A 3dSkiMap is a 3-dimensional model of a ski area with an image overlay having the steepness or slope of each point coded with a color from a graduated scale, with green designating the least amount of slope, changing gradually through blue, to red, to yellow which designates the highest amount of slope. An orthographic aerial photo of the ski area overlays on top of that to show the location of wooded and impassable areas, as well as man made features.
The overall effect is to give the user a general idea of the steepness of an area at a glance, and to give a clear picture of the changes in steepness of a particular trail or piste.
Traditional ski trail maps depict the difficulty of trails with colored lines: green for Beginner, blue for Intermediate, black with a diamond for expert, and black with two diamonds for most expert. This is alright, but it doesn't tell you, for example, that an Intermediate trail might seem to be the same difficulty as a Beginner trail except for one difficult area in the middle.
Not only that, but various ski areas seem to have their own scales for trail difficulty, with an Intermediate piste in one area equivalent to a Beginner piste in another. This was what gave inventor Dale M. Greer the idea for 3dSkiMaps in 1999.
3dSkiMap is a trademarked term of 3dSkiMaps, LLC.