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Maps.com Freelance Job Board discussion

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#1
Hans van der Maarel

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Bryan,

Is this freelancer program also open for non-US freelancers?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#2
Maps.com Bryan

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Hello Hans,

Yes, of course our program is open to people outside of the U.S. As long as the freelancers are competent in the English language (99% of our maps are in English) then they are good for me. We currently have freelancers as far away as Russia.

Bryan

#3
ESRI Doc

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Maps.com may not be your favorite client to work with, as I've heard more than a few horror stories. I think that if you value your expertise and time, you will stay away from them.

I find good-old-networking to be the best ticket to fulfilling map jobs around. My 2 cents!

Esri doc
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#4
Kartograph

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@Esri Doc: Any links to back up that statement?

#5
Maps.com Bryan

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ESRI Doc,

I am very sorry that you've heard such awful things about Maps.com. While the slander is not appreciated, I too would like to hear more about these "horror stories". For those of you who don?t know, Maps.com (formerly Magellan Geographix) has been creating maps for over 15 years and as is the case in all businesses not everyone is happy all the time. That being said we have made positive changes the past few years, and over the lifetime of our freelance program I?ve heard no negative feedback from any of the outsourcers.

Regardless, the freelance site is an option for outsourcers to see what work we have to offer, and accept or decline the work based on their needs, time schedule, and talents. We currently have close to 50 freelancers signed up and outsource projects varying from street level directory maps to high-end textbook relief files. As a freelancer you have very little to lose and a lot of $$$ to gain by at least signing up. Check it out, participate if you'd like, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions whatsoever. As a former freelancer I can relate to the state of cartographic outsourcing and try to do everything I can to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship between Maps.com and the outsourcer. I invite anyone to try our freelance site and determine the validity of our work for themselves.

Bryan Conant
Bryan@maps.com

#6
Mike H

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Bryan - I haven't used your site resources, but I think the concept is great. It allows the client to choose the freelancer without a 'lowest bid' scenario driving the decision, and if it doesn't work out for any reason either party can decide against future collaborations. I have been doing freelance cart work in the US for over ten years, and in general the better freelancers do evolve into primarily word-of-mouth business relationships, and/or simply retain longterm clients. But your system provides a valuable resource for less "connected" cartographers to moonlight or simply explore freelance, without actually launching a new business.

I recall talking to one of your staff at NACIS last year about it. It's a very low-risk opportunity, and I'm happy to see it evolve. I hope it works out for the majority of mapmakers looking for freelance opportunities.

m.
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#7
Derek Tonn

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ESRI Doc,

I am very sorry that you've heard such awful things about Maps.com.  While the slander is not appreciated, I too would like to hear more about these "horror stories".  For those of you who don?t know, Maps.com (formerly Magellan Geographix) has been creating maps for over 15 years and as is the case in all businesses not everyone is happy all the time.  That being said we have made positive changes the past few years, and over the lifetime of our freelance program I?ve heard no negative feedback from any of the outsourcers. 

Bryan Conant
Bryan@maps.com


Nice job taking the high-road, Bryan! B) All of us have clients who will RAVE about our work, as well as a couple who don't necessarily have the most positive thoughts, for one reason or another. We had a client about two years ago. Good institution, very friendly staff, etc. However, when it came time to deliver the finished artwork (which they loved), we had an ENORMOUS time trying to get our Corel Draw files on the PC to "play nice" with their Illustrator software on the Mac. 5-6 rounds of moving files back and forth with continued problems, I'm sure our name became "mud" around their institution. It still makes me feel bad to this day, as we developed a great product for them, only to have the Adobe/Corel compatibility "monster" rear its ugly head. <_<

I'd be interested in learning more about the Maps.com model related to freelancers....both to compare notes with my own eight-designer "co-op" and to see if we might be able to throw our hat in the ring for freelance projects. I'm always looking for new ways to find more work for our design team....so replying to this post has been on my To Do List for the past several days.

Have a great afternoon!

Derek Tonn
mapformation
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#8
ESRI Doc

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Hmmm..thanks for the rebutal, but I think its overkill to my mere comment on your advertisement.
This isn't a maps.com sponsored site, so I would imagine there is room for counterpoints.

That said, I am sure freelancing is a useful tool for maps.com. Good luck with it.

Esri Doc
Richard McCord, PhD
ESA Associates

#9
Derek Tonn

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Hmmm..thanks for the rebutal, but I think its overkill to my mere comment on your advertisement.  This isn't a maps.com sponsored site, so I would imagine there is room for counterpoints.

That said, I am sure freelancing is a useful tool for maps.com.  Good luck with it.

Esri Doc


Richard,

I guess I am not understanding the "dig" towards Bryan's post. Under "Jobs and Resumes/North American Jobs", how exactly is a post NOT to be interpreted as "advertising"? He's saying "looking for freelancers", exactly as this area of the forum is intended to do. People offering jobs and links to jobs, and people wanting jobs.

I can't speak for the work of Maps.com/Magellan either way, but I think he has a right to post info about his service....just like you have a right to share your opinions of his service. I've probably been a worse "offender" than Bryan when it comes to advertising for freelancers/partners for my own map design co-op at CartoTalk up until this point....but I kind of thought the whole point of CartoTalk was collaboration, comparing notes, collectively discovering new ways to reinvent the mouse trap, creating new opportunities for employment and income, etc.

Am I missing something? :huh:
Derek Tonn
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mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#10
ESRI Doc

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This is getting out of hand. My point with last msg was that there is room (I think) for opinions and counter-points, which shouldn't be taken personally as 'slander'.

Hey - try the maps.com thing and come back and tell us about your experience. Maybe that's the best place to leave this.
Richard McCord, PhD
ESA Associates

#11
Kartograph

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I think bad experiences should be uttered. That is actually value added for us users.
BUT, I'd really love to hear more about it than just:

"Is bad."
"Is not."
"Is bad."
"Is not."

So please provide a link or a source to your info. Or write what you have heard w/o giving away from whom, if possible. I'm really interested, and am inclined to believe you, if you can present some more info. The way it is right now, it's just a hollow statement.

#12
frax

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In a way I think it is quite unfair to not substantiate (or retract) loose statements like that. Cartotalk is open for everyone in the world to see, and google is seeing this as well... search for maps.com + horror
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#13
Mike H

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There is a line between discussing general bad experiences with clients, and specific cases - some of which may be more appropriate to discuss off the list. Every job is different, even when working with a longterm client, and that dynamic experience may not be representative of the larger relationship. If a potential employer is guilty of chronic late or non-payment, or regularly misrepresents what may be expected to complete the tasks - that is a valuable piece of information. If mis-communication between individual project managers and freelancers makes a particular job difficult, that is also valuable information. But not necesesarily helpful for either party to post in a very public forum.

I doubt ESRI Doc meant to slam anyone, he simply states "if you value your expertise and time", which I interpret as, perhaps, in this case, the freelancer felt they put too much time into a project and didn't agree with workflow or design issues. Many freelancers are too advanced as creative, efficient designers to integrate well into what may be very basic, routine/repetitive freelance cart work. Conversely, many younger freelancers find themselves in over their heads on jobs that do require a fair amount of creative decision making, and they may not have the experience to make those calls. Or, even if they make good decisions, the client doesn't agree with them.

Freelance is tricky business, which is why the word-of-mouth relationships seem to stand the test of time, while new client relationships - regardless of experience levels - often become difficult. About half of my freelance work runs into personality or design issues that aren't really anyone's fault - but need to be handled in a way that keeps both parties reasonably content, and we build on that base of knowledge for future work. "Remember what happenned last time..." is a good foundation to start a second freelance job - much better than the traditional first time agreement of "Yup, I can do that for you"... and upon delivery the client responds "Uhh, that's not what I had in mind..."

We can share information about the trials and tribulations of freelance without naming names of business relationships gone bad.

m.
Michael Hermann
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#14
Kartograph

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Micheal, I understand your points. But general discussion is not what happened. It was a general statement, which you can only speculate on what it meant.

if you value your expertise and time


Can really mean anything.

which I interpret as


Is as good as any other interpretation.
It would be only fair to elaborate more on what shortcomings "Maps.Com" is supposed to have. Even general statements like:

"bad pay / no pay"

would be more helpful than:

"Stay away from them."

#15
Derek Tonn

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I think that if you value your expertise and time, you will stay away from them.


Yes, I am absolutely NOT trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. However, the above quote is a VERY harsh statement towards the Maps.com service....and if someone is going to make a statement like that, I would strongly prefer that they back it up with substantive "evidence". Then Bryan at least has a chance to either:

A. Provide a rebuttal, or
B. Acknowledge the previous problem, as well as what has been done to rectify the situation.

I can't speak for others, but someone out there makes a statement like that about any potential partner/client/employer etc. and it makes me take pause and tread a LOT more cautiously in any discussions with anyone on the receiving end of such a statement. On the flip side, if someone made a statement like that about my company's services, I would want the chance to defend myself and/or tell my side of the story. ;)

Just a few additional thoughts on this warm, humid Friday evening here in Minnesota...
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
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