This week Sourcepole released a new addition to the Raster Terrain Analysis plugin: a sophisticated Relief tool. (More info in their announcement) This plugin is shipped with QGIS (developer version, not in 1.7.3 release) by default but you might have to activate it in Plugin Manager:
The plugin dialog is quite self-explanatory. You can chose the elevation file, output path and any of the numerous raster formats. The z factor is a bit more mysterious. We will have a look at that in a second. The rest of the dialog is the relief color editor. Pressing Create automatically will give you a color gradient to start with.
But what’s the z factor good for?
I’ve tried a few different settings using free NASA SRTM data and it seems that higher values lead to a smoother relief (Please ignore the water areas):
As Marco noted in the comments: The z factor is used if the x/y units are different from the z unit.
- If everything is in meters, use z factor 1.0 (default).
- If x/y is in degree and z in meters, use z factor 111120.
- If x/y degree and z is feet, use z factor 370400.
In the example above SRTM rasters are in WGS84 with heights in meters. That’s why the result using a z factor of 100000 looks so good.
In my opinion the results look great even with the coarse SRTM dataset I used. Looking forward to all the great QGIS maps we will see in the future.