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Map Authorship - Signing your Maps


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#1
djschenk

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A couple of questions on Map Authorship:

Do you always sign your map or otherwise include copyright information with your creation?

More specifically, when your map image goes into someone's document, do you include your name and copyright on the map or do you ensure your attribution is included somewhere in the document?

Do you know of guidance on this issue?

All comments are helpful.

Sincerely, Doug

#2
David Medeiros

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I'm curious about this as well. At the moment for smaller jobs I may not include any copyright or "signature". For the magazine work I do my name appears in the magazine masthead and on the website. For the watershed atlas I'm doing it will probably appear in the book but not on each map.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#3
Charles Syrett

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Many years of trying different approaches to this has shown me that it's a double edged sword. On the one hand, people can like your map, see your name, and become your client. I've received many thousands of dollars of business this way! :) On the other hand, I've had my editable map files butchered by well-meaning amateurs who have left my name on there. :( In one case, a competitor who had a map in the same travel guide ended up with my name on his map! :angry:

On further reflection, I realized that it was still free advertising and I should probably look at it positively.

Another thing: Many clients don't want your name on there -- especially if you're good. They don't want their competitors approaching you for maps! :rolleyes:

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

I'm curious about this as well. At the moment for smaller jobs I may not include any copyright or "signature". For the magazine work I do my name appears in the magazine masthead and on the website. For the watershed atlas I'm doing it will probably appear in the book but not on each map.



#4
Dennis McClendon

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My experience is a lot like Charles's. I usually put a credit line inside the neatline. Occasionally I've had a client ask me to remove it.

The weirdest breakdowns in communications are with university presses and academic authors, where no one can ever figure out whether information should be part of the graphic or part of the cutline. This is more a problem with legend and explanatory information than credits, though. They're just not used to working with graphics that can be changed or customized the way magazines and design agencies are.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#5
Jean-Louis

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Ditto for me on what Charles and Dennis said.
Since I often retain copyright, I basically sign with a tiny copyright notice or a 'map-illustration-by:
Sometimes I hide a tiny initial signature (JLR) in the artwork without the client noticing in case I ever need to prove ownership..but that need has never occured.
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#6
MapMedia

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My experience is that publisher clients will add your name in the book/magazine credits, not on the map itself.
If you really want to put it on other maps, do so in a non-intrusive way (i.e. © Freddies Maps 2010) - some clients will ask you to remove it.
Of course if you are publishing a map yourself you will want to advertise ownership load and clear.

#7
Gretchen Peterson

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For me it depends on what kind of map I am making and for what purpose. If it is a series of maps for a client's report, for example, I think it is ridiculous to have my name on all 40 of them when they are only a half page in size. In that case I ask for a credit somewhere in the document. Mind you, that's for scientific report type things, not for commercial publications.

However, Edward Tufte, in "Beautiful Evidence" states, "Authorship credit is too often absent from corporate and government reports; we should remember that people do things not agencies, bureaus, departments, divisions. People may do better work when they receive public acknowledgment and take public responsibility for their work. The good [Charles Joseph] Minard put his name on nearly all his work and personally signed with pen and ink . . . some of [his] . . . figurative maps."

Conference posters can include the authorship information directly after the title and subtitle or in the descriptive text portion of the poster, or in a corner by itself. If placed under the title(s), we will often see the author(s) names followed by numbers in superscript that are referenced elsewhere on the poster for the author's affiliation and contact information. On smaller maps, and even some poster-sized (non-conference) maps, my preference is to put the authorship information in a corner, in dark gray, italicized text. In this way it is clearly metadata: it is there if the viewer needs it but does not intrude on the layout.

#8
Andrew

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Hi,

I have a question which is a small deviation from the thread title.

If you are producing maps for a magazine, brochure, TV etc. How do you reference data sources or information displayed in the map which has been supplied by another person or organisation?

I have had a few instances where I have prepared something for marketing, and they clip off things like headings, references to data sources, date published etc. just to get it back to a bare bones image of just the map.

I'm not worried about that information being absent from the map or graph, as long as I know that in some way or another that credit is being given where credit is due.

Any experiences with this?

Andrew

#9
natcase

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Hi,

I have a question which is a small deviation from the thread title.

If you are producing maps for a magazine, brochure, TV etc. How do you reference data sources or information displayed in the map which has been supplied by another person or organisation?

I have had a few instances where I have prepared something for marketing, and they clip off things like headings, references to data sources, date published etc. just to get it back to a bare bones image of just the map.

I'm not worried about that information being absent from the map or graph, as long as I know that in some way or another that credit is being given where credit is due.


It's important to distinguish credit for sources where information was given with the condition of credit (Canada's Federal geodata, for example), and those where it is a courtesy. Check your license agreements, and in cases where it is required, note the legal requirements when you send the charts to marketing, or if it came from a client who will be ticked off if not credited...

In general though, it depends on the use and the source: I don't generally credit basic geographic data unless it came from a licensed source that requires credit. Part of this, frankly, is part of the game we commercial map publishers do: we don't want to tilt our hand too much to our competitors as to how we make our maps—kind of silly in this day and age. But some usages are all about footnotes, and there I do credit. Especially when the map isn't just about raw geographical data but has some thematic aspect. Our Titanic Reference Map had a bibliography online for a while because we couldn't fit it on the printed piece...

Nat Case
INCase, LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
maphead.blogspot.com






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