Making this map, I realized that I liked how the basemap looked draped over lidar data. I decided to try creating a hillshade of the lidar data in Blender, then overlap the hillshade with the OpenStreetMap basemap, using the technique I learned from Daniel Huffman’s blog.
A neat variation of this idea was to overlay the hillshade with the 1877 Beers Atlas of Richmond map. With this map, you can see both what Richmond looked like in the 19th century and what it looks like today based on the shadows of the buildings and bridges that are overlayed on top of it.
This map is very busy – it would be easier to read if the shadows on the hillshade were a little shorter – but you can make out a lot of interesting details, like how the bridge locations have changed over time and which buildings were standing in 1877.
I’ve been continuing to work with lidar data and learning to use new tools and techniques to improve the output of my hillshades. I would like to make a giant map of Richmond with lidar data – maybe I’ll have that in a future post!