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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mars Needs ... Cartographers

In the course of building-up the maps for the Great Rift, the various Basins and Abyssal Gorges, the Etched Plateau, High Tombs of Yuddoth and so forth for Riskail, I've been searching for some decent references to work with, especially for the way that craters actually form, and the manner in which canyons erode into shape.  One rather useful source for this purpose has been the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment of the University of Arizona in conjunction with NASA and the JPL.  These very nice people have made a selection of 15 pages filled with 236 pictures taken by the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter which you can find at their site.

They also provide an array of Digital Terrain Models that might prove useful as well, down the road, if not immediately.  If you work in 3D then these might be of more use to you.  We've only just acquired Bryce in order to dip our toes into the 3D end of things...which means more tutorials to go through.  yay.  No guarantees when we'll start producing anything 3D-ish for the blogs.  You will be seeing some new stuff in a very different style/technique fairly soon however.  But more on that when it's time to show, not just tell.

In the meantime, the Ares Valles Cataract is particularly striking and very, very Riskail, so finding this site has been a real treat and oh so very helpful.  The Descent of the Phoenix Lander is also really cool. 

Ten Handy Planetary Photo Resource Links

But wait, there's more: Solar Voyager is a very nice website devoted to Space Art and there are some very talented artists showing off their work on that site--the tutorials are also a nice resource.  NovaCelestia is another, related site devoted to high quality space art that we definitely recommend to anyone interested in this sort of thing.  And of course, we have to mention Digital Blasphemy, one of the absolute best of the best space art sites out there, bar none.  Yeah, we could probably assemble another set of ten or twelve space art sites for you, but we're still recovering from a nasty bout with a fever that just wouldn't go away, so this will have to do for now.  Maybe we'll come back and flesh things out a bit more, later.

We're seriously considering setting up a recurring feature for Useful Resources...let us know what you think.

2 comments:

  1. I would enjoy more of those Useful Resources posts. Must be some deep-rooted librarian instinct: you cn never have too many resources, even if you may not need that at that moment ;)

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  2. Cool. I tend to see this blog as a sort of mad scientist laboratory and workshop, so some of the posts are effectively my collected notes and such. After I've plugged-in a few more links, etc. I can set up a handy index on a separate page that'll link to each resource...which will make it easier for me to use personally, and might prove helpful to other readers as well.

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