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Computer Generated Surface Views of Hubel Hollow

By Ed Perley

In much of the most rugged loess hill country, it is difficult to comprehend the actual shape of the terrain because it is almost completely covered in heavy forest. Consider, for instance, Hubel Hollow, east of Little Sioux, Iowa. The trees hide just about everything, except for some of the steeper slopes. Much of the terrain can be observed only by walking it, as there are few open viewpoints. U.S. Geological Survey maps provide much information, but even with them, it is difficult to visualize what the surface really does looks like.

I have devised a computer program that generates surface views of landscapes, using altitude data from U.S. Geological Survey maps. I used it to map out a three quarter mile square area covering Hubel Hollow and the surrounding area. Several of the literally thousands of available views are shown below. Some time in the future, I intend to use this program to show views of Preparation Canyon State Park and other areas of interest.

Map of Hubel Hollow and the Gleason-Hubel Wildlife Area.
Map shows an area about one mile square. Dark areas are forest.
(U.S. Geological Survey Map)

View from the river bottom, looking south. The narrow mouth of Hubel Hollow
is barely visible at center right.

View looking east from the mouth of Hubel Hollow.

View looking east from within Hubel Hollow.

View to the west across Hubel Hollow from about 100 feet above the ridge to the east.

View to the north from about 100 feet above the ridge southeast of Hubel Hollow.

To learn more about the Surface View program, go to the PROGRAMMING TOPICS menu, accessible from this site's main menu.

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Date last updated: January 2003