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Hillshade for PNW?

January 07 2010 | 0 comments
Categories: Map Data

Hi there-

I've used the hillshade from the "One Minute Cartographer" data set quite a lot recently. I'm now looking to create a map that will include Washington, Oregon, and some of Northern California. I'd love to have a hillshade for all of this area. Is there one readily available through ESRI?


Mapping Center Answer:

You can easily do this yourself! The data used for that map were GTOPO30 data (30” x 30” grid cells) which are on the ESRI Data and Maps DVD. You can also find it online through the USGS (same data set but they call it "GLOBE") at The USGS Version has 33 tiles; hopefully, your area of interest does not span more than one tile! If it does, you can mosaic the tiles together.

To process the data used in the One Minute Cartographer, we used a default hillshade, with a vertical exaggeration (Z Factor) of 2. Be sure to set the display resampling to Bilinear Interpolation (on the Layer Properties – Display tab).

To symbolize the hillshade, we modified the default color ramp slightly. To do that, on the Layer Properties – Symbology tab, right click the color ramp and select Properties. Click the radial button next to Color 2 to display it, click the color patch next to Color 1, click More Colors, and in the Color Selector, change the HSV values to 15, 15, and 50,. This will lighten up the color ramp and soften the values. Click OK twice to get back to the Symbology tab and right click the color ramp to save it to a style. This way you will be able to find it later in your personal style. Click OK to see the changes.

The color ramp was selected from those available for download from the Mapping Center – ArcGIS Resources – Styles page. Download the ColorRamps2.0 style and there are many you can choose from!

All of these instructions are also available in the bottom notes of the One Minute Caretographer. You can download the PDF from the Mapping Center – Other Resources – Presentations page.

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