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#1
Longcreative

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Does anyone have any research showing a decline in print map sales as a result of GIS and GPS.

I'm specifically looking at recreational maps, such as hiking, fishing, hunting. Anecdotal information from your personal experience would be great also.

#2
David Medeiros

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Does anyone have any research showing a decline in print map sales as a result of GIS and GPS.

I'm specifically looking at recreational maps, such as hiking, fishing, hunting. Anecdotal information from your personal experience would be great also.


My anecdotal evidence involves road maps more than rec maps. My entire department was outsourced as a result of declining paper map use. The issues behind that are complex and debatable. Road maps are probably more vulnerable to GIS and GPS use than rec maps. I think the decline will level out as people who were only using paper maps for A to B navigation and not really trip planning migrate to easier to use web maps and GPS devices. The rest of us will keep on using paper and GPS/GIS.

In the rec world I see little decline in topo map use on the trail, or area specific rec maps with high detail and information. Most serious rec users know the pitfalls of relying solely on electronic devices and value the big picture over small screens and sparse printouts. Fishing maps may be different. I've never really seen a very useful fishing map, paper or digital. Most fisherman I see in the Sierras don't have a map of any kind, they already know where to go. Or are using their GPS to mark or find known spots.

BTW, I recognize your web address, you do maps for the expo guys at OJ. Nice work.

dave

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#3
ProMapper

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Does anyone have any research showing a decline in print map sales as a result of GIS and GPS.

I'm specifically looking at recreational maps, such as hiking, fishing, hunting. Anecdotal information from your personal experience would be great also.

Hi Andrew

I really do not have any data on print map sales however recently I had done about one and a half dozen trail maps for a US client. You can see a sample at http://www.mapsandlo...ridge_Trail.jpg.

However I tend to agree with Dave on the declining use of paper maps in our daily life. And it will keep on declining with the GPS hardware and locational technologies becoming more robust, faster, reliable and cheaper by the day.

Anu
http://www.mapsandlocations.com

#4
Longcreative

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Does anyone have any research showing a decline in print map sales as a result of GIS and GPS.

I'm specifically looking at recreational maps, such as hiking, fishing, hunting. Anecdotal information from your personal experience would be great also.


My anecdotal evidence involves road maps more than rec maps. My entire department was outsourced as a result of declining paper map use. The issues behind that are complex and debatable. Road maps are probably more vulnerable to GIS and GPS use than rec maps. I think the decline will level out as people who were only using paper maps for A to B navigation and not really trip planning migrate to easier to use web maps and GPS devices. The rest of us will keep on using paper and GPS/GIS.

In the rec world I see little decline in topo map use on the trail, or area specific rec maps with high detail and information. Most serious rec users know the pitfalls of relying solely on electronic devices and value the big picture over small screens and sparse printouts. Fishing maps may be different. I've never really seen a very useful fishing map, paper or digital. Most fisherman I see in the Sierras don't have a map of any kind, they already know where to go. Or are using their GPS to mark or find known spots.

BTW, I recognize your web address, you do maps for the expo guys at OJ. Nice work.

dave

Thanks. I'm mostly a map hack. I've mostly done newspaper work. Which is basically suffering from the same digital demise. So it seems to me that a detailed, user-friendly, hyperlocal rec map could still be profitable in these digital days?

#5
David Medeiros

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Thanks. I'm mostly a map hack. I've mostly done newspaper work. Which is basically suffering from the same digital demise. So it seems to me that a detailed, user-friendly, hyperlocal rec map could still be profitable in these digital days?


I think your on the right track there. My feeling is that specializing could be the way to go, but you have to add lots of detail. Imagine a rec area that gets tons of outdoor use of various types (hiking, camping, watersports, B&B destination and small historical town with local food and products etc.). As a visitor to such an area I might head out to camp & hike, but when I get there I end up wanting to kayak and check out town. I probably left home with what I needed to know for campgrounds and trails but not much else. A good local rec map would help here by focusing on the local region but showing a very detailed set of info for all aspects of its use, supporting on the fly itinerary changes with a slew of data that you might otherwise have to look up online.

The key is keeping such a detailed map clean and easy to read. If I were taking off for a trip like this, I'd want my guide book, my print outs from online but I also want that one area specific map that really hits all the opportunities in the area.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#6
Clark Geomatics

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I agree with Dave. Straight ahead road maps are on the way out - the GPS / Internet combo is an "extinguishing technology" from which printed road maps will probably not recover.

As with many, I dabble in the black art of cartography and have created a printed map product that is highly specialized (as described by Dave) - backcountry recreation (my shameless plug - www.clarkgeomatics.ca) - and sales are seasonal but very strong. In terms of being profitable, that's another ballpark - I've made a profit with this product in it's first season, likely because it's the only map of its kind for the area (read - very specialized with unique content). With the right price-point and a lot of marketing (after you've carried out your market research), you should be profitable. Mind you, I don't make a living as a cartographer / map-maker / map publisher (or what ever you call it) - it's just a passion that's turned into some earnings.
Cheers,

Jeff Clark
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#7
frax

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Jeff, when you say that the map was profitable, are you counting (and pricing) the work you have put into the map? (research, cartography, production, marketing)
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#8
Longcreative

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As with many, I dabble in the black art of cartography and have created a printed map product that is highly specialized

Well you make great maps that I would probably buy if I visited that area. Would you be able to make a living if you had more titles? What's your turnaround time to produce a map of that quality?

a.

#9
Clark Geomatics

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Frax - With a single map product (and a first for me), I'll never be able to recoup my time and effort as it was mostly a learning experience. I should have selected my words more carefully. Having covered the printing costs in the first 6 months I am now being "compensated" for my time and effort.

LongCreative - With each new title I generate, I expect the turnaround time will decrease and therefore, reducing the time it takes to recover overhead costs. Also, printing new versions / editions of the map will reduce the overall cost of each title (usually involves a few updates and off to the printer). As you suggest, I agree that having many titles is a better business model - I just need to find the time to create them!

I don't have good metrics to compare to as I didn't track time / effort (I had no intention of creating a product until I was deep into the project). I'm working on a two other titles now and am tracking hours. Let's see, at $2.00 an hour, I'll be int the black in no time ;)
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Jeff Clark
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#10
BEAVER

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I'm in the same boat as JJC. I don't do this for living so profits are not important to me. On my first map I got the actual money back for printing costs in the first 6 months and full year to cover all other costs running business. I never counted my time witch was about 2000 hours. I went into a mapping business without knowing anything about it and made many mistakes, but things are looking promising. I received a lot of feedback from my costumers and stores and now I know what people are looking for. If I knew what I know now I would have five different products out there instead of one map. The most important thing is to talk to people and show the prototype to as many costumer as possible before you go to printer and not listen too much to guys on this forum. The second one is to make a map for everyone (fisherman, hikers, bicyclists, hunters, campers) My map outsold all other maps that were highly specialized for only one category of outdoor recreation. Now after talking to hundreds of costumers and over 800 e-mails my next map will be much much better.

Here is the first map I made which I learned a lot from.

http://www.catskillmap.com




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