Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Gorgeous 3D Edge Rendered Maps

Raluca Nicola argues that in many 3D maps it can be hard to detect buildings because they aren't contrasted enough from other background map features. That is why Raluca promotes the use of edge rendered maps.

Raluca Nicola works on the 3D side of the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, which helps explain her love for 3D maps. During her work for Esri Raluca realized that rendering the edges of buildings in 3D maps makes them much easier to see against the rest of the interactive map. For example, see how the Empire State Building pops out on the map screenshot above. This is entirely due to the neon blue edge rendering of the building and its contrast to the darker background.

You can view that Empire State Building map at Edge Rendered Maps. This demo of edge rendered 3D buildings includes four different styles of edge rendering in 3D maps. My favorite in the neon style above but I also really love the historic style used in the buildings of Lyon example.

If you want to create your own edge rendered 3D maps you can fork Racula's Edge Rendered Map demo on GitHub. You can also learn more about how to style building edges in the ArcGIS API for JavaScript in her blog post City visualizations on the edge.

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