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'Berufsehre'...

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#1
Polaris

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quoting kartograph

"Oftentimes we scan and trace without thinking too much about the sources. Deadlines and the "great" pay thematic maps bring put some pressure on it too. It´s all about your personal integrity to make things as correct as they appear when digitally mapped. There is a german word: "Berufsehre" (lit. "honour of your calling/chosen job"). "

</quote>

I rarely have a client who is willing to pay for top grade in depth research (libraries, field work, etc.). I enter into a contract with my clients to make a map that is the best we can make it given schedule, budget, and often marketing dictates or contraints that have little to do with what makes a good map (I want those advertiser dots lime green and 18 pt so that little old lady's can read them!)

That said, I always manage to put in at least a little something extra (sometimes quite a lot) to make the map the best it can be under the circumstances. That that said, there are constant compromises. I usually manage to draw from and make comparisons among several sources, but when sources are suspect, incomplete or in conflict, it is often a 'best guess' that ends up on the map. I guess you can count this as degree of a refinement (in making the best sense of existing sources), but I get a little cringe sometimes putting my guesses into print...<sigh></sigh>

e

#2
Nick Springer

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Moved this post since it wasn't really a gallery posting. Interesting topic though.

Nick Springer

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


#3
Kartograph

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It´s really a a shame.
I could live with only executing what someone else has researched.
But if you have done the research and you are told what to represent no matter what you found out, it stings my puny Geographers/Academics heart.
Anybody else who ever came into a situation like this?

#4
David T

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This is the discussion between business and art, imho. On the business side, as was stated above, you have to do a map within a certain time and budget. From the cartographic end, though, you want to put in the effort and time to get it right.

Unforunately, it always seems that it's one or the other. I'll freely admit to being a perfectionist, and that it has at times hurt me when it comes to making maps. When I worked for a commercial map company, and when I've done maps for my business, I had a tendency to allow the perfectionist to overtake the business side.

Where I thought I would have been efficient, and perhaps made some money on a map, I've managed to widdle my profit into very small numbers. :rolleyes:

To a certain degree, that's why I enjoy working for the government. When I am doing cartographic work, I usually have a good amount of time to get it done, and get it done correctly. Since there is no (real) profit margin to be concerned with, I have the opportunity to do things the way I'd like them to get done.
David Toney, GISP
GIS Manager
United States Marine Corps
West Coast Installations

#5
BEAVER

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I always wonder why so many Cartographers work as a contractor making maps for someone else. I don't see too many people do what I'm doing. Making the map, printing it and selling it. I would say 90% of all the work and cost goes into making the digital map ready for printing. Why not bite the last 10% of cost and sell the maps on your own. I know personally two people that done that and one have made little over $200,000 in first year and one has seven people working for him after just two years in business and the sales over 1 million last year. This is what pushed me to start this venture. I have about 10 different ideas for maps that would sell millions of copies. Sure the market is flooded with city, state maps,road maps, park maps, but there are lots of possibilities for specialized maps. I work as a part time engineer with other engineers who happen to be golfers. They asked me if I would make a US map showing all 16,000 golf courses so that they can have the map with them as they travel and wall map to marked where they played so far. After talking to other people that play golf, every single one of them said they would buy a map like that in a heart beat. With 6 million golf players in US alone, you do the math. So here come a map company, hires you to do a map, pays you $30,000 and makes possibly millions from map sales. The cost of printing is dirt cheap if you buy large quantity. You can have a 40”X 65” wall map costing 60 cents and sell it at $9.95
If you get on line stores to sell it for you, you'll still make at least $5 per map. Why would you not want to do this on your own? If you don't want the hassle of selling, distributing, marketing, there are other companies that will do that for you for additional $1 per map. Of course if your making a map for your own company, no one will rush you or force you into short cuts. You'll make the map the way you want it, and if you're good, the map will sell it self. So again, why?

You may use the golf map idea since I have no interest in making such map. Just asked any golfer you know if they would buy it. Like I said I have many other ideas that I will be pursuing. Good luck to all.

#6
Polaris

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thanks Nick for moving the post - wuzn't payin attention and misclicked...


stung hearts...
there is much about the dirty business of selling yourself that stings the heart... bless the tender geographer/academic hearts everywhere...

biz/art...
I used to say that I was an artsy geek, but as the years go by, I am becoming gradually a bit more of a geeky artist. That said, as much as I might like for it to be, I don't very often consider my work to be art. I consider myself more of an artisan - an honest and competent tradesman with a sincere love of the art, who does what he's able to learn and develop the art as he goes along.

self publishing...
I wholeheartedly agree that self publishing can look like a holy grail. Indeed, I started my business with dreams of making the maps I wanted to make and self-publishing solely in mind - I put a great deal of $$$, time, blood, sweat and tears into it. As fate would have it, due to circumstances beyond my control I am no longer able to really actively pursue this dream. I haven't let go of the dream completely, but I am no longer attached to it - and I am seeking (and finding) the good and true and beautiful in doing what I'm able to. For example, although I am unable to do any publishing of my own for now, my efforts at self publishing were a great education, and I am thereby able to increase the value of the service I provide to my clients.

e




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