3D printing tactile maps

I wish to enable printing tactile maps for blind people, using mostly likely a 3D printer.

The initial goal is to produce maps that are suitable for pedestrian navigation, and so cover an area from a few hundred meters to some two kilometers across. The solution should be easily usable by the blind people themselves, thus will eventually include an accessible website that produces files ready for 3D printing, and no manual customization of the map contents should be needed.

The easiest implementation appears to be to extend OSM2World. The required changes are at least:

  • Raise roads – this alone goes a long way to enabling pedestrian navigation
  • Add a cube underneath the map for physical support
  • Clip objects that extend outside the selected map area

My question is: does it make sense to extend OSM2World, or should I look into some other pieces of the OpenStreetMap ecosystem?


I am looking to upgrade my fathers film camera with a Nikon D70 DSLR camera. My question is will the optical viewfinder work with eyeglasses? Who read Nikon D70 review?

My dad said that he needs the viewfinder to focus to infinity so that he can actually use it while wearing glasses. I dont wear glasses myself so I thought I would check with the arscollective about this topic.

Thanks for your help in advance.


I have done this in a variety of ways. Here are two existing sites- jhatch has been the quick and simple standard:


Heavier-duty site written with Python: http://touchterrain.geol.iastate.edu/

Repo for the above site, the Python is very well written- great to look through: https://github.com/ChHarding/TouchTerrain_for_CAGEO

This is a great OSM 3d API. I use this frequently from the Bash terminal and in shell scripts. https://github.com/karimnaaji/vectiler

You can also create topo reliefs from any raster data you want (DEM images)- here is an example I wrote in R / Shiny- This is a one page web app that converts an image (like a png or something of elevation data, DEM style) to STL. https://github.com/Jesssullivan/Shiny-Apps/tree/master/Raster2STL

I keep that app live under Heroku with an example-only version here: https://kml-tools.herokuapp.com/ (not load balanced, just an example! - the terrain app is at the bottom)


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