I'm new to GIS, and I'm just doing this as a hobby.

I've seen 3d relief maps like this one: https://i.redd.it/peq57uoa28c51.jpg and I wanted to try my hand at making my own. I used the topoView service from USGS, and was able to acquire a .tif file, but that's the furthest I got.

Does anyone know how to create a relief like the one in the picture above? It doesn't look like the original author has any tutorials or guides.

  • you will need a high resolution DEM to drape your tiff over it. hopefully your tiff is 300dpi if you want to print this out. see viewer.nationalmap.gov/basic and elevation coverages. – Mapperz Sep 1 '20 at 4:09
  • @Mapperz not trying to print it out, just want to make a digital model like the image above. to start with that, what exactly would I do to make a relief? found a few different results from the link you sent, but I'm not sure what to do next. – Sameer Iyengar Sep 1 '20 at 4:25

Basically you need two things:

  1. A source of DEM data
  2. An overlay to drape over it eg a topographic map source

The image below uses

  1. DEM data from ELVIS (https://elevation.fsdf.org.au/ - search for Katoomba)
  2. An overlay using topographic tiles from NSW Spatial Services (set up a new WMS/WMTS connection using https://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/arcgis/rest/services/public/NSW_Topo_Map/MapServer)/WMTS/1.0.0/WMTSCapabilities.xml Hillshade map of Katoomba, NSW
  • Use the Raster Terrain Analysis -> Hillshade tool from the Processing Toolbox to create a Hillshade layer from the DEM layer
  • Set the Hillshade layer above the Topographic overlay in the Layer Toolbox
  • Under Layer Properties -> Symbology, set the Color Rendering: Blending Mode to Multiply
  • thanks, I did this. what do I need to do next to combine the two layers, export them, and render them? – Sameer Iyengar Sep 1 '20 at 16:50
  • Printing/exporting is a whole separate question! Simplest option is to use Project->Import/Export->Export Map to Image... (or PDF). More sophisticated is to use Project->New Print Layout... The latter will probably require some research. – Tom Brennan Sep 1 '20 at 22:18
  • sorry, I meant how can I make the street map blend with the heightmap? I want to get to the same result you did with your screenshot. then I can simply clip and export into blender. – Sameer Iyengar Sep 1 '20 at 23:32
  • See the 3 steps above - 1. you need a Hillshade layer. 2. The hillshade layer needs to be above the topo (street map), and 3. The Blending Mode of the Hillshade layer needs to be set to Multiply – Tom Brennan Sep 2 '20 at 10:30
  • thanks, that's done. now, how can I combine the two layers and crop the map? – Sameer Iyengar Sep 2 '20 at 18:28

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