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3D printed topographic map provides interractive addition to the CSU Mountain Campus

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Colorado State University instructional designer, Chris Geanious, has elevated the use of the I2P lab’s 3D printers by creating scaled topographic maps for the CSU’s Mountain Campus at Pingree Park.

Photo courtesy of Chris Geanious

Photo courtesy of Chris Geanious

Geospatial Centroid, located in the CSU library, hired Geanious to create a 3D topography map of Pingree Park out of GIS data layers. The 3D model will replace an outdated relief map currently made of styrofoam. Geanious was given the elevation data for the Pingree Park campus to use for the update.

“They sent me the digital elevation information to convert into a file,” Geanious said. “This will replace a relief map at Pingree that is old and falling apart.”

The 3D print was created on the largest printer in the lab. It currently consists of four 3D printed topographic squares that are positioned together. Though the blocks are a solid color, the project utilizes a projector to display different views of the area. Currently there are eight topographic views that alternate on the map.

Once set up at Pingree Park, it will allow visitors to choose the views they want to explore. According toGeanious, it is possible to project various displays of information such as fire data, elevation, township and range, soil types,

Photo curtesy of Chris Geanious

Photo courtesy of Chris Geanious

satellite images and numerous other views.

“If you are interested in a particular bit of data, you can click on it and get the numbers,” Geanious said.

Geanious, who primarily designs for the classes LIFE 210 and LIFE 212, frequently uses the lab to create large-scale biological models of various forms. This topographic map is one of his many on-going projects.