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#1
David Medeiros

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As I surf the web typically looking at outdoor recreation sites I frequently come across organizations with printed or online maps that are really awful and could easily be replaced with a nice MAPublisher version. I have a little list of places that might be worth contacting to do one-off map jobs for but I’ve never followed through.


I’m wondering how many of you go through the exercise of making a map on your own and then showing it to the potential customer to see if they’d be interested in buying it? How successful are you at this? Any tips or amusing anecdotes? :)

dave

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www.mapbliss.com

 


#2
MapMedia

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As I surf the web typically looking at outdoor recreation sites I frequently come across organizations with printed or online maps that are really awful and could easily be replaced with a nice MAPublisher version. I have a little list of places that might be worth contacting to do one-off map jobs for but I’ve never followed through.


I’m wondering how many of you go through the exercise of making a map on your own and then showing it to the potential customer to see if they’d be interested in buying it? How successful are you at this? Any tips or amusing anecdotes? :)

dave

Nothing wrong with introducing yourself, and offering to improve upon things. In my experience, that is one way to make connections. Though now I stick to mostly advertisements and conferences. Good luck!

#3
Jean-Louis

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I,ve gotten almost all my business from cold call sales.
I do not recommend doing the artwork in advance though. The best is simply to show attractive samples of other work they my relate to.
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#4
David Medeiros

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Hmm, I thought more people would have done this. I guess what I'm considering doing is creating a map or two for my portfolio more than anything but base it on an apparent need and try to sell it if possible.

Actually right now I'm working on a Refuge map for a GIS Cartography class. Its the final project but I'm also creating it with the intent to offer it to the refuge to use on their website. In this case I may just let them use it online for no charge. If they want to distribute it or make full size prints they would have to buy it. Something like that anyway. We'll see.

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www.mapbliss.com

 


#5
MapMedia

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More to your question, I have not made a map then marketed it directly (i.e. "Hello, I am selling this beautiful map of Tampa County, Florida, would you like to order yourself a copy for only $x?")
If the map has wide appeal, or a sizable niche, is unique and priced competitively, and you have decent margin after production, and you can get a targeted direct marketing list, it may be worth your time.

#6
James Hines

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Most cartographers have to depend upon the word of others rather then cold call sales, & advertising. It's a tough field especially rate now with the recession. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try, some are successful while others are not with various methods you may try marketing yourself.

But that is the tough part of cartography, to find what works for you.

"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."


#7
Derek Tonn

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I’m wondering how many of you go through the exercise of making a map on your own and then showing it to the potential customer to see if they’d be interested in buying it? How successful are you at this? Any tips or amusing anecdotes? :)


I've often wondered if the "map classroom" in college is very similar to the graphic design classroom...in the sense of essentially teaching students "if you build it [well], they will come." When I was an undergrad, taking business classes (much less majoring in Business) was about the equivalent to declaring that you had no soul or that you would sell said soul to the highest bidder! :) That attitude in the art (and cartography/GIS?) classroom though does such a disservice to students!

You can be the very-best at your craft! However, if you do not know how to effectively promote the fact that you are the very-best at your craft, or understand how to package or customize that craft to meet demand in the marketplace, the outlook can often-times be bleak.

The other thing I don't understand about classroom learning and the visual arts: how can faculty or career service counselors on campuses be telling their students that the best way to land an internship or job is to send 2-3 pages of words to prospective employers? Art students do it...and I get 7-8 aspiring map professionals doing it every year. I tell them all the same thing, as very-politely as I can: Don't TELL me what you can do...SHOW me what you can do! A picture is worth 1,000 words...and someone can have a degree or certification in 800 software applications, but that still doesn't mean that they have the "eye" for effective design.

Not comments directed at you, David! Just an observation I've made over the past several years...and your initial posting (quoted text above) reminded me of these thoughts. Thanks!
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

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

#8
David Medeiros

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The other thing I don't understand about classroom learning and the visual arts: how can faculty or career service counselors on campuses be telling their students that the best way to land an internship or job is to send 2-3 pages of words to prospective employers? Art students do it...and I get 7-8 aspiring map professionals doing it every year. I tell them all the same thing, as very-politely as I can: Don't TELL me what you can do...SHOW me what you can do! A picture is worth 1,000 words...and someone can have a degree or certification in 800 software applications, but that still doesn't mean that they have the "eye" for effective design.



I agree and have encouraged my classmates to keep a PDF portfolio handy with map examples wen looking for work. I have found however that most of my prospective job contacts say they don't want to see a portfolio, which I find odd when your hiring someone to make maps. We'll, I'm finding it less and less odd for GIS jobs where there seems to be little to no value placed on good map design. :rolleyes: I have noticed a trend in my contacts though... many of the people who have refused a portfolio with the initial resume end up following my web link from either my resume or my emails and look over my online portfolio. The result has been several interested contacts and at least 3 job offers where it was my map design work that won them over and prompted them to contact me even though my GIS skills were thin.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#9
Gretchen Peterson

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I, for one, think it is a great idea. I also second a previous poster's idea that you should make a really good sample map to show off rather than actually creating the map you are trying to sell. Even better is to have a sample map that you've already sold to a business and that they are using - this gives you credibility that someone else bought your work (or you can offer your first one for free and then point your prospective clients to it).

However, the trick is going to be to make your cold call tactfully. You can not go to someone and say, "I think your current map is terrible." That is not a way to open up a business relationship. So you're going to have to say something like, "I've built this map for AcmeX and they are using it on their website and on print materials. They've reported an increase in customer satisfaction since they started distributing the map. If you are interested, I noticed that I could do something similar for your company an thereby increase the traffic to your store." Or something like that of course. Always focus on the value it will bring to the customer. What's in it for them?

Good luck! Also, I wouldn't give up until you've called at least 40 or 50 of these companies. You have to really persevere.

#10
Clark Geomatics

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I did pretty much what you described - I carried out market research, designed a map and, before getting thousands of copies printed, went around to retailers with a proof of concept map to get an idea of the level of interest. If that is your chosen path, be prepared to make cold calls (physical and virtual) and take "no" for an answer (trust me, it's never personal, it's just business - so they say). It can work, I'm on my third edition of that map.

The ubiquitous "if you build it, they will come" only applies if "they" are the collection agencies coming to repo your assets because people your product. A better way of thinking, if you chose to build first is, "if you build it, then be prepared to flog it". Good luck.
Cheers,

Jeff Clark
Principal
www.clarkgeomatics.ca

#11
David Medeiros

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm definitely not looking to make this my business model but I will have a map that may be sell able once this class project is done.

I have another question regarding this map. There are several different agencies online that are focused on this Refuge, two with no refuge map at all, one with a very poor refuge map. Is it fair to shop the same map product around to several clients at once, possibly selling it to all of them? When you guys sell a map to a client are you selling the map outright or just licensing it?

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#12
MapMedia

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm definitely not looking to make this my business model but I will have a map that may be sell able once this class project is done.

I have another question regarding this map. There are several different agencies online that are focused on this Refuge, two with no refuge map at all, one with a very poor refuge map. Is it fair to shop the same map product around to several clients at once, possibly selling it to all of them? When you guys sell a map to a client are you selling the map outright or just licensing it?


Its your creation, so its your decision - just be forthright about it with customers.

#13
Clark Geomatics

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm definitely not looking to make this my business model but I will have a map that may be sell able once this class project is done.

I have another question regarding this map. There are several different agencies online that are focused on this Refuge, two with no refuge map at all, one with a very poor refuge map. Is it fair to shop the same map product around to several clients at once, possibly selling it to all of them? When you guys sell a map to a client are you selling the map outright or just licensing it?


In your case, you have created a self-published product - you own it. Therefore, you can sell it to whomever you wish. If your clients want you to customize the map for their needs, the onus is on them to fund the project - however, this becomes more difficult if you arrive on their doorstep with a published map (i.e. you've gone ahead and printed 1000 copies).
Cheers,

Jeff Clark
Principal
www.clarkgeomatics.ca

#14
westcoastmapguy

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As I surf the web typically looking at outdoor recreation sites I frequently come across organizations with printed or online maps that are really awful and could easily be replaced with a nice MAPublisher version. I have a little list of places that might be worth contacting to do one-off map jobs for but I’ve never followed through.


I’m wondering how many of you go through the exercise of making a map on your own and then showing it to the potential customer to see if they’d be interested in buying it? How successful are you at this? Any tips or amusing anecdotes? :)

dave


Hi David,

Although it has been a few months since I logged into Cartotalk, I will let you know my success story...
For eight years I have been dreaming about a drawing a map for the Whistler Olympics. 2 years ago I started drawing it. Last year Hans van der Maarel compiled data to build the base map. I have, to date, over 3000 hours into this map. Last week I approached the Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler and Whistler.com, made my presentation and success! For 2 years I was working on hope with a 50/50 chance of succeeding and now I have to deliver. This deal works out to be over 500,000 maps and an iPhone app.

My advice, don't listen to anyone if you have a dream. Go with it and make strides everyday. Many people said I was wasting my time, I'm too small to matter, it will never work. They were wrong because I believed!

Jason

#15
David T

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Hi David,

Although it has been a few months since I logged into Cartotalk, I will let you know my success story...
For eight years I have been dreaming about a drawing a map for the Whistler Olympics. 2 years ago I started drawing it. Last year Hans van der Maarel compiled data to build the base map. I have, to date, over 3000 hours into this map. Last week I approached the Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler and Whistler.com, made my presentation and success! For 2 years I was working on hope with a 50/50 chance of succeeding and now I have to deliver. This deal works out to be over 500,000 maps and an iPhone app.

My advice, don't listen to anyone if you have a dream. Go with it and make strides everyday. Many people said I was wasting my time, I'm too small to matter, it will never work. They were wrong because I believed!

Jason


Jason,

Wow! Congratulations! That's fantastic news, I'm glad you shared that with us.

David T
David Toney, GISP
GIS Manager
United States Marine Corps
West Coast Installations




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