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#1
rajesh2911

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I am interested in Freelance work in Cartography. Please suggest how I should I start for the same.

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#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Hello Rajesh,

I am interested in Freelance work in Cartography. Please suggest how I should I start for the same.


Well, there's been a pretty good discussion on this already, see here.

Maps.com is running a freelance cartography program, see the ad on the top of this page for details. Aside from that, keep an eye out, find a local market and try and build a portfolio. Feel free to post some of your previous work in the Map Gallery so we can see what you can do. Cartotalk itself isn't the magic gateway to getting a lot of freelance projects, but it is a good way to be in touch with the community, exchange ideas and make contacts. All of that in turn could help you get some projects (there's many cartographers here, such as myself, looking for partners or subcontractors).

Hope this helps...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
Map Guy

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I am interested in Freelance work in Cartography. Please suggest how I should I start for the same.


What system and programs do you have and can work in.

#4
rajesh2911

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I am interested in Freelance work in Cartography. Please suggest how I should I start for the same.


What system and programs do you have and can work in.


I have working experience on both PC and MAC computer. I have both. Programm is basically I handled are Freehand MX (four years), Photoshpo, Illustrator (basic), Map Info (Advanced), Erdas, Mapublisher.

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#5
ProMapper

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I am interested in Freelance work in Cartography. Please suggest how I should I start for the same.


What system and programs do you have and can work in.


I have working experience on both PC and MAC computer. I have both. Programm is basically I handled are Freehand MX (four years), Photoshpo, Illustrator (basic), Map Info (Advanced), Erdas, Mapublisher.


Hello Rajesh

Welcome to the freelance world.

It would be nice to interact with you, just send me mail at promapper@gmail.com if you so desire.

http://www.mapsandlocations.com

#6
James Hines

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Maps.com is running a freelance cartography program, see the ad on the top of this page for details.


Hi Hans;

I have checked into the site Maps.com, if you check the application it asks what state do you reside in, it doesn't ask what country you are from. Now I could be way off base here but it appears that only those who live in the United States are eligible for the program.

James

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#7
Hans van der Maarel

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It's open for non-US cartographers as well (I am in there as well), but I think you need to send an email to Brian at maps.com to get that sorted out.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#8
James Hines

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Thanks Hans;

While I'm on the subject of freelance cartography I would like to ask all the members of this board what you would suggest for an entry level freelancer with little money trying to start from scratch.

- What Laptop would my fellow cartographers suggest?
- What software packages would be best for a Cartographer starting slowly: CorelDraw? Adobe Illustrator? Any ESRI based products? or Cad based software?
- Vista Business Edition v.s. Home Premium
- Hardware requirements recommended for a freelancer
- Where do I establish more contacts, (I know about The North American Cartographic Information Systems Association, & The Canadian Cartographic Association)?
- How to get a license for each software package?

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#9
Sky Schemer

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- What Laptop would my fellow cartographers suggest?


None. It's a truly awful platform for serious graphics work. Tiny display, poor color contrast, poor egonomics, high cost (and low bang-for-the-buck compared to a desktop), limited expandability options, and overall durability are just a few of the reasons I can list for why a laptop as your primary system is generally a bad idea. Mobility and size are the only real advantages.

#10
Charles Syrett

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James, there's no way to address your questions unless you know what kind of work you'll be doing and who your clients will be. Look at the wide variety of cartographic activities done by people on Cartotalk -- everything from more graphics-based illustrative mapping to highly technical, data-driven work, and everything in between. At one end of the spectrum you may want to be Mac-based and using FreeHand (and, I guess over time, Illustrator as well) and Photoshop, and at the other end you may have to be Windows-based (since that's where most of the GIS software is).

This will also determine the kind of hardware you'll be using. For example, my experience is quite different from Sky Schemer. After years of being on desktop systems and being very suspicious of laptops, I've now come to the point of actually preferring a laptop (12" Mac!!) as my primary tool (with an external hard drive), precisely because it's so portable and adaptable. In my current situation, it works -- I can upload/download projects, Skype other workers, and even work in a parking lot if necessary, all on a system that fits into a backpack. Of course it helps to have a large monitor to hook up to in the various work places, but that's usually no problem. If you don't plan to be working in different locations, a desktop system will probably be fine.

Sources of work? Everywhere. About 6 years ago I was chatting with a handyman who had done some work on our house, and he happened to mention he has a daughter who's an editor of a travel publication. I told him to ask her if she ever needed any maps for her publication. A few weeks later she called me out of the blue, and ever since that time I've had $10,000 a year of business from her company. So you have to keep your eyes and ears open for possibilities!

Charles Syrett
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#11
Hans van der Maarel

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- What Laptop would my fellow cartographers suggest?


As mentioned already: none. I have a laptop for on-the-road connectivity and potentially work, but I really prefer a desktop machine for exactly those reasons

- What software packages would be best for a Cartographer starting slowly: CorelDraw? Adobe Illustrator? Any ESRI based products? or Cad based software?


Depends on your work, but I would personally recommend Illustrator over Corel and look at free or low-cost GIS options (Manifold, Global Mapper) as well.

- Vista Business Edition v.s. Home Premium


Neither if at all possible... (I prefer XP, I wouldn't use all of the Vista eye-candy, so don't really see a need to spend a lot of money and resources on it)

- Hardware requirements recommended for a freelancer


Depends on your intended work and budget. Generally speaking: as good as you can afford. Plenty of ram, good graphics card, plenty of hard drive space.

- Where do I establish more contacts, (I know about The North American Cartographic Information Systems Association, & The Canadian Cartographic Association)?


Attending conferences helps you to get to know people. NACIS is good for that (show and tell during PCD!). Forums like Cartotalk are pretty good for getting your name out there too. Anything really. Do keep in mind that you still need to work on this a lot. It's not going to magically happen for you...

- How to get a license for each software package?


Pay ;) Either find a local reseller or order directly from the developer.

Hope this helps. Feel free to post samples of your work in the Map Gallery section, because that will show people here what you are capable of in terms of design. Who knows what you might end up with in terms of work...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#12
frax

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For software, I would start with what you know, what you want to learn (and assess is an asset for you to know) and what your clients would ask for. And what you have time/energy to learn.

Good points from the other people, but I just want to add to Hans' comment - I would look into Vista Ultimate - 64-bit, if it works for you, and the software that you want to use runs fine on Vista. In the grand scheme of things, when you buy a new machine, the cost is not that much more to get Ultimate. Turn off the eye-candy, and you have a machine that is better future-proofed than an xp-license (in terms of support/updates etc).

There are some additional features that quite cool/improved in Vista vs XP, which are also in favor for vista (RDP server, full IIS, improved firewall, ipv6). I wouldn't upgrade an existing xp-machine that works fine though.
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#13
James Hines

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Thanks everyone you all have certainly gave me a lot to think about for the past couple of days. I have to work with my knowledge, comfort level, & strength to determine what end of the Cartographic spectrum I will be working in. Knowing myself I have determined that the best course is the graphics end of Cartography. My local area is likely my starting market, most of my mapping is likely to be in tourism, however as I establish contacts by joining associations such as the NACIS then if the work is good for my clients word should spread. Then again the reason why I'm a member of this board is to get an education in Cartography 101. ;)

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#14
natcase

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- How to get a license for each software package?


Pay ;) Either find a local reseller or order directly from the developer.


We've had excellent luck with ebay (only but from someone with LOTS of good feedback, and be sure the license works in your area and is not educational). As a company we also use provantage, and have found their prices often beat local resellers and the software company themselves.</a>

My local area is likely my starting market, most of my mapping is likely to be in tourism


This should probably be another whole topic, but be aware that all markets are not alike, and that the general quality of maps you see in any given may not be because no-one has thought to tap them, but because the buyers in those markets are unwilling to pay for anything better. This has often been our experience in tourism. It's wonderful to run into someone who says, "Oh, we want to get much better, more usable maps; it will make it so much easier for visitors to explore our fair city." But too often we hear, "We need maps that will fit our budget, and my nephew's been doing these ones for free for years, so no thanks."

What I would recommend (and do recommend) is find a non-cartographic thing you love, and tackle that market. As a starter, of course. This can be local/tourism based (I love my town), or it can be recreation based (I love to play badminton, where are the badminton courts in the state), or it can be some other subject based (I love medieval history, I'll do a map of medieval sites in Minnesota. OK, sometimes it doesn't work perfectly...). And follow what connections you find. Remember that as a map business you do need to some extent to go where the money is (as Willie Sutton is alleged to have said when asked why he robbed banks). Then again as a freelancer you can be somewhat free to follow your bliss...

Nat Case
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