Relief Shading

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Last update:
24/11/2006

PLAN OBLIQUE RELIEF

Plan oblique relief is a fascinating way to present topography on small and medium scale maps. Mountains are shown in a side-view, “standing up” in partial profile. Plan oblique relief uses a conventional orthometric ground plane, that presents the mapped area without distortion. This results in major map features, such as country borders or river networks, to appear as in conventional 2D maps — while elevations are seen laterally with pronounced three-dimensionality.

The map of Switzerland below uses plan oblique relief in the foreground. The upper part of the map depicts Germany and neighboring countries, using satellite imagery that is spherically distorted and perspectively foreshortened to add spatial depth.

Click on the map for an enlarged interactive view.

Plan oblique relief. Die Naturschutzzentren der Schweiz. Approx. 1:600,000. Zürich: Schweizer Vogelschutz SVS / BirdLife Schweiz.