The World's Largest Solid-Terrain Model

A spectacular 40-foot by 74-foot, three-dimensional, full-color model of the entire province of British Columbia, manufactured and installed by Solid Terrain Modeling

Fillmore, CA and Victoria, BC – June 16, 2006 — Solid Terrain Modeling (STM), manufacturer of the world’s most accurate 3-D solid-terrain models, has just completed the installation of a stunning new model of the entire province of British Columbia under the beautiful glass-and-iron canopy of Victoria’s historic Crystal Garden.  The model can be viewed from many levels, and allows visitors to see British Columbia as it actually looks from outer space   every geographic feature in vivid color and exquisite detail. 

Consisting of 100 separate curved panels, the model was created from digital elevation and imagery data obtained from satellites orbiting the earth.  Each panel is individually shaped so that the model shows the actual curvature of the earth.

The British Columbia model is larger than a "doubles" tennis court and is the world’s largest physical-terrain model ever created from digital data sources.  It is the centerpiece of the BC Experience, the Crystal Garden’s magnificent new geographic discovery center that allows visitors to navigate through the physical and cultural wonder that is British Columbia.  The BC Experience opens to the public on June 26.

About STM Models
STM produces the world’s most accurate, full-color, 3-D solid models of geographic terrain.  STM models provide a level of comprehension not found in any other mapping technology.  People can gather around an STM model and view it from any angle.  They can discuss it, touch it, and point to specific features on it.  As they do, everyone in the group "gets" it — the scale, distances, terrain, coloration, points of view, sight lines and more. 

To produce a model, STM uses digital elevation and imagery data for the selected geographic area.  The elevation data controls STM’s highly calibrated cutting machine as it carves the model into high-density plastic foam.  Then STM’s printing machine applies the image data (as a photo) directly onto the model’s surface.  The result is an exact replica of the geographic area — in breathtaking detail and in brilliant color. 

STM models are used by law firms, emergency response groups (fire, police, search and rescue), land management offices (construction, civil engineering, real estate, and recreation), developers, transportation agencies, utilities (oil, gas, hydro), architects, museums, military, government agencies (federal, state and municipal), the U.S. Department of Defense and others. Seventeen STM models are now on display at the National Geographic Society’s Explorers Hall museum in Washington, DC, including a 52-foot x 6.5-foot model of the Grand Canyon. 

Photos by Bruce Obee. 

Another image can be viewed by going to and clicking on News and then clicking on Times Colonist: B.C. Experience is on the map