It can’t be this easy…I must be doing something wrong…

…was the line that kept going through my head this weekend as I did the rubber sheeting project. Nothing in Prof. P’s class is ever easy for me (well, Photoshop was kinda easy, but only because I’ve worked with that for a decade) so I threw myself into this project hoping it would only take me 15 hours to complete.

21/2 hours later, when I FINISHED the project I sat at the computer dumbfounded. No way could Natural Scene Designer be this easy. I found my DEM on USGS relatively easily (thank you Natural Scene Designer user guide) and imported it into NSD. I then proceeded to mess around with the feature. I flooded areas of the map that were bodies of water, added some trees and bushes, and even through in some hills. All good fun. In fact, I was babysitting all weekend and the little girls I was watching were fascinated with the tree maker…so I let then throw in a few themselves…hence the few random trees in random places on the map.


After having enough of the trees and bushes, I went in search of the overlay. Only issue of the whole project-finding the DRG to do the overlay with. NSD’s user guide makes some recommendations on where you can get DRGs or GOTOPOs, but I just got caught in the no-mans-land of USGS. I finally wound up on a site called MapMart, which claimed to be a partner with USGS. Now I’m not entirly sure that’s true, but I found the DRG Tiff I wanted, so I gave the site a whirl (and $15.00). I imported the overlay, and then came the shocked silence. Holy shit…it worked…the first time!


I did have a few additional little problems I need to continue working on though. I can’t get the elevation lines to go away, which was the main source of my frustration for a number of hours on Monday night. My resolution isn’t terrific either, and I’m not real sure where I went wrong with that. Possibly downloaded the wrong file??? NSD kept reccommending 24 K files, but you can’t believe everything you read. Regardless, by the end of Dancing with the Stars I felt like I got the basics, so I’m done with mapping tonight!

Rubber Sheetiing final



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2 responses to “It can’t be this easy…I must be doing something wrong…

  1. Tad

    I’m glad it came easily to somebody.

    I have three freaking examples up in my blog– the product of probably over thirty different attempts– and not one of them really “works.”

    Natural Scene designer needed too much memory to open big files, small files looked bad, things I downloaded simply didn’t download, NSD crashed when opening certain files– every single time…

    This was a Murphy’s Law assignment. I ended up settling for not finishing on time, and posting my humiliating attempts, just wanting to evidence the fact that I actually WORKED on the assignment.

  2. Karin — it looks like it’s you and me in the “this was easy!” category on this assignment. Your image looks good. I’d be very interested to see this perspective used in a battle map that shows ship tracks during an engagement. That would be a new twist the venerable Iron Bottom Sound/Battle of Savo Island maps. Nice job!

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