Terrain Sculptor: Generalizing terrain models for relief shading

Anna M. Leonowicz, Bernhard Jenny, Lorenz Hurni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Shaded relief derived from high-resolution terrain models often contains distracting terrain details that need to be removed for medium- and smallscale mapping. When standard raster filter operations are applied to digital terrain data, important ridge tops and valley edges are blurred, altering the characteristic shape of these features in the resulting shaded relief. This paper introduces Terrain Sculptor, a software application that prepares generalized terrain models for relief shading. The application uses a generalization methodology based on a succession of raster operations. Curvature coefficients detect and accentuate important relief features. Terrain Sculptor offers a graphical user interface to adjust the algorithm to various scales and terrain resolutions. The freeware application is available at http://www.terraincartography.com/terrainsculptor/.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalCartographic Perspectives
Issue number67
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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