In this tutorial we will be making a laser cut wooden map using open data from Vancouver's Open data catalog. The Vancouver open data catalog has many different shape files that can be used, in this tutorial we will be using the coastal and public street data.

You can use this tutorial to make maps of any city that you have the shp file for. The Github repo has files for some other major city.

I first learned of TileMill and Open data maps from a talk that Denim And Steel gave at The Vancouver Hackspace. Thank guys!

Video version of the tutorial. http://youtu.be/V_0t9ctAAbE

Tools needed

Step 1: Download, install TileMill and start a new project.

  • You can download TileMill for free from MapBox.
  • After you have installed TileMill start a new project.

<p>such a cool idea</p>
<p>Great project.</p><p>I would like to make one of these, but it's for a small town. Any suggestions on how I can get a map to use as a starting point?</p>
If your town shows up on http://www.openstreetmap.org/ then you can download their database and import it in to tilemil. <br><br>
<p>Great project.But i can't download shp file from http://www.openstreetmap.org. I don't know how to do.Can you help me?I'm come from china.Thank you.</p>
<p>Excellent tutorial. I have a problem, I import a shape file but I get moved about 180 meters. You Might I say that?</p>
<p>I am not sure what you mean. can you descrive it in another way?</p>
<p>Does your laser have an engrave setting? I'm just curious if it does why you would choose to cut the streets instead. <br><br>Fantastic project though. :) I'm excited to do this with a map of Detroit, on our 150w laser!</p>
<p>Yes it does have a engrave setting. With my laser cutter software the engrave takes an extreamly long time to a full size sheet and i found it much faster just to use the cut function with a very low power. This might entirltly be a flaw in my laser cutter software. </p>
That looks really neat! Check out my Captain America beanie and other instructables
Right on. Thanks
Any chance you'd sell me one?
<p>@JKans Nope, but if you are in the Vancouver area, come down to VHS (Vancouver Hackspace http://vancouver.hackspace.ca) and I will teach you how to make one! Ask for Funvill </p><p>If you really really want to spend money, take the files to a techshop or laser cutter cafe or any commercial laser cutting service. </p>

About This Instructable


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Bio: I build things with the Laser cutter at Vancouver Hackspace and play with open data.
More by funvill: Javascript generated laser cut jewellery Laser cut wooden maps with public data
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