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#1
Royce Schnepp

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I am currently a student at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. For entre 472, we are to start a company and run it. Our business idea was to make maps aimed at motorcyclists looking for unique routes throughout Washington state (to start).

Im looking for advice on how to go about making and printing maps and who to go to. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I am currently a student at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. For entre 472, we are to start a company and run it. Our business idea was to make maps aimed at motorcyclists looking for unique routes throughout Washington state (to start).

Im looking for advice on how to go about making and printing maps and who to go to. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Let me start by asking you some questions:
How much experience do you have in designing and producing maps?
What kind of hard/software do you have and what kind of budget do you have for expanding that?
What kind of timeframe would you be looking at (when do you want to be able to print and sell your first map)?
Would you want to do the entire process (gathering and processing source data, producing the map, printing the map, publishing/selling the map) by yourself or would you be looking at outsourcing part of the process?

I'm not trying to shoot you down here, but I do think you've taken on quite a big project in one go.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#3
frax

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Red Green, why don't you go to your (excellent) school of geography and see if you can get some students involved there? I would assume that your exercise, for the class, is in learning how to run the business, and not get too focused on preparing the product...
Hugo Ahlenius
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#4
MapMedia

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What a great topic for a project! As a business major, you may be interested in showing your management capacity than cartographic prowess, so
I would think that finding someone with map skills to help you on this would be the Plan A way to go. And you focus on marketing. Plan B would be
to do it all yourself, and if you have the time and energy, the sky is the limit. I would start by reading many of the 'how to start making maps' threads
on this forum then hit us up with specific questions.

Do motorcyclists use TomTom and the like? Maybe your product is both digital and paper?

Good luck! And please keep us posted.

#5
bruce

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This may not help answer your question, but it may provide some ideas on how a real business approached this task. Go to: http://www.madmaps.com/

bruce
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#6
Martin Gamache

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I suggest you drop a note to MVW maps who has ventured down this road before.

#7
Royce Schnepp

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Madmaps is fairly similar to what we are trying to do. However, our routes are designed to show exciting places for the person to ride as opposed to scenic. The problem we are currently running into is were to obtain the maps to print, thats kind of a big one. :) The material to have it printed on, im thinking Tyvec, cause we want it to be waterproof and who to have print them.

I'm not sure we will have to time to deal with the geography department at this point, though it is a great idea. We have to have a product to show in less than 2-3 weeks.

What material would you all recommend?

#8
Royce Schnepp

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I am currently a student at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. For entre 472, we are to start a company and run it. Our business idea was to make maps aimed at motorcyclists looking for unique routes throughout Washington state (to start).

Im looking for advice on how to go about making and printing maps and who to go to. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Let me start by asking you some questions:
How much experience do you have in designing and producing maps?
What kind of hard/software do you have and what kind of budget do you have for expanding that?
What kind of timeframe would you be looking at (when do you want to be able to print and sell your first map)?
Would you want to do the entire process (gathering and processing source data, producing the map, printing the map, publishing/selling the map) by yourself or would you be looking at outsourcing part of the process?

I'm not trying to shoot you down here, but I do think you've taken on quite a big project in one go.


Sorry Hans didn't see your questions.

I have no expertise. at all.
As for budget, we are unsure, since its an Entre class, we present it to a board of directors and get funding, im sure we can get a quite a bit though.
We are looking to trying to finalize the product by years end at the latest to be instores in january, if not sooner.
And it is not just me, i have a team of 5 other people helping on it. Currently we are doing market research in our area to see what people want in their maps.

#9
Dennis McClendon

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Back up a minute, Red.

If your company idea was to sell books, let's say travel guides to Washington State, would you start by looking for companies to do the bookbinding?

Where's the content going to come from? Who's going to actually write the chapters? How are they going to get laid out into pages?

Same with maps.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#10
Royce Schnepp

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Currently, we have a couple of riders in our company who are going to come up with routes that they and their family and friends enjoy taking. The idea would be folding map as opposed to a book.

That is what I am trying to figure out though is were to start. Im trying to find a printer that can make the maps, but I am also looking for a way to attain maps that we can use to draw up our idea on.

#11
Dennis McClendon

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To prototype the idea, you could mark the routes by hand onto a county or state highway map, or onto printouts/screen captures from MapPoint or Live.com.

For copyright-free maps that you can reproduce, your best bet is probably USGS topographic maps. You might find that those are out of date in areas or that they differ dramatically in look from one quadrangle to another. I would look at the 1:100,000 series for your needs. Have you browsed your university map library?

If you hook up with someone who's pretty savvy with GIS, he can download data and create maps that are similar to the 1:100,000 topos, but without green forest cover or brown contour lines that you might find distracting. However, this is not a quick and easy afternoon project. It's what the folks on this board make their livings doing.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#12
Royce Schnepp

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I'll swing by the library tomorrow after class and see what I can find there. I might also swing by and see what I can come up with from the Geography department as well.

For now I think i will pring something off with like google maps to get an idea of our routes until I can find someone to help with it. I might just have to learn it on my own.

#13
ELeFevre

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Im trying to find a printer that can make the maps, but I am also looking for a way to attain maps that we can use to draw up our idea on.


Howdy Red,
Dennis makes a good point that this isn't an afternoon project...or even a year project IMO. You're not making paper airplanes here. Rather than focusing on producing maps within a year, why not put that time into creating a real business plan first? Next year, once the plan is solidified and the somewhat crucial questions like " where in the hell do we get maps?" are answered, go into production if it still looks like a good idea.



#14
Royce Schnepp

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Problem is, that is not an option. This is all for a class. It has to be set up so we can get funding by the 21st of November and then start running the business the following quarter. Great idea, but the time frame limitation is going to kill most of the companies in the class.

#15
Hans van der Maarel

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Problem is, that is not an option. This is all for a class. It has to be set up so we can get funding by the 21st of November and then start running the business the following quarter. Great idea, but the time frame limitation is going to kill most of the companies in the class.


Sounds like it...

If I were in your position, I'd worry about getting the maps first. Or let's just say 'map', because due to the timeframe, I think you would be better off focusing on a single map first... Better doing one just right instead of 10 half-finished. When you do find a printer, don't forget to ask them about folding the maps.

You would also need to find something that sets apart your map from the others. A compelling reason to buy that one, rather than any of the other ones. Could be special content, well-written descriptions of the routes, price, some clever thing with size and folding, or anything else you can think of.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics




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