Wood Chart map of the San Juan Islands.
The San Juan Islands are the pinnacles of a submerged mountain range that connects Vancouver Island with the mainland. They're a tidal-gateway between the open ocean and the Gulf of Georgia to the north. Because of this, heavy tide-rips are common in many of the island's inner channels. If it weren't for the interference caused by these tide-rips, the islands exposed shorelines would suffer from significant erosion during winter storms. Instead, erosion is most dramatic only during slack tide and high-water wave-cuts are visible on many of the islands exposed shorelines.
Starting with a bathymetric chart (the underwater equivalent of a topographic map), we use laser-cutters to carve the contours into sheets of Baltic birch and glue them together to create a powerful visual depth. We hand stain select layers blue so it's easy to discern land from water, etch major byways into the land, then frame the whole thing in a custom, solid-wood frame and protect it with a sheet of durable, ultra-transparent Plexiglas.