Smathermather's Weblog

Remote Sensing, GIS, Ecology, and Oddball Techniques

On Generalization Blending for Shaded Relief

Posted by smathermather on January 29, 2017

somethingaboutmaps

I have nearly recovered sufficiently from an amazing NACIS conference, and I think I’m ready to get back to a little blogging. This time around, I’d like to present you all with an unfinished concept, and to ask you for your help in carrying it to completion. Specifically, I’d like to show you some attempts I’ve made at improving digital hillshades (I’ll be randomly switching terminology between ‘hillshade’ and ‘shaded relief’ throughout).

Automated, straight-out-of-your-GIS hillshades are usually terrible, and it generally takes some extra cleanup work to get them to the point where they aren’t embarrassing or won’t burst into flames simply by being put next to a well-executed manual shaded relief. Here’s an example I stole from shadedreliefarchive.com which illustrates the problem:

The computer doesn’t see the big picture — that every little bump in elevation can sum to a large mountain, or that some bumps are more critical…

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