The highest mountain ranges and the deepest oceanic trenches

I've been working with elevation and bathymetry data as part of my quest to make beautiful, tactile, custom wooden globes:

wood carving of a continent dome map of North America

You can pre-order your own fully three-dimensional maps and globes, carved into fine hardwood, at the goodwoodglobes crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

This animation shows cross-sections through the continents and the oceans along circles of longitude, as a complement to my previous visualization Earth Elevations - cross-sections along parallels, which shows cross-sections along circles of latitude.

You can use the slider on the right to set the longitude. The layout with the South Pole on the left, the North Pole on the right and longitude decreasing over time is comparable to the view you'd get if you were floating in space above the Equator, looking west, as the Earth spins beneath you.

I've used a vertical exaggeration of ×500 for this visualization, compared to ×1000 for the previous one, since a meridian from the South Pole to the North Pole is half the length of the Equator.


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Combined elevation and bathymetry data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – National Centres for Environmental Information – ETOPO1 Global Relief Model Amante, C. and B.W. Eakins, 2009. ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis. NOAA Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24. National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA. doi:10.7289/V5C8276M. Accessed 16 February 2019.


First published 26 February 2019

other pages on things made thinkable

Atoms   What Do We All Provide?   If Patents Were Abolished…
Atoms   What Do We All Provide?   If Patents Were Abolished…
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