Hello, Tordanik. Glad to hear you’re interested in this!
STL output certainly seems relevant, although at least Shapeways accepts also OBJ files.
Changes like adding a support cube underneath the map seem to fit OSM2World’s architecture awkwardly, because the cube isn’t logically related to any OSM element. Further, to my understanding OSM2World’s goal is to create a visually accurate representation of the map data, whereas in a tactile navigation map realism is far less important than clarity of key components like roads and possibly some POIs, such as acoustic street crossing signals. Are OSM2World’s goals are quite in line with needs of a tactile navigation map?
I have prototyped modifying OSM2World to elevate roads in my fork https://github.com/skarkkai/OSM2World
Post-processing OSM2World’s OBJ files in Blender is a very reasonable possibility. All of the following modifications would seem to be easy in Blender:
- Conversion from OBJ to STL
- Elevating roads
- Removing all geometry outside of the map area
- Adding the support cube underneath the map
- Applying tactile textures to surfaces (eg. making non-paved areas and/or forests feel rough)
- Scaling the entire map (to produce 3D prints of appropriate size)
That said, OSM2World does a very good job producing accurate geometry, and seems like it’s improving rapidly (eg. http://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?id=52803)). OSM2World looks like a robust tool that I’d be happy to use as a basis for the map geometry.
Something I’d struggle to implement myself is a smart placement of labels (mainly for streets), and I would be very happy if OSM2World could help with that. A navigation map can’t possibly fit even abbreviated street names (there are many streets and braille letters can’t be very small), so my current idea is that streets would have a small number (in braille) right next to them, and the underside of the printed map would contain a mapping from the numbers to street names.
My only goal, for now, is to support effective tactile navigation. OSM2World’s current output is fine for that, once streets are elevated. It’s fairly important the buildings exist on the map with roughly correct 2D shape, but the height dimension isn’t important.
Later on, I may consider extending the solution for other purposes, such as the kind of models with 3D buildings that you link to. That said, it’s certainly more fun when buildings are physically accurate. Though you probably don’t want to 3D print a sky scraper.