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November 5, 2018
Tech Company Creates Striking “Floating Maps”

New York-   Meridian Maps, a small startup based in Ridgewood, New York, has debuted a unique type of wall art.  Dubbed “Floating Maps”, they hover off the wall creating distinctive shadows. These custom works are precision laser-cut from hand-stained solid Birch wood and engraved with cartographic details.  While most wall art is traditionally rectangular, these pieces are shaped to their geography. Instead of thinking outside the box, they’ve abandoned the box altogether.

Meridian Maps first came on the scene last year with a Kickstarter launch of their Topo Maps. These 3D maps represent an area’s topography with wood layers.  The campaign was a success, and the company was born.

The new Floating Maps were unveiled this September at the World’s Maker Faire in New York City, an annual event for inventors and creators with an estimated 100,000 attendees from all over the world.  “They were a hit,” says co-founder Vladik Kofman. “Many people were just stunned. We received a slew of orders right there at the Faire.” The best part is customers can select any region of the world they want as a map.

Meridian Maps continues to innovate their map designs.  “We wanted to create a piece that was both eye-catching and affordable.”  The Floating Maps have the precision details of their layered and framed maps, but at a significantly lower price.  Their hope is to be able to put these works in many more homes this way.

The Process

The maps are designed in a professional GIS mapping software. Features such as rivers, roads, political boundaries, towns and other points of interest are overlaid as desired. It is then exported to the laser cutter, where the sheets of Birch wood are laser-engraved and cut out to the area’s perimeter.  

These unique works make great conversation pieces and are fantastic gift ideas.  The Floating Maps campaign ends on November 27.  Head over to Kickstarter now to support this project and beat the holiday rush for this truly one-of-a-kind work of art.

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