Maps / Digital Storytelling: Creating 3D Anaglyphic Images using Apple Maps and Sketches Pro for iPad

Apple Maps can display some pretty amazing 3D imagery of our planet. But looking at it on a single screen still results in our two eyes seeing the exact same image. In the real world, however, we use our two eyes to perceive depth in 3-dimensional spaces by viewing the world from two slightly different perspectives.

The challenge becomes, then, how can we use a single computer screen to allow our eyes to see two different images? Well, until we are all wearing AR/VR-enabled wearable displays, the answer for now is through 3D anaglyphic images and glasses. The following 17-minute tutorial shows you how to take two different images in Apple Maps and colorize them in Sketches Pro to produce a composite image that allows the viewer to perceive depth on a display screen, when viewed through red/blue glasses.

In this tutorial, here is what each user will need:

- An iPad with an Apple Pencil

Apple Maps app

Sketches Pro (a paid app, but if you have a preferred similar drawing app, that may work fine as well. The app will need the capability for layers, as well as the ability to switch to different blending modes between layers).

- A pair (or several pairs, if doing this with your students) of red/blue 3D anaglyphic glasses. The flat cardboard versions can be bought inexpensively on Amazon. I think I bought a pack of 50 for $10. Here's a sample link).

This activity can dovetail well with class topics such as:

- color and light in art and physics

- biology and human physiology

- photography

- geography

- educational technology

The YouTube video link is also attached here. Good luck, and enjoy creating your 3D images!


2 replies

October 23, 2022

Wow, a pretty amazing technique! Another interesting way to use Apple Maps across many disciplines. Thanks!

April 30, 2023

Thanks Ben. I was also able to use this technique with ProCreate. Am going to use with my students next week!

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