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#1
Polaris

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This topic has come up a time or two, but I'd like to see if it can be resurrected.

I am very interested in the idea of kindling/cultivating collaboration among cartographers and others involved in the design and production of maps (e.g., graphic designers, illustrators, artists, photographers, writers, publishers, printers, etc.). Cartotalk is certainly a giant step in the right direction, and may be the best place I've found to begin work to develop and actualize collaborative ways of doing our business.

Truth be told, I'd like this topic to become a regular part of Cartotalk. I think there are lots of opportunities to explore, and I agree with Derek that "...the more we talk and explore potential collaboration, the better we will all be in the end."

I'll start with an example, and then list several other ideas I've come up with so far.

As a a one man shop, one of my greatest challenges is getting good critical review and proofing of my work. The Cartotalk Map Gallery is wonderful for this, and cartotalk members generously put good thought and effort into their feedback. Still, the Map Gallery is 'catch as catch can' - i.e., someone has to have the time and inclination to respond right then, and the reviews are (understandably) only sometimes thorough. I wonder if there is some way that members might more formally collaborate to swap review services? I'm not sure how much interest there is, what the obstacles are, or what the best best mechanism is for getting folks together on this. Any thoughts/ideas out there?

Some other potential areas for collaboration I've come up with (inviting comments):

- referral network, project clearinghouse
this has started on cartotalk, to an extent, with the resource listings of cartographic companies - perhaps this could be extended, for example, by designing and conducting a survey to create a capabilities/specialties matrix for cartographic firms (and related businesses) - if I have a prospect whose needs I cannot meet, I'd like to be able to provide the service of sending them directly to somone who can. If one of my wannabe publisher clients hits it big, I may need to add production capability in a hurry - or I may just need help in a crunch. If I'm slow on work, I'd like to be connected to a network of folks out there who know what I have to offer.

- data processing -
I guess most of us know how much work is involved in compiling, classifying and cleaning data sources before you get something useful for a map. I know that much of this is unavoidable since each map at each scale has different requirements - and data sources keep changing or being updated (the benefits of data re-use have been mostly mythological in my business). That said, I suspect that many of us have worked over the same data sets in roughly the same way - and that collaborative projects to prepare cartographically useful data sets could be boon to many of us. A good place to start might VMAP.

- marketing -
Though I've gotten better at it, I am not a very good marketeer and it is not my favorite kind of work. I'd much rather make maps. I'm certainly willing to pay sales commissions, but I've never found an agent who would/could represent just me. Perhaps in joining together, we could attract an agent who would really serve our interests? Perhaps there are marketing type folks among us, who would rather sell maps than make maps? Perhaps, as a group, we could more effectively market ourselves directly?

- service barter -
perhaps there are ways we can barter our services to each other (e.g., review, data processing, research, who knows?), step away from the money economy...???

Finally, I've been looking around for examples of this kind of collaborative business network - and collaborative (vs. competitive) business models. I've not come up with much so far. Of course, there are any number of cooperatives, guilds, trade associations, unions, etc. - and some of these may fulfill some (or all?) of the functions I'm thinking of. One thing I did run across was the ki-network - see http://www.ki-work.com/... anybody know of any others?

Well, I guess that's about it for now. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's ideas.

Eric

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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These are some very good points, Eric. I pretty much agree to the whole thing.

We all have different skills here and I'm sure there's a lot of opportunity for mutual benefit here within this group. There's a fairly high number of small companies represented here, but also larger organisations.

I would like to make the following proposal:

Add a new section to Cartotalk:

Business Opportunities

In the Business Opportunities area, people can post an overview of their capabilities and the kind of work they would want to do ("I am X and I can do Y"). In addition to that, anybody who is looking for specific talents can either go through what's posted there or post a request ("Looking for somebody who can help me with Y" or "Who wants to team up and tackle this big project?"). Recommendations can also be posted there ("X did a great job helping me on Y, if you ever need something similar done, you know who to ask")

Georeference.org had a section for this (2 actually, one for offering services, one for requesting them) which worked quite well. There were some rules specifically for that section, but nothing too restrictive.

Thoughts? Comments?
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Red Geographics
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#3
Derek Tonn

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That is a tremendous, TREMENDOUS idea, Hans! Wonderful suggestion.

Eric,

In regards to your comment:

- marketing -
Though I've gotten better at it, I am not a very good marketeer and it is not my favorite kind of work. I'd much rather make maps. I'm certainly willing to pay sales commissions, but I've never found an agent who would/could represent just me. Perhaps in joining together, we could attract an agent who would really serve our interests? Perhaps there are marketing type folks among us, who would rather sell maps than make maps? Perhaps, as a group, we could more effectively market ourselves directly?


You just described my business model to a "T". tonnhaus design (soon to be known as mapformation....another major marketing endeavor that I'll share more about on the board once we're officially ready) is essentially just six small, one-person design shops that have united under one roof in order to:

- offer a diversity of products and services that we each alone could not provide
- achieving efficiencies and economies of scale through our sharing of expenses such as advertising and tradeshow attendance
- creating one of the deepest, best mapping portfolios (for our design categories and target markets) on the Web
- having one individual (me) who enjoys marketing, sales and promoting the work of all member designers...essentially like an "artist's rep" type of arrangement

I started the business back in 2000 after spending nearly two years talking with my friends and former professors in the marketing and entrepreneurship fields. I am doing what I do because I LOVE map design, and have been making maps since I was a small child! However, I also have a passion for (and 7.5 years of education related to) marketing and small business management. THAT has been the critical factor in our firm's success over the past few years....as there are many, MANY talented designers out there who can create maps! However, very (VERY!) few of them have much/any understanding of how to promote their services effectively.

I was the only "Business" major in all of my graphic design classes back as an undergrad in the late 80s and early 90s. My classmates thought I was "selling out" because I was spending so much time learning about the "business-end" of design. Now, 14 years later, many of them are no longer working in the industry, while I've been able to carve out a decent living for myself with a VERY narrow niche within the greater design field (mapping). I don't think that is coincidence or an accident! Several of my classmates might have been better-endowed than me in the "talent" department related to design! However, none of them had 1/10 the understanding of business that I did.....which gave me a distinct advantage.

The "answer", in my opinion, to all of our abilities to experience stability and longevity in the mapping profession is to find complimentary "partners" who we can collectively work with to offer something greater than what we can each offer on our own. The trick is getting past "ego" and "control" issues.....as many one-person shops are one-person shops for a reason: they want to do things THEIR way, with THEIR design style, using THEIR preferred tools, on THEIR terms, etc. I think what we have been trying to build with "mapformation" is becoming the best of both worlds (autonomy and the retaining of a fair amount of "designer's license", while benefitting from collaboration with others).....and I would LOVE to see more of that type of activity happen within our industry! B)

Mappers unite! :D

Derek
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#4
Polaris

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I like the Business Opportunity section idea, but I think we may have the "I am X and I can do Y" part covered in the 'cartographic companies' resource page - what I'd like to do is expand on this resource by (1) getting more companies listed and described there and (2) coming up with some way to more clearly and consistently catalog our capabilities (e.g, the survey I suggested above).

The "BO" section would serve well for the other purposes Hans mentioned - though for propaganda purposes, I'd rather see it called 'collaborative opportunuties' or some such - it doens't all have to be 'business'.

...hoping to hear some more good ideas and hoping that lots of folks weigh in on this topic

e

BTW, I submitted Polaris Cartography to the resource section several days ago, but it hasn't been added yet. Not sure why...

#5
Hans van der Maarel

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Eric,

Yes, we have the cartographic companies section in the resources area and as far as I'm concerned we can add other, more general 'geo' oriented companies as well. As for your listing, I've just 'unhidden' it. Everybody has the opportunity to add stuff but after that it remains hidden until one of the mods reviews and unhides it. However, we don't get any notification of new entries being added (maybe Nick does, being super-admin) so it might escape our attention. We actively have to go into a 'hidden resources' section in order to see what's there.

We can haggle about the name of this section, but I think the general idea is clear.

And Derek, thanks for the nice words :P
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#6
Martin Gamache

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Eric,

I see your link has now been added. I try to check in there regularly but it got missed....sorry.

For me Cartotalk has almost fullfilled all the things you listed in your first post. I've listed some scattered thoughts that occured to me when reading your post and other things I've thought of before...

Map Critique

I've been able to get work critiqued by my peers. I've also been able to submit criticism when I felt it was appropriate and warranted. This is not something to put too lightly. Critiquing, and proofing maps is a huge task and is time consumming. I've spent at times up to an hour (which is not much but...) examining some of the maps posted here when I felt it was worthwhile. Other times I've been too busy or didnt feel I had anything worthy to contribute. I dont know if I prefer the informal way we are operating now. Sometimes it would be nice to have a paper proof to look over and I woul be happy to trade such a proofing/critique relationship with some cartotalk members. Sometimes it would also be nice to have critique with a bit more depth. There is a wide variety of experience and skill at critiquing and proofing on this board and probably some of the people with abundance of both those skils dont have the time or willingness to do so, or dont feel comfortable doing so in such a public forum.

I hate to say it but we also get fluff criticism too. I've been guilty of it at time. But sometimes people just say stuff to say stuff and it is not really helpful. So how do we cultivate a conversation about our maps in a positive and critical way. And also in a way that makes if worthwile for the parties on both ends? I have some thoughts on this but might start a different topic for that. But I think it could be contained in a permanent "Read Me First"Post in the gallery section.

Sometimes the maps are crap and we dont say anything. Sometimes we nitpick. What is the difference between a critique and proof reading... maybe we need to me more specific about what we are looking for when we post a map. maybe we just post for fun?

One of the things that I think about is that there are people who post maps who make a living from their work and from its quality and who expect and give a certain level of feedback, others who are just hobbyists. Should we tailor our criticism differently, should we invest more or less time on them... I 'm not suggesting we need rules but it is certainly something to think about.

Maybe we need to have a gallery section just to post work to admire or ignore that is really informal and a more formal critique section where there are specific fields and comment sections and criteria for evaluating a map. Maybe with a section to request someone to download a higher res.version or a paper print sent to them for more detailed proofing. ( I would certainly make use of that service).

Jobs

I've also been lucky enough to get work and pass on work to others on this board so for me it is working well so far. I post open job positions when I find them, I recommend firms that I know when given the option and have met some really talented people over the last 10 months...

Personally my preference at this point is to develop a peer to peer network (sorry about the use of this term in a literal context) with individuals rather than invest alot of energy in carpet bombing the cartotalk communitywhen I need something done.

My reasons for this

1. I dont know everyone here
2. I know the work of some people here (including you) fairly well.
3. I dont have the energy/time to solicit from alot of people.

I dont have that much work to share...If someone sends something my way once then I strongly feel that have to repay that debt down the line. Without so much work to share it doesnt't get spread around so much. I wish it was different but I suspect we are starting to be a small pool with alot of fishes in it...some bigger than other, some hungrier than others, some more agressive... This is not necessarily a competition metaphor...well maybe it is.


I agree that it would be nice to have a list of skills/services to offer so that we may find what we are looking for more easily. Not sure how best to do it.

Sorry for the scattered thoughts, but so far, for a very informal place to discuss cartography it has been very useful to me and maybe thats because I spend way too much time on here...Thanks again Nick for setting this up.

#7
Derek Tonn

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I dont have that much work to share...If someone sends something my way once then I strongly feel that have to repay that debt down the line. Without so much work to share it doesnt't get spread around so much. I wish it was different but I suspect we are starting to be a small pool with alot of fishes in it...some bigger than other, some hungrier than others, some more agressive...  This is not necessarily a competition metaphor...well maybe it is.


Martin,

I absolutely agree with part of the statement above. We HAVE essentially all been small fish floating around in a small pond with the way we have all (as an industry) historically operated. However, one of the purposes of working together and instantly "diversifying" our collective product offerings, in my opinion, is to help "grow the size of our pond" (draining a bit of the excess oceans that architects and certain signage/wayfinding folks have been swimming in)...while having the members of the new, larger "fish" or pond be able to better-protect themselves from starvation down the road.

Having some type of "collaborations" or "RFP" area on CartoTalk doesn't have to mean that one firm has to give $1 in work/referrals back for every $1 they take! For instance, I might be actively looking for a "sub-contractor" that I can bring in on a $10,000 project. The sub-contractor's portion of the project might be $5,000.....mine $5,000. Would the "sub-contractor" be obligated to repay me with $5,000 in work down the road? No. Depending upon the type of project that it is, I might have missed out on that $5,000 project if I hadn't quickly found a partner to work with, so in my mind I am $5,000 up from zero....rather than owed $5,000 in design work by the person I gave the "referral" to. Getting $5,000 down the road would be WONDERFUL, but I've still got $5,000 more than I would have had without bringing in another person/firm to partner with.

Just a few more of the thoughts rattling around in my head today..... :)
Derek Tonn
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mapformation, LLC

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

#8
Mike H

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The idea of a Businesss Opportunities section may be helpful. But I view the whole concept of what Nick has provided in CartoTalk to be exactly that. I can look thru this msg board history and easily find specific people that have specific skills, and choose to contact them off the list concerning collaborations. Cartography is increasingly becoming a team sport, and the depth of technology and resulting specialization makes it harder for one-man shops to actually handle a total map production job. but the client doesn't need to understand that - they need a product, and someone to deliver that product.

We need to recognize that at some point the networking process leaves this very public arena and becomes more personal. When I have a project opportunity that is too big to solo, I bring in a partner, and pay that person directly. I manage the RFP, I deal with the client, I deliver the final product - but there are often a few folks "behind the scenes" who help me with specific tasks I cannot do, don't know how to do, don't have time to do, or don't want to do. Conversely, I've been in a support role to other cartographers who are in similar positions.

I think most of us who have been in this field for a decade or more have a short list of proven collaborators, and CartoTalk provides a great network of potential collaborators to consider.

Venues like Map Gallery are great - no doubt about it - but if you need serious review of an individual project, I'd suggest contacting people off the list and hiring that review. This isn't expensive - most folks will be happy to review a map for as little as $20. More complicated interaction should be rewarded, allthough many of these relationships turn into a purely gratus review situation, which is mutually beneficial.

The concept of 'returning favors' is never set in stone. And some collaborations don't work out that well, just like any realm of business deals. This is also why initial collaborations are tricky, and proven collaborations often continue. The immediate reply is the strength of CartoTalk - At midnight you can post "I need to do X and Y but it isn't working, can you help?" and get a reply the next morning, or sooner. That kind of networking is so incredibly helpful, especially for one-person shops. But more substantial partnerships may be better developed off the list, although it may be CartoTalk that put those people together.

m.
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#9
franciscocartographer

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.. just my reaction:

Cartotalk has made a lot of impact in my cartographic knowledge. I have learned more here than in my two years of graduate school (cartographically speaking).

True, this is a SMALL pool with a HIGH DENSITY of maps enthusiasts, not necessarily cartographers. But my opinion is that if a person is interested in cartography and has taken the step to join and participate on this forum, he/she will have a positive impact here.

I’m with Derek in that diversification will help improve and expand our horizons and opportunities. A big but controlled pond is a positive rather than a negative thing.

The idea of “formalizing” certain aspects of cartotalk is a step into the right direction. The “Resources” section can be enhanced by developing a small survey (As Eric proposed) to catalog the different abilities here. For instance cartotalk could come up with a table that lists different capabilities divided into columns, and each company or individual per row will check mark the applicable categories that apply to him/her. I don’t know if this is clear enough but is coming from the top of my head as I write…
In my case I could “check mark” capabilities like:

1-Bilingual (Spanish – English) Mapping
2-Thematic Cartography
3-Automated Relief Shading
4-GIS analysis
5-Image Classification (Remote Sensing)

Others will have a wider set of capabilities like:

1-Manual relief shading or manually enhanced relief
2-Historic Cartography
3-Panoramic Cartography
4-Topographic Mapping
5-Animated Mapping

Map Gallery:

This is probably the most valuable aspect of cartotalk. I like the fact that is informal and that every member can comment or give advice. If I am interested in a critique by a specific individual I will communicate personally with that person. But I really appreciate the fact that many people can comment about a map. Ultimately I will make the decision on what advice I will consider taking.

The collaborative environment of cartotalk is also a major plus. For every question that is made there are many responses. This becomes contagious and every member will give back to the forum.
…sorry for the long post :huh:

Francisco.
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Senior GIS Analyst & Amateur Cartographer

My webpage

#10
Nick Springer

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I guess it's time I weighed in on this. Good points all so far.

As many of you have correctly surmised, my intention behind CartoTalk initially was to create a connection point between cartographers as so many of us work in a cartographic vacuum.

I too have used this board to find resources to help with projects or pass along overflow work, and that has been a tremendous help. Most of those have been 1-on-1 communication based on capabilities mentioned in past postings as Mike said.

I have thought about adding a Opportunities-like section, but I'm not sure how useful it would be. I think if people posted a project opportunity they might get too many responses that they would have to wade through from people they don't know, as Martin suggested.

I prefer building relationships with others here and understanding their capabilities and making the individual offers. I can be persuaded othewise if people really want an Opportunities section.

So far the Map Gallery has far exceed my expectations. It has the most replies of any section on the board. Maybe as Martin suggested this needs to subdivided into sections for "Beginner Feedback" and "Professional Feedback."

I am also working on an actual gallery section, like a photo site. The final hurdle is that the system is geared towards photos, and not other formats like PDF. I am trying to work out a way that a person could upload a link to a large file on their site, with a low-res copy being displayed on CartoTalk.

Great topic and I welcom any and all ideas for CartoTalk.

Nick Springer

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Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#11
Polaris

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Sorry it took me a few days to get back to this. My sincere thanks to all who have offered their thoughts on this topic - and thanks Hans for 'unhiding' me on the resources page (and for the explanation).

I certainly appreciate that cartotalk offers many opportunities for collaboration (directly and indirectly) and it is great to hear about how this has been working out for folks. Reading this discussion, I am reminded of the subtlety and complexity of building relationships (business and otherwise). I do appreciate the appropriateness and value of 'vetting' potential collaborators, building communication and trust, and one-on-one discussions.

I didn't mean to imply in my original post that cartotalk should or could somehow become a freelance cartographers cooperative or otherwise serve directly to organize collaborations. My intent was to open a discussion to explore whatever means folks might be thinking about for cartographers to collaborate more and better - and thereby better serve ourselves and our clients.

I'd like to see an ongoing discussion about the business of cartography - and particularly a discussion of ideas for collaboration, whatever the forum header. Of course, the way to make this happen is to keep posting when I think I have something worth sharing, and encourage others to do the same. There really isn't one forum devoted to the business of cartography - if there are enough postings, then I suppose one will be created?

I'm relatively new to taking an active part in online forums, and haven't completely figured out the rules and etiquette. I've noticed several folks apologize for long posts. I don't mind them (unless they are diorganized/rambling), but please do let me know if I'm too long winded, digress, or try to say too much in one post.

There seemed to be some interest in conducting a survey to catalog cartographers capabilities/offerings. I have some ideas on this that I'll share in a separate post.

Thanks again for a great discussion!

Eric

P.S.
On Fish Ponds -
I've often enough felt that cartographers may be a lot of fish in a small pond, but I don't really know this to be the case. In any case, I just can't buy into the scarcity/competition worldview, regardless of its prevalence and the evidence in its support. My feeling is that there is (or could be) abundance in the pond. Whether the pond gets bigger (or is already bigger than we think), or we better utilize the same size pond, or the pond has nutrients that we haven't learned the value of yet, I think there is plenty of room for everyone with something to give and who is willing to work to make the pond a better place. I know that this view may not be born out by 'facts', but I choose to act as if it were true in the belief/hope that this will somehow help to make it so. (Idealistic? Yes, but it's probably obvious by now that I am a hopeless idealist).

For more on this, see

http://www.lightwork.....sk Swami.html

(grin)

#12
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On Fish Ponds -
I've often enough felt that cartographers may be a lot of fish in a small pond, but I don't really know this to be the case.  In any case, I just can't buy into the scarcity/competition worldview, regardless of its prevalence and the evidence in its support. My feeling is that there is (or could be) abundance in the pond. Whether the pond gets bigger (or is already bigger than we think), or we better utilize the same size pond, or the pond has nutrients that we haven't learned the value of yet, I think there is plenty of room for everyone with something to give and who is willing to work to make the pond a better place.  I know that this view may not be born out by 'facts', but I choose to act as if it were true in the belief/hope that this will somehow help to make it so.  (Idealistic?  Yes, but it's probably obvious by now that I am a hopeless idealist).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

My feeling isn't that there are too many fish (cartographers) in the cartography fish pond, but too many turtles (designers), frogs(GIS analysts), and newts(other) that are trying to be fish. There are plenty of maps being produced everywhere all the time, but the producers aren't aware or convinced of the value of hiring actual cartographers.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#13
Derek Tonn

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My feeling isn't that there are too many fish (cartographers) in the cartography fish pond, but too many turtles (designers), frogs(GIS analysts), and newts(other) that are trying to be fish.  There are plenty of maps being produced everywhere all the time, but the producers aren't aware or convinced of the value of hiring actual cartographers.


Interesting take, Nick.

Just for grins, how might you define a cartographer?

Dictionary.com defines cartography as "The art or technique of making maps or charts.", and a cartographer as "a person who makes maps". Under that definition, turtles, frogs, newts, lizards, snakes, leeches, etc. are all welcome to the pond as valued members....as much as we might all like to think that some of those people's work doesn't deserve to be swimming around with the rest of us. They make NO mention of needing a bachelor's or master's degree in geography, the type of software that needs to be used in the production of maps, etc.

My experience with NACIS in the past led me to believe that they alienated a lot of the "map-makers" such as myself who come at the issue of mapping from a design background rather than "academia". I hear that is changing, which is tremendous! However, if we ever start to treat our pond like a country club (members only) and hand-pick which "map-makers" actually belong in the pond, we've essentially doomed our long-term prospects as a viable industry, via our cutting-off TONS of potential marketing, collaborative and educational opportunities.

We all have parts of our larger industry that we think is a liability for the rest of us. For me, it is all those ugly "right-click, save as" mapquest.com maps that people place on their web sites. Yuck! It is services like that which sometimes turn our design services into a "commodity".....driving down prices, lowering appreciation for quality map design, etc. However, they are "cartographers", just like the rest of us, like it or not.

The three keys to distinguish "fish" from the rest of the folks in the pond, in my opinion, is:

1. Quality of work. Anyone with a piece of paper, a pencil or MacPaint can make a map if they want to! However, once folks see the difference in quality that we are able to produce, "end of discussion".....unless:

2. Pricing. With the abundance of FREE mapping resources out there in print and on the web, we have to be careful to either differentiate our services (something very few other people are offering) OR price our services at a rate that seems reasonable to the average consumer for the added quality of map graphics they will receive.

3. Marketing. We all could be the BEST map designers on the planet charging the most COMPETITIVE prices! However, if nobody knows we are out there or sees the type of work we are producing, we will likely be out of business or NEVER grow beyond "hobby job" status. I look around at the quality of a lot of the print brochures and web sites that we offer-up to prospective clients as an industry a LOT! Some of our small firms do an excellent job at developing marketing materials, but many of us leave a LOT to be desired. A good parallel is the aerial photography industry. Many, MANY people doing great work! However, maybe 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 have promotional materials that they wouldn't be embarrassed to bring into a design class. :(

I'm starting to ramble a bit, so I'll wrap it up for now. I just think that if we all want to have lots of folks out there say "Wow, I COULD hire a turtle or a newt, but why wouldn't I want to hire a fish after seeing how much better their work is?!", we have to work our TAILS off related to all three points listed above. 1, 2, 3, 1 AND 2, 2 AND 3, 1 AND 3, etc. aren't good enough. It takes all three characteristics in order to have the "fish" rule the pond, IMHO. B)

Derek
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

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

#14
Dennis McClendon

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My experience with NACIS in the past led me to believe that they alienated a lot of the "map-makers" such as myself who come at the issue of mapping from a design background rather than "academia".


Really? What year, approximately, was this? I've been involved with NACIS since 1991 and have never had the impression that it was anything other than simply people who enjoyed working with maps. In fact, at times it's been hard to focus the conference because of the organization's breadth: people who teach cartography, working mapmakers, and map librarians. The conference program itself also can be a little distorted because the academics are encouraged by their employers to make presentations, while the rest of us have to do it "off the clock" as a contribution to our colleagues. We may also feel that we don't have any formal research to report (that's why Practical Cartography Day was added to the conference about seven years ago). I don't mean to seem defensive (I'm the NACIS president this year), but perhaps it's telling that I never managed to take a single class in geography or cartography.

Anyway, I realize this is a side point to your discussion, but there's a core group of us working cartographers who, not knowing where else to turn for information and fellowship, realized about 15 years ago that NACIS could meet that need for us. The more of us who attend and share information and gripes in the sessions, in the hallways, and in the hotel bar, the more useful it becomes for all of us.

(NACIS, 18-21 October 2006, Madison, Wisconsin)
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#15
Derek Tonn

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Dennis,

I was referring to more email/listserv/forum conversations that I had with certain folks in the few years when I was a member.....plus the types of content I was seeing covered in Cartographic Perspectives while I was a member. HEAVY on "academia", light on "custom cartography". If my memory is correct, it all stemmed from a discussion related to a paper/article around the topic of "Is Cartography Dead?" I think it related to some conversations I had about custom cartography and some innocent information gathering with some of the former leadership within the organization. The reply I got (I won't go into any specifics here) essentially made me feel like a second-class citizen for having a graphic design degree rather than a degree in geography or some other "traditional" mapping education. Kind of like "we tolerate you, but graphic designers can NOT be "real" map designers." :o

Anyway, that little statement in my last post was secondary to my overall message, and PLEASE don't take that comment "personal" in any way, as I am talking about stuff that happened 2-3+ years ago....not anything that has been happening with NACIS recently. Actually, it is the current leadership of folks like you, as well as the involvement of Nick and others in both CartoTalk and NACIS that is making me strongly reconsider my decision to abandon my membership with the organization a few years ago... B)

Derek
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

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




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