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Mapping and visualization (scottreinhard.com)
127 points by fanf2 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

A lot of data comes from NYC open data:

Massive collection of raw lidar, contour, GIS data: ftp://ftp.gis.ny.gov

NYC Open Data (GIS related): https://github.com/CityOfNewYork/nyc-geo-metadata

An example direct download link from the NYC data website: https://data.cityofnewyork.us/browse?tags=dem

More Lidar links https://gis.ny.gov/elevation/lidar-coverage.htm

From Cornell, Elevation example, (AWS s3 links): https://cugir.library.cornell.edu/catalog/cugir-008186?isoto...

I think it's absolutely fantastic that you can get stuff like that from a city's homepage.

Absolutely. Open access to terabytes of lidar data is awesome.

It would be interesting to know which tool & dataset the author used to produce those visualisations. Any ideas?

I particularly enjoy the “old-school” 3D maps.

I've done things in the timezone of what's going on here. My method:

- Get the altitude data for the area you want to work with. Pretty sure I had to make an account at the usgs.gov page. They had a peculiar web app where I was able to query locations and download the data. The data came in lots of formats, the one I managed to import into photoshop was an ultra high rez TIFF iirc.

- Optionally convert the grey scale height map into a normal map. I did this with nvidia's tool. I think normal maps made my results look better (probably at the cost of some accuracy, idk. You get more bytes of data using the whole color space, so it's probably better)

- Import the normal map into 3d modeling software. I used blender.

- Set a super sub divided plane's displacement map to the image you created. Dick with the z-axis scaling until it's sufficiently accurate / inaccurate for what you're trying to do.

- Render? Pull back into photoshop? Draw your annotations? You can mess with levels of your original height map (control+L) if you want particular altitudes masked out for coloring water or something. There's about a trillion things you can do from where. In the 3d world, I'm a huge fan of tri-planar materials.

You could create things like that in free software like QGIS or Blender (if you need real 3D lighting).

Based entirely on the hashtags he uses when tweeting about them (since he didn't respond to the same questions there as far as I saw) I think it's a combination of QGIS and Blender.

I have no idea how he made it. But to me, it looks like he uses contour maps with "eye candy" LUTs, and then touch the result with some shadow effect.

He definitely uses mist/fog in the 3D rendering process for some of the images. Follow him on Twitter to verify that.

Regarding the maps,nice visualizations,but it's clear that the author doesn't have a background in earth sciences or cartography. Not sure about the ultimate value of this.

What about artistic value? You know, actual 'art'?

I really resonate with your comment - to me, beauty is not only aesthetic, but a much more profound concept. The Japanese have special indescribable words that all mean beauty - but in various contexts and sensibilities.

To have presented cartographically accurate, factual information + aesthetic creativity would be so much more beautiful.

I see this in art where the beauty of the piece is "shallow" - i.e., aesthetic. The other end of this spectrum is conceptual art and the whole dada thing; beauty here is conceptual. When an art piece combines both, it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up (for e.g. Francis Bacon's paintings). The more you try to find out about the piece, the more you get "sucked" into the abyss of its beauty.

Francis Bacon's work is not about beauty (conceptual or painterly).

It's one thing to dislike the work linked to the original post, but something else altogether to indulge yourself by wheeling out a bogus, trivial and pretentious personal theory of art. As has been noted before, claiming expertise in areas about which one knows nothing is a very HN characteristic.

The World elevation, long shadows (scroll down a bit on the site) is just stellar! Didn't know the relative above-sea-level differences across the world.

All I get is a black page with a bunch of broken image icons. Does this need Flash or something?

(Latest MBP w/ Safari)

Working fine on MBP Safari here, with ad blocker enabled. No flash. Javascript required.

Wow. Some of these are downright haunting.

what is the main purpose of it? they are beautiful but maybe would be a good idea to sell prints of them

I was looking for prints as well (or perhaps even high-res downloads). Might be just his hobby and advertisement for his skills. His about page (https://scottreinhard.com/Information) is horrible but shows that he's a designer who takes commissions.

Superb work.


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