Lasered Lake Topography Maps

spartyon8

Peter
User
Has anyone ever made one? I made one of High Rock Lake and Lake Norman but they are only two layers with no depth contours or points of interest around the lake. I want to make one of the Chippewa Flowage in Hayward, WI for a family member when we go up this summer. I haven't found any in depth videos on how to actually make the layers, only the one like I made. Any thoughts or directions for in depth instructions?
68633680243__31961E9E-5D10-4AF6-B768-1252014E15B2.jpeg
 

Echd

C
User
It may be a bit difficult to have a good result from the topo maps I glanced at. You have lakes that are fairly shallow on average, with a handful of deep parts. I'm not sure how it would look.

I would determine how many layers I wanted to use to represent the depth. Lake Norman is about 110ft at the deepest and 33 on the average. Lots of sharp, short points jutting out from the shore may look janky.

High Rock lake is under 60 at the dam, but it's such a narrow and winding body of water I'm not sure how the detail of topography would be preserved.

Perhaps you can find a better depth map but high rock in particular is so shallow that I'm not sure how defined one may be.

If I had to use a laser I would cut thin sheets for each topographical layer and laminate them together. I think that would yield a fair result. You could use different species or stained pieces for the different depth levels, and you could sand off any burning of the edges before lamination.

What software are you using? If using relatively rudimentary laser software I think you could isolate the differently colored depth layers in lightburn fairly easily and assign each on top of each other with a transparent background. Vcarve has somewhat similar functionality to adjust the selectable portion of an image after playing with the contrast.

In contrast, look at this Lake Michigan depth map. Obviously a much greater body of water, but both the shape and more gradual but also definitive delineation in depth would lend itself to this endeavor more easily.
 

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mkepke

Mark
Senior User
From my very limited experience: "Easiest" way to do it would be to find a pre-made vector file of the depth contours for the lake you want. It might exist on someplace like Etsy.

The distant runner-up is to take one of the available sources of bathymetric data, take an image capture(s), import into a graphics program and draw or trace the depth contours you want. IME, auto-tracing doesn't work too well for this - lots of extraneous artifacts leaving you with confused and broken vectors. It's a lot of computer-time.

Here's one I did. I turned bathy data from an even shallower lake..
Capture.PNG


..into five contours. This is on a ~3.5" tall Christmas ornament. The contours here - 10, 28, 34, 44 (I think) - are of irregular depth and the contours themselves are cut proportionally deep.

This is obviously done on a CNC, but exact same principles apply - ignoring the 3D carve :)

IMG_1621.jpg


-Mark
 

beloitdavisja

James
Corporate Member
Like others mentioned above - it's a lot of work.

Not made one myself, but I follow this guy on YouTube and he's done one with pretty detailed instructions. His end result has multiple layers, and a map overlay on the land. His method involves downloading chart data from NOAA. NOAA won't be available for lakes, so you might have to go with the Navionics link above and do a lot of graphics work to get rid of the noise.

Key West Multi-layered map

His one-layer lake map:
 

spartyon8

Peter
User
As of right now, I mostly edit through Lightburn. I can’t seem to get contour maps to work while tracing in Lightburn. I was hoping for some tricks but I keep hitting dead ends as a lot of people who do this sell their work, and rightfully so.
 

spartyon8

Peter
User
From my very limited experience: "Easiest" way to do it would be to find a pre-made vector file of the depth contours for the lake you want. It might exist on someplace like Etsy.

The distant runner-up is to take one of the available sources of bathymetric data, take an image capture(s), import into a graphics program and draw or trace the depth contours you want. IME, auto-tracing doesn't work too well for this - lots of extraneous artifacts leaving you with confused and broken vectors. It's a lot of computer-time.

Here's one I did. I turned bathy data from an even shallower lake..
View attachment 216269

..into five contours. This is on a ~3.5" tall Christmas ornament. The contours here - 10, 28, 34, 44 (I think) - are of irregular depth and the contours themselves are cut proportionally deep.

This is obviously done on a CNC, but exact same principles apply - ignoring the 3D carve :)

View attachment 216270

-Mark
I am fine with only a few contours. The big thing is there are some special places and fishing spots on the lake that I want to be able to show.
 

Echd

C
User
What is the highest quality topographical map you have? It would be best to start with the ideal map you can locate. The one i found would be an absolute nightmare.
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Check out Esty. Search by the name of the lake. I have found lake outline patterns there. Often in mutiple formats (PDF, SVG, PNG, etc).
 

spartyon8

Peter
User
What is the highest quality topographical map you have? It would be best to start with the ideal map you can locate. The one i found would be an absolute nightmare.
I am drawing a blank on where I got the two I already made from. It was a free webapp where I could turn on/off a bunch of features to create a black and white image.
 

spartyon8

Peter
User
If you can get a colored Bathymetric map ... I should be able to convert that to something laser ready.
Thank you for offering to help. I am trying like crazy to find a quality map that fits the screen and keeps details. The lake if very large and split into two. I was planning on mapping each side separately and framing both to be hung next to each other. In the middle of the lake is a bridge connecting both sides of the lake. I was going to use that as my dividing point.
 

spartyon8

Peter
User
Check out Esty. Search by the name of the lake. I have found lake outline patterns there. Often in mutiple formats (PDF, SVG, PNG, etc).
I found some on etsy but they were either completed maps for sale or one layer, not including depth contours.
 

kserdar

Ken
Senior User
Starting with: LakeMap.JPG

I was able to get LakeMap3.svg in about 15 minutes (learning and playing). I didn't attempt clean up, because I don't know what size/part you want.
 

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spartyon8

Peter
User
Thank you, Ken! I got one to come out almost exactly the same. After going through yours and mine, I am nearing the point of giving up. Either I get very little detail in the lake or I get a muddied mess.
 

spartyon8

Peter
User
I reached out to a lady who does custom orders on Facebook. For $30 she is going to create the file for me. After multiple attempts with all of the junk on the map of this lake, I feel it will be $30 well spent.
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
I reached out to a lady who does custom orders on Facebook. For $30 she is going to create the file for me. After multiple attempts with all of the junk on the map of this lake, I feel it will be $30 well spent.
Seems like a good choice!

-Mark
 

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