MVA gets 3D map of Saipan from Germany


Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Christopher Concepcion, second from left, and MVA board member Chris Nelson, third from right, and some MVA staff pose before a 3D painting map of Saipan yesterday at the MVA’s office in San Jose. MVA ordered the 3D painting from Germany as part of its destination enhancement program. (Ferdie de la Torres)

The Marianas Visitors Authority has acquired from Germany a three-dimensional map of Saipan that will be displayed at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

MVA board member Chris Nelson said yesterday that all the things found in the 3D painting are accurate as they are based on data that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave them.

Nelson said they gave the data to a designer in Germany that did the 3D painting.

“You can see the places where aggregate gets dug out,” he said.

The painting is currently on display at the MVA office in San Jose. It will later be displayed at the Saipan airport. “We’re very excited about it,” said Nelson, adding that they are also planning to have one each for Rota and Tinian.

The idea is that, upon arriving at the airport, tourists will see from the 3D painting where their hotel is, where they are staying, and the places they plan to visit, among other things.

Nelson said the 3D printing took about two months to make.

The hard part was air-freighting the painting from Germany to Saipan, Nelson said, as they wanted to make sure it would arrive in one piece.

With shipping, design, and all materials, the cost of the 3D printing is roughly $13,000.

Nelson said they ordered one painting first to get an idea of how the map would look like.

MVA managing director Christopher Concepcion said the 3D painting map is part of their destination enhancement program.

Concepcion said they will work with their partners, the Commonwealth Ports Authority, Customs, and everybody else involved as to where they can display it at the airport.

“We are planning the same thing on a smaller scale on Tinian and Rota, with the same design, but not as large as Saipan because of the lack of space,” he said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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