Data + Design Project

Below the Boat: Underwater Topo Maps Made of Wood

Saturday 01.05.2013 , Posted by
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There are few things more interesting to study than a good map… add some detail to it in the form of topographical data, and you could have the people here at Visual News obsessed for hours. The maps we bring you here have one added ingredient: a healthy dose of artisan beauty. Made by Bellingham, Washington based chart purveyor Below the Boat, each of their many map designs detail the underwater features of famous bodies of water by laser cutting and layering pieces of wood.

See Also Papercraft Topo Maps as Modern Art

The detail afforded by their technique is simply astounding when you consider they are made of layered pieces of hand-colored Baltic birch. Reversing the features of the typical topo map – which ignores the details of the sea and focuses on the land – these maps give a new sense of depth to the water features of the world, begging us to go out boating, swimming and scuba diving to explore them.

We think the prices on these treasures are very reasonable, especially when you consider the cost of the typical hand-printed poster. One of their highest priced pieces, the 25″ wide by 31″ high example of Cape Cod above, goes for just $298. Find your favorite aquatic environment etched permanently into wood at Below the Boat.

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Via: Laughing Squid

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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