Britain and Ireland physical map with hillshading / relief layer (high-resolution)

editable, scalable, royalty free, vector map base
supplied in Illustrator AI · high-res PDFs · SVG · JPEG / PNG formats


Britain and Ireland physical preview
Small preview of the Britain and Ireland physical map. (Zoom preview is not possible for this map)

This bundle contains a detailed map of Britain and Ireland with a hillshading / relief layer giving a beautiful sculpted backdrop for the landmass. Every part of the map is editable and suitable for high-resolution professional printing up to A0 poster size.

The bundle of files includes the following:

  • Vector artwork (Illustrator master file) for the roads, sea, lakes, rivers and over 2,000 placenames. The linked hillshading / relief layers are perfectly positioned within the vector artwork.
  • Raster artwork for the hillshading / relief backdrop in three versions – soft, dramatic and monochrome silver. Each version is supplied as a separate Photoshop file linked to the Illustrator master file, and also embedded in the PDF versions.
  • Layered and flattened PDFs. The layered PDFs can be opened in Illustrator with all layers intact. The flattened (unlayered) PDFs are smaller in file size and ready for high-resolution printing.
  • Large PNGs and medium-size JPEGs
  • Our older touring / physical map of Britain and Ireland (worth £29.99) is also included in this bundle. The older map is much lower in resolution, and with fewer placenames, and thus suitable for small-scale printing or web use but without the poster size capabilities of the detailed base.
Soft relief elevation layer on physical map of Britain and Ireland example
The soft version of the relief layer is a warm browny green with gentle undulations over the hills and dales of Britain and Ireland.
Britain and Ireland with relief hillshading layer preview dramatic
The more dramatic version of the relief  layer shows elevation with a distinctive sculptural quality lit from a top left angle. Cool blue-tinted hues of green define sea level and the valleys turning darker as elevation rises over fells and reaching up to purple peaks in the most mountainous parts of Britain and Ireland.
Silver relief layer demo of Britain and Ireland physical map
The silver version of the relief layer works well as a beguiling monochrome backdrop. Designers will find this version perfect for adding their own colour elements and labels over the top. Or try adding a colour adjustment layer in Photoshop to change the silver relief to any other colour of your choice.

Details about the Britain and Ireland hillshading / relief raster artwork layer

A portion of the west coast of Ireland with the relief layer shown at about 100%

We have constructed the hillshading / relief artwork layer using specialist software and techniques to stitch together elevation data from 110 files sourced from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. The artwork is rasterised, which means it is composed of pixels like a digital photograph. It can be opened and edited in Photoshop, and separate Photoshop files are provided for each version. There are also full-size PNGs and medium-resolution JPEGs of the hillshading / relief versions.

For professional designers interested in the print scaling possibilities of this layer: at 100% resolution and 300dpi, the hillshading / relief artwork of the whole British Isles, from Shetland in the north to the Channel Islands in the south, and the west coast of Ireland in the west to the edge of France in the east, is 8,479 pixels x 11,786 pixels. This equates to the whole image being approximately A0 size (841 mm x 1,189 mm) if printed at 300dpi.

As a further indication of scale if using only part of the artwork – Wales, for example, is approximately A4 size when output at 300dpi. If using portions for screens, you will be able to zoom in quite a bit deeper without noticeable loss of resolution. In our opinion the pixellation of the hillshading / relief layer starts to become noticeable from about 300% zoom.

Ireland relief at 250%
Portion of Ireland with relief layer zoomed to 250%. The water features are on a flat vector layer above the raster relief layer.

The rest of the artwork is vector, so not limited by pixel resolution. Placenames, roads and other vector elements will be sharp at any size you scale them to. The sea background is transparent, so you can overlay the land relief over any background or colour of your choice. You can also drop the raster hillshading / relief layer for unlimited possibilities with flat colours and ways to use this versatile map base of Britain and Ireland in any way you choose for different projects on royalty-free terms.

roads overlaying physical features
Motorways and primary roads provide context over the relief layer. Nearly 2,000 towns are plotted across Britain and Ireland.

In its opening state, the Illustrator master file has been scaled to A0 size to contain the raster hillshading / relief layers at 100%, and with town names legible at 4pt font size. If you want to output the full map smaller than A0 then you will need to increase the font size and/or suppress placename layers for legibility. You can of course zoom into smaller parts of the map or tile it and add extra labels.

If you edit the linked Photoshop relief files, they should automatically update in the Illustrator master file too without needing to reimport. The silver version is perfect for adding a colour mask for easy colour change. See the tutorial: How to change the colour of a hillshading / relief layer in Photoshop.

Colour masks for physical maps example
Examples of colour masks created quickly in Photoshop over the raster silver relief layer

Please note, the high-resolution files, being large and aimed primarily at professional graphic designers, are best edited on a reasonably powerful desktop computer. As typical of high-res image files, they may take a while to load and look blurry or blank until fully loaded.

Upgrade from low-resolution physical maps at a discount

Please contact us if you purchased one of our older physical maps and want to upgrade to this higher resolution version. We can provide a discount coupon code to the value of the map you purchased previously.