The development and rationale of cross-blended hypsometric tints

Tom Patterson, Bernhard Jenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Hypsometric tints have been a favored mapping technique for over 150 years. By the mid-twentieth century, hypsometric tints based on the work of John Bartholomew, Jr., Eduard Imhof, and Karl Peucker became the de facto standard for physical reference maps at small scales. More recently, the role and design of hypsometric tints have come under scrutiny. One reason for this is the concern that people misread elevation colors as climate or vegetation information. Cross-blended hypsometric tints, introduced in 2009, are a partial solution to this problem. They use variable lowland colors customized to match the differing natural environments of world regions, which merge into one another. In the short time since their introduction, cross-blended hypsometric tints have proved to be a popular choice among professional mapmakers. Most maps made with cross-blended hypsometric tints also contain shaded relief (terrain represented with modulated light and shadows).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-45
Number of pages15
JournalCartographic Perspectives
Issue number69
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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