Elevation Map of Java
This elevation map of Java was created using NASA's SRTM (1 arc second) dataset with hillshading applied. Another open source dataset provided by DIVA GIS was used for the lakes and rivers. SRTM datasets can be found on the USGS's Earth Explorer portal. I created this map with 41 raster datasets in ArcMap, but found the hillshading algorithm in QGIS to be superior to Arc's. I also created a custom color ramp to best reflect not only the elevation, but the landscape of Java as well. A common problem in elevation/relief maps is encountered when cartographer's use a color ramp that may be visually misleading. Viewers may assume the colors are also corresponding to the actual land cover of the region, instead of just elevation. So instead of using NASA's method of using wacky neon red, pink, purple, blue, green, to ensure viewers are not mislead to believe the map is about land cover rather than elevation, I decided to tackle the problem by using "natural" colors that (mostly) reflect the land cover of Java as seen from the map's approximate "viewing height." While using a "standard" or default elevation color ramp that includes white as the color for the highest elevations would be useful in a place such as Switzerland or Austria due to those places' highest elevations being snow-covered year round, it would not work here in Java. The tropical climate of this region means that despite some mountain peaks being equal to or greater in elevation than peaks found in the Alps, snow and ice is non-existent. Therefore, my method of using a "region-specific" color ramp can not be applied to maps of global or even continental scales. Finally, I put the map through a few filters in Photoshop to embolden the mountain edges.