Printing large maps

Techniques, equipment and issues. Also visit the NSS Survey & Cartography Section.

Moderator: Moderators

Printing large maps

Postby GroundquestMSA » Dec 21, 2015 11:07 pm

What options are there for printing large maps? I'm working on a map of a very linear cave. The only way to get a respectable level of detail on 8.5"x11s" is to break it into segments, and to put x-sections on a separate page. This works, but it's ugly. When the map is finished, if it comes out ok, I'd like to print it on a single sheet. The page would need to be 11"x 36" or so to get good detail.

I know that this is routine stuff for most cartographers, but I've never yet drawn a map that doesn't fit comfortably on one page... Where do you print yours?

Thanks a bunch
User avatar
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 1384
Joined: May 5, 2011 1:32 pm

Re: Printing large maps

Postby msharitt » Dec 22, 2015 8:50 am

I don't draw. But for personal use I print of many maps larger than that after I fill them with the information I want. I use Staples or Office max. Depending what quality you're going for it's always worked for me. I think I print out 11"x17" black and white for a little over $1.00, So you can kind scale from that. I would imagine at that size the highest color quality wouldn't be over $10-$15. Also we have a small local newspaper that does about any form of printing. However the local printer is a little more expensive than staples. Also with Staples you can upload it online and add all your options and submit it to your local store and pick it up later.
Michael Sharitt
Occasional Poster
Posts: 29
Joined: Aug 26, 2015 10:28 am
Name: Michael Sharitt
NSS #: 64713

Re: Printing large maps

Postby caver.adam » Dec 22, 2015 9:58 am

If you wanted it bigger it sounds like something you might print on a plotter. Staples can do engineering prints or oversized prints.
User avatar
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb 8, 2012 12:26 pm
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Louisville Grotto

Re: Printing large maps

Postby tncaver » Dec 22, 2015 1:38 pm

Many small printing companies these days have a digital printer that can print up to 60 inches across and up to 100 feet long.
That should be big enough for most any cave map. Although you may have to provide them a digital file in the format
of their choice. I suggest you call a few local printers (smaller companies should workout just fine) and ask them for details
including prices, and format needed. They can probably even digitize an existing map with a large format digital camera
but that would cost you quite a bit extra for that.
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 2635
Joined: May 17, 2007 7:03 pm

Re: Printing large maps

Postby Leclused » Dec 23, 2015 7:21 am

Print them on a "A0" roll plotter.

Sample of one of our discoveries these are 2 prints (plan and coupe) ... G_5864.JPG
User avatar
Prolific Poster
Posts: 167
Joined: Oct 4, 2007 9:02 am

Re: Printing large maps

Postby tncaver » Dec 23, 2015 10:02 am

Nice looking map Leclused.
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
Posts: 2635
Joined: May 17, 2007 7:03 pm

Re: Printing large maps

Postby PatB » Dec 25, 2015 9:21 am

Make friends with someone down at your local towns civil engineering/surveying firm. They're always printing stuff out on large format printers to illustrate water & sewer line projects, new housing development lot layouts, and where the next Cracker Barrel is going in......
Infrequent Poster
Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 27, 2013 9:45 pm
NSS #: 45###RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Western Maryland Grotto

Return to Survey and Cartography Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users