Today’s MOTD is something that was going around the Twitter-sphere a few weeks ago. I put a link to it on my desktop, and re-found it tonight while organizing my files. Even though it’s not brand new, it is special enough to be noted here.
It is a spectacular piece of cartographic artwork. It’s so unique it almost doesn’t look like a map, but that is exactly what is is.
As the publication website says, this is a lidar derived digital elevation model of the Willamette River. Lidar (light-radar) is a technology that uses light to measure distances, and can be used to produce 3D images of the earths surface (i.e. a digital elevation model)
Basically, this is a topographic map. The brightest white areas are the lowest elevations, which are the existing stream channels. Older, historic stream channels show up as depressions in the landscape, shown in various shades of light-blue.
For more information about how this map was made, and to purchase a 17″ x 38″ poster, visit the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Resources website.