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Selling maps as digital downloads?


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#1
tom harrison

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Has anyone had any luck, good or bad, selling maps strictly as a digital download? Excluding Maps.com and the iPhone market-I am already onboard with converting my maps into apps and selling them with Maps.com. I want to know if you have succeeded in selling your products as PDFs or JPEGs or have entered the e-book market. How do you make sure the digital file is not duplicated and redistributed? What size is the final map? How do you price it? Anyone?

#2
frax

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There are plenty of maps in the major stock photo databases, sold as vector clipart.
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#3
Nicholas_C

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Tom-
I'd be interested to hear more about the process of converting your maps to apps. Any resources you could direct me too would be much appreciated.

As to the original question I don't have much to contribute as the digital maps I've sold have been directly to custom clients rather than to the retail market. I think this an important discussion as we seem to be entering a new age when it comes to media formats. Interactive/web maps aside, it seems that with the advent of digital readers/ the new apple tablet etc. we may see a new way to publish/sell traditional static (non-interactive) maps, only they will appear on a screen rather than paper. It seems like the problem will be how to prevent redistribution once the digital product is sold, especially with .pdf's or .jpg's. Maybe a new file type altogether need to be created. The .map perhaps?

Edit to add: Just saw this related discussion: http://www.cartotalk...?showtopic=5198 and figured I should reference it

#4
Laura Miles

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Just as an aside....I realize it wasn't your point....but .map files already exist! It's the extension for files used in MapServer, an open source GIS software.

#5
Nicholas_C

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Oh well it was just a thought. Guess I should've searched the web first. Thanks Mappogirl!

#6
Laura Miles

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Oh well it was just a thought. Guess I should've searched the web first. Thanks Mappogirl!


Was not trying to say your idea wasn't a good one! :)

#7
Nicholas_C

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No worries. Didn't think you were.

Regardless of the extension name, I'm thinking of something that would be the map equivalent of the JPEG for photos, or MP3 for music. Basically a static image with associated spatial reference information contained within the same file. Something that could be viewed in e-readers, tablets, phones, and computers alike. The spatial reference information would allow integration of GPS functions of the device and quick overlay over other maps. Basically something between a PDF and Tiff w/ a world file.

#8
DaveB

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Maybe GeoPDF? ;)
I know very little about this format. Does it do what you're thinking?
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#9
Nicholas_C

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Yeah, more or less actually. I'm not really too familiar with the format either. Too bad there's no export to GeoPDF option in ArcMap (hint, hint). ;)

Only being a PDF you're mostly tied the Adobe products to be able to use/alter it. Nothing against Adobe, just thinking something a little more interchangeable, a la JPEG or MP3.

Just an idea, I'm no developer so I'm not going to create anything like it anytime soon. Just trying to think (outloud) about the future of digital maps and ways for traditional cartographers to make/market cartographic works of art in a world of interactive maps, GPS devices, smartphones, and now tablets.

#10
David Medeiros

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Has anyone had any luck, good or bad, selling maps strictly as a digital download? Excluding Maps.com and the iPhone market-I am already onboard with converting my maps into apps and selling them with Maps.com. I want to know if you have succeeded in selling your products as PDFs or JPEGs or have entered the e-book market. How do you make sure the digital file is not duplicated and redistributed? What size is the final map? How do you price it? Anyone?



Tom, have you looked at www.virtualparks.org? He is, I believe, local to the Bay Area and does a number of State & County park maps, some of which are for sale on his site. He used to use a micro payment system but now it looks like he uses PayPal. Maybe drop him an email for some specifics on his file pay scheme and protection.

http://www.virtualpa...maplibrary.html

As for product protection, I know that with PDFs you actually have a lot of control over how the map would be viewed, printed etc. You can limit the number of times a file is opened and or printed, password protect it, make it un-printable, un-savable etc. Not sure of the specifics but I looked into it a while back and found that Adobe Pro gave you a decent amount of control over this.

As for map to Ap conversions I’d love to hear more about this as well. Maybe start a new topic?

Dave

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#11
DaveB

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Yeah, more or less actually. I'm not really too familiar with the format either. Too bad there's no export to GeoPDF option in ArcMap (hint, hint). ;)

There actually are some geographic capapbilities in ArcMap's pdf, see Advanced PDF Features. This is something fairly new. The Help topic goes into more detail.
For GeoPDF exporting from ArcMap see TerraGo's site.
:)
Dave Barnes
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#12
frax

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The ArcReader format hasn't really taken off, has it... ?
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#13
AnyMapps

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Tom-
I'd be interested to hear more about the process of converting your maps to apps. Any resources you could direct me too would be much appreciated.

As to the original question I don't have much to contribute as the digital maps I've sold have been directly to custom clients rather than to the retail market. I think this an important discussion as we seem to be entering a new age when it comes to media formats. Interactive/web maps aside, it seems that with the advent of digital readers/ the new apple tablet etc. we may see a new way to publish/sell traditional static (non-interactive) maps, only they will appear on a screen rather than paper. It seems like the problem will be how to prevent redistribution once the digital product is sold, especially with .pdf's or .jpg's. Maybe a new file type altogether need to be created. The .map perhaps?

Edit to add: Just saw this related discussion: http://www.cartotalk...?showtopic=5198 and figured I should reference it


Hi Tom,

Now you can convert mobile maps to apps using http://anymapps.com and then sell them on Play Market & AppStore

We're looking for early adopters!

#14
jpbellavance

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I am actually trying just that. I will let you know if it is a failure a year from now.

www.mappadder.com

Jesse Bellavance
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