The project creator, Michael Orelove, said "Many maps of the 50 states show Alaska and Hawaii off the coast of California or in the Gulf of Mexico. Often visitors to Juneau do not have a clear idea of exactly where Juneau is, in relation to the Lower 48 states, and how far Juneau is from their hometown."
The map is constructed entirely with nails hammered directly into the wooden dock by school classes, volunteer organizations, local citizens, and visitors. Over 50,000 nails are being used to mark the latitude and longitude lines, the outlines of all the states, major rivers, and other map features.
The Chief Cartographer on the project, Stephen Cosgrove, said " The map shows Juneau at the center of a series of concentric circles that represent 500 mile intervals, so that people can easily calculate the distance from Juneau to anywhere.
People are invited to add a nail to the map for their hometown.
Orelove created this project to teach geography and science to the general public in an interesting, practical, and fun way.