Slope Angle Shading

matthew's Avatar


14 Jul, 2019 03:18 PM

I might be imagining this but I'm pretty sure Slope Angle Shading used to be added as an Additional Map Layer which meant that you could change it's opacity. I think it was recently moved to a checkbox on the Map Overlays options and it's obscuring map features (specifically elevation numbers and contours) more than I think it should.
Is it possible to give Caltopo users a way to change the opacity of slope angle shading? Or maybe there is a way to do that currently that I am not seeing?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by rmarcucci on 15 Jul, 2019 05:26 PM

    rmarcucci's Avatar


    You are correct in the change in how the slope angle shading works. I'm not certain why the change was made, so perhaps our developer will chime in at some point. I was curious if you could send over a few screenshots of what you're experiencing for us to take a look at. Personally, I've found the current opacity levels to be a pretty good compromise for visibility of both, except when you're zoomed way out and contours/elevations are hard to see regardless.

    Thanks so much,

  2. 2 Posted by Matthew King on 15 Jul, 2019 06:46 PM

    Matthew King's Avatar

    The problem is most noticeable when printing. Basically I think the user should have control to mix the opacity to their preference. Here is a photo of a print showing what I’m talking about. Picture trying to read the 12000’ elevation number above Big Moccasin Lake with sunglasses on and tons of light reflecting off the snow.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by matt on 18 Jul, 2019 05:32 PM

    matt's Avatar

    Matthew, this didn't move, it's been a checkbox all along. Not sure what you would have seen in the past to suggest otherwise; it did use to be separate fixed / gradient checkboxes instead of a single checkbox with a dropdown.

    It's a bit of a workaround, but you can add a custom layer to your account:

    • Sign in
    • Add New Layer -> Add DEM Shading
    • Under overlay, chose "base layer"
    • You can add a number of rules with slope values and colors to create your own customized layer. Or simply enter "fixed" (no quotes) in the text box to mimic the current fixed slope angle shading layer
    • Click "save to account" at the bottom left
    • Reload the page

    We will likely add an opacity slider to some of the checkbox layers at some point, but given that the balance normally works pretty well, I think moving the layer into the dropdown menu entirely would be a step backwards, usability wise.

    This comes up on occasion, can we make this message public so that other people can see it?

  4. 4 Posted by Matthew King on 19 Jul, 2019 05:00 AM

    Matthew King's Avatar

    You are welcome to make this public.

    I was backpacking the last couple of days, using Gaia GPS on iOS. I realized that is where I have the ability to lower the opacity of Slope Angle Shading.

    I’ll try your workaround.

    FWIW, I find it tremendously useful to drop the opacity on many different types of layers.


  5. matt closed this discussion on 19 Jul, 2019 03:54 PM.

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