Why we love it
Technology and art flow together in this map to illustrate the influence of a volcano on Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands. With stunning visual impact, the map reveals both major structures and fine details that would otherwise be lost under a blanket of vegetation. We love how this map serves as a kind of 3D sonogram for the growing earth with colors and shading to show historic and hidden lava flows.
Why it works
New technology calls for new visualisation methods such as this Red Relief Image Map (RRIM) technique. Here, we see high-resolution 3D topographic data, made available by modern LiDAR systems, combined with multiple data layers to simultaneously show topographic slope, concavities and convexities. The detail is so engaging, it leaves you to wonder why more maps of volcanoes, fault zones, landslides and slope failures aren’t done this way.
I work at Asia Air Survey Company, and teach at Nihon University. I write the Muttering by One Scientist (ある火山学者のひとりごと) blog.