Two weeks ago I ordered a raised relief map of Iceland from an Icelandic Web site, hoping that it would a) arrive and b) be awesome. As of yesterday, the answers are a) yes and b) yes.
Wednesday morning, as I was sitting at my desk, still in pajamas but on the clock and working hard, I heard the mail truck coming through the neighborhood, and then the doorbell rang. Like a kid at Christmas I ran downstairs to sign for my delivery:
I was reasonably sure it wasn’t dangerous, since it had been security screened by IGS (whoever that is):
So I took it upstairs and opened it:
I know: it just looks like a map. But check it out up close:
It’s interesting how different the experience is, in comparison to looking at a two-dimensional map. It’s so much easier to see how constrained Iceland is geographically, and to understand how much that has affected the way the country has developed. Now I want 3-D maps of everything.
The detail on the left above shows the Vatnajökull glacier and Skeiðarársandur, an enormous glacial outwash plain covered with volcanic sand washed down by glacial flooding. At right is a picture from that area from my visit to Iceland. You can find more pictures of the glacier here.
By the way, thanks to Skeiðarársandur, sandur (or sandr) is the term used in geography to describe such a glacial plain. Iceland also gave us geyser, which is derived from Geysir, the name of a particular hot spring in Iceland. Geysir used to erupt regularly up until the mid-20th century, when either seismic changes or tourists throwing things in it trying to get it to go off caused it to stop performing. Now it’s just a steaming hole in the ground, but its name lives on.
In answer to the questions I raised at the end of my previous post:
- The map is about 25½ x 17¾ inches, with a maximum height of about 3/8 inch.
- It is not framed (next project!).
- Totally worth it.