Mapping the mountain in 3D.

14th November 2005, by Chris Gill

Mapping the mountain and its runs in any large ski area is a difficult task, but a new creation is about to hit the slopes: the 3D piste map.

Several resorts are promoting a new style piste map this winter, giving visitors the opportunity to discover the mountain using an indestructible, pocket-sized, 3D version of a typical area map.  These innovative designs, customised by inventors Mount Maps, unfold and pop up to show the topographical features of mountains and valleys as you would expect to view them - making planning routes easier and information clearer.

The 3D piste map is made of sturdy, recyclable plastic which folds neatly away into its own cover and contains the same information found on standard resort maps, as well as an additional booklet to help you along. Lanyards can be attached for wearing it around the neck.

The SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser - Brixental ski area is currently promoting theirs as the first 3D map among Austrian resorts, costing 5 euros and available from the tourist office. Other regions covered for 2005/06 include:  Verbier, Switzerland; the Three Valleys and Paradiski in France; and the Milky Way resorts of Italy.

Of course, these haven’t replaced the standard free resort maps, but if your paper ones usually end up tatty and torn at the end of day one, and navigation is a struggle, then the Mount Maps version might be worth a go.

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