Saturday, 29 March 2014

3D Terrain Maps for 3D Printing

At the Dundas Valley Trail Centre is a very large and very impressive diorama of the whole valley. I covet it. Way too big for my space, but if I buy that huge mansion one day, I might make something similar.

I know I’m nerd, but I’ve thought that it would be neat to have a 3 dimensional representation of favoured areas. A mountain you’ve climbed, a trail you’ve hiked, a park you’ve canoed, even just an area you’ve lived in, etc. A sculpture to remind of good times. Or, a SAR team might benefit from a model they could use to brief their team members with. Use topo maps enough and you learn to be able to visualize the terrain, but there is something to be said for a physical, visual representation. 

Well, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, their national mapping and surveying authority, offers a free web-based three-dimensional topographical map of Japan that can be used for 3D printing.

Uhm....yummy. Given that Canada has largely given up on updating their topographical maps, it might be a bit much to assume that our government will offer anything similar soon, but one can hope.

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