We had a very interesting customer request yesterday. Someone wanted to give a friend a 3D Printed topographic map of a state park. We have printed these for customers previously, but the .stl files (the digital life blood of a 3D Printer) was provided. As a 3D print shop, we cant take the time to draw these by hand in a CAD tool and be cost effective. So i started the inevitable Google search and came across the awesome Terrain2STL project here In this website you can zoom in on your favorite area of the world in a 3D map rendering, draw some bounds for the area of interest and let the website do its work, generating an STL file that you can take to your favorite 3D Print Shop and have it 3D printed. In this case we were playing with Bear Brook State Park. The 3D print will be a solid color and once complete it can be painted. For great finishing techniques (extremely thorough) for 3D prints check out this video
The website works great. The only thing I would like to see added right now is the ability to put down a number of geo points rather than be constrained to a square box. For an example like this, it would be fantastic to be able to outline the green boundaries of the park on the map.