Bird's eye view maps have long been an interesting perspective for mapmakers and users of maps. (They have also been a splendid tool for hyping real estate and city development on America's spread to the west, but that's a story for another day.) Comes today this interesting resource at http://ccablog.blogspot.com/2005/12/birds-eye-views.html
Patterson of the U. S. National Park Service has published a 32 page
paper on the creation of bird's eye views. The paper, published in
NACIS’ fall issue of Cartographic Perspectives, is available on his Shaded Relief website and is in pdf format. Also available are numerous examples.
From the abstract: “A brief historical review looks at the antecedents
of current NPS products dating back to the Renaissance. The practical
second half of the paper focuses on how the NPS now designs these
bird’s-eye views with 3D software, with an eye toward cost savings.
Topics include viewing parameters in a 3D scene, preparing DEMs,
modeling buildings, designing trees, and creating environmental special
effects.” Patterson points out in his paper that “If the output from 3D
software has a visual fault it is the tendency for it to look
hyper-realistic—too smooth, shiny, and simulated.” The paper contains
numerous tips for the creation of a realistic bird’s eye illustration.”
Thanks again to the http://ccablog.blogspot.com/