bathymetric /ba-thi-ˈme-trik/ of or relating to measurements of the depths of oceans or lakes
What's this all about? ...Here's an introduction to this blog and here's a 30-second overview of the book itself

Friday, September 6, 2013

An Introduction

My 'Bathymetric Book' is a map in book form. It shows the underwater terrain of Crater Lake, Oregon, USA, cut from layers of paper to form a three-dimensional model.  I tried to match the vertical and horizontal scales as closely as possible to create a scale model of the lake bed. 

I originally created the book as part of an independent study course in cartography.  
Fewer than ten people saw it, and then it sat on my shelf for the next eleven months.

When the piece finally came out of storage (here's a post about that), it generated a lot of interest. Thanks to the positive response that it sparked, I took on the challenge of reproducing the book so I could share it further. 

I hope to take the design from a unique object to an edition of 50 to 100 copies, which I will not be cutting by hand as I did with the original! This challenge includes reproducing the 3D model efficiently as well as improving ancillary features including the binding and text. 

This blog exists for several related reasons: to document the project, to allow me to both explain and show the story of its making, and to help me organize and vocalize my thoughts throughout that journey. 

This project is more than a final product; it's a process that has already afforded me many opportunities to learn, to share, and to connect with great people. 

Check back here every Thursday for updates on the story and the progress of my Bathymetric Book.  (EDIT:  instead of weekly, at this point I'll update when something happens!)

Thank you for reading! 

p.s. I've put together a quick overview video of the book: 


  1. Thanks Caroline, the time lapse video of the construction was great to watch. Thinking about it, there are hundreds of ways these types of books on a myriad of subjects could be used as teaching aids. Speeding up the process I suppose is the way to go and I'm very interested in your venture into a laser cutting the book.
    ...but there's something about a handout book that's unique a precious. Like most works of art.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Robert! I have indeed been grappling with the tension between the unique original and my work to produce a set of copies.
      At times, I worry that it's a purely commercial urge, and then I must remind myself of the teaching and communicating potential. I may be digging into this issue in a forthcoming blog post; it does need addressing!