The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that to save money, the government will stop printing the traditional lithographic paper chart, that has been NOAA’s signature product, trusted by mariners, since President Thomas Jefferson asked for a survey of the coast in 1807.
Effective April 13, 2014, the federal government will no longer print lithographic nautical charts.
Are we hastening the demise of printed maps and charts? We often jump to new technology and online mapping without adequately considering the effect on the public; it’s like everybody running to one side of the boat to see what’s going on and making it capsize.
For example, the US Geological Survey used to have a very good printing plant that produced maps not only for USGS, but the Bureau of Land Management as well, not to mention collaborating with numerous state geological surveys to produce printed map products. Unfortunately their leadership with their crystal ball foresaw the demise of hard copy maps back around 2000. Their printing plant with decades of expertise and experience is now gone. Ironically, the only thing that is not gone is the demand for hard copy maps. Last year they were compelled to solicit a contract for the printing and distribution of their topo products, of which they still sell about 350,000 maps a year. That’s not too bad, for a product that the publisher has tried to discourage people from using.
NOAA is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. With respect to producing maps and charts, NOAA’s core job is to provide charts for commercial shipping. It continues to meet this requirement through the POD’s. A NOAA authorized Print on Demand (POD) chart is printed within a day or two of the date it is ordered and contains all the published critical chart corrections.
The recreational boater, however, has been abandoned.
“There is no question that many boaters and tourists will miss the days when they could drop by a shop to pick up a traditional nautical chart that was printed by the government. Stores offer more than convenience… They are a valuable resource for local information, marine expertise, and friendship.” (FAQs PDF)
The good news is that, while the federal government will no longer print lithographic nautical charts, they are now testing a new product: during a trial period from Oct 22, 2013 to Jan 22, 2014, they are making about a thousand nautical charts available in printable PDF format for free download.
The new printable PDF charts, at 400 dpi, continue the traditional look, with the same colors. Charts printed from the PDF file, are suitable for planning and public display. Here is where Williams & Heintz Map Corporation comes in. We have been printing nautical chart books based on the NOAA charts since 1969. We are all set to step up and offer the public the same high level of service they’ve provided over the decades. While anyone can download a PDF, not everyone has the capability to print them at chart size. Williams & Heintz is the printer who can reproduce the colors and image resolution on the paper you select, including wet strength.
So while you will no longer be able to purchase NOAA nautical charts printed by the government, we welcome the new opportunities for printing and distributing charts made from PDF files for you, whether you want one digital print of a NOAA Nautical Chart with your house centered on the map, or thousands of lithographic charts featuring your marina and logo to hand out to your customers.
Update: Oct. 28, 2013 Edited inaccurate content.
“Oh, you’re a map printer, I’m so sorry!”
That’s the kind of response I frequently hear when I tell people what I do. They see all the GPS and cell phone map apps and think only of road maps that they don’t know how to read.
Well there are a lot of other kinds of maps out there to print, besides road maps. Here are a few, click on the tiles below to see the larger image and a little bit about them.
Here’s another thing, all those different kinds of maps were printed over 30 years ago, made by hand, with cameras and film. I scanned them off an old Williams & Heintz marketing piece; so old it doesn’t even have anything about a web site or email contact.
Just think what we can do now with computers, the internet, available data, and digital mapping tools! (more about that in a later post)
All these new tools make cartography and map making more available, to many more people, to publish more maps.
And some of these great maps even make it to print on paper.
When you want to see the big picture, nothing beats a big map on a big piece of paper.
It’s a great time to be a map printer!
Big, 40” x 60” Print of the Beautiful, New USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Genuine Offset Lithography!
I have just launched a Kickstarter project to print the New USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
We think it’s a beautiful map, and can’t be fully appreciated on a screen.It deserves to be seen at full size: A big, 40 x 60 inch print of the beautiful, new USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, printed by genuine offset lithography!
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects: I have set a funding goal and deadline for my project. If you like the project, please pledge money to make it happen. I am excited by the possibilities of crowd sourced funding for creative map projects. Print and digital are both improved when used together. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money.
Backers of the project will receive the a big, 40 x 60 inch print of the beautiful, new USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, printed with genuine offset lithography.
Update: This Kickstarter project was successfully funded and printed. We have a few left. Let me know if you want one.
Williams & Heintz Map Corporation Receives MDOT Minority Business Enterprise Certification as a Woman Owned Business
Capitol Heights, MD, July 8, 2013: Williams & Heintz Map Corporation, a specialist in map printing, production, and folding, is pleased to announce that it has received certification as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) from The Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE).
Williams & Heintz Map Corporation has been printing maps for entrepreneurs, government agencies, and map publishers since 1921. They combine the highest quality pre-press, printing, folding with industry leading knowledge and customer service.
“We are excited to be officially certified as a Minority Business Enterprise for Commercial Printing and Support Activities for Printing. We look forward to the opportunities that certification will bring,” said Holly Heintz Budd, President and CEO of Williams & Heintz Map Corporation.
MDOT’s OMBE is Maryland’s Official Certification agency. They have one of the most stringent certification processes in the U.S. To be eligible for certification as an MBE firm, a business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more socially-and economically-disadvantaged individuals, including women. MDOT has a comprehensive certification process to determine the ownership and control of firms. Only certified firms are eligible to fulfill minority participation goals on contracts issued by the state of Maryland.
For additional information about Williams & Heintz Map Corporation, please visit www.whmap.com
For additional information about The Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE), visit http://www.mdot.maryland.gov
What if you had never seen a printed map? What if all you only knew about was electronic devices? This tongue in cheek video is an introduction to “a new bio-optical knowledge recording and dissemination system, responding to the trade name: Map.”
Watch the video which helps you to understand “the use of maps.” It is full of great information about map features like:
“Here’s how it works: Map consists of a large window, integrated in a flexible cellulose pad, and compressed hundreds of times, thanks to the FUF technology: folding/unfolding.
“Map” is able of storing millions of information bits, which are then optically scanned, and thus directly transmitted to the brain.
Thanks to a particularly ergonomic navigation interface, based on an intuitive forearm supination and pronation mechanism, pans, zooms and rotations are performed without image degradation, smoothly, with a refresh rate of a few picoseconds.
It has a 100% toutchpad allowing simultaneous use of 10 fingers.
Color stability is perfect, whatever the light conditions.”
In Today’s world of security worries, the Map video playfully reminds us, without a direct comparison to our digital devices, that that people are not likely to steal your map on the subway and:
“Map” respects users’ privacy: impossible to hack, and without any antivirus or firewall, annotations are locally stored and never sent to any server.
And “Map” is unbreakable!
Finally, the video reminds us that a print map is great for decorating, and is a recyclable, sustainable, product.Happy watching! (Link here)
We have a new video for our map printing company, Williams & Heintz Map Corporation. Hope you enjoy the quick look at the people who expertly print your maps.
Williams & Heintz Map Corporation is a map printer. We have been printing maps for entrepreneurs, government agencies, and map publishers since 1921. We combine the highest quality map pre-press, map printing, and map folding with industry leading knowledge, and customer service.
There is a special craft to printing and folding maps, different from any other sheet fed work. Maps have unique challenges when it comes to color balance and registration. At Williams & Heintz, our craftsmen have the most experience in the business of printing maps and they know how to meet these challenges.
Experienced cartographic technicians prepare your maps for printing with an assortment of graphic and GIS software, integrating data with accompanying text, graphics, photographs, logos, street indexes and tables into a clean, publication-quality layout.
Skilled pressmen print maps as large as 47 ¼ ” x 63”, on a wide selection of paper stocks, including high wet strength and plastic. Our presses that print up to 6 colors in one pass. We are specialists at printing oversize sheets.
The in-house bindery team folds maps in many configurations, including user-friendly styles that can be leafed through like the pages of a book. We can fold anything we can print. We can make 16 parallel accordion folds, up to 44 inched wide, on what may be the largest map folder in the world, uniquely configured for us!
Knowledgeable consultants help you design and produce your map, using ecologically sustainable materials and methods. We welcome your difficult reproduction problems and complex technical maps as well as simpler jobs. All will get the same care and attention to detail that maps require.
Experience, quality, and great customer service with over 92 years of in the business can be found here at Williams and Heintz Map Corporation…
I am ticked off at my bank, utilities and telecom providers for saying “go green – go paperless.”
I’ve had it with my bank and all the other companies that are bashing paper products to promote electronic billing, statements and other e-services. Yes…I’ve finally lost it.
I have decided to be diplomatic and not name you…but we all know who you are.
Over on our facebook page, Williams & Heintz has a new “like”, and it came with the most Awesome link! Jack Kittle, of Decatur, Georgia, found 1927-1930 topographic maps of Atlanta. Our name is listed in the lower right hand corner. Here is the link, that will take you to the Digital Gallery at Emory University. They have 75 pages of the City of Atlanta tax plat maps that we printed when my great grandfather first got into the map printing business.
Company lore has it that, one of our original jobs as a map company was engraving, (copper plate), and printing, (stone lithography), tax plats for cities, of which Atlanta was one. Without accurate maps, the cities were loosing revenue, because they didn’t know who to send the bill to.
Jack Says, “I first ran into copies of these maps at the DeKalb History Center. Their copies are from the DeKalb County Planning Department. New developments – streets and buildings – were carefully added in black ink until sometime in the 1950s. This fits the tax plat scenario. Note that this usage was not in the City of Atlanta, rather in the area to the east.”
Leading Organizations for Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Create Event to bring the World of Print and Digital Mapmakers together
In 2013, the International Map Industry Association (IMIA) and Directions Magazine will collaborate on a new event that brings the world of mapmakers together. The global conference, serving also as the IMIA’s annual event, will be held September 8 – 10 at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
I am pleased that Williams & Heintz Map Corp. is a part of the conference that will gather professionals engaged in creating maps and mapping applications, from both the print and digital world, to explore new ways for a new audience in web, mobile, and print to:
- deliver content,
- derive revenue,
- design maps.
Mapmakers of the world will gather in one place to exchange ideas on how to better serve a growing audience for geographic information and present that information in a variety of formats including digital print, 3D printing, Internet portals, and mobile form factors.
“As more people find new ways to use geographic information the responsibility to present that information in an understandable way rests with professionals in our community,” said Joe Francica, editor in chief of Directions Magazine. “Digital mapmakers must be cognizant that applications for mobile form factors and social networking apps must adhere to cartographic standards. As such there will be new methods of publishing and new business models to consider.”
“The new event is a tremendous opportunity for our membership to bring our collective knowledge of mapmaking to a new audience of digital cartographers working in Internet and mobile mediums,” said David Knipfer, president of IMIA (Americas).
.Map Conference information
Visit the .Map Conference website, www.mapconference.net to register, for exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, and hotel reservations.
About Directions Media
Directions Media was founded in 1998 and published the first online magazine covering geospatial technology. Today Directions Media maintains several online publications and references including Directions Magazine, the All Points Blog, and GeoSpatial Webinars. It is the leading source of information, news and commentary in the fields of geospatial and location-based technologies. Directions Media has offices in Huntsville, Alabama and Glencoe, Illinois. More information can be found at www.DirectionsMedia.net.
About International Map Industry Association (IMIA)
IMIA is an international organization that welcomes members from every corner of the globe. Established over 28 years ago, it promotes the interests of all companies involved in the mapping industry: developers of geographic information systems, publishers, government organizations, printers, distributors, consultants, and libraries. IMIA plays an active role in helping member organizations achieve their business and professional goals. More information may be found at www.imiamaps.org.
International Women’s day is March 8 and March is Women’s History Month – What Role Have Women Played in the History of Mapmaking?
Many women’s organizations and governments around the world observe International Women’s Day annually on March 8th. The United States designates the whole month of March as Women’s History Month. The role of women in the history of mapmaking reminds us to celebrate the accomplishments of women and girls throughout history, and the need to keep working to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life, all over the map.
Judith Tyner, Professor Emerita of Geography, California State University, Long Beach, has researched and shared a lot of the history of women in cartography. She says that Women have played many roles in the history of cartography. There are the usual assumptions, marginal activities, traditional woman’s roles of piece work that could be done at home: coloring maps, map folding, and stitching atlases. In the 19th century, women taught geography, maps, and “the use of the globes” to privileged young ladies. The usual way that women would become involved in mapmaking business, was through family. The map trades, printing, and engraving have traditionally been family businesses.
But when you examine maps for the names of engravers, publishers and printers, you discover that women have been involved in cartography from the early days of mapping. Women were publishers, map sellers, cartographers, drafters, editors, engravers, globemakers, printers, colorists, folders, stitchers, teachers of map reading and mapmaking, cartographic historians, map librarians, and patrons of cartography!
“By the beginning of the twentieth century, the identities of cartographers and map traders had become even more obscure. Large cartographic firms such as Rand McNally and Hammond formed and began using wax engraving and lithography techniques; map engravers and compilers no longer signed their maps. As companies grew, few retained records… Over time old records were destroyed in the name of efficiency.”
This fits with what I have recently learned about Williams & Heintz, from my cousin Jeanette Schuder, about my Great Aunt Ruth, Born Ruth Lillian Heintz (1913 – 2011)
“Her father co-owned the William and Heintz Company, a lithographic business in DC. She worked for her dad’s company as a topographical engineer and she drew maps of Bakersfield, California and other new cities. She also worked for the Geological Survey and drew the original maps of the unmapped territory of the Yukon.”
Ruth was married August 22, 1936, so I figure that her work as a mapmaker was in the early 1930s. A quick google search for “Bakersfield CA map 1930s” yields these maps, from the University of Texas Libraries, that may be some of the maps that she worked on.
Even before the second World War, women were encouraged to work as cartographers and cartographic drafters. During the war, they were hired to replace the men, due to the wartime demand for maps. Government agencies in the U. S. were hiring women because they recognized that our maps were out of date and had insufficient coverage. Women were preferred for drafting, computing and photogrametry. Collections were scattered. Map librarians played an important role in the collection and distribution of maps for the war effort.
Women did not give up cartography after the war. They were successful, and continued to take advantage of trainings at universities, and job opportunities. Marie Tharp was encouraged to study geology and drafting, she made important contributions to mapping. You can read about them in Honoring Marie Tharp, Oceanographic Cartographer, for International Women’s Day
Today, women work in all aspects of the mapping industry, from GIS to map printing. Since World War II, we have seen the greatest rise in the number of women involved in the field. However, continued vigilance and action is still necessary to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained.
Mary Beth Smith, of “Girls Who Print” said, in response to an example of blatant discrimination in the work place today,
” Lets work together. Let the ignorant know that their behavior is neither admired nor tolerated. Show your spouses, your daughters, your sons, and everyone in your orbit your conviction that this is unacceptable behavior. Isn’t it time we stopped acting like this doesn’t happen? Do we not WANT young people and women to bring their gifts, talents, training and expertise to an industry sorely in need of a fresh approach?”
Tyner, Judith, “The Hidden Cartographers: Women in Mapmaking,” Mercator’s World, volume 2, number 6, November/December 1997, pp. 46-51.
Tyner, Judith, “Millie the Mapper and Beyond: The Role of Women in Cartography Since World War II,” Meridian – Map and Geography Round Table of the American Library Association No. 15 1999 pp23-28.