Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I contact you?
  2. How do I clean my map?
  3. What if my map gets scratched?
  4. How is my map shipped to me?
  5. What if my map is damaged during shipment?
  6. How should I display my map?
  7. What is a digital elevation model (DEM)?
  8. What is a high-resolution satellite image?
  9. How large of maps can Summit make?
  10. How much relief can Summit create on a map?
  11. What scales can be used on Summit maps?
  12. What is vertical exaggeration?
  13. How do you recommend framing a Summit 3D map?
  14. How much does a custom raised-relief map cost?
  15. Other Questions

Answers...

  1. How can I contact you?

    Click on the Contact Us link in the Customer Service menu.

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  2. How do I clean my map?

    Being exposed to the room environment, your raised-relief map might collect dust over time. You can gently clean it either with a soft brush, clean cloth, or paper towel. You may also use a slightly water-dampened soft cloth or paper towel. Do not use excessive water when cleaning. Also do not use cleaning solutions or detergents – these may attack the ink and damage your map.

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  3. What if my map gets scratched?

    As with any printed poster or photo, the map can be scratched or abraided if mishandled. If the map is scratched, we suggest finding a felt-tipped marker pen (SharpieTM, or similar) with a similar color and simply marking over the scratch. This usually works very well to effectively hide the scratch.

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  4. How is my map shipped to me?

    Each Summit map is packaged in a protective clear poly sleeve to protect the surface from abrasion and damage during shipping and handling. Then the map is placed in flat cardboard box with cushioning material to keep the map secure during the UPS shipment. Each box with framed maps is marked "fragile" to help prevent shipping damage. Your map should arrive safe and damage-free. But if you see damage from shipping, please go contact our customer service department for instructions.

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  5. What if my map is damaged during shipment?

    Summit takes great care to package each map for safe shipment to you. However, accidents can happen. If a box arrives that shows signs of damage, and the map is in fact damaged, please contact our customer service department immediately and we’ll work with you to get a replacement map out.

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  6. How should I display my map?

    Summit 3D maps are normally mounted to a wall for display. This can be as simply as tacking it to a bulletin board, or mounting in a high-quality frame. If framed, the map should first be mounted on foamboard to stabilize it, and then framed as desired. Any professional frame shop should be able to frame a Summit Map. Summit optionally offers each of our 3D maps mounted and framed using a high-quality modern black anodized aluminum molding or a natural-oak or black-oak finish wood molding.

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  7. What is a digital elevation model (DEM)?

    A DEM is a 3-dimensional model of the surface of the earth. The model consists of a large array of data points defined by x, y, and z (elevation). DEMs are available for much of the earth’s surface. DEMs of most of the US are available with 30-meter resolution, and higher resolution is available in some areas. Summit uses these DEMs to generate the terrain tools for molding the 3D maps.

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  8. What is a high-resolution satellite image?

    Numerous earth observing satellites now orbit our planet and generate a tremendous amount of imagery. This imagery ranges from sub-meter resolution to 100-meter or greater. High-resolution imagery normally refers to those images with individual pixels of 15 meters or less across. Summit picks satellite imagery for its maps based on the specific scale and project requirements. 15-meter imagery is commonly used, but sometimes higher or lower resolution is used based on the map scale.

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  9. How large of maps can Summit make?

    Summit’s print-molding equipment limits the individual map size to 30” x 20”. If larger maps are required, we can create the map in multiple pieces or tiles and join them together for display.

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  10. How much relief can Summit create on a map?

    Most raised-relief maps have about 0.5” to 2” of vertical relief. This is sufficient to clearly show the 3D nature of the earth surface. Greater relief can be created by Summit for special map projects.

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  11. What scales can be used on Summit maps?

    Summit can create 3D raised-relief maps using any map scale needed for a given project. Most maps are created with scales ranging from 1:25,000 to 1:1,000,000. However, we can also go to very small or very large scales for special projects.

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  12. What is vertical exaggeration?

    The vertical scale is often adjusted on raised-relief maps to better show the terrain features. This makes visual interpretation easier for the user. Exaggerations of 2 to 5 are common on these maps. Very large scale maps (small areas) might have no exaggeration, however. The vertical exaggeration/scale is usually stated on Summit maps, along with the horizontal scale.

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  13. How do you recommend framing a Summit 3D map?

    For framing, we recommend first mounting the map on a piece of foamboard (available from framing and art supplies shops). For maps with large flat ocean areas, we recommend adhesive-faced foamboard. For maps without large areas of water, we recommend normal foamboard. For adhesive-faced foamboard, mount the map by placing a map edge down on the adhesive surface and slowly lay down the map, being careful not to trap air under the flat surfaces (the ocean surface, in particular). Using your hands covered with a clean cloth or cotton glove, press the map down to the board until it is firmly laminated to the surface and no air pockets are visible under the ocean surface. For non-adhesive-faced foamboard, use double-stick mounting tape around the edges of the board to secure the map boarder/margin area. Once the map is attached to the foamboard, we recommend taking a pin and poking a small hole in the high point of mountains or islands that have flat areas around them laminated to the foamboard. This allows the air to escape as the temperature changes, and prevents delamination. Using a razor knife and straight-edge, then trim the foamboard to the edge of the map. Finally, pick out and install the frame of your choice from any framing store and it's ready for wall display.

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  14. How much does a custom raised-relief map cost?

    Summit can create a new custom raised-relief map for your area of interest. A typical 30" x 20" map will cost from $2500 to $4500 for the initial design, data collection and processing, terrain mold construction, and first prototype map. After that investment, then production maps can be made from that mold for $25 to $40 each, depending on quantity. Summit can make just a few maps, or hundreds, depending on your demand and needs.

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  15. Other Questions

    If you have other questions, please contact customerservice@summitmaps.com or call 301-865-7239.

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