Point of Beginning

High-Definition Landscape Model Of Northern Oregon Cascades Created 10.21.2002

October 21, 2002
Commissioned by The Resort at The Mountain, the 22-square-foot model covers 7,000 square miles of Oregon’s mountain country with more than 600 named features.

Vacationers who want a bird’s eye view of Mt. Hood or the Columbia River Gorge needn’t charter a plane or strain their eyes on a topographic map. Instead, they can venture to The Resort at The Mountain, just an hour southeast of downtown Portland, where a new three-dimensional model of the northern Oregon Cascades is on display. A product of artistic vision and new technologies, the high-definition model yields a richness in detail never before seen in landscape models. Crafted by geographical artist and designer Mark Harbert, the model is on permanent display at The Resort’s Tartans Pub & Steakhouse.

Harbert (with more than 30 years of experience in cartography, model building and printing) says The Resort’s model was made possible by new technologies and construction methods. Using digitized data from USGS topographical maps, computerized routers supplanted the human hand in carving a basswood relief of Oregon’s mountain country. Color satellite photographs were then printed on a new super thin graphic film manufactured by 3M, which was bonded to a thin thermoplastic sheet. Using heat and suction, Harbert bonded the graphic-rich sheet to the final relief and made touchups by hand.

The model’s geographical boundaries include the north bank of the Columbia River to the north, the town of Sisters to the south, Multnomah Falls to the west and the Deschutes River to the east.