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#1
Maisie

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Does anyone have experience with maps.com's freelancing program?

I'd like to know more before I sign up.

#2
benbakelaar

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I've thought about it, but never gotten around to signing up!

You should definitely search the threads, this question has been asked before.

Bryan from Maps.com is a member of this board and I am sure he will provide you with more info.

#3
ELeFevre

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Do we have any forum members freelancing with maps.com who are willing to share their experience? Anyone?



#4
Hans van der Maarel

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I did sign up, but I'm invariably too busy with my own work :blink: There seems to be a fair amount of offers coming through though. There's also an hour-estimate included in the details, which appears to be quite reasonable (hard to tell without actually having done a project for them, but the hours and deadlines certainly are realistic, which is a good thing).
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#5
chely_traitel

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Hi,

Well I have a lot to say about maps.com..and I don't mind if Bryan will see it...he actually should see it.
I'm personally don't recommend on them at all, it'll be a BIG mistake.
I did some small project for them last year, and it was ok....they paid
Afterwards, I bid for a long time...maybe few months and I lost...apparently you need to bid very low (Less than $20 per hour) in order to win a bid.

Few weeks ago, I won a bid...that's because I bid very low...I worked on a small project few hours (5~) and than Mr. Bryan from maps.com didn't like it....he wasn't satisfied with what I've done....so he didn't pay me.

This is my experience with maps.com, don't do this mistake...it's a waste of time.

Chely.
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#6
Derek Tonn

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Chely,

Any wide-open bidding site like maps.com is going to place EXTREME downward pressure on pricing. I'm not sure why folks would even complain about that, as that should be obvious going into the process. Not sure about you not getting paid on a job though. If they (or their client) used what you did, and they did not pay you for your work, have your attorney politely remind them about U.S. Copyright Law.... ;)

Seriously though, any site like that is going to attract 50 freelance designers or firms from developing nations who will take 20% of the pay you would want to do the same job. Unless you're hurting for work, I wouldn't even bother bidding on most of that stuff. Nobody is FORCING you to participate in the site or lower your pricing/estimates. If you cannot or will not compete on price, stop participating on bids there. Easy! Problem solved. Just make sure you get paid on that 5 hr job....or that they aren't using your work after deciding not to pay you.
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#7
benbakelaar

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The same thing happens at freelance programming and web development sites. A job I might price at $1000 would come in under $200 for sure. It's the international nature of things, yknow. I think maps.com is great for people who are just starting out and don't have connections or a client base. Or, people who enjoy the technical nature of compiling maps and are really good and quick at it. Believe me that you can get those clients and connections on your own... it will just take a little (lot) longer.

So in defense of maps.com, in our multi-channel, multi-threaded world of hyper-connected space, each piece (person, job, org, website) has its part, its utility, and its value to others. (Yep, generally speaking, not true in all cases).

#8
ProMapper

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Do we have any forum members freelancing with maps.com who are willing to share their experience? Anyone?


Yes, I have worked for maps.com and finished a few maps about fifteen days back. I would say Bryan is handling the outsourcing in a professional way. The cartographers, Toni, Brandi, Lucy are great to work with. It sure is surprising that Bryan has refused to pay for the job done. Usually if the job requires modification, the same is intimated to the freelancer and accepted after due correction etc. My experience with maps.com has been excellent. The hourly rate also has been satisfactory not very low. At the end, the average works out around $10, if you include the time for various emails and other interaction with them. This is fairly okay with me, being from India.

Some of you have written that they have other agencies or clients who pay more than maps.com, I sure would be interested in them. I have worked on most of the software of the industry. I am presently working as a freelancer, however I am willing to form a team in India to look after large projects if required. It can be line digitisation on CAD software or cartography jobs with FH, Illustrator or GIS jobs with MapInfo.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Promapper

#9
MapMedia

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I have had a fine experience with maps.com. They are one of the few large map firms with a functional freelance program. You get a piece of the 'action', so expect a 'piece' not full billing rate. Otherwise, go find your own clients! :P

Pro Mapper - Collaboration is key and I totally support it where I can. Knowing what others can do and what it is like to work with them helps when it comes time to ask for help on large projects. You might try posting some of your work products in the gallery or provide a web link to your work.

#10
Matthew Hampton

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$10/hr for carto work? :o

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#11
Martin Gamache

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I agree with you Matthew.

I'm glad to be getting out of the freelance business if that is now a competitive rate...and you run the risk of rejection without pay.



yikes...

#12
Matthew Hampton

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I'm glad to be getting out of the freelance business if that is now a competitive rate...


...either that or hook-up with Promapper and start crankin' ;)

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#13
MapMedia

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welcome to the global market fellas. The reality is, $10 is not a competitive rate for competent work, but you have to understand there are other economies competing for certain types of carto work.

#14
Derek Tonn

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The reality is, $10 is not a competitive rate for competent work....


I'm not sure that I entirely buy that argument from a global or "macro" perspective. I think the actual reality is the fact that in certain segments of the greater mapping/GIS industry, there have been THOUSANDS of individuals and small firms entering the marketplace over the past 5+ years, many of them in countries where $10/hr is actually a "decent" wage. That influx of "supply" is growing faster than the demand for those same services for-hire...which is necessarily placing ever-increasing downward pressure on price.

If I can steal one more "art" conversation I have had with artist friends and co-workers to try and illustrate a point without having things thrown at me...... :lol:

...When somebody asks "what is something worth?," the correct answer is "what people are willing and/or able to pay for it." The person who makes that "something" often feels that what they have made is worth more than most people are willing to pay, because they remember all the time they had to spend creating it, as well as the education they received which helped them be able to produce it.

HOWEVER, if 10,000...100,000...1,000,000 other people can do what you (we) do with no discernible difference in appearance/quality (or that difference in quality is not "important" to a client, which is a whole additional can of worms and conversation), I can GUARANTEE that people are not going to pay what people want or generally expect for their time.

I don't blame maps.com one bit for recognizing that impending tsunami and trying to cash-in a bit on it as a result. Do I like having my friends in the GIS/custom cartography industries experience shrinking margins? Not at all. However, this is the way it is going to be in the future. If designers in India are charging $10/hr for their time, I can guarantee that it won't be long until you see other designers in Myanmar or Laos charging $8/hr and under-cutting the folks in India. It's the nature of the free market. The key is putting ourselves in a position, however, where we do not NEED to compete on price...making sure that our work is vastly superior in appearance/quality to others in our industry and/or so different/unique that we distance ourselves from the "commoditization" that will inevitably continue to occur.

Another LONG reply (sorry).
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

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

#15
MapMedia

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I am fairly certain you disagreed then agreed with my position ( "$10 is not a competitive rate for competent work" and "making sure that our work is vastly superior").
It is a reality for virtually any market, and the sooner we adapt to it, as Derek laid out, the better. Making lasting relationships with clients is key to sustaining work - where they know your
capabilities and really enjoy working with you.




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