A picture of me.

Tom Hodson

Maker, Baker Programmer Reformed Physicist RSE@ECMWF

Maps Maps Maps: Part 2

A last minute leaving gift idea for a friend inspired me to finish my first actual laser cut map. I used leaflet.js to overlay the names of some places we had visited together in London onto those nice Stamen Design map tiles from before. You can see the digital version here.

This is what it looks like straight off the laser cutter. The contrast is super washed out because the smoke from the cutting process darkens all the surrounding wood.

I had a bunch of issues with getting that to work mostly based around the fact that these tiles are raster images that are intended for streaming to a zoomable and panable viewer on a screen. The design tradeoff of the maps don’t quite make as much sense when you start transfering them to a static image. I did some hacks to use the tiles intended for a higher zoom level but you can only take that so far before the text starts getting unreadable.

To deal with the darkending from the smoke I sand the whole thing back with 80 grit sandpaper on an orbital sander. I did break a few small features off here and there but it's ok!

I think there is a better approach that involves getting raw OpenStreetMap data and rendering it directly using something like QGIS and some kind of map style files but that seems like a whole new deep rabbit hole I’m not ready to fall into just yet.

The final reveal!