Christmas presents are difficult. I used to be better at creating personal presents for the people I care about. But lately, I was always running out of time and thinking about them when it was already too late. This year, though, the 30 Day Map Challenge gave me a good reason to create a few. One was the ‘Him & Her’ visualization, and another one is the following map.

My 20th entry (yes, I jumped a few numbers) is a map of Surselva, a district of Switzerland full of mountains and valleys. The challenge’s topic was Rural and, having been in the area a few times, I can say that the region fits the theme quite well. Surselva lives, not only from tourism but also farming. In the summer, the mountains are full of beautiful cows and the sheep’s bleat is part of the daily soundtrack.

Regarding the data, the hillshades come from Copernicus, and the shapes of the rivers, forests, residential areas and lakes from Open Street Map. I prepared the Digital Elevation Model in QGIS and produced a 3D Version following Daniel Huffman’s amazing tutorial on how to create shaded relief in Blender. I also got inspired by this tutorial from John Nelson on how to add elevation mist. The post-production was all done in Photoshop.

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