Five years after starting Frankos Map of the Untited States Virgin Islands this I finally produced this map in January 2006! In the year 2000 I had recently quit my day job as an engineer and went to work on maps of the Caribbean simultaneously with maps of the Hawaiian Islands. At the time I fantasized that the U.S. Virgin Islands would be and interesting and beautiful place and so I began to study what is there particularly in the U.S.V.I underwater because of my personal interest there. I learned that St. Thomas was an interesting place and that Charlotte Amalie is probably the most busy cruise ship port in the Caribbean that St. John was roughly 2/3 a National Park (Virgin Islands National Park) and that sister Island St. Croix was seemingly nothing like the other two main islands but it has world class scuba diving sites. The more I researched the more I was interested in the U.S. Virgin Islands. My interest was for their beauty their beaches their scuba diving and snorkeling and for their extraordinary and significant history. So was I going to produce a tourism guide map or a dive map as I had originally thought? Well considering that most people who go the St. John St. Thomas and/or St. Croix go snorkeling or diving as a primary activity it suits all I had to produce my usual dive map but since there is plenty of room on a map for all kinds of other information I gave the viewer the things to see and do of the U.S. Virgin Islands as well. Having finally visited the U.S. Virgin Islands I learned what one cannot possibly learn from books and internet studies that the U.S. Virgin Islands are so lovely and beautiful that words are not really adequate to describe. My findings and interest in the U.S.V.I. inspired me to make this map into a beautiful piece of artwork. The mountains are shown in a smooth and wonderful green shaded relief based on USGS. (United States Geographic Service) digital elevation models (DEMs). The waters around the islands are shown in Caribbean-turquoise blues in descending hues to represent the depths which are based on data from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). With this U.S. Virgin Islands map background which I actually first created in the year 2000 I began to load the map with pertinent information about the Virgin Islands particularly the dozens of superlative dive sites found there. A year later the infamous 9/11 happened and I pretty much had to turn off my Caribbean studies and turned my efforts to more localized stuff in my home area of Southern California plus my home away from home Hawaii. In fact instead of going to the U.S. Virgin Islands at that time I went to Oahu and created what is known as Frankos Map of Oahu Surfing which turns out to be a top seller! Anyway things have come full circle at last and I have finally released my first edition of Frankos Map of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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