Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University

Landscapes of the Kyoto Basin — Displays using mapRaster2

Noboru Ogata

Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan where our university is located, is in a basin surrounded by mountains in three directions except the south. In this page we show bird's eye images created from digital elevation data (DEM) with other geographical sources using mapRaster2.

Satellite Imagery (Landsat 7 ETM+: August 25, 2000)

Earth observation satellite imagery of LANDSAT 7 is draped over the surface model. The satellite data was received by JAXA Japan and distributed by RESTEC Japan.

Land Use Map

Land use maps published by the Geographical Survey Institute of Japan in the 1980's are draped over the surface model. Different categories of land uses are shown in colors. Although the sources maps are somewhat old, we can see that industrial areas shown in blue are mainly located in the western and southern part of the city of Kyoto.

Kyoto in the late 19th century

Maps created by the Japanese army around 1890 are draped over the surface model (only for the flat areas). Those maps are among the first works utilizing modern cartography. The image reflects pre-modern situation of the city of Kyoto. It also shows the remaining structure of the Heian-kyo (ancient Kyoto) built as the capital of Japan late in the eighth century.

The neighborhood of Kyoto University

Using high resolution (5 meters) digital elevation data, this image shows the neighborhood of our university in the northeastern part of Kyoto. Land use map is draped over the surface model, and the category of educational institute is shown in orange. Tourist spots such as Heian Shrine and Ginkakuji Temple are also in this area.

Geomorphologic analysis of the neighborhood of Kyoto University

The Kyoto Basin is made of alluvial fans formed by many streams flowing from the surrounding mountains. By exaggerating the elevation by eight-fold and colored by elevation, we can see two major alluvial fans (shown in yellow) in the area. The larger one on this side, where our university is located, is the fan deposited by Shirakawa River. We can also find an active fault running through the area.