Hal Shelton Revisited: Designing and Producing Natural-Color Maps with Satellite Land Cover Data

  • Tom Patterson
  • Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso
Keywords: Adobe Photoshop, Blue Marble, Hal Shelton, Jeppesen Map Company, Library of Congress, MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields, National Geographic Society, natural-color maps, National Land Cover Dataset, raster land cover data, satellite images, shaded relief

Abstract

This paper examines natural-color maps by focusing on the painted map art of Hal Shelton, the person most closely associated with developing the genre during the mid twentieth century. Advocating greater use of natural-color maps by contemporary cartographers, we discuss the advantages of natural-color maps compared to physical maps made with hypsometric tints; why natural-color maps, although admired, have remained comparatively rare; and the inadequacies of using satellite images as substitutes for natural-color maps. Seeking digital solutions, the paper then introduces techniques for designing and producing natural-color maps that are economical and within the skill range of most cartographers. The techniques, which use Adobe Photoshop software and satellite land cover data, yield maps similar in appearance to those made by Shelton, but with improved digital accuracy. Full-color illustrations show examples of Shelton’s maps and those produced by digital techniques.
Published
2004-03-01
How to Cite
Patterson, T., & Kelso, N. V. (2004). Hal Shelton Revisited: Designing and Producing Natural-Color Maps with Satellite Land Cover Data. Cartographic Perspectives, (47), 28-55. https://doi.org/10.14714/CP47.470
Section
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