Terrain Tiles

Explore our terrain tiles: hillshade, slope, aspect and elevation.

Clockwork Micro’s terrain tiles allow developers to add elevation and topographic data to their maps. The underlying data for the terrain tiles are elevation data hosted by AWS. Clockwork Micro provides tools that access the underlying elevation data, compute the hillshade, aspect, or slope and either color or shade it according to the user’s specification. The total latency is under 200 milliseconds.

Types of Terrain Tiles We Offer

Hillshade Layer

One of the most intuitive representations of the terrain is hillshade. This layer is created by imagining the sun in a fixed position on the horizon and calculating the shading on the ground caused by hills and mountains. The hillshade layer brings a map to life and gives the viewer a sense for how hilly or mountainous an area is.

Slope Layer

The slope layer tool can show how steep the incline is. This can be used, for example, to show users whether a road is more gradual or not. This terrain tile allows developers to show the slope on any map, on any scale, from global down to the vicinity of a house and set the shading for the slope.

Aspect Layer

Our aspect terrain tool allows the user to dynamically set an aspect range. For example, one could color slopes based on an East to West partition. The partition could be set by the application, or the application can allow the end user to select a range and color the landscape accordingly.

Elevation Layer

The final terrain tile tool that Clockwork Micro offers is the elevation layer. This tile tool allows users to set an elevation threshold in a given location, and color all the regions above that threshold. The user also has the ability to adjust the color to their liking. For example, a software application may want to allow the end user to set an elevation threshold and then a color to color all the land above a certain elevation a chosen color.

More on Terrain Tiles

Toggle All Layers - Mt. Fuji, Japan

Hillshade Layer - Colorado, USA

Interactive Slope - Quito, Ecuador

Slope - Lopez Island, US

Interactive Aspect - Dolomites, Italy

Color by Elevation - Zürich, Switzerland


Clockwork Micro is based in Seattle, WA. If you're interested in what we're working on and would like to discuss a project, please send us an email or give us a call.




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