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Do you see a value to printed maps?

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#1
Holly B

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Save the trees, don’t print. I hate seeing this message at the bottom of documents on my computer. It is an easy thing for marketers to say, to make them, and you, feel good about saving time and money with electronic communication. This falsehood carries over in to all forms of print, not just those emails, making everyone believe that paper is bad. Printing is bad. But is it really? Would you say, “Save the tomatoes, don’t eat pizza”? It is a fallacy that electronic media is more environmentally friendly than print.

Read more at my blog:

http://mapprinter.wo...to-communicate/

Holly
http://whmap.com/

#2
Derek Tonn

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I'm just wondering...why send that message to CartoTalk members via an electronic discussion/forum? Or why use a blog, rather than mail out a newsletter to your subscribers or casual readers? Why not print out those thoughts, place them in an envelope, and mail them to each of us? :)

I'm being sarcastic, of course. However, as a person who has been "in the business" since 1994 (full-time since 2002), I continually am amazed at the level of defensiveness which people seem to hold toward electronic mapping. Or more accurately, how people who grew-up on the print side of the shop (and/or prefer print...as I do) who are now in their 40s/50s/60s/70s (like me) take things such as this so personally.

It's not about print or electronic communications. It is about user-centered design. Which requires print *AND* electronic communications. Since some of us prefer print, while others of us prefer lots of custom layers and ever-updating information being presented to us via LCD screens. If "Sven" prefers print, and "Ole" prefers on-screen, who cares? And if "Ole" says that on-screen is GOD...and that print is "soooooooo 20th/19th/18th century," so what? Why do people care so much about other people not agreeing with them?

A few things I thought about after reading your blog posting:

Nearly the entire premise of your posting was about paper being environmentally friendly, but what about paper being economically friendly? Not only the growth, harvesting, and manufacturer of paper, but:

- the transport of said paper into the hands of end-users
- the amount of time that said information will be current/accurate, and not become outdated and needing to be replaced (with the manufacturer and transport of said paper needing to reoccur each time something becomes obsolete)
- the costs and environmental impacts of the inks used to produce said print pieces
- The chemicals and dyes used to produce paper to a particular color desired for the presentation/design
- The packaging used to deliver said print materials into the hands of end users (most aren't sitting in store shelves without some kind of packaging or in a natural-colored paper envelope with nothing on them).
- The adhesives and/or chemicals used in producing said packaging.

Remember, I'm a person who prefers paper to electronic, and I can rattle off the above list about three-times faster than I can type. I also am a person who owns 30 acres of timber, and knows more than your average person about what goes into the process of growing and harvesting the material that is used to produce said paper as well. And if it is that easy for me to see the many, ample benefits of electronic delivery, just imagine how much easier it is for someone 20 years younger who grew up on Google Maps and iPhones.

I feel your pain (as a person who loves and prefers printed maps). I just wish at least we (map makers, people who prefer print) would talk more about "and" rather than "either/or." And if a few 20-somethings occasionally ask if print maps are dead or relevant/necessary in 2012, or ask us what it was like to live before the invention of the wheel (like my daughters, ha!), so what? They're entitled to their opinions. That's the beauty of America...we're free to be completely and utterly ignorant and wrong if we so choose. :)
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

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

#3
Jacques Gélinas

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from Derek
...I just wish at least we (map makers, people who prefer print) would talk more about "and" rather than "either/or."...
I agree 100%.
... so we need more posts in the 'Print mapping' section.

Cheers,

Jacques Gélinas
cartographer
www.cartesgeo.ca


#4
Jacques Gélinas

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Here is my paper map sales pitch.

.... a paper map is for everyone including all IPhone users ....
.... a map on an Iphone is only for Iphone users ....

Jacques Gélinas
cartographer
www.cartesgeo.ca


#5
DaveB

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Wow, Derek! I guess I read Holly's post/blog differently than you (or maybe I'm misreading your post?). Seems to me Toshiba America Business Solutions was the one talking about "either/or", while Holly said "and". To quote Holly's blog post "Print and electronics work together to provide more value." I do see plenty of people (in general, not neccessarily here) pushing electronic media as the ultimate medium and the only one anyone needs (not just for maps, but for many or even all things currently printed). Be that as it may, both printed media (using paper and ink, with all of the costs associated with that, including financial, environmental, etc.) and electronic/digital media (which carry their own costs, of course) have their strengths and weaknesses. I don't think anyone is arguing otherwise (not here anyway). :)

Actually, it was about Toshiba pointing out the environmental impact of paper media, and in a limited fashion, focusing on the trees. So it didn't even get into environmental impacts of the electronic/digital realm, or which, printed paper or electronic/digital media, has lesser or greater environmental costs or impact, much less other advantages or disadvantages or strengths or weaknesses. So it seemed even more one-sided even than "either/or". I saw Holly's blog post more as a direct and focused response to that particular argument.
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#6
Derek Tonn

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Hi Dave!

Yes, I think I was reacting more to the general theme or vibe I get whenever this topic is broached around our mapping circles than to Holly's very-specific content. It's a common theme: Print is a/the "victim," so then people who prefer print, design for print, or are in the printing biz are "victims" too. Not to mention all the victims in our industry who are victimized by the "evil corporations" such as Google and Microsoft. ;)

I'm sure I was reading a lot more into Holly's post than was actually written (or even intended), but my gosh do I get tired of all the "victims" in our society. People with jobs, 2-3 vehicles, a home, the ability to travel, food to eat, clean water, et al...happily telling anyone who will listen how hard they've personally got it. When there are probably 3-4 billion people in the world who would gladly switch places with them in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go prepare another long-winded novel about how victimized I am by being a Windows/PC user in a world (design/cartography) of Mac fanatics...not to mention how hard the world can be on us left-handers and red-heads... :P
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

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

#7
DaveB

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Hi, Derek :)

Not to mention all the victims in our industry who are victimized by the "evil corporations" such as Google and Microsoft. ;)

and Esri?

I'm sure I was reading a lot more into Holly's post than was actually written (or even intended), but my gosh do I get tired of all the "victims" in our society. People with jobs, 2-3 vehicles, a home, the ability to travel, food to eat, clean water, et al...happily telling anyone who will listen how hard they've personally got it. When there are probably 3-4 billion people in the world who would gladly switch places with them in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.

point taken

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go prepare another long-winded novel about how victimized I am by being a Windows/PC user in a world (design/cartography) of Mac fanatics...not to mention how hard the world can be on us left-handers and red-heads... :P

I could be sinister and give you a left-handed compliment, but I don't want to leave you feeling like the redheaded stepchild.
:P
cheers,
Dave
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#8
Paul H

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Back when I started my career in Cartography (1977), when computers were just coming into mapping (M&S Computing, precursor to Intergraph), and when I made a few trips to W&H Map Printers for press checks (remember those!), we noticed that in our cartography shop 19 out of 20 cartographers were left-handed. I wonder if there is a preponderance of left-handers in the cartographic world?

#9
Jacques Gélinas

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Interesting.

I am left-handed and a cartographer... do I get more points for being bald :)

Jacques Gélinas
cartographer
www.cartesgeo.ca


#10
Derek Tonn

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My Mom's favorite joke to tell when I was a child was that "left-handed people are the only ones in their right minds." AKA the right-side of the brain...aka the more creative (and less analytic). Which I always thought was funny, since she was right-handed. But I guess she was just looking out for her two kids (my sister and I are both left-handed). :)

Most people don't realize it, being that they are in the "93%," but we do live in a right-handed world. i.e. When I played little league, I had to learn to catch, throw, and hit as a right-hander...since they only had right-handed gloves for all the kids to use, and they taught all the kids to hit exactly the same way (from the left side of the plate). My brother-in-law was just marveling over the weekend how well/hard I could throw a baseball with my right hand when I had to borrow his glove while shagging flies from all our nieces and nephews. I told him that when you're a lefty, you don't have much choice sometimes.

But being left-handed probably gives me as much secret pleasure related to "fighting the man/power" as Mac users get via sticking it to Bill Gates. We've all gotta have our things in life where we "zag" while the herd "zigs," just to feel unique and express our individuality.

Though to Paul's comment, I too have seen FAR more than 7% of artists/illustrators being left-handed...and it seems that a higher percentage of "lefties" find their way into other careers in the arts as well (music, acting, etc.). Makes sense to me as folks have slowly developed better, more-detailed maps of the brain! But it does raise some interesting potential questions related to where map design has moved since the introduction of GIS has basically forced a lot of the industry to move into the left hemisphere of the brain. Managing and manipulating data, versus creating works of art... ;)
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

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

#11
whmap

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With respect to maps it's a mistake to see it as a print vs mobile media competition. The greatest result is achieved when the two are used together. The printed map provides the "big picture" and the resulting spatial awareness shows you where to crunch down for detail using the mobile device. Without the mobile device you lose the enormous resources of the internet. Without the printed map you don't know what to do with the mobile device. A salesman once explained it to me as follows: He had covered sales territories using both printed maps and using his gps. In both instances he could get from point A to B and back again, but when only using gps, he never really knew where he was. That sounds to me like missed opportunities. I should also note that I am left handed.

#12
Dave McIlhagga

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With respect to maps it's a mistake to see it as a print vs mobile media competition. The greatest result is achieved when the two are used together. The printed map provides the "big picture" and the resulting spatial awareness shows you where to crunch down for detail using the mobile device. Without the mobile device you lose the enormous resources of the internet. Without the printed map you don't know what to do with the mobile device. A salesman once explained it to me as follows: He had covered sales territories using both printed maps and using his gps. In both instances he could get from point A to B and back again, but when only using gps, he never really knew where he was. That sounds to me like missed opportunities. I should also note that I am left handed.


To me that pretty much sums it up.

The challenge the industry faces is adapting both paper and digital products to make them more harmonious in their use. Both to date have been designed for use in isolation - but the real "1 + 1 = 3" value comes when someone can use both in a way that can support each other for an overall augmented user experience.

In the outdoor recreation market that we have been looking at closely in the past few years, we've seen where this complementary role has the potential to be very effective. What if you can:

  • plan your trip on the web
  • get a high quality paper map of that specific trip you've planned on paper for use in the outdoors
  • see that same map and trip on your mobile device, and collect photos and tracks of where you actually went on your trip
  • share that trip with your friends, or get a wall map of that terrific trip to put up on your wall
  • throughout have consistent map content, and cartographic experience

When put together properly - paper and digital don't compete at all, but can in fact reinforce each other.

Dave
Dave McIlhagga

www.mapsherpa.com




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