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Images and Graphics Oct2008

An old article which I did for SAGT. This is the colour version. Slideshare doesn't recognise it as a document as it is wider than it is high. Double page spreads in documents don't exist according to Slideshare. Hmmm.

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Images and Graphics Oct2008

  1. 1. Fig.1 Formation of a Debris Fig.2 It depends whatDOWN “We tend to assume that pictures are easy to un- a) Fig.3 derstand, requiring little skill, and we often take it for Cone you want the image for!EARTH TO granted that children see what they are asked to look The process starts with a hollow on the at and that they see what we see in pictures. But b) glacier’s surface..... this is not so. The skill of looking at, understanding and interpreting pictures has to be taught through planned directed study.” (Margaret Macintosh, Pri- mary Geography Handbook, Geographical Associa- tion 2005)“ There is a lot of competition for a student’s attention these days - especially in the classroom. A good ge- ography course will rely on the strength of graphics and the power of geographical imagery. Thought willIMAGES have been given to design at every planning stage. Students react favourably to imagery combined with mitigate against the application of a strong filter effect. Stylisation is effective in and good design and innovation. greyscale in this case (see SGN Oct 2008), but not in colour. The full sequenceGRAPHICS It therefore pays to consider layout, presentation may be viewed at and design in all teaching / learning interfaces. Most www.slideshare.net/aland/iceland-just-ice-presentation/ landscape rendering in games is very low quality so Larger images lend themselves well to most image manipulation techniques. The more it is not difficult to present students with something pixels an image has the easier it is to fine tune the effects of the various filters. Figure that impresses them. If you have a photographic 3 is a border title which has been slightly posterised. An unsharp mask filter has then image of the landscape being studied there are a been applied to the foreground boulders. It often pays to apply differential sharpening variety of image manipulation techniques and filters to the background of a landscape in order to make it look crisper and more impressive. within a plethora of software at your disposal. This In Fig.3 however, there is no background and the emphasis should remain on the area is a major weapon in our arsenal for “chasing the around the title. dragon” where the dragon is the student’s interest, The “comic strips” or sequences in figures 4 to 9 demonstrate the effective ap- attention and motivation. plication of various filters to different subjects. The crater of Mount St Helens A favourite starting point is Google Earth which is ex- (fig.4) was normally hidden under the mountain’s’s ice cap but was drawn in by cellent in some major urban areas. But have a look hand to enhance the metamorphosis of the posterised mountain into a model at Iceland - well, have a look at the clouds above of a composite volcano. Iceland. The resolution isn’t much better over much The sequence in figure 5 is a simple drawing of a long section of a glacier which of Scotland. The landscape rendering in an oblique has been enhanced by adding a couple of colour gradients. The slides are view of the Glencoe area (fig 2a) isn’t even up to doubling as notes for the students which explains the unusually high amount the lowest gaming standards. A traditional annotated of text. (Always try to keep text to a minimum on presentation slides and never fieldsketch (2b) based on the suspect rendering is read out the text displayed on the screen during a presentation). probably more useful for teaching purposes. The sequence in figure 6 is based on an aerial photograph of Svinafellsjökull.TOON Posterisation or image stylisation is particularly ef- The image was posterised and then different drawings on separate layers were fective in a lot of graphical situations. The changed added to represent the ice margin at different times. The margins are quite ac-STYLE images are often referred to as “morphs”. The fil- curate, being based on contemporary maps (1904 and 1935) and historical landMORPHS ter intensifies the lines and reduces the number of ownership records (1450). The scale of the image, however, makes it difficult to colours, thus simplifying the image. It is not appropri- represent the amount of thinning which has taken place over the last 100 years ate in every situation, however, and should be used or so. sparingly with highly detailed colour images such In the sequence on headland erosion (fig.7), an image of a headland with an as those in Fig 1. The large amount of cross-sec- arch has been altered by drawing on overlying layers to show the development s r or phe tion and the annotations on three of the slides also of the headland through time. f A satellite view of Japan from NASA forms the basis of the annotated maps in o gr a Jargon Busters figure 8. Posterisation of satellite images is particularly effective as it removes unwanted detail and makes it easier to patch up any gaps left after the removal ofge megapixels - the more the better? Right? Well not cloud cover. A variety of software image filters can be used to create the morphs in figure 9. If you cannot get access to Photoshop or Photoshop Elements then really. The number of megapixels is important but explore the plethora of other software available (GIMP, Photoplus, Paintshop, ranks after 1) the physical dimensions of the camera Inkscape, etc.) sensor and 2) the quality of the lens on the camera. Comic Life software allows students to express themselves more graphically but Even the dimensions of the maximum size of image can also be used by geographers to compose discussion starters. The traditional can’t be trusted. Always try to view - on a computer comic layout allows for the striking use of colour and an engaging way of outlin- and in print form - the results of the camera you are interested in. ing geographical issues. Figure 10 applies this truly toon style morph to the Mono Lake controversy. LIMESTONE HD - high definition - This term really only applies to video output and TV screen resolutions so dismiss any single shot camera which tries to use the term. “Even if you have no artistic flair, you can use sketches, illustrations, photo- graphs, symbols, graphs, and diagrams. Good images don’t just decorate; they add meaning to your message. They can make a point, connect the dots, and SCENERY NTSC, 720x480 and PAL 720x576, are the current help people learn. And when you convey your meaning quickly, you win.” standard resolutions. 1024x768 is regarded as a Marcia Connor (fastcompany.com) minimum HD default. 1: Images and Graphics: Oct 2008 Images and Graphics: Oct 2008 : 2
  2. 2. Fig.4 Model of a Compos- Fig.5 Glacier Movement Fig.6 Glacier Movement Fig.7 Headland Erosion Fig.8 Japan Atlas Fig.9 Chinaite Volcano (from GeoJUICE CD2) www.slideshare.net/aland/glacier-movement/ (from GeoJUICE CD4) (from GeoJUICE CD3) (from GeoJUICE CD3) (from GeoJUICE CD4)Mount St. Helens morphs into a Diagramatic representation of the Diagramatic representation of the ad- Time is rewound for a headland in A series of distribution patterns based Atmospheric pollution in China lendscomposite volcano model. The base processes involved in glacier move- vances and retreats of Svinafellsjökull Hawai’i in order to demonstrate the on a NASA satellite image. Extrane- itself to posterisation. Very film noir!image (courtesy USGS) dates from ment. Aimed at 16-18. since the last Ice Age. Base image process of headland erosion and the ous clouds have been removed andApril 1980. Aimed at 12-14. courtesy Snaevarr Gudmundsson. effects of wave refraction. overlays added in Photoshop. 3: Images and Graphics: Oct 2008 Images and Graphics: Oct 2008 : 4
  3. 3. Figure 105: Images and Graphics: Oct 2008 Images and Graphics: Oct 2008 : 6