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All Places > Applications Prototype Lab > Blog > 2013 > May

The Lab is pleased to announce the release of Raster Shader, a new addin for ArcMap 10.1!  Raster Shader is a tool for creating full-color, relief-shaded visualizations of single-band raster datasets.  Similar to the Image Analysis Window, Raster Shader leverages the power of raster functions to process the data dynamically as it is displayed in the map.  Since the processing occurs entirely in memory, it is extremely fast and does not affect the source datasets.


The idea for this tool came from projects we've done over the last couple of years involving large collections of single-band raster datasets containing climate data such as temperature averages and precipitation totals over time.  Our standard approach for visualizing these datasets is to use chained raster functions to apply a combination stretch/colormap renderer.  However, building and configuring raster function chains which produce an attractive and meaningful visual result can be a challenge if you are not familiar with the concepts and techniques involved.  This is where Raster Shader can help.  Not only does it build the raster function chain for you.  It also provides a simple interactive UI for adjusting key rendering parameters so you can see the results immediately in the map layer.  An interesting feature of Raster Shader is a histogram which shows how the colors in the colormap relate to the distribution of values in the data.  This relationship is based on stretch parameters which you can adjust with slider bars and/or text boxes.  Optionally, if the map contains a layer based on a DEM, you can add topographic context to the data with a hillshade effect and easily adjust parameters such as sun azimuth and sun angle.


Click here for the addin.

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