In order to create this artistic map-style you start by generating a Color Relief map from your Lidar data. In this case multiple Lidar “tiles” are imported into Surfer. To find the Lidar data tiles used to create the map of the Baker River, Steve used open-source data from the New Hampshire’s Statewide GIS Clearinghouse website.
After the Color Relief layer is created you choose a maximum elevation value that you hope to ignore. This will help reduce the noise of features that you don’t necessarily want to focus on. Once the maximum elevation value is decided you can apply a custom defined two-color, color scale where the background color is set to anything above your max elevation value. Choosing a color scheme is the greatest challenge, as there are infinite possibilities, and the best look is subjective.
Once satisfied with your color scheme you can further highlight the more linear, subtle features by applying a small vertical scale factor. Increasing the Z value scale factor can help sharpen the image quality, but it also can introduce more of the “noise” we are aiming to reduce. Overall, it really takes some testing to find the right balance between the Z value scale factor and color scheme as it pertains to your own data, so hop into Surfer and try it out!