You are here: Home > Maps > Crater Lake National Park > Whitewash
Crater Lake National Park: Adding whitewash to promote figure-ground
Rate this effect!
On this map, the extent of the park is primarily shown with the line symbolizing the boundary
On this map, the extent of the park is primarily shown with the line symbolizing the boundary
Using a whitewash effect, the extent of the park is shown more clearly
Using a whitewash effect, the extent of the park is shown more clearly

What: Sometimes you need to distinguish the area that is of primary interest from the rest of the area shown on your map. Using a whitewash effect, you can emphasize what cartographers call the figure-ground relationship.

Why: Figure-ground organizes the display into two contrasting visual images: the figure, on which your eye settles, and the amorphous background around or behind it. Cartographers have figured out many ways to enhance this effect - the one we want to show you here mimics the work of Tom Patterson, a cartographer for the National Park Service, but it is modified to be used in ArcGIS. What this effect does is to "whitewash" the area that is the background so that the area that is the figure stands out more.

How: To do this, you need to create a polygon for the area outside your area of interest, and then symbolize it with a white fill and specify a transparency. We created an additional polygon layer for the area outside the park called "Notpark". Then we symbolized it so that it had the whitewach effect. Here’s how we did it:

To create the whitewash polygon:

  1. Create a polygon feature class in the feature dataset where your area of interest's boundary is located.
  2. Add the new feature class you just created to your map.
  3. Start Editing.
  4. You need to create a rectangle that is slightly larger than the extent of your map, so zoom to your map's extent, and then use the Fixed Zoom Out tool on the Tools toolbar to give yourself some room to work.
  5. Create the rectangle using the Rectangle tool on the Advanced Editing toolbar.
  6. Use the Erase tool (geoprocessing) to create the hole in the rectangle you created. This hole will be the extent of the park. The feature class you created in step 1 is the input features, and your area of interest's boundary (in theis case the polygon for the extent of crater Lake National park) is the input for the erase features. The output will be the polygon you symbolize as a whitewash.

To symbolize the whitewash layer:

  1. Open the layer properties of the whitewash layer.
  2. On the Symbology tab, set the symbol's color to White.
  3. On the Display tab, set the transparency to 40%. You may need to experiment with values between 30% and 70% to achieve the best results for your map.
  4. Click OK to accept these settings.

The result is to subdue the colors outside the park without modifying the symbology within the park. Now your eye should be drawn toward the area of interest - in this case, Crater Lake National Park. But you can also see through the whitewash to find information about the area immediately around the park, if you need it.

How did you create the 3D 'tree' effect for the fo posted by Alex Zendel on Jun 7 2007 1:15PM
The map is beautifully designed and the discussion of the whitewash and image flattening are very informative, but the most compelling feature of this map, in my opinion, is the 3D tree effect! How did you create that?
Whitewash effect for ArcView posted by Ryan Dalton on Jun 11 2007 1:58PM
If you don't have ArcInfo (and therefore the erase tool), you can accomplish the task another way... Select the feature you want to display as the "area of interest", r-click the layer and choose "Selection->switch selection, r-click the layer again and choose "Selection->Create Layer from Selected Features", set the color and transparency of the newly created selection layer. You can even re-create this process as a geoprocessing model, making this a nearly one-click operation.
3d effect posted by Ben Wieseman on Jun 27 2007 1:52PM
I agree, the 3d tree effects really pop the map, when it is laid over the tin/ and that color ramp. How did you do the 3d tree effect?
Using the Clip tool to Erase, nice gradient posted by Sean Hedgpeth on Jul 9 2007 4:18PM
My work doesn't have an ArcInfo license, so instead of Erase make a rectangle outside your extent like you were going to erase, then select your study area polygon (line to poly if you don't have one) go to the editor toolbar dropdown and select clip. Make sure you dont have other layers turned on in the editing workspace, they might get chopped off too! Also I wanted to know how the pretty gradient over the lake got made, is it custom?
esri downloads posted by Lynn Gionette on Sep 4 2007 1:26PM
You guys should check out the support are for the script downloads. You'll find all sorts of tools that are found in ArcInfo only but recreated by other to be used wtih Arcview licence.
The erase tool is - http://arcscripts.esri.com/details.asp?dbid=14625
3D Texture Rendering (for trees and such) posted by Dwight Lanier on Oct 14 2007 1:01PM
I was pretty surprised to see ESRI featuring this map on their cartographic site and claiming that they could recreate it using only ArcGIS.

I have noticed, above, several readers asking the painfully obvious question that drives at the heart of what makes this map so great: "How did you create the stippled, textured, patterns on the hillshade?"

As I suspected, there is no info provided on this by ESRI. It would be great to see, it, but I'm not surprised that it isn't here.

This technique was created by expert NPS cartographer Tom Patterson on his website www.shadedrelief.com. To summarize, Tom brings the hillshade layer into Adobe Photoshop and uses a layer (like MODIS satellite imagery, or such) to kep him in to where he needs to textureize the existing surface with artificial "tree bumps". He also adds other great details like rock strike, water glint, etc.

If you look at the short paper he wrote on he subject you can also find his reference to the following article that comes about as close as I have seen to a more formal way to texture map in ArcGIS:

Nighbert, Jeffery S., 2000. Using Remote Sensing Imagery to Texturize Layer Tinted Relief. Cartographic Perspectives. No. 36. pp 94-98.

Again, I may be wrong. Maybe the guys n gals at ESRI were able to pull off the texture mapping on the shaded relief using ESRI products. But it seems a bit of a bummer (and a little suspect) that they would have left that out of the explanation...

cheers,

Dwight
posted by Charlie Frye on Nov 19 2007 12:14PM
Sorry for the delay in responding here; our notifications for comments have failed since day 1.

We have a draft of "bump mapping" nearly complete, which is how we did the tree effect on this map. We'll try to get this up in the next few weeks.
Any updates on texturizing? posted by Ruben Gonzalez-Baird on Feb 8 2008 10:16PM
Hi, i noticed that the last post mentioned you would be trying to publish a short description of how the textures were created in your map. Has there been any update to this? Thanks, J. Ruben
About the color ramp... posted by Stu Smith on Feb 25 2008 9:40PM
I appreciation the smoothness of the gradation across the colors. How did you achieve this? And where did you get this particular color ramp - it's much better than the default ramps.
How to create the bump map posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 28 2008 10:08AM
We are working on creating a model to do the 3D tree effect, but in the meantime, you can download a PowerPoint that describes in detail how to achieve this cartographic effect. Go to the Other Resources tab here on Mapping Center and scroll down to find the link to this PDF:

2005, July 25-29, 25th ESRI UC 2005, Cartography: Advanced Cartographic Effects, Buckley, A. & D. Barnes, PDF (1.1MB).

The bottom notes for this presentation (see slide 36) take you step-by-step through the bump mapping process, as well as a number of other really neat cartographic effects used on the Crater Lake map.

Note that there is also a paper on bump mapping given at the 2003 User Conference that you can download from our Web site: http://gis.esri.com/library/userconf/proc03/p0137.pdf. This was written by Jeff Nighbert who is as far as I know the first one to implement this technique in ArcGIS. He also did a presentation last year on an even more refined bump mapping technique – here is the abstract for that presentation: http://gis.esri.com/library/userconf/proc07/papers/abstracts/a1343.html. You can also check out a paper by Tom Patterson of the National park Service – he used the technique as well but he achieved it using Photoshop. Here is the link to that paper: Getting Real: Reflecting on the New Look of National Park Service Maps (http://www.shadedrelief.com/realism/index.html). And while you are here, you might check out the rest of Tom’s web site!

So in fact, yes -- you can create all the effects on this using only ArcGIS! And I even did it before we had cartographic representations!
Color ramps posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 28 2008 10:26AM
The color ramps are pretty easy to create -- you can find a PowerPoint that describes in detail how to create them. Go to the Other Resources tab here on Mapping Center and scroll down to find the link to this PDF:

2005, July 25-29, 25th ESRI UC 2005, Cartography: Advanced Cartographic Effects, Buckley, A. & D. Barnes, PDF (1.1MB).

The bottom notes for this presentation (see slide 36) take you step-by-step through the modification of the color ramp, as well as a number of other really neat cartographic effects used on the Crater Lake map.

You can also download the color ramps from Mapping Center – they are located on the ArcGIS Resources page under the Color Ramps tab – the one I used on this map is called "Color Ramps" and there are even more – check out the "Bathymetry and Elevation Color Ramps" and "Elevation" styles.

Note that we will be consolidating these soon so that you will be able to find all the terrain representation color ramps in one style.
Color in Crater Lake posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 28 2008 10:31AM
The color used to symbolize Crater Lake is available to you for download. It is located on the ArcGIS Resources page under the Color Ramps tab – the one I used on this map is called "Color Ramps" and there are even more – check out the "Bathymetry and Elevation Color Ramps" and "Elevation" styles.

Note that we will be consolidating these soon so that you will be able to find all the terrain representation color ramps in one style.

You should also note that the bathymetry is displayed using a hillshade and a layer tint – the hillshade was created using the Swiss Hillshading method – this is documented in a presentation that we gave at the User Conference some years ago. Go to the Other Resources tab here on Mapping Center and scroll down to find the link to this PDF:

2005, July 25-29, 25th ESRI UC 2005, Cartography: Advanced Cartographic Effects, Buckley, A. & D. Barnes, PDF (1.1MB).

The bottom notes for this presentation take you step-by-step through the creation of the Swiss hillshade, as well as a number of other really neat cartographic effects used on the Crater Lake map.
90m SRTM Boohoo! 30m interpolation Horray! posted by Alan Boatman on Jan 20 2009 7:15PM
For those of you trying to make similar bump maps for areas outside North America you may be frustrated that the 90m SRTM available don't cut the mustard when applying the tree bumps. I have had good results resampling and interpolating the 90m srtm down to 30 meters using bilinear interpolation. Simply start raster calculator and input this expression - resample([your_90m_SRTM], 30, bilinear)
the results of a hillshade from this new grid are 9 times better resolution. Using nearest Neighbour and Cubic Convolution I found a griding of the original raster cells takes place.
One drawback is that any artifacts in the original srtm are accentuated. Does anyone know a good way to get rid of or make artifacts less visible?
Doughnuts posted by Christopher Mathers on Mar 3 2009 8:23AM
I did a trace of a polygon that was my area of interest, finished part, drew a giant rectangle around it and finshed the sketch. That made a doughnut with my area of interest as the hole.
Can't Download posted by Ezekiel Baye on Mar 18 2009 10:58PM
Maybe it is just me, but I can't download the .pdf you reference "Advanced Cartographic Effects". Screen just gets a lite blue overlay and nothing happens when I click on the link.
Looking into this... posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 20 2009 11:07AM
Sorry about that. We are looking into this...
What's the status? posted by Eva Shoemaker-Maffei on Jul 14 2009 12:54PM
I'm not able to download the pdf either.
Whitewash / masking posted by Timothy Tresohlavy on Mar 18 2010 5:37PM
Creating a mask (whitewash) effect is great, only labels are always placed on top of the mask, even if the feature (road names for example) are 'below' the mask in the table of contents. Personally, I use highway shields (Interstate, US Highway, etc.) as a label mask, and then auto-label the route number in the center. Still have the same problem with the highway shields laying on top of the mask. Bothersome.

Seems like everyone has found a different way to work around not having the ArcInfo-Clip feature. Why not save the trouble and just include it with an ArcView license?
Clip and Annotation posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 19 2010 7:18AM
There is a tool that is the equivalent of ArcInfo's Clip -- it is called Clip and it is in the ArcToolbox in the Analysis - Extract toolset. But Clip isn't really what you want if you want to show the area outside the main extent of the map as well -- just in a more subdued manner. You still need the content, but you want to drop it visually to the background. Clip will eliminate the data outside the main extent of the map.

On the issue of labeling - if you convert your labels to annotation, you can move them in the Table of Contents to allow them to be drawn under other features. Note that if you draw them under a transparent fill, this will cause the text to rasterize, so you have to set your output resolution high enough to compensate.
This article is not listed. Where can it be found? posted by Jonathan Frishtick on May 6 2011 4:12PM
2005, July 25-29, 25th ESRI UC 2005, Cartography: Advanced Cartographic Effects, Buckley, A. & D. Barnes, PDF (1.1MB).
On our Other Resources - Older Presentations page posted by Aileen Buckley on May 7 2011 7:38AM
You can find this here on Mapping Center on our Other Resources - Older Presentations page:
http://mappingcenter.esri.com/index.cfm?fa=resources.presentationsOlder

If you would like to post a comment, please login.

Contact Us | Legal | Privacy |