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CSAA Cartography Dept. to close


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#1
Rick Dey

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On Friday, May 9, California State Automobile Association management announced that map production will be outsourced to AAA's national headquarters in Florida. This change will result in the closure of CSAA's Cartographic Department, and the elimination of the 12 jobs therein. The department will be phased out over the remainder of 2008. The reasons cited are the recent drop in paper map usage and the fact that CSAA (also known as AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah) is one of only two AAA clubs that still produce maps in-house (the other being the Automobile Club of Southern California). The move is expected to be seamless to the members and they will still be offered all the AAA maps that they are used to.
Rick Dey

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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I'm sorry to hear that, Rick. What does this mean for your employment?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#3
Rick Dey

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I'm sorry to hear that, Rick. What does this mean for your employment?


It will mean I'll be out of a job sometime between now and the end of the year. I've started looking around and am considering my options, although I may not want to, it may be time to be looking at a new career.
Rick Dey

#4
frax

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Too bad - and sorry to hear! Are they offering you some kind of "package"?
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#5
A. Fenix

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so sad to hear Rick. i've been experiencing the same move away from paper maps and a shift in the types of requests coming in from paper to web. when you suggest that you may be thinking about a new career, is that because you are perceiving that careers in cartography are coming to an end? or is it more related to the specific job market there in california?
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#6
Dennis McClendon

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This is sad news, not only for the employees but for the craft.

CSAA and ACSC have always produced such admirable products, some of the best maps in the world.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#7
ELeFevre

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Yes, this is bad news. Sorry to hear it. Is the Florida office going to hire or transfer additional cartographers or has the paper map demand dropped so much that it isn't necessary?



#8
James Hines

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It's the sign of the times, either we adapt or we lose out. IMS is the way cartography has to go.

"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
Nick Springer

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Sorry to hear this Rick.

It's the sign of the times, either we adapt or we lose out. IMS is the way cartography has to go.

Paper ROAD maps may be in less demand because of online directions and GPS navigation, but other kinds of paper maps are still very much in demand. Cartography does not HAVE to go online to survive.

Nick Springer

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#10
rudy

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Sad news. I'm also in the paper road map business and though our predicament is not nearly as dire as Rick's, there has been a decrease in paper map usage because of GPs etc but also because of rising gas prices (people are driving less).

I agree with Nick - though there is lots of room for the IMS side of things and there is still the demand for paper maps, maybe not roads maps but definitely for others.

#11
CHART

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Sad to see a group of 12 craftsmen lose their job.


...IMS ... (I assume it means Internet Mapping Service).

The number of ways to publish map information will most likely increase with time. IMO paper is one, and it will survive the test of time.

TV- did not kill Radio.
PDFs - did not kill paper books.
Email did not kill the snail mail industry.
DVD did not kill the large screen theaters.

IMS, GPS ect. will NOT kill the paper map industry.

Not all agree.... Article
Chart

#12
ELeFevre

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Sorry to hear this Rick.

It's the sign of the times, either we adapt or we lose out. IMS is the way cartography has to go.

Paper ROAD maps may be in less demand because of online directions and GPS navigation, but other kinds of paper maps are still very much in demand. Cartography does not HAVE to go online to survive.


This is true. Certain markets are going to be hurt by GPS and online mapping services, but paper maps will continue to thrive in other markets.

Last month our marketing department surveyed a substantial number of our map customers. They were asked how they use maps, preferred file formats, online vs. print, et cetera. Overal we only had one or two requests for digital content over print. What I really took away from the survey was that paper maps are used in A LOT of different ways and for VERY different reasons. The bottom line is online content satisfies only a slice of the map-use spectrum.

This being said, IMO it's a good idea to think about offering your content in multiple formats, or at least have a good understanding of how to offer your content digitally if your customers start requesting digital products. People like options. And by digital I'm not necessarily talking about full-blown map servers. Some customers prefer a digital PDF on their desktop over a printed map, not really a big leap in technology for us.



#13
Derek Tonn

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Rick, I am SO sorry to hear your news! I've always been impressed by the work that the CSAA produces, and you truly seem like one of the "good guys" in our industry during the bit of time I have gotten to know you at a few of the NACIS conferences I have attended. I hope you choose to stay within the greater cartography industry, and that I'll see you again at future NACIS events. Best wishes for all that lies ahead.
Derek Tonn
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mapformation, LLC

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http://www.mapformation.com

#14
Neil Allen

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Here's an article in the SF Chronicle for those wanting more info regarding this tragedy... :(

#15
Rick Dey

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Because of the number of people that asked what's happening to CSAA at NACIS, I thought I would give an update.

The plan still is to close cartographic operations at the end of the year, currently 6 of our 11 cartographers are gone, two more will leave next week. The remainder of us (3 cartographers and a manager) will leave at the end of the year.

Our current 98 titles will cease publication, many have been receiving updates to get them through a 2+ year update cycle until they can start being replaced. Some have been consolidated with other titles with reduced coverage and/or scales. An undetermined (but probably small) number of very low volume titles will probably be eliminated. It is expected that AAA National(in Heathrow, FL) will take on several of the large volume titles themselves and the remainder will be put out to bid by AAA National for other companies to supply. My understanding is that they will be sending RFPs only to companies with which they currently have a supplier relationship.

As for the reasons for and the processes used for making the decisions, I will refrain from comment. I am currently still employed till December.
Rick Dey




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