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3D Map Models of Our World and Beyond
Managed By: Icon Here Raised Relief Maps
3D Map Models, also called Raised Relief maps, abound both indoors and outside. These map models demonstrate topography, geography, hydrology, town or city development or provide guidance for visually impaired. The 3D Map Model may range anywhere from high precision to an abstracted interpretation; as long as they use the three factors of length, width and height. Please click on "show additional information" below to see requirements for posting in this category.
Expanded Description:

For those of us who do not have easy access to a helicopter, 3D Map Models are one of the best ways to visualize and understand the topography of an area. The models may be a topographical representation of a specific area of land, ocean floor or other land masses such as Earth's moon or they could be a 3D map of the development of a town/city that shows how the geography of the area impacted the development of the town. These small models of hundred of miles/meters of land help us to better understand our location, the importance of the area and the geological development or changes of the location. Examples might be 3D topographical model of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA; the Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean; before and after models of the eruption at Mount St. Helens in Washington, USA. Some of these map models are interactive and use lights or mechanical motion to further explain the topography and geography.

Posts in this category may not be of a single man-made item. That type of model should be submitted to the Exact Replicas category. For instance, a model of Red Rocks Amphitheatre may show the geography, but the model is primarily about the amphitheatre. 3D Map Models of towns/city development are acceptable since it is demonstrating how the geography of the area influenced the location and development of the town/city.

Common, mass-produced 3D maps are not allowed.

The 3D Map Models must be permanent and open to the public (pieces found in secure areas of airports, train stations, etc., are not open to the public and not Waymarkable). The location of the model may be free of charge or have an admission price. The location may be outdoors or indoors and may be available seasonally as long as it is a permanent item.

3D Map Models, also called Raised Relief maps, are an excellent tool to help us understand a large area of land that we cannot easily visualize. The model may range anywhere from high precision to an abstracted interpretation; as long as the model uses the three factors of length, width and height. These map models are commonly found at Visitor Centers, museums or community parks. Some are even interactive with lights and motors! While most 3D Map Models are found in a horizontal position, there are also vertically mounted 3D Map Models.

Examples of 3D Map Models include:

[Above] This 3D Map Model is of Colorado's Grand Mesa area on the Western Slope. It is located in the Grand Junction Visitor Center.

[Above] This is a 3D Map Model of the Philippines is found in a park. It is over 1,000' in length! WMB28M

[Above] This abstracted 3D Map Model is of Boulder County area in Colorado, USA. It is located on the Pearl Street Mall.

[Above] This abstracted 3D Map Model is of Parc Penellia found in Wales, GB.


[Above] This 3D Model would fit in the Exact Replica category as it is a man-made item. It is not really showing geography of the area. This example is not suitable for the 3D Map Model category.

While the criteria for approval of a 3D Map Models should be clear, the decision of the Leader/Officers will be final.

Instructions for Posting a 3D Map Models of Our World and Beyond Waymark:

Instructions for Posting a 3D Map Models Waymark:

1. The piece must be a public 3D Map Model that uses the factors of length, width and height to illustrate. The piece should involve complexity, scale or size and purpose.

2. Must provide coordinates by actually visiting the Waymark. If the model is indoors, take coordinates at the closest entrance to the model. Describe where the model is in the building if it is not near the entrance.

3. Minimum of two photos that you have personally taken that show the piece as best as one can. Close-ups really add to the Waymark and often two photos are not enough. Make sure your photos show this is a 3D Map Model. You are strongly encouraged to upload as many photographs to really ‘show off’ the piece. If a signs are available with additional information, upload these photographs, too! Photos of the actual area the 3D Topographical Model is illustrating would be greatly appreciated and encouraged, but not required. If the model is indoors, include a photo of the building to help others find the model. Do not include your GPSr or yourself in the default Waymark photo. An appropriate time to include people is to show scale or point out features.

4. Naming requirement: Title of Piece (or unknown if not known) - City, State/Province/Country (whichever is appropriate). Example: Rocky Mountain National Park - Estes Park, CO Quotation marks are not needed around the title of the sculpture/model.

5. In the "Long Description" field, include a brief explanation about the area the 3D Map Model is replicating and any special features of the model such as interactive buttons that may display fault lines or other features. The model may include the location of man-made structures, but must also include the land mass that shows how geography impacted the development of the town/city. The model may be indoors or outdoors.

Feel free to include as much information about the topic the 3D Map Model is illustrating. Please cite your sources. The bulk of the text in the long description must be left black. If the post is not in English, please provide an English - this helps the reviewers.

6. Location of the piece including and, if applicable, hours, fees, dates available.

Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:

Enjoy taking your photos from varying angles to really show off the intricacies of the 3D Map Model. Please include your impressions of the piece.

Category Settings:
  • Waymarks can be added to this category
  • New waymarks of this category are reviewed by the category group prior to being published
  • Category is visible in the directory
  • Address and Hours Available to the Public
  • Admission Fee (if any)
  • Interactive Features
  • Website for more information
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