Virtual to physical: translating a 3D landscape to a printed model

As the most-used GIS packages, ArcGIS and QGIS are amazing and powerful for analytical applications. Despite their analytical strengths, they sometimes don’t quite achieve the quality needed for high-level graphics. It’s common for cartographers to prepare maps or layers of maps in ArcGIS, then export them for use in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator where more sophisticated graphic techniques can be applied to create finished map products. The King County GIS Center recently came across another need to go beyond the graphic capabilities of ArcGIS.

Dee Molenaar, renowned Pacific Northwest mountaineer, author, artist, and Cartographer

Whether familiar with the history and personalities of mountaineering or not, cartography students of a certain age who studied mapmaking at the University of Washington would frequently hear the name of an earlier UW grad, Dee Molenaar. Any who aspired to turn their hand to depicting terrain on maps would learn from their professor of the exemplary landform maps created by Molenaar.