Monthly Archives: January 2012

Costa Concordia

Isola Giglio

My sister took this picture when she visited Italy is April 2011. Isola Giglio, where the Costa Concordia wrecked, is the island furthest away, on the right.

Costa Concordia.   I have been obsessively following this tragedy in the news, from the ups and downs of the numbers of people missing and dead, to the speculation of the causes:

Uncharted rocks

Equipment malfunction

Human error

Electrical failure

So far, it looks like the accident was caused by ego and carelessness.  Regardless of high technology, or backup charts, the human factor always poses a potential risk.

I was rooting for equipment malfunction.  I was hoping that my post this week would be about the value of having a backup navigation system, of having, and knowing how to use  charts, in the event that your electronics fail, of the importance of keeping your charts up to date.

I stand by the usefulness of printed maps and charts. I figure I shall go ahead and say this now, in hope that another accident does not come along to prove my point.

Maps in the Classroom – Zombies on the Map

Do you have your map for the Zombie Apocalypse?

I’ve been seeing a lot of conversations about maps lately.   I like to hear about Maps in the News.   Should I be surprised that so many people seem the think that the only kind of map there is, is a road map, and that they have no use for them?

Maps are used for more than just getting from one point to another.  They are a tool to share information.  That is why I like to read about Maps in the ClassroomDisastermapping ‘s blog  has some good ideas for using maps for a variety of subjects.

“Are you looking for ways to share information on music, history, science, the arts, or many other disciplines in new ways?  Are you looking for a way to “connect the dots” to present material to your students?  Are you in a profession where information silos are prevalent and you’re looking for opportunities to explore and integrate previously disconnected resources?”

The blogger even has even collected information on Mapping the Zombie Apocalypse!  How is that for using maps to engage students?

Maps in the News

Dave Imus, The Essential Geography of the United States of America printed at Williams & Heintz

Dave Imus, The Essential Geography of the United States of America printed at Williams & Heintz

The other day I got onto the internet and it was really exciting to see a customer, Dave Imus, and one of his maps that we print, featured in Slate Magazine.  The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See Made by one guy in Oregon.

I am pleased to see author Seth Stevenson’s appreciation of the artistry, time, and skill that went into the creation of Dave’s map, “The Essential Geography of the United States of America”

It is also always good to see someone extolling the virtues of a large format paper map.

As a map printer, I find that Dave Imus is a joy to work for.  With his work comes a passion for maps and cartography that is rarely equaled.  This passion is equally matched by his design skills, expertise and experience in creating truly unique cartographic products.  When discussing upcoming projects with him you’re not just a consultant with an opinion, you become part of his design team.  You just don’t commit to his projects, you “sign on” as it were.

Jobs like this are a huge benefit to a map printing operation such as Williams & Heintz.  Our personnel are skilled in their craft, but to maintain an exceptional level of skill they must constantly be challenged by unique and demanding jobs.  We go out of our way to court such work for this very reason.  These types of jobs are necessary to help us keep our edge on.  An endless supply of easy jobs with lowered expectations will ultimately result in sloppy work becoming the norm.  Further, a map that looks fantastic when it’s done imbues our staff with a sense of pride.  That sense of accomplishment is also critical to maintaining a high quality environment.  When you are constantly presented with examples of what something should be like, it’s a lot harder, emotionally, to let something go that isn’t quite there.

Thank you Dave.

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