extension from Burnt Mill bridge to Rugby.

Enlarge

The resolution is high enough to see the indentation of wider trail beds, which helps verify GPS data.

Trail bed observed new Gray’s Arch recreation area

The updated trail maps should be at the printer by mid-July.

Woodland Art Fair time!

Come down to the Kentucky Art Market and Woodland Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday,  August 17 and 18, 2019. We have new t-shirts of the Red River Gorge.

The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or thereabouts.

Our booth location and coordinates are shown on the below map. We’ll be between Troublesome and Difficulty Creeks, at least spirit! Find us on the Woodland Christian Church side of the fair at the shady bottom of the hill.

Toward a scenic trail index

Sheltowee Trace, Daniel Boone National Forest, and Big South Fork scenic trail index
Visit the web page

Over the years we’ve pursued some measure that reveals the character of 900+ miles of trail here. Often we talk about a trail’s length or steepness with other dimensions gleaned from the base map. In this experiment, we are creating zones at discreet locations along trails and estimating the character of that location.

Over 14,000 polygons are shown on this 3D Mapbox map. The color indicates the type of scenery and height shows how much relief is the area. Future additions to this map include adding a searching tool and summary statistics for each trail.

Red River Gorge t-shirt

T-shirt front

Looking for a new fashion statement?

We’ve printed a map of the Red River Gorge on a 100%-cotton, heavy-weight t-shirt.

This double-sided t-shirt will be first available at the Kentucky Art Market, which is adjacent to the Woodland Arts Fair. This August 2019.

T-shirt back

West Sixth Farm trail map

Took an afternoon to GPS map the trail network at the West Sixth farm outside of Frankfort, Kentucky. You can download the map here https://www.westsixth.com/farmtrailmap.

West Sixth Farm trail map
Preview of the map

The farm maintains a mountain bike trail with technical features and one-way trails. Enjoy a ride and then a brew.

lidar point cloud render
View an interactive 3D map of the area

As an experiment, we added a 3D map from a lidar point cloud viewable here: https://outragegis.com/pointclouds/w6.

New Maps Plus projects

Visit the full-screen map.

I began teaching at New Maps Plus in October 2015. Students have made many awesome maps since then. This ‘map of maps’ shows projects going back to early 2017. Many of the early projects utilized CartoDB (now CARTO), which has evolved considerably over the years. While technology and visualization techniques change, a map is also an artistic pursuit and perhaps can withstand the ebb and flow of tech design styles.

New images and data from GOES-16

Visit the page to view and download imagery

Over Christmas break, it was time to automate collecting and displaying the incredibly detailed imagery from the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager. A problem that plagued previous efforts was not accessing the raw data, a netCDF formatted file for the contiguous U.S. which can be downloaded freely from a variety of cloud data hosts. With the raw data, one can project, modify and use it in web mapping libraries like Leaflet.

This page offers a slippy map of grayscale and color imagery and is updated every 15 minutes. You can download GeoTIFFs of rendered layers that can be used in GIS applications.

Arches mapping project

During the Fall 2018 semester, students mapped and visited arches and waterfalls in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge Geological Area. They adopted an arch or waterfall and produced maps, analyses, 3D visualizations, and a web page that explores their arch. Visit the site.

Arches in the Red River Gorge

Red River Gorge map update

Natural Bridge profile from point cloud

Natural Bridge profile from point cloud

This summer we are planning an update to our popular Red River Gorge trail map. Since the release of the Lidar point cloud data for Daniel Boone National Forest, we have been excited to start the project. With a pixel resolution of 5-foot, this is the most detailed elevation layer we have for the Red River Gorge. Let’s take a look at some samples. An elevation profile of the well-known landmark, Natural Bridge arch, shows canopy slightly dimmed and you can clearly see the arch.

Cliffs over 100 feet in Chimney Top area

Cliffs over 100 feet in Chimney Top area

Many other interesting analyses are planned; for example, where are the high cliffs and overlooks? In the right image, we show the cliffs over 100-feet in height. We can clearly see the high cliffs of Pinch ‘Em Tight, Chimney Top, and the other high cliffs the line the Red River.

Cliffs over 220 feet in Small Wall area along Red River

Cliffs over 220 feet in Small Wall area along Red River

Of course, the inclination is to find the highest cliff in the Red River Geological Area. With a preliminary analysis, we have found the Small Wall climbing area has one of the highest cliffs at 220-feet.

Bluegrass trails, a student mapping project

Bluegrass trails, a student mapping project

Over the course of the spring 2018 semester, UKy Geography students mapped public areas in the Kentucky Bluegrass that offered hiking, walking, or recreation to the public. They could select from one of 10 areas that offered strenuous cliff-lined hiking, sculpture garden walks, or lake-view dog parks.

tastyfreeze.github.io/bluegrass/region/

Students map Town Branch Trail

Town Branch Trail in maps

Students create many maps and a website for the soon-to-be-built Town Branch Trail during the Spring 2017 semester in the GEO 409 (Advanced Topics in GIS) in the Department of Geography, University of Kentucky. We used mainly open source GIS software QGIS and GitHub to create and publish our maps.

We used mainly open source GIS software QGIS and GitHub to create and publish our maps. For the final project, students grouped into separate teams for web page production, field GPS and photography, story production, and 3D mapping.

An interactive map of the content produced for the final project can be found in the following map:

[Read more…]

Sheltowee Trace interactive mobile map

Locate yourself on the ST

We’ve updated our map of the Sheltowee Trace on our ST site: sheltoweetrace.com/hike. The map has symbols for official recreation sites and trails for the Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and Cumberland Falls and Natural Bridge State Resort Parks. Of course, it has the ST and mile markers from the northern terminus.

Since we deployed this map last year, we have updated the Leaflet and MapBox JS to make the work with a GPS-enabled device as long as you have a cellular data connection. The points of interests and trails are clickable with useful travel information.

Our next goal is to fill out the map with more scenic destinations and include more photographs. Let us know if you have any suggestions.

[Read more…]

Cranksgiving 2017 map

This map is for Cranksgiving 2017, bicycle competition and food raiser for God’s Pantry Food Bank. I put it online this year since the race had about 5x as many grocery stores. Check out the printed manifest and the mobile map: https://outragegis.com/cranksgiving [Read more…]

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