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History of MapArt

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#1
Charles Syrett

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Thanks, Keiran and Kevin -- not only for giving us a peek "under the hood", but also for creating a splendid resource altogether for TTC users.

And now a little history of that TTC map that you merged into your online mapping.

Up until 1981, it looked like the first image below. Just your basic pen-and-ink "stick map". TTC approached the design firm of Burns & Cooper (which was co-founded by Allan Fleming, one of the luminaries of Canadian design history) to create a new "Ride Guide" with a redesigned map.

Being top designers, they knew better than to try doing the map themselves! :rolleyes: They called on MapArt (now Mapmobility), who turned it over to me. The result was the 1982 version you see in the second image below.

To do this, we had to "scavenge" the scribecoats and film knockouts of the detailed Toronto street map, and spend lots of time doing darkroom work, not to mention scribing the transit routes. The look of the map was similar to the Manhattan bus maps designed by John Tauranac in the late 70s.

Fast forward to the late 90s. The map was digitally redrawn (FreeHand!) by Mapmobility, and extended to include other municipalities of the Greater Toronto Area. More colours and icons were added. This ultimately morphed into the map that Keiran and Kevin have skillfully massaged into an excellent online resource! B)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

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#2
Kieran Huggins

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Whoa - That's awesome! I can honestly say that's one of my favourite maps - I actually had a printed copy on my wall for the better part of a decade :-)

On a somewhat unrelated note: Kevin and I have experimented with using OpenGL to render GIS data with a more cartographic experience in mind, but we ended up stalling on that project when other work got in the way.

In our first prototype, we were able to produce a fully fluid map with "variable up" (north would re-align to make the most prominent east-west streets as horizontal as possible). We also had minor streets space more evenly when zoomed out beyond a certain level.

Sadly, I think the bulk of that code is still on a Linux machine that has since died. Though IIRC, some of that code did get re-purposed for the diagnostic display in our routing engine (which can be seen here: ) thought the cartographic-esque bits never made the jump.

Cheers,
Kieran

#3
Charles Syrett

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Whoa - That's awesome! I can honestly say that's one of my favourite maps - I actually had a printed copy on my wall for the better part of a decade :-)


The Toronto Star just ran an article about the history of Mapmobility. Kieran: did you ever see that edition of the transit map referred to in the article? "Queen's Park" became "Queer's Park" because of an unfortunate speck of dirt on the negative. It was available for a few hours before being pulled. I grabbed a copy just in time -- still in my collection! :) (The article wrongly states this happened in the late 60s -- it was actually 1985.)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#4
rudy

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The Toronto Star just ran an article about the history of Mapmobility.


For clarification . . . . MapArt Publishing still exists - it is the map distribution company based in Oshawa. MapMobility is the map production company based in Toronto out by the airport. They have different owners although they have worked fairly closely for the past 30 years or so. The general public, I think, tends to view the maps as MapArt maps (since that is what shows up on the front of the map) but if you look closely on the inside you'll see that the map is copyrighted by MapMobility.

#5
Charles Syrett

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For clarification . . . . MapArt Publishing still exists - it is the map distribution company based in Oshawa. MapMobility is the map production company based in Toronto out by the airport. They have different owners although they have worked fairly closely for the past 30 years or so. The general public, I think, tends to view the maps as MapArt maps (since that is what shows up on the front of the map) but if you look closely on the inside you'll see that the map is copyrighted by MapMobility.


Right. Hart came up with the name "Mapart" in the late 70s and designed the logo. Around 1980 he and Peter Heiler, a distributor in Oshawa, entered into an arrangement of exclusivity (Hart produces, Peter distributes), which was hugely beneficial to both -- and to the Canadian public, which was treated to the European style street map design for the first time. B) At some point, Mapart changed to MapArt and became associated with the distribution company, and now the cartos are in Mapmobility.

As an addendum: the article mentions Hart was fired by Rolph Clark Stone. What they didn't mention is that, years later, that same company (under another name) was forced to remake all their maps in a European style just to compete! There's more to the story than this, but it shouldn't be told on a public forum.... ;)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

#6
aallen

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I for one would like to know what should not be talked about on a public forum, I find this story intriguing. Great topic thanks...



For clarification . . . . MapArt Publishing still exists - it is the map distribution company based in Oshawa. MapMobility is the map production company based in Toronto out by the airport. They have different owners although they have worked fairly closely for the past 30 years or so. The general public, I think, tends to view the maps as MapArt maps (since that is what shows up on the front of the map) but if you look closely on the inside you'll see that the map is copyrighted by MapMobility.


Right. Hart came up with the name "Mapart" in the late 70s and designed the logo. Around 1980 he and Peter Heiler, a distributor in Oshawa, entered into an arrangement of exclusivity (Hart produces, Peter distributes), which was hugely beneficial to both -- and to the Canadian public, which was treated to the European style street map design for the first time. B) At some point, Mapart changed to MapArt and became associated with the distribution company, and now the cartos are in Mapmobility.

As an addendum: the article mentions Hart was fired by Rolph Clark Stone. What they didn't mention is that, years later, that same company (under another name) was forced to remake all their maps in a European style just to compete! There's more to the story than this, but it shouldn't be told on a public forum.... ;)

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com


Andrew Allen





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