# Raised-relief map

For the depiction of terrain on flat paper maps, see cartographic relief depiction.
Hand-made raised-relief map of the High Tatra Mountains in scale 1: 50 000

A raised-relief map or terrain model is a three-dimensional representation, materialized as a physical artifact, usually of terrain. When representing terrain, the elevation dimension is usually exaggerated by a factor between five and ten; this facilitates the visual recognition of terrain features.

## History

Later, Ibn Battuta (1304–1377) described a raised-relief map while visiting Gibraltar[8][9] In his 1665 paper for the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, John Evelyn (1620–1706) believed that wax models imitating nature and bas relief maps were something entirely new from France.[10] Some later scholars attributed the first raised-relief map to one Paul Dox, who represented the area of Kufstein in his raised-relief map of 1510.[10][9]

## Construction

Starting with a topographic map one can cut out from some sheet material successive layers, with edges following the contour lines on the map. These may be assembled in a stack to obtain a rough approximation of the terrain. This method is commonly used as the base for architectural models, and is usually done without vertical exaggeration. For models of landforms, the stack will then be smoothed by filling with some material. This may then be used directly, or for greater durability a mold may be made from this. This mold may then be used to produce a plaster model.

A combination of computer numerical control (CNC) machining a master model, and vacuum forming SAM copies from this, can be been used to rapidly mass-produce raised-relief maps.

Another method which is becoming more widespread is the use of 3D printing. With the rapid development of this technology its use is becoming increasingly economical.

## Non-terrain applications

For appropriate mathematical functions and especially for certain types of statistics, a similar model may be constructed as an aid to understanding a function or as an aid to studying the statistical data.

## Notable examples

The Great Polish Map of Scotland is claimed to be the largest terrain relief model, constructed out of brick and concrete in the grounds of a hotel near Peebles, Scotland. It measures 50m x 40m.[11]

However, a site in Ningxia province, China was spotted in 2006 using satellite imagery. It measured 900m x 700m, had a three kilometre perimeter and appeared to be a large scale relief model of Aksai Chin, a disputed territory between China and India.[12]

## References

1. ^ a b c d Temple (1986), 179.
2. ^ Needham (1986), Volume 3, 580–581.
3. ^ Crespigny (2007), 659.
4. ^ Sivin (1995), III, 22.
5. ^ Needham (1986), Volume 3, 579–580.
6. ^ a b Temple (1986), 180.
7. ^ a b c Needham (1986), Volume 3, 580.
8. ^ Needham (1986), Volume 3, 579
9. ^ a b Temple (1986), 181.
10. ^ a b Needham (1986), Volume 3, 579.
11. ^ Bruce Gittings; Royal Scottish Geographical Society. "Polish Map of Scotland". Gazetteer for Scotland. The Editors of The Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2012-07-11.
12. ^ "Chinese X-file not so mysterious after all". The Age (Melbourne). July 23, 2006. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
• Ebrey, Patricia Buckley, Anne Walthall, James B. Palais (2006). East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-618-13384-4.
• Needham, Joseph. (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 3, Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and the Earth. Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd.
• Sivin, Nathan (1995). Science in Ancient China: Researches and Reflections. Brookfield, Vermont: VARIORUM, Ashgate Publishing.
• Temple, Robert. (1986). The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention. With a forward by Joseph Needham. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc. ISBN 0-671-62028-2.