Well, here it is!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
photo software (I used PaintShop pro)
ink jet printer (continuous ink supply system not required but recommended!)
paper cutter (recommended)
spray mount or spray adhesive (optional)
weather proofing spray (optional)
Step 2: Find a Map
Get a map for the area you want. I used google maps, but you can use whatever map you want. I suppose you could even do this with a purchased street map if you so desired. Someone suggested this place instead of google maps: http://www.openstreetmap.org/.
If you haven't noticed already, on google maps you can click the tiny little arrow on the left side bar and it will disappear giving you a larger map area to work with.
I wanted this map to flow intuitively from one page to the next. To get that effect, you need a long (wide) and narrow (short) map.
I chose to make a map of my home area, Silicon Valley, which is sort of a landscape rectangle (see photo).
Take a screen shot and then paste it into your photo software.
Step 3: Tricky Part
Once you have the screenshot in your photo editing software, trim it into a shape about 12" tall by 20" wide or so.
Then carefully select the upper half of the image (6" by 20"). (I wish Paint Shop Pro had a way to tell it specific coordinates for selection, but it doesn't, oh well)
Once you have the upper half of the image selected, you need to rotate it 180 degrees.
Now save your image and print it out to your printer.
In my case, I had to print the image out on poster setting 2x1 (printed over two pages in landscape mode).
Step 4: Trim and Assemble
Once your printout is ready, trim the inner white margin with the paper cutter and carefully tape together the two halves of the map, being careful to line up the streets and street names so they match exactly.
Step 5: Trim Again
Now trim the large white margin away from the entire map.
If you have a paper cutter, most of them will let you remove the guide so you can cut longer paper with it.
Step 6: Fold and Cut
These are basically the same folding instructions that can be found on other websites, such as this one:
The photos explain it better than I can
First, fold the image in half lengthwise with the picture facing out.
Then unfold and then fold it into a W shape with the pictures facing in.
Then make cut through the middle hump of the W with scissors right down the middle (see photos).
Fold back lengthwise into the diamond with wings shape (see photos)
Step 7: Optional Larger Version
I discovered that a larger version could be made by just adding more humps to the 'w'. These become more pages.
For this variation, you definitely need to use spray adhesive on the backs of the pages to keep it all from unfolding all over.
Also, getting all those pages to meet perfectly in the center was sort of tough.
But this produces a larger map which is more readable, so I like it.
Step 8: Optional Adhesive and Waterproofing
I also chose to spray adhesive onto the white back side of the map so that the pages would be more compact and look neater. However, if you don't use adhesive, you can actually unfold the thing again and get a better birds eye view of the whole map, which might be better actually.
Be aware that the more careful you are about trimming, cutting and folding, the neater the finished result will be and the more pleasing the finished booklet will be.
Thanks for reading and I hope you like this little map book.
Second Prize in the
Lonely Planet Travel Tips Contest