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Digital to Physical: Using GIS Technology to Create 3D Topographic Models

By Justin Sorensen

Hey everyone,

I’m Justin Sorensen with the Marriott Library’s GIS Services. For this week’s Workshop flyer containing information on the event "Digital to Physical" Using GIS Technology to Create 3D Topographic Models"Map Monday release, we’ll be doing something a little bit different. Normally, I would be sharing a cartographic map or interactive mapping application with you demonstrating the power of GIS technology within projects and research you are developing. This week, I’ll be demonstrating the physical outputs that are possible when combining the power of GIS, 3D modeling, and 3D printing.

Take this example – a 3D topographic model representing the physical features of Mount Rainier. This model was created using openly available elevation data, a few GIS and modeling programs, and printed using a 3D printer available at the Marriott Library.

How do you create such a model? On September 30th at 10am, I will be instructing a virtual workshop covering just that. Presented through Digital Matters, this workshop will introduce a method for generating and printing 3D topographic models of areas around the world. I’ll also be introducing a new project in development at the Marriott Library that combines 3D topographic models with the visualization power of a GIS projection system.

So please join me for this virtual event and learn how you too can create 3D topographic models.

Workshop Details:

Interested in similar projects created by GIS Services? Check out these past Map Monday releases:

Interested in developing a similar project? Reach out to GIS Services to learn more.

About Map Monday Releases from GIS Services

Throughout the semester, GIS Services will be releasing bi-weekly maps on a variety of topics, demonstrating ideas and uses for incorporating geospatial technology into projects and research you are developing. To view our collection of maps, projects, or to learn more about the geospatial services offered through the J. Willard Marriott Library, please visit the GIS Services website @

Happy Mapping!

Justin Sorensen | GIS Specialist
Creativity & Innovation Services / GIS Services

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