Capitol Heights Printer Has Future Mapped Out

So much stays the same and so much changes! This article by Eric Fisher, was originally published in the Washington Times/Business Times February 10, 1997

We still print and fold maps for a wide variety of government agencies, publishers, and entrepreneurs. However how we make the maps has certainly changed since 1997!

Prepress is mostly digital now. Although as much as 10% of our work is still film based. We can still edit, proof, and print from film. The man-hours involved, to edit and update a film job, can be much less than the thousands of man-hours required to digitize a whole new map. We can even combine digital correction copy with film based layers.


Richard Heintz, grandson of the firm's founder, son-in-law Mark Budd examine a fresh map of the world.

Richard Heintz, grandson of the firm’s founder, son-in-law Mark Budd examine a fresh map of the world.

Made in Washington

Producer: Williams & Heintz

What It Makes: This 76 year-old Capitol Heights company prints a variety of maps, from detailed, government-issued nautical and geologic maps to folded road maps for companies such as Michelin and Alexandria’s ADC. Williams & Heintz specializes in maps up to 47 inches by 63 inches in size.

How it makes them: The process to print a map is somewhat similar to  that of printing a newspaper, though more care is taken to ensure color quality. After the map has been drafted, a photograph is made of it. The negative is used to make an aluminum plate for the printing press. Chemicals on the plate help color to be distributed on the press as desired.

How much it makes: company executives could not give a specific number of maps produced, but with more than 900 clients typically making large orders, output is easily in tens of millions. Williams & Heintz generated more than $6 million in revenue in 1996, said Mark Budd, the company’s treasurer and secretary.

Where to find them: Clients include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and several state topographical and geological-survey agencies. Williams & Heintz maps can also be found along Virginia highways; tje company won a one-year contract to print 3.75 million copies of the 1996-97 map passed out at rest stops. The 37-employee company also recently won the road map contracts with New York and North Carolina.

The niche: The company began with four former employees of the U. S. Geologic Survey in 1921. After many years at Third and I street NE, Williams & Heintz moved to Capitol Heights in 1958.

One of a small number of dedicated map printers in North America, Williams & Heintz likes to distinguish itself with “intelligent folding” maps. Until about 15 years ago, most road maps were given out or sold at nominal cost. As a result, they were cheaply made, and user-friendly attributes were not a priority, Mr. Budd said. After customers showed a willingness to pay for quality maps, the company invested $500,000 in a self-designed folding machine to create road maps that fold up easily in an accordion style.

“Easy-folding maps have been in Europe and Asia for nearly a hundred years,” Mr. Budd said. “It’s only started in the last few years here. But it’s caught on like wildfire.”

Williams & Heintz Map Corp. Volunteer Travels to Tanzania to Share Skills with Local Farmers

I just got back from Tanzania with the Farmer to Farmer program that promotes economic growth and Agricultural development in East Africa!

Holly Heintz Budd and some of the CRS Farmer to Farmer participants in Muvwa Village, Mbeya, Tanzania

Holly Heintz Budd and some of the CRS Farmer to Farmer participants in Muvwa Village, Mbeya, Tanzania

I traveled to Tanzania for 2½ weeks to share my technical skills and expertise with local farmers. My assignment is part of Catholic Relief Services’ Farmer-to-Farmer (CRS FTF) program that promotes economic growth, food security, and agricultural development in East Africa.

In addition to being a map printer, I am a smallholder farmer. I grow food for my family and am the chair of the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association. This experience gave me the opportunity to stretch my limits. I have always found that I learn so much from teaching others. Plus, it is awesome to share the knowledge and experience that I have gained over the years, with a project promoting social justice.

In Tanzania, I worked with Caritas Mbeya, training in organizational development, association strengthening, and giving technical assistance to smallholder farmers. The objective is to enable smallholder farmer groups in Mbalizi Parish to improve leadership and management, enhanced group dynamics and cohesion, strengthen their associations and cooperation. 121 farmers attended the trainings, which will benefit up to 3000 villagers in the area.

I taught the farmers in Mchewe, Itimba, and Muvwa Villages in Mbeya, Tanzania about contracts and contract farming. We analyzed the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities of their groups. Strong cooperative groups will help the farmers pool their resources to balance their power with the middlemen/buyers, and obtain contracts to sell a larger amount of product. The groups will be able to support members and save product to sell when scarce and prices are higher. We discussed, target markets and marketing mix. We talked about mission, objectives, what articles to include in their bylaws to strengthen and insure transparency and fairness. I even came up with “Holly’s 9 Leadership Tips”.

 “One thing we are certain of is that this program will be beneficial not just to the farmers in East Africa, but also to the volunteers from America,” said Bruce White, CRS’ director for the program. “It’s going to make the world a little bit smaller for everyone involved.” I agree!

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the five-year program matches the technical assistance of U.S. farmers, agribusinesses, cooperatives, and universities to help farmers in developing countries improve agricultural productivity, access new markets, and increase their incomes.

My volunteer assignment is one of nearly 500 assignments that focus on agriculture, food security and nutrition in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. This is the first time CRS has been involved in the 28-year-old Farmer-to-Farmer Program funded by the U.S. government. The U.S. volunteers travel to East Africa for anywhere from one to six weeks, their expenses covered by USAID.



It’s Earth Day, Hope You Do Something Green to Celebrate!

It’s Earth Day! Hope You Do Something Green to Celebrate- I am going for a walk in the forest.

  • Forests cover one third of the earth’s land and absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide making them a major instrument in mitigating climate change.
  • They absorb airborne impurities and give off oxygen allowing us to breathe clean air.
  • Forests protect our watersheds and provide us with clean water.
  • They are home to the majority of the world’s terrestrial species, and many people around the world—1.6 billion according to the World Wildlife Fund—depend on forests for their livelihoods.

The wise use of the world’s forests is critical to our survival and a healthy environment.  Forests are vital in maintaining life as we know it.

paper and sustainable forestryWe are often led to believe that using paper is bad for the environment and that forest practices always lead to eroded lands and fewer trees—not so in North America!

As can be seen on the above Two Sides infographic:

  • Wood from well-managed forests is a sustainable resource that is renewable, recyclable and can be planted, grown, harvested and replanted.
  • Most paper is made using wood by-products (chips) from the lumber industry and recycled paper rather than whole trees which are typically used for lumber production.
  • Forests in the U.S and Canada grow significantly more wood than is harvested each year.

After my I walk in the forest, I am going to plant my American Plum tree that I got at a community Earth Day celebration last weekend. I hope you do something green to celebrate Earth Day too!

What is a Map? Maps Provide the Big Picture

What is a map?

A map is a way to present information on music, history, science, and the arts in new ways.  A map is a tool that helps you make connections between different places; to connect the dots.

What is a map?

A map is Like the International Map Industry Association: IMIA is all about the business of maps.  IMIA helps you make connections between different people in the map business.

What is a map?

A map is about how to make a living; a creative endeavor to put food on the table for us and our employees.  Printing maps was my Daddy’s and Granddaddy’s business. It is mine still.

What is a map?

A map is something that my Daddy and Granddaddy made at work. Every morning they went away.  Every evening they came home. Sometimes, with a great big printed paper map. It is to put on the wall, a gift for friends and neighbors. A map can be an artistic expression and a marketing tool.

Some may say that the printed map is done for, but it is a mistake to see it as a print vs. digital 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 digital, you lose the enormous resources of the internet. Without the printed map you don’t know what to do with the mobile device. Electronic devices are not replacing printed products, but they complement each other, and make each more effective.

This post was originally published on the IMIA Blog

We love Maps: 2015-2016 is International Map Year

We love maps International Map Year (IMY) 2015-2016

At Williams & Heintz Map, we are excited about the opportunities that International Map Year (IMY) 2015-2016 provides to demonstrate, follow, and get involved in the art, science and technology of making and using maps and geographic information.

International Map Year is a worldwide celebration of maps and their unique role in our world.  It provides opportunities to demonstrate, follow, and get involved in the art, science and technology of making and using maps and geographic information. Supported by the United Nations, IMY is an intensive international, interdisciplinary, scientific, and social strategy to focus on the importance of maps and geographic information in the world today. The most important legacies will be a new generation of cartographers and geographic information scientists, as well as an exceptional level of interest and participation from professionals, schoolchildren, the general public, and decision-makers, worldwide.

International Map Year is organized by the International Cartographic Association (ICA), and endorsed by the International Map Industry Association. IMIA will promote the International Map Year as part of the IMIA Americas Region Conference ‘International Map Year’, September 27–29, 2015, Washington, D.C. USA.

Soil Maps

2015 is the United Nations International Year of Soils

The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS 2015).  In honor of this, here are two soil maps from the Williams & Heintz Map Vault.

Soil map of Talbot County, MD 1929

Soil map of Talbot County, MD. Printed by Williams & Heintz  Co. in 1929.


Section of a SOIL MAP Printed by Williams & Heintz Map Corp. in the 1980s.

Why International Year of Soils?

Soils are a finite natural resource and are nonrenewable on a human time scale.  Soils are the foundation for food, animal feed, fuel and natural fiber production, the supply of clean water, nutrient cycling and a range of ecosystem functions.  The area of fertile soils covering the world’s surface is limited and increasingly subject to degradation, poor management and loss to urbanization.  Increased awareness of the life-supporting functions of soil is called for if this trend is to be reversed and so enable the levels of food production necessary to meet the demands of population levels predicted for 2050.  Soil Science Society of America

You can find interactive, digital soil maps on line at and at the USDA’s Web Soil Survey.

The FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of the World  has published soil maps of continents and large regions at 1:5 000 000 scale. They would look great as print maps! ;)





Mappy Groundhog Day!

Mappy Groundhogs Day. Punxsutawney Phil  sees his shadow on a classic road map of Pennsylvania from 1988.

Mappy Groundhogs Day. Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow on a classic road map of Pennsylvania from 1988.

February 2, the day the groundhog comes out in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to try and see his shadow. Groundhog’s Day has it’s roots in ancients Europe. it is the modern manifestation of Imbolc, Bridgets Day, and Candlemas.

About this time, where I live in Maryland, you can note that the days are getting longer. I can imagine the seeds stirring in the ground, under the mud and ice, ready for the warm spring rains. This is why if the groundhog sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of winter. The story goes that if he sees his shadow, then we will still have the cold winter. It he does not see his shadow then the spring rains are here, ans spring will quickly follow. This year Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, though he is quite handsome in the video!

Goucha Pennsylvania Road Map only $1.38 in 1988

Goucha Pennsylvania Road Map only $1.38 in 1988

The first official Groundhog Day excursion in the Punxsutawney, PA took place in 1888.

Phil is pictured above, posing on a 1988 edition of the Pennsylvania road map, from the Williams & Heintz Map Vault.This map was, published H. M. Gousha.

A Rand McNally sales executive, Harry Mathias Gousha, started the company 1926. H. M. Gausha Maps was one of the big three map companies, along with General Drafting and Rand McNally.


The H. M. Goucha Pennsylvania Road Map was distributed by Arrow Publishing Co., Inc.

The H. M. Goucha Pennsylvania Road Map was distributed by Arrow Publishing Co., Inc.

H.M. Gousha Maps was aquired by Rand McNally in 1996. This particular copy of the map was  copyrighted in 1987, and printed in 1988, an distributed by Arrow Publishing Co., Inc.

So, I hope you have a Mappy Groundhogs Day! May the tradition of printing maps and predicting weather with rodents continue!

Happy International Print Day

A map is tactile

A map is tactile. Many people find that  there’s just something enjoyable about holding a printed map in their hands.

Print is Gloriously Tactile

Humans were designed to touch and feel. Print—an extremely tactile media —caters to this need.

While much of the marketing world’s attention seems to be turned to the digital arena, print continues to be an extremely effective part of the marketing mix. When you think about the emotional impact that print’s physicality has, it’s easy to see why print works.

Perhaps it’s because it exists in the physical world that print is so capable of grabbing our attention. From the map of your favorite event, or magazines sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, to the newspapers in the rack at your favorite coffee place and the letters and fliers that arrive in your mail, print has a way of calling out to be picked up and read.

Many people find that there’s just something enjoyable about holding a printed piece in their hands. Print stimulates the senses. You can feel the texture of the paper, turn the pages, see the colors as they were meant to be seen. Print can be shared, thumbed through and dog-eared. Coupons and articles can be cut or torn out and set aside. Plus, of course, print is always available, no connectivity required.

Print not only provides a warm and friendly experience that no other medium offers, it also offers a sense of permanence that simply feels more trustworthy. In fact, recent studies show that consumers find print ads quite a bit more trustworthy than those they see online. While 60% of consumers trust newspaper and magazine ads, just 48% trust search advertising or online video ads, and only 42% find online banner ads worthy of their trust. (1)

The tactile nature of print undoubtedly contributes to the effectiveness of newspaper and magazine ads. One recent study shows that newspaper ads rank noticeably higher than ads on radio, TV or online-only sites when it comes to measures of advertising effectiveness such as “usually notice ads” and “likely to purchase.” (2)  Another recent study shows that magazines outperform TV and online for critical purchase drivers such as brand awareness, brand favorability and brand purchase intent. (3)  In contrast, social media—the darling of the marketing world—may not be that darling after all. In a recent survey of more than 1,700 social media marketers, less than 8% were actually happy with their efforts and 21% were so dissatisfied that they’re ready to replace their social spend with more traditional buys. (4)

Print is gloriously tactile, which makes it capable engaging audiences in a way that other media simply cannot.


1 Nielsen, Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages, September 2013
2 Nielsen, 2013 National Cross-Media Engagement Study
3 MPA, Magazine Media Fact Book, 2013-2014
4 iMedia Connection, The Declining Value of Social Marketing, Jan. 15, 2014

Williams & Heintz Map Corporation Announces Partnership with NOAA to Produce Print-on-Demand Nautical Charts

Admiral signing NOAA POD Chart Agent Agreement With Williams & Heintz Map

Rear Adm. Gerd Glang certifies Williams & Heintz Map Corporation as a new print-on-demand chart agent after inspecting the company’s sample chart.

Williams & Heintz Map Corporation, a specialist in map printing, production, and folding is pleased to announce that they are now certified to print the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Print-on-Demand Charts, (NOAA POD Charts).

NOAA has authorized Williams & Heintz Map Corporation to sell NOAA’s paper nautical charts that are printed when the customer orders them — or “on demand.” The information on the charts is still maintained by NOAA, and the charts are corrected with Notices to Mariners up to the week of purchase.

Williams & Heintz Map offers the POD charts on two paper types:

  • 24 lb. JCP E-20 High Wet Strength Map Paper, a white paper with a lithographic finish that is made to be used out in the elements. This economical paper is fully functional even when wet.
  • 36 lb. JCP E-50 Chart Paper genuine 50% cotton nautical chart paper, the same kind of paper as the lithographically printed charts, that mariners are accustomed to.

“If you like the look and feel of the now out-of-print lithographic NOAA charts, this is the paper for you,” said Holly Heintz Budd, President and CEO of Williams & Heintz Map Corporation. “We are excited to be expanding into Print-on-Demand.”

Williams & Heintz Map Corporation has been printing maps for entrepreneurs, government agencies, and map publishers since 1921. They combine industry leading knowledge and customer service with the highest quality pre-press, printing, and folding.

Additional information about Williams & Heintz Map POD Charts.

The paper charts sold by the NOAA-certified printing agents meet carriage requirements for ships covered by Safety of Life at Sea regulations, specified in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations. All charts sold by NOAA-certified agents are NOAA charts, and fully meet navigational standards.

NOAA Office of Coast Survey is the nation’s nautical chartmaker. Originally formed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807, Coast Survey updates charts, surveys the coastal seafloor, responds to maritime emergencies, and searches for underwater obstructions that pose a danger to navigation.

Nautical Charts for your Phone and Tablet

How would you like your map? Paper or plastic? Folded or flat? On the wall or on your computer screen? How about on your phone or tablet?

Williams & Heintz Map Corp. specializes in printing large paper and plastic maps.  We sometimes publish too.  We publish the Maryland Cruising Guide and Virginia Cruising Guide, nautical chart books of the navigable waters of Maryland and Virginia.

This year the new printed chart book will come with links to take you to an App, so that you can have the Williams & Heintz Cruising Guides on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone too. The digital charts, for your phone or tablet, are free with the purchase of the Virginia or Maryland cruising Guides.  You can also purchase individual charts separately.

It’s easy:

First, install Avenza’s FREE PDF Maps App. It is available from I-Tunes or Google Play or at

There are three ways to download the charts:

  • Open the app and search Maryland Cruising Guide
  • Use the codes for the free charts that come in the new 2014-2015 Williams & Heintz Cruising Guides
  • Go the the Williams & Heintz Cruising Guide web site to  scan the QR code that corresponds to the chart you wish to download.

Printed paper maps will always be part of  mapping.  The App is not replacing printed products; it complements the printed charts. The app has functionality for locating (via GPS), measuring, plotting points, importing and exporting points.  This spatially referenced map shows exactly where you are. And with the paper chart, you know where you’re going.


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