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Map of the Month 10/2011: Katmai National Park and Preserve

At the 25th International Cartography Conference in Paris, France, the map won the second jury’s prize in the category “Digital Products”. The jury stated:

Digitally-generated. Realistic impression through curved horizon.

Cartographer’s Description: Katmai National Park, Alaska, is a vast wilderness that protects salmon-filled lakes, erupting volcanoes, and a large population of brown bears. The purpose of this panorama is to realistically depict a remote place that few people will ever visit; it will serve as a virtual park experience.

The hand-painted panoramas by Austrian Heinrich Berann were my design inspiration, although I used 3D software and geospatial data. I rendered the scene in Natural Scene Designer Pro 5.0 and finished the production in Adobe Photoshop, including many embellishments.

Land cover derives from USGS National Land Cover Dataset that I colorized to show the park with an autumn color palette to better coordinate with Fourpeaked Mountain, which erupted in September. Sediments tints in the ocean derive from a Landsat image, as do the tundra textures in the foreground.

The curved horizon depicts the actual curvature of Earth to emphasize the large size of the park. Showing the city of Anchorage—the departure point for most park visitors—in the background helps to establish geographic context. Keen-eyed readers can find the park’s DeHavilland Beaver floatplane and two ships in the scene.

  • Digital product
  • Author: Tom Patterson
  • Published by US National Park Service
  • Date published: 2010
  • Language: English
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