Friday, September 30, 2016

Misty Mountain Mapping

Misty Mountains is an interesting Esri Story map explaining how a nice mist effect can be created on digital maps by adjusting the opacity levels of elevation data.

To achieve this mist effect lower elevated areas on a Digital Elevation Model are made more opaque and higher elevated areas are made more transparent. The result is that fog or mist appears to be rolling along the valley floors of your map.

The Misty Mountains Story Map goes into more detail about how you can achieve this effect by using a gradient opacity level on your elevation data in ArcGIS Pro. It also include a number of example maps of the effect applied to different mountain ranges around the world.

The Story Map also includes an animated example of a Norwegian mountain range where the mist appears to start on the valley floor and roll upwards to cover the whole of the mountains.

You could use a similar technique to give the appearance of snow levels creeping down a mountain range as winter progresses. To do this you would just need to reverse your opacity / transparency gradient, so that higher elevations are made more opaque and lower lever are made more transparent on the map. You could then increase the transparency of the lower elevated areas on your DEM over time to give the appearance of snow cover creeping lower down mountains over the winter.

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