Laser etch a map of your city/neighborhood

I really like the leather laser etched maps and was looking for an easy way to create one of my city. Google’s styled maps wizard is awesome for this. After playing around with it for 15 mins I created this map of my city.

Even better, once we have the colour and raster settings for the Glowforge we’ll be able to match the colour settings for the Glowforge with the Google maps settings and all work will be done for greyscale.

If you scroll down on this page you’ll find some basic settings to start with.


I have also been exploring creating maps to cut and have found the Mapbox Classic tool to be a very powerful option capable of exporting 600 dpi images


Cool, thanks. I’ll have to play with that this afternoon. I have found the bitmap images that Google creates limiting and haven’t found a good way to change them to Vector files yet. I was going to subscribe to Adobe and try the trace feature in Illustrator to see how effective it is on the maps. However this might be a better solution.

These look cool :

Topographical maps of a sort, but lakes. I suppose it’s the same, just depth vs. height. These are thicker, but of course you could just do thinner sheets and more of them.


This tutorial gives some excellent insight into extracting vector contours and street maps using QGIS as well as the process of planning and building a laser cut topo map from scratch

The other powerful tool i have recently come across here is which allows you to run sql type queries to get geojson outputs of specific things like cycle trails, or waterways, or drinking fountains.

Hope that helps someone starting to explore this

9 Likes also has some great inspiration of laser cut bathymetry maps

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I guess 3d-etching a topo map might take a while :slight_smile: