Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Quick Look at Williams & Heintz Map Corp. in Map Printing History

Bill and Dick Heintz Past Presidents of Williams & Heintz

Bill and Dick Heintz, Past Presidents of Williams & Heintz, in their exhibit booth, at the Annual Meeting of the Geologic Society of America

In 1921, my great grandfather Louis Heintz, came home and announced that he was quitting his job at the US Geological Survey, to start a map printing company with three of his coworkers. He was a stone lithographer.  Back then, the market opportunities were in creating tax maps.  Cities and municipalities needed maps because they were missing out on revenue, as there were no accurate maps.

In World War II, my Grandfather, William Heintz, was running the company.  He learned the importance of good accounting when the war ended.  After printing like mad, he had made enough money to buy a new press.  His contemporaries however, had made enough money to buy whole new printing plants. So he brought in an outside accountant to go over his books.  Upon the arrival of the accountant, the employee who had been quoting prices during the war, got up and left.  As it turned out, the employee thought that it was unpatriotic to profit from the war effort.  So Williams and Heintz worked tirelessly for the government during World War II printing maps of Europe, the Pacific, charts for pilots on sized linen.  We printed them at cost.

By the fifties, when my father, Richard Heintz, started working at Williams and Heintz, we   specialized in making and printing geologic maps.  We created with the Geo-color Guide which  established  a library of tints and colors for geologic maps.  This  concept was later adopted by the US Geologic Survey.

Today  at Williams and Heintz Map Corp.,  we still specialize in printing large format cartographic work.  The substrates have changed, we print a lot of maps on plastic, which is very durable.   The technology has advanced and the processes  are  better for the environment. But the maps are  unique.   Printed maps  are still here because they give you the big picture. When used in conjunction with GPS and mobile apps, they make for an unbeatable combination.

Without maps,you may get you where you want to go but you wont know where you are.

Four out of Five Geologists Prefer Williams & Heintz Maps

Advertisement for Williams & Heintz Map Corp in the GEOTIMES, 1964 and 1971

Paper Charts vs. Electronic Devices-True Story

Virginia Cruising Guide at the Richmond Boat Show

Williams & Heintz Cruising Guide at the Richmond Boat Show

Got a story for you.  My sister, Robin, goes to boat shows to sell our Williams & Heintz Cruising Guides, nautical chartbooks of Maryland and Virginia waterways.  This last week she was in Richmond.  Her booth was right next to a vendor of electronic navigation equipment.  At the end of the show, he bought a case of chartbooks, to give to his customers, who purchase expensive electronic navigation systems for their boats.   He wants them to have them for planning and as a backup.

Just goes to show that electronic devices are not replacing printed products, but  they complement each other, and make each more effective.

Maps and QR Codes – “Look! They’re putting those on girls now!”

W&H Cruising Guide QR Code

You can scan this code with your smart phone to learn about the Williams & Heintz Cruising Guides, chartbooks of the waters of Maryland and Virginia.

“Look!  They’re putting those on girls now!”  This quote is just one of the entertaining reactions we got when I made sweatshirts, with the QR Code®  (Quick Response, 2D Codes).  I made them to wear at the boat shows, where we sell our chartbooks.  The QR Code, on the back of the shirt links to the chartbook website.  The QR codes work well as a conversation starter on my daughter’s sweatshirt, and they put the link directly onto the phone of our customers.

As a printer, I see a lot of information about the QR Code, as I search for new ideas to add value to map printing. And I see so many ways to use them.   Now, I realize that most people are not specifically going out to buy a smart phone for the QR Code reader, but as a printer, this was the tipping point that gave it value to me.  QR codes are a link from print on paper to the digital world.  Scan the code to get more information.  It is easy to download the app, if your phone doesn’t have one.  My kids get new apps all the time, what’s the big deal?

I know that we printers, publishers, and marketers are jumping on this opportunity to add value to our printed piece, and sometimes are putting them all over the place where they don’t make sense, like the last few seconds of a TV commercial, or a billboard that you are speeding by.  (I want to put one on a bumper sticker that takes you to “If you can scan this, you are too close”)

But QR Codes on sweatshirts have also made me the cool and popular mom with my teenagers and their friends.

Using the QR Code, on shirts and in show displays, has worked out well because it is still new to many consumers.  People stopped to ask about the codes and try out the new technology on their new phones.

Maps are a great place for QR Codes.  QR Codes on maps have got to be, hands down, one of the best uses.  As I have said before, a map is not just to get someone from one place to another.  That information is readily available in numerous formats and media.  Maps communicate lots of information about the location being mapped.   QR Codes quickly and easily connect you to more information.

Here are a few examples of maps with useful QR Codes we have printed:

QR Code on the Pennsylvania Tourism & Transportation Map

The Pennsylvania Tourism & Transportation Map uses QR Codes to highlight places to go and things to see on the map.

QR Code on the Ohio Scenic Rivers Map

The Ohio Scenic Rivers Map uses a QR Code to direct people to the donation page.

QR Code on the West Virginia Official Highway Map

The West Virginia Official Highway Map has a QR Code that links to the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

Here are a few more blogs about QR Codes that I like.

QR Code ® is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED

Printing Transportation Maps and Making Them Available to the Public Boosts Tourism Dollars

The importance of tourism in Maryland

The Maryland Office of Tourism just published this info graphic on the importance of tourism in Maryland.

For every $1 Maryland invested in tourism funding last year, $43 in state sales tax was generated.

Tourism creates jobs. 1 out of 17 jobs in Maryland is a tourism job – 130,000 Marylanders directly work in tourism.

97% of tourism businesses in Maryland are small businesses.

Visitors to Maryland spent $13.1 billion on travel expenses in 2010.

When you look at all the media options, printed tourist information is an important, and low cost, part of the money invested in tourism funding.

The most effective form, of printed material for tourists, is a map.   People want maps, as opposed to just a travel magazine.  This dynamic was most observable when New York State incorporated their map into their travel magazine as a tear out piece.  At the rest stops they ended up with dumpsters full of magazines, with the maps removed.

The primary job of the transportation map is no longer just to get someone from point A to point B.  That information is readily available in numerous formats and media.  The real job of the transportation map is now to get people to stop in between point A and B and spend a few bucks.

When the tourist information is made part of a city, county, or state transportation map, then it will end up in the hands of potential consumers.

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