How can I make a DYI wall map?
September 14, 2006 8:04 AM   Subscribe

How can I make a custom DYI wall map of my neighborhood using GoogleMaps or something similar and free?

I want to make a poster-sized map of my new neighborhood so I can learn the streets. I checked into getting a custom Thomas Bros map, but that costs $300. I'd like to use free online tools to make a detailed map of a (roughly) 2x3 mile area that I can print at an online poster shop for $29 (20x30 inches).

Does anyone have suggestions that will make this easy? The best way I can think of is to cut and paste a bunch of sections from GoogleMaps and then link them all together using PhotoShop, but this will take awhile and I'm worried that I'll lose a lot of legibility in the transition from 72dpi to 300dpi.

Ideally, this poster will be kind of nice looking and the street names will be legible when printed.

posted by benrodian to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have seen an online app that combines google maps, but actually I think it was a perl script. Rasterbator could then be used to generate the final images for printing. Let me google, I'll be right back...
posted by mecran01 at 8:20 AM on September 14, 2006

a few possiblilities. That has a python script and links to some other large google map hacks.
posted by mecran01 at 8:21 AM on September 14, 2006

I don't know what city you are in but for $29 I can get a very decent poster-sized map of my city at the local map store which has much better functionalit than a print of a Google street map.
posted by JJ86 at 8:59 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: I live in a district of Los Angeles. Because LA is such a huge city, a metro map is not going to be as useful to me as a neighborhood map, which is going to have to be custom.
posted by benrodian at 9:07 AM on September 14, 2006

If you live in LA, then just pick up a large road atlas of the city, and then scan the necessary pages. You can magnify to your liking. Bonus cheap-o points if you are able to return the atlas that same day and get your money back.

I bought an NYC road atlas (a good investment no matter what) and did this same thing to help my sister learn our neighborhood when she moved here. The most fun part was marking places of note, such as where the best food was, or the post office.

Good luck!
posted by hermitosis at 9:10 AM on September 14, 2006

As for wall sizing, Rasterbator!
posted by hermitosis at 9:11 AM on September 14, 2006

Response by poster: HERMITOSIS: I like the map scanning idea. The only problem is I noticed today that my HP printer-scanner-copier won't let me use the scanner because the printer is out of ink. Which is a really annoying 'feature.' I'll try to get my hands on someone else's scanner if I can't get the above perl script to work...
posted by benrodian at 9:23 AM on September 14, 2006

If you want a less meticulous look, you could always project it, then trace for a drawing or painting. The google look is a little cold, but may look great scaled up.

(as for HP, benrodian, sorry sounds like you are tethered)
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 11:09 AM on September 14, 2006

Capture many (overlapping) screenshots on a high-resolution monitor with your browser in full-screen (F11) but without the navigation control and other overlays. Feed them to autostitch. Crop. 20 screen-captures shoud suffice for a (non-rasterbator-ed) poster-size print.
posted by Akeem at 3:35 AM on September 15, 2006

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