Topographic Maps

By: Bonnie J.

During this six weeks, instead of working on modules we were working on topographic maps for a science project. A topographic map is two dimensional model of the Earth’s surface (represents 3D world). In our science projects, we got assigned a location. My location was Los Angeles, California. For our location, we were supposed predict what it would look like in the future. Part of predicting what the future would look like for the different locations, we were also supposed to create topographic maps.

First, we had to get into groups based on what our location was. Once we got into our groups, we talked and took notes on what a topographic map really is. The next step in this project was to find a 2D topographic map of your location. After finding our picture, we found out that we were going to be making the 2D topographic map into a 3D model.LA Topographic Map

To create a 3D model, we used the laser cutter. Before we could use the laser cutter, we had to choose what our group roles would be. My group role was the graphic artist. The graphic artist was supposed to use a computer program called Illustrator. In Illustrator, we had to use a pen tool and trace each line on our topographic map (as you might see in the picture). This process took a lot of time to complete because there were so many lines.

Once we were finally finished tracing every line on the topographic map, another person in our group was in charge of setting up the laser cutter and cutting all the pieces from our map.

After all of the pieces of our map were cut out, two other people in our gIMG_2062roup were in charge of assembling all pieces into a map, showing the different elevations. The topographic map showed different mountains in the Los Angeles area.

Overall, the it was amazing to see our final 3D topographic map of Los Angeles. Even though the project was difficult and frustrating at times, it was a good challenge.

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