Our Maps

About Our Maps -
Our maps are created by stacking layers of painted wood a top one another to give a 3D aesthetic. A carefully selected blue gradient adds to the feeling that you can see straight through the oceans surface.
To achieve a high level of precision, each layer of our maps are cut using a laser. The layers are then individually painted and assembled, all by hand. And all of this is done right here in Aotearoa - New Zealand!
While being unique in artistic design, what we're most proud of is the fact that all of our maps are 100% geographically accurate. Whether you're looking at a deep ocean gully or an underwater reef, you can be sure it exists in real life.
What will my map include -
Along with your Tides Out Map, you'll receive an information sheet on the back of your map with details such as layer depths, type of plywood, and landmarks.  Your map will come ready to hang, with a steel hanging wire attached to the back. All you need to provide is the wall!
What materials we use - 
We take care to source quality plywood to be used on the top [land] layer of your map. Our current options are a stunning red Mahogany and European Birch with a spicy grain. For the ocean layers we use MDF wood that is painted using various shades of blue acrylic paint. To connect each layer of wood we use PVA glue. We intentionally chose this because it creates a very strong bond, dries clear, and is non-toxic and completely biodegradable! Lastly, we use a kitchen timber oil to protect the top plywood player, and bring out the beautiful grain.
How they're made -
Once we've identified the location we want to create, we source the appropriate contour data. This can be found using a number of free online platforms, including LINZ (Land Information New Zealand).
We generate contour lines for each layer, and simplify the geometry for cutting.
We paint our wood the appropriate shade of blue, then load the sheets into the laser cutter to be cut. We then spend hours carefully positioning and gluing our wooden layers together to create your 3D map!
All of our maps are made to order. Please allow up to two week for us to put yours together.
Watch our time lapse video below -