Mar.22, 2014

The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI), Japan's national mapping and surveying authority, offers free web-based three-dimensional topographical map of Japan that can be used for 3D printing.

Users can view mountains and islands from the angle of their choice by rotating the 3-D image on their computer screens. To zoom in and out of your model, you can use the scroll wheel on your mouse. Once you have decided which portion of the map data you would love to download, you can simply drag it to hard disk and save it for 3D printing. Non-color files will be saved in STL format, while colored 3D maps are saved in VRML format. You can then create a physical version of the terrain map using a 3D printer.

The map was created based on topographical data with a scale of 1:25,000. To view the three-dimensional map, use Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome, and Firefox.

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Click the "Display this map in 3D" to decide the location

Step 2: Detailed 3D map will be displayed.

Step 3: You can also download the data for 3D printer.

Completion of the 3D printed model in full color

Another 3D printed model

The 3D map data takes the hassle out of finding detailed maps for your next outdoor adventure. A 3D model enables you to preview your route and tour the landscape. Shoichi Oki, a GSI official, said, "Hikers can use the map to confirm climbing routes because it clearly shows mountain ridges and valleys in great detail."

The map is available on GSI's site here (in Japanese).


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Superstefan wrote at 12/29/2014 4:53:10 PM:

As a topological map fan let me suggest the service of, where you can generate colored terrain models within seconds. It comes with dynamic texture mapping and vertical exaggeration sandbox - all free. Once you are satisfied you can order a color 3D print of any size, starting from 35cm x 25cm (14" x 10").

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