What do you do when you can’t find a world map that fits your expectations? Build your own. Dominik Schwarz, the Director of SEO at Kayak/swoodoo, did just that and documented his experience.

Dominik couldn’t find a large map that fit his expectations for details. The large maps he discovered deleted a detail for the sake of size, but this ran contrary to Dominik’s desires. He wanted a map with a huge amount of information density. (Incidentally, if you are also looking for that kind of map, you can find one from World Maps Online.)

After trying and discarding maps from open source options, Mapquest, and Bing Maps, Dominik settled on Google Maps as the base for his maps. We’re not lawyers, but it seems that it’s ok to print Google Maps for a private, non-commercial use, even if you are printing Google Maps to create a much larger-than-normal sized map.

From there, Dominik printed his map at a local shop on two sheets of matted paper (glossy shines unevenly in the light). The printing shop smartly put the seam between the sheets in a part of the map with a large section of ocean, so that the sheets could be combined with the least notice possible.

The map was adhered to a foam board and hung using an invisible frame.

Luckily for us, Dominik went through a lot of trial-and-error to settle on these as the best methods for creating your own map. Have you tried a similar project? What tools or methods did you use?