Carved topography of farm acreage.

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06 Jan 2023 23:18 #261145 by clunc
Latest project (number 459) made from 4/4 black locust cut on the property, measuring 21x18in. Maxdepth is 0.75in. 9M+ lines of G-code. 20h10m execution of finish pass. Those are supposed to be trees... :^P. However there's prop lines, section corners, roads, homesteads, trails, legends, titles, logos, a pitcherframe... something for every taste.
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08 Jan 2023 08:35 #261246 by TOLP2
Very nice execution! Did you use lidar data to get a height profile? 

Tried to do this once for a whole country, Holland is not that big, but very flat. You can enhance the topography detail by using logarithmic height profile. 

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09 Jan 2023 13:07 #261349 by clunc

Very nice execution! Did you use lidar data to get a height profile?


Thanks @TOLP2!  I use USGS NED 10m.  Although LIDAR has more resolution (I gather) I haven't found its treasure trove.  NED10m is what's freely available on the USGS National Map Server .  However bits of the data come from other sources too; property lines came from county government.

I've done national parks, riverways, states, countries, continents, the moon... wherever I can find data.  I even make up data sometimes: while the USGS will provide landcover data, and there are aerial photos of tree cover, in the farm example, you can tell the forests are synthesized.

(Of the moon, I found elevation data of the surface in a "cylindrical" format (the top and bottoms being lines representing the poles.  I came up with a way to convert it and then carved two hemispheres onto a single model and presented it to a friend who works in space sciences at a local university.  A passing astronomer caught sight of it and stopped to tell him: "That is an unusual piece!  I have seen front and back portrayals of the lunar surface, but NEVER LEFT AND RIGHT!"     Years later I snuck back and divided the data into a different pair and recarved--I think--the near and dark sides...)

Incidentally, like you, I too noticed right away that "true" to-scale renderings are rejected by the human eye as "too flat!" so I "enhance" the elevations until it "looks right." That same friend at space sciences pointed out that if I rendered roadways on the surface, I could make them infinitely thin, whereas carved as depressions as I had been doing meant they could only be as narrow as the cutter.  I also noticed on my very first models, of my father's and uncle's farms, that without some reference the human eye cannot differentiate one set of bumps from any others, and that roads or coastlines or government boundaries are a welcome addition.
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