Lasers and Vancouver OpenData

A few days ago I attended a talk at the Vancouver HackSpace (VHS) on using Open Data and lasers to make interesting wooden maps.

The talk revolved around TileMill studio and how to style maps using a CSS variant then you could export them as SVG files (vector image). Once the image has been saved as a SVG file it can be imported in to InkScape, cleaned up and then saved as DFX file for the laser cuter.

These maps took about 2 hrs each to cut and look amazing. This is a map of all the Vancouver roads and parks.

IMG_8983 IMG_8984 IMG_8985

The problems with these maps is that I only used 1/16th inch wood. The wood bowed and twisted significantly. To flatten it out, I had to soak the map in water for an hour then stack books on top of it. Next time I think i will use thicker wood 1/8th or 1/4th

The maps are also very busy, with lots of lines. The next time I do this I will make a map with less lines. maybe just the parks or the bike lanes, ect..

Source files in GitHub: /funvill/VancouverOpenData