December’s App of the Month, Earth’s Crust – Exaggerate TopoBathy Elevations by Michael Kelly of Teck Resources Limited, is a fun and exciting way to explore the bumps, nooks and crannies on the earth’s surface from afar. The goal of the app is to ignite curiosity while illustrating the world in an unconventional manner. Explore some of the earth’s most complex topographic features or a local landscape through the Earth’s Crust app.
Earth’s surface has been carefully forged over hundreds of million years by glaciers, volcanoes and plate tectonics. These natural phenomena are to thank for the beautiful and complex landscapes we know today. Many people love exploring land topography including mountains, valley and lakes; however, how often do we get to explore ocean topography?
Oceans are one of mankind’s biggest mysteries. They cover 70% of the earth’s surface and yet only 5% of oceans have been explored by humans. The ocean floor also contains dramatic features including hills, mountains and valleys, which contribute to Earth’s complex topography.
The Earth’s Crust – Exaggerate TopoBathy Elevations app is an exciting way to explore both land and ocean features. Users are able to visit infamous topographic features from around the world, including Mount Everest and Marianas Trench, or explore local landscapes in their area.
When first opening the application, you are greeted with a global view of the earth’s surface where the vertical exaggeration is set to x100. The continents become elevated and many ocean features are highly visible. This view automatically grabs your attention as it’s not common to see exaggerated topography from afar like this.
Michael Kelly, geospatial solutions specialist at Teck Resources Limited, says he built this app because “we rarely see a digital map which illustrates the ocean floor from afar. This means that most people are unaware of what it looks like and how much it varies. By exaggerating the elevation, we can actually see the bumps, nooks and crannies of the ocean floor.”
While panning the map, it is unlikely you will ever run out of places to explore; however, if you do, the app is equipped with a Shuffle widget that introduces you to some of Earth’s most interesting topographic phenomena. Click Shuffle to be whisked away to Nepal’s infamous mountain range, Marianas Ridge or the Philippines Trench. You will gain a new understanding of the phrase “living on the edge”.
The application incorporates several layers from the Living Atlas. Users are able to tour the globe while investigating Sea Surface Temperature, Land Temperature, Sea Floor Geomorphology and Population Density. My personal favourite layer is the TopoBathy Elevation Tinted Hillshade, where elevation is portrayed as an artistic multidirectional backdrop with vibrant colours. The Hillshade layer allows you to truly appreciate all the unique topographic features found among Earth’s surface.
The Living Atlas hosts countless maps, apps and data layers from Esri and thousands of other organizations. It allows you to combine content with your own data to create new maps and applications just like this one.
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