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What is this about?

3D on a 2D map

Brief ephemeral animations shear the terrain and use motion to enhance depth perception. Advantages of 3D visualizations and motion are combined with the properties of 2D maps without increasing the complexity of user interactions.


We provide different options to render beautiful terrain maps in real time. Choose a base map, customize relief shading, elevation colors, plan oblique relief, and more. Check out the large map .


Elastic Terrain works in modern web browsers, and relies on the power of WebGL. Shearing Animations as introduced by Willet et al. can be incorporated into any interactive map. View project on GitHub .

Global coverage

We provide a sample dataset to experiment with Elastic Terrain that covers the entire earth. Don't miss the new Mars map!

Watch the demo movie


Willett, W., Jenny, B., Isenberg, T. and Dragicevic, P. (2015).
Lightweight relief shearing for enhanced terrain perception on interactive maps.
Proceedings of the 33rd ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
(CHI 2015), Apr 2015, Seoul, South Korea, 3563–3572.

Terrain Data

To discover shearing animations with a variety of different terrain features,
we created a global, multi-scale dataset that includes bathymetry.