I noticed that an upcoming map design competition at a statewide conference (the 2013 Wisconsin Land Information Association Annual Conference) included a "Map Books and Atlases" category. Because many map design competitions are digital submission only, I seized the chance to exhibit the book in person.
With a map competition in mind, I considered how to hold the attention of a viewer for a bit longer, and that was the point when I began to incorporate narrative into the piece. On the page facing the 3D model, I added a brief geological history of the lake. I included a map to label several features that could be seen in the model, including the Chaski Bay Landslide and Merriam Cone.
The added content guides the reader to see the lake's shape as the result of geological process; it serves to reinforce the fact that the book depicts a real place and engages them in studying the intricate model.
So, I brought the book to the conference and left it on the display table, hoping that someone might notice... I just wasn't sure whether the book warranted much attention.
And it did garner attention- thanks to other UW students, especially my classmate Chris. He shared it on Twitter, directed people to go see it, and encouraged me to get in touch with Crater Lake National Park about creating a published product. Having an advocate like Chris was invaluable; he gave my book the publicity that I felt too shy or uncertain to initiate.
I took home three awards: Best in Category, Best Student Submission, and People's Choice. I was also especially encouraged by many inquiring and admiring comments over the course of the two day conference. Even when readers didn't say anything, I saw the book drawing people in as they inspected the model and turned the pages.
After an eleven month stasis, I could see new potential in this project! The awards and feedback gave me a newfound assurance that the piece was worth both showing off and developing further.
Soon after, I put together a second copy (recording my process in this time-lapse video) and sent it to the Crater Lake Natural History Association, asking whether they might offer it in the park's bookstore. Although their answer was a tentative 'maybe,' I was hooked on the idea of producing an edition.