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Thread: Modified map of the US

  1. #1

    Question Modified map of the US

    Hello All,

    I was recently referred to this page through a friend that was aware of its existence, and upon perusing several pages I am excited about the potential I have seen here.

    I have been working on a novel for several years now and have been struggling with the maps I want/need to tie into the body of the story more effectively. Essentially, my novel is of a future Earth where the sea levels have risen substantially (approx 2000 to 3000 ft. I have not been very successful at finding an interactive map program that shows elevations of real world maps, that I can modify, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. What I am hoping to do is to raise sea levels to the 2-3k elevation, then modify the remaining land masses to reflect new erosion effects from wind and sea.

    Does anyone know of a program that can take existing real world maps and modify them? Or perhaps someone here has access to a program that current maps can be input and modified?

    Full disclosure. I am currently unemployed, but I am more than willing to pay for services rendered once I have a steady income again.

  2. #2
    Administrator waldronate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    The High Desert


    There are lots of tools out there that can do hillshading on available DEMs. QGIS is one option. A reasonable dataset for maps of the US is ETOPO2.

    I'm partial to Wilbur ( - yes, it's "not secure" because the link isn't encrypted which means that third parties can listen in on all of the secrets that the static HTML pages there will never ask you ). ETOPO2 is 10800x5400 for a world map, which might be good enough. You have to decide if you want to keep ice caps or go with the base rocks: be warned that the greenland and antarctic caps are both well over 2500'.

    Here's an example from Wilbur of the ETOPO2 ice surface with the water level set to 762 meters (2500 feet). I was aiming for bluish to light blue for the current coastlines, but I missed a bit.
    Click image for larger version. 

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