Data Visualization Map of Colombia

We’ve always wanted a map of Colombia to celebrate my wife’s birth country, and just happened to have the perfect spot on the wall for it above our glowforge.

So I drew a detailed map of the country in Illustrator. And of course, what is art without a spreadsheet??? I used excel to plot out each “state” by population, and then began cutting the pieces out of leftover Amazon and Target boxes.

Once all the pieces had been cut, I began gluing and assembling them according to height. The lowest population points were only one layer, and the highest population got seven layers.

I was a total newbie, and used hot glue- not great. It dries so fast, especially on some of the larger pieces that it was hard to build. I found out on a later project that wood glue actually works really well on cardboard. If I had it to do again, that’s what I would have done instead.
Next, I disassembled it like a giant puzzle, and painted the individual pieces. Then I reassembled and glued it together, and hung it on the wall. Very satisfied with the final project! :slight_smile:


This turned out awesome


Fantastic job! I love the dimensional stuff!


Well done! Thanks for sharing the adventure.


Wowza, man! That’s a great map (and do I loooooove maps!); I hope your wife loves it.

This is some great inspiration, I need to do a map soon…


A very creative project, well executed! Welcome to the community!


Wow. That’s a really interesting use of facts. I’m trying to learn ArcGIS right now, and it never even crossed my mind that I could use facts I pulled from the maps in my laserworld…actually…I’m still trying to figure out why I’m trying to learn this…someone convinced me GIS would be good to know…and I’m not sure what the selling point was for me.

If you do it again, it would be cool to see it with terrain style paint, or colored state map. Oh, elevation above sea level would be fun to see too.


Great job! I love maps.


Welcome to the community! What an awesome first post to share with us! That looks great! Please be sure to share more of your projects, as we all enjoy seeing and being inspired by each other.

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What a labor of love, brilliantly executed! I’d say it’s worthy of being on display in your living room.


Thanks everyone, you have all been so welcoming and encouraging! I love this community already!!! :slight_smile:


Nicely done. And I love the layer idea. I’ve thought about using GIS software to do maps, because they can add pretty much any data to them, but your solution is simple and elegant.


This really is a special group, and in my view the best accessory for your new laser. You will find a lot of help and encouragement here, and after 7 years I am still amazed at the inspiration the members here generate!

The community here has a low tolerance for misbehaving, and that results in a welcoming, civil atmosphere. These people taught me everything, and have become like another family to me.
Welcome to our corner of the internet. It’s our members who make this place what it is, and we look forward to your contributions!


Great stuff! That is a cool
Map, nice job!


Loved the step by step process!


Welcome to the forum @junia! We love to see our GF family grow!

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Wow, that is really great. Welcome to the forum too.

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