HomeTechnologyTech SolutionsHillshade LapakGIS for Enhancing Terrain Maps

Hillshade LapakGIS for Enhancing Terrain Maps

What is LapakGIS?

Hillshade LapakGIS is a variety of relief maps known for reflecting the shape of a land’s surface by using shadows to create a 3D effect. Furthermore, Lapak GIS is an open-source software helpful in creating hillshade maps. This software has a user-friendly interface and several unique features used to create different maps for biking, hiking, or outdoor activities. Besides, 3D terrain models can also be made with the help of Lapak GIS. Moreover, Lapak GIS is also used for creating realistic maps by adding different shades and colours to the terrain. This software creates maps with an additional realism layer, making them appear visually appealing. 

Digital elevation model (DEM) data can be transformed into beautiful visualisations using the Hillshade LapakGIS technique. You can recognise elements on your maps and better understand the topography with its assistance. Users of GIS software may see how sunlight affects a surface by using hillshade technology, which creates realistic 3D models useful for various tasks.

Elevation data is used for the Hillshade technique to simulate how light and shadow might fall on a particular surface. Azimuth and altitude are two factors that affect this; azimuth describes the direction of incoming light, while altitude describes its angle above sea level. For beginners, creating Hillshade maps can be scary. But having the appropriate information and tools will be easier than you think!

Why Use Hillshade LapakGIS?

hillshade lapakgis is an effect generally applied to the data layers for creating a three-dimensional representation of the surface of the maps. Further, the shading effect is also created by using an algorithm to calculate the angular direction of the Sun’s rays concerning the pixels present on the Map. Further, this information provided by the hollshade is then utilised for generating shadows on the Map, which gives it a better appearance. 

Benefits of Using Hillshade

Some of the significant advantages of utilising hill shades are: 

Easy to Use

Hillshades are extremely easy to use, and even if you have yet to gain prior experience or knowledge of using Hillshades, you can start using them efficiently. The user interface is easy to navigate. And you can also find several tutorials and resources available on the web in case you need them. 

Versatile and Powerful

Using Hillshade provides excellent versatility to the maps. Whether you want to create detailed versions of maps or want to perform fundamental analysis, Hillshades in Lapak GIS can be considered. 


Hillshade is significantly affordable as compared to other GIS softwares available. This option is great for budget-conscious users. 

How Hillshade Enhances Terrain Maps?

Hillshades can enhance terrain map analysis by calculating different aspects, slopes, and curvatures. Further, 3D models can also be made via Hillshades, which can help study the effects of landslides, erosion, and other natural landscape processes. 

How to Enhance Terrain Maps with Hillshade in LapakGIS?

Terrain maps can be enhanced by adding advanced functionalities. Whenever we talk about working with GIS data, there are several ways to apply advanced functionality. The best way to do this is by utilising hillshade lapak GIS. Further, this method can be beneficial when understanding an area’s topography and landforms better. This blog post will explain hillshade lapakgis and how to use them to enhance your GIS analyses.

Facts about Hillshades and how they Work?

The Hillshades are known to enhance terrain visualisation, combining lights from six scattered directions to represent an improved terrain visualisation. Hillshades also enhance the appearance of regions with low relief while improving the balance between shadow areas and overexposed areas. The result is suited as a relief backdrop for topographical, soil, hydrological, land cover, or other thematic maps in which the data will be supplemented with topography.

Altitude and Azimuth

Any 3D model (hillshade or shaded relief) will be created using the Sun’s relative location, indicated by altitude and azimuth combined attributes. The Sun’s altitude ranges from 0 to 90 degrees and is the angle at which it rises over the horizon. Further, the Sun’s horizontal plane is at a 0-degree value as well. When the angle is 90 degrees, the Sun is directly overhead. Azimuth is the position of the Sun along the degrees. Further, this position is also indicated by the Sun’s angle. 

Pixel Size and Scaling 

The shaded outcome is dynamically scaled by modifying the z-factor in one of two ways, such as no scaling. For a single raster dataset spanning a small area, this is ideal. This is not advised for global datasets or multi-scale maps as it will result in a flat relief at small sizes.

In order to account for the altitude variations (scale) brought on by the viewer’s zooming in and out, the adjusted option performs a nonlinear adjustment using the default values for the pixels’ size, power, and factor. When using the global dataset, these settings are advised.


The Z-factor is a scaling factor that is generally used for converting elevation values for two reasons:

  1. For converting elevation units, such as feet or metres. 
  2. For adding visual effects. 

Unit Conversion

The z conversion factor is 1 if the z (elevation) units are the same as the x and y (linear) units. Moreover, if your dataset uses a projected coordinate, your scaling is set to none, and the linear units differ. 

Vertical Exaggeration 

To apply vertical exaggeration to your terrain maps, multiply the conversion factor by the exaggeration factor. For instance, if both the dataset coordinates and elevation coordinates are metred, and you must exaggerate it by a multiple of 10, then the z factor would be 10. And vertical exaggeration would be 10.0.

Step-by-Step Guide to Adding Hillshade to Terrain Maps

Step-by-Step Guide to Adding Hillshade to Terrain Maps

The hillshade you’ll construct in this session is shown on the right, while the default output of the ArcGIS Pro Hillshade tool is shown on the left. To get this outcome, think about how light and shadow behave in the actual world and then approximate it with several translucent layers created using raster functions.

You’ll use information from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) to construct a hillshade. In 2000, the SRTM research mission used a radar antenna deployed from a space shuttle to collect elevation data of the earth. Public access to this data is provided as a grid of digital elevation models (DEM). Raster data is used to store elevation as pixel values in a DEM. 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) provides SRTM data. To access this information and download a DEM for the Ethiopian Great Rift Valley region, you must first register for a NASA Earthdata account. Alternatively, you could get information about a different area. Any DEM will work to complete this lesson. You must once more follow the many steps listed below to accomplish this. 

  • First, you need to https://earthdata.nasa.gov and then click on register. Now submit the registration form for creating an Earthdata account. 
  • Now, go to download the 30-meter SRTM file download. 
  • The data of SRTM will be installed from several locations, such as the US Geological Survey, which Derek Watkins introduced. This website provides the easy-to-use and most straightforward interface for downloading Hillshades. 
  • Now, you’ll get a pop-up notification. 
  • Enter the Earthdata username and password and click on Sign in. 

Now, you need to add the elevation data to a map of Lapak GIS. Locate the downloaded zip file on your laptop or PC and unzip it. Start the Lapak GIS project. In case of any pause, sign in to your licensed Lapak GIS account. Click Map under the new project. Now, create a new project window. Now, click on Ok and create a new project window. You’ll see that a new map appears along with a base map. However, note that you must remove the base map, as you will not make any map that needs a background context. 

The DEM downloaded by you is stored in a coordinate system. Further, Hillshade algorithms are more appropriate when the Map uses a coordinate system. You need to alter the coordinate system of your terrain maps before you curate a hillshade. 

Adding shade to lowlands is the last step, where you must apply some cast shadows to your Hillshades after adding it to the terrain map. Note that the areas with higher elevation are likely to receive both indirect and direct lighting, making them brighter. Further, low-lying areas are generally darker as the light they tend to receive is softer. 

Further, you must follow the steps below to use a raster function to apply the hillshade effect. 

  1. Open the pane of Raster functions. 
  2. Widen all the surface functionalities while selecting the hillshade option. 
  3. Set the raster to your DEM dataset. 
  4. Now, set the type of hillshade to multidirectional or traditional, as needed.
  5. Set the scaling to none if you want a single map scale. 
  6. Set the Z factor to a higher number to exaggerate the height in the terrain map. You can also utilise it to convert the elevation units to linear ones if they differ. 
  7. Click Create a new layer at the bottom to create a new one in the current Map. Note that this is only a display of the already processed data. 


As we can already see, using a hillshade has a lot of advantages. Understanding how to use this helpful tool correctly will help us streamline our processes and improve our mapping judgments. We hope that you have understood everything related to Hillshades LapakGIS. Let us know what your thoughts are on the current blog. We’ll love to hear your feedback.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular