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GIS maps for a guidebook


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#1
travelbug

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Hope that it's not too crude to ask about this in a public forum :unsure:

Striking out on my own recently and have just got my first project: 50 GIS hiking maps (greyscale) for an outdoor guides publisher. Manifold + Illustrator type of work. They are offering me $50 for each map. Is this more or less normal or is it like... slave wages?

Thx!

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Do you need to buy any data for this project or do you have everything available already? Is there more work from this client coming in the future? Do you need to buy any additional software (looks like you're all set with Manifold and Illy). How does the fee compare to your regular expenses? Will you be able to use some maps from this project as self-promotion? How much time do you think you'll spend on each map?

It's not easy to give a yes/no answer to a question like this and it's really a matter of what you want. Since you're just starting out, you may want to grab everything you can as long as the price is decent.

And no, it's not a rude thing to ask in public. That's what we're here for. Do keep in mind that this is public though... :rolleyes:

Hope this helps. I'm sure some of the other members will add their comments too.
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#3
ELeFevre

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Since this is your first project, I would consider it as an opportunity to build your cartographic portfolio, references and skills. I woudn't even worry about the cash (unless your starving). Focus on doing great cartographic work and improving/designing your business instead. I'm guessing you will lose money in the short term, but the opportunity will pay-off in the end.



#4
Martin Gamache

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I would think if you are just starting out you'd be willing to pay them to let you do the work? :P

Realy depends on all the factors Hand mentioned + how big are the maps, how complex...that gets to the "how long per map" question and is realy what determines whether $50 is enough or not. What do you think your hourly wage is? How much data is already available vs. how much you will have to create...

#5
Matthew Hampton

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So you are going to pocket $2500 for making these maps. Since you are just starting out and building your portfolio I agree with Martin that you should swallow the whole job. :lol:

I think it also depends on how quickly you can turn in your best work and that depends on all the factors Martin mentioned + how fast your system is, how many shortcuts you know, etc.

I think the bigger question deserves a cartographic salary survey. Charging for cartographic work has always seemed a little more vague to me than charging for other work. It would be great if there was a good recipe with a checklist for parameters included in the job. I am sure everyone has some adaptation for charging based on data availability, style creation, etc.

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#6
supercooper

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When you start on the first one, $50 might not be that great per map, but I bet by the time you get to #10 or so, you'll have a system down and then the money just gets easier and easier as you get faster and faster at cranking them out.

#7
travelbug

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Thx all!

I should clarify that I'm gonna take this job no matter what, precisely because it's my first :lol: It's just that I want to know what's considered fair.


Do you need to buy any data for this project or do you have everything available already?
Data cost is minimal, just for burning CDs.

Is there more work from this client coming in the future?
Very likely. But I suspect it'll be difficult to raise the fee later now that I've agreed to this price tag.

Do you need to buy any additional software (looks like you're all set with Manifold and Illy).
Nope. Perhaps some fonts & plugins.

How does the fee compare to your regular expenses?
No, I won't starve:)

Will you be able to use some maps from this project as self-promotion?
I doubt it.

How much time do you think you'll spend on each map?
It took me a FULL day to do the test map. My guesstimate is it's going to take me 3-4 hours avg. for the rest of teh batch.

#8
Hans van der Maarel

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Is there more work from this client coming in the future?
Very likely. But I suspect it'll be difficult to raise the fee later now that I've agreed to this price tag.


That's true. Then again, if they can guarantee a certain amount of work at a certain price for a certain period, that's something to consider as well. It will take some of the strain of finding new contracts away.

Will you be able to use some maps from this project as self-promotion?
I doubt it.


That is a shame. I would suggest to try and negotiate this. Even if it's only one, or just a section of the map. Always offer to make a full mention of the client involved. Having a portfolio is a good way of attracting more customers. I'm still trying to build up mine :)

How much time do you think you'll spend on each map?
It took me a FULL day to do the test map. My guesstimate is it's going to take me 3-4 hours avg. for the rest of teh batch.


The first one always takes more time. Be sure to use that to really nail down the style and everything, then use it as a template for the rest. So considerig the 3-4 hours per map, I think that's not a bad deal actually for a first project. Got to start somewhere. Plus I'm pretty sure you'll speed up towards the end, or at the very least gain enough experience to do future projects faster.

Good luck and if it's at all possible, we'd love to see a sample. In fact, why not post one now, before starting it, and see if any of us here can come up with some useful tips.
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#9
travelbug

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I wonder if they'll let me post on a forum, when I'm not even allowed to use it for self-promotion :(

But thanks for all the tips. This is a nice place to hang out :P




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