Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Dynamic Building & Hill Shading

MapBox has created a really cool demo of dynamic hill shading in the browser. The demo map includes a number of controls that allows the user to adjust the depth and shadow settings of the topographical data on the map.

The demo also includes controls to change the azimuth and elevation settings of the data so that the shadows on the map can be adjusted to reflect the time of day. On the new look Google Maps you may have noticed that building shadows also move relative to the position of the sun.

This means that in the new look Google Maps the building shadows adjust to the time of day and move throughout the day to reflect the current position of the sun. These new experiments from MapBox are designed to achieve something similar only with topographical data. They should enable MapBox to develop dynamic maps that adjust the hill shading based on your environment and the time of day.

Gmap4 is a Google Maps based interface for viewing detailed topographical maps of the USA and Canada.

The application allows the user to view a number of topographical base maps using the familiar navigation tool of Google Maps. The app also comes with a really neat hill shading effect that allows the user to adjust the hill shading on the 'Topo High' map view.

Gmap4 contains a whole host of other useful features, such as route planning and the ability to view KML, KMZ, GPX and TPO files. It even has a feature that lets you view your GPS tracks in 3d using the Google Earth browser plugin.

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