Custom Map Information

Custom Map Information

If you’re looking for a way to show a complex topographic area and convey the details of the terrain, a Summit custom map may be exactly what you need.  Please read below for the basic information then give us a call to discuss your unique requirements. 

Download/print the Summit custom maps fact sheet PDF.

View Summit custom maps on our Flickr page.

The Basics
  • Summit can convert an existing satellite/aerial image or traditional reference or thematic 2D map to a stunning 3D raised-relief map. You can provide the imagery or base map.
  • Alternatively, we can develop the map image and graphics from scratch specifically for your application.
  • We will match up a high-resolution elevation dataset and produce the thermoform terrain mold to take into production. The design and tooling effort for a new custom map is significant; but once that investment is made the per-map production cost is low. 
  • We digitally print your map image on a flat rigid plastic film and carefully vacuum-thermoform mold it to the precise terrain shape.
  • We can also optionally mount and frame the maps, and apply a special clearcoat for use with dry-erase-markers.
  • Creation time for a custom raised-relief map typically ranges from 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the complexity of the project. 
Map Sizes

Our process creates raised-relief maps with a molded 3D area up to 50" x 35" in size, with up to 3" of vertical relief or more, and an overall trim size of up to 53" x 38". Even larger maps can be created using tiling. We’ll work with you to select the size, format, scale, and other specifics to create an effective 3D map for your application. Our most common size formats are:

  • 20”x 13”
  • 30”x 20”
  • 40”x 30”
  • 50”x 35”

The overall cost of a custom 3D map is determined by three factors: size, quantity, and the amount of graphics work required. For example, a 30”x 20” custom raised-relief map normally costs about $6,000 for the upfront design, data, and tooling, with additional investment required if there’s a lot of graphics development work involved.  Once the initial map is created, we can produce copies of that 30”x 20”map for as little as $45 (depending on the quantity ordered).  Larger maps, naturally, cost more. Once you provide details on your area of interest, the information you’ll need incorporated, and the preferred size format, we’ll put together a firm quote for your custom map project.

Example Custom Map Projects

Creating custom maps is a large part of our business – we’ve produced many raised-relief maps for the National Park Service and the US Military, as well as unique projects for a variety of corporations, associations, and individuals.  Here are some of those projects:

  • US National Park Service (maps of 5 AK national parks)
  • The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (map of entire Appalachian Trail)
  • US Air Force, (aviation map of the entire state of Alaska)
  • US Army Geospatial Center (maps of US bases and overseas operating areas)
  • US Marine Corps (map of Quantico OCS and of Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms)
  • Allan Cartography (map of a privately owned ranch)
  • Fugro EarthData (map of Denali/Mt McKinley)
  • San Diego Gas & Electric (map of corporate operating districts)
  • Hanalei Bay Resort (map of the island Kauai, highlighting the resort and key tourist destinations)
  • Philmont Boy Scout Ranch (map of the Boy Scouts of America's largest national High Adventure Base)
  • Daou Winery (map of growing areas for one of the top wineries in Paso Robles, CA)
  • Yamhill-Carlton American Viticultural Area (map of wine grape-growing region, Oregon)
  • Sonoma County Vintners (map of wine grape-growing regions, California)
  • Washington State Wine Commission (map of wine grape-growing regions, Washington)
  • Tordrillo Mountain Lodge (map heli-ski resort in Alaska)
 The Next Step

If a Summit custom raised-relief map sounds like a good fit for your application, the next step is to contact Mike Higgins at 304-274-0978 or email him at After getting more information about what you have in mind, he can provide a ballpark estimate and eventually a detailed proposal for your project.