Category Archives: Adding Value to Your Map

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 http://www.pdf-maps.com/get-pdf-maps.

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.

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.

New USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

New USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1391435578/lithographic-print-of-the-new-usda-plant-hardiness

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 Corp. Introduces Map App to Add Value and Function to Print

Williams & Heintz Map App Screen Shot of the Chesapeake Bay

Williams & Heintz Map App Screen Shot of the Chesapeake Bay is Chart 5 in the printed Maryland Cruising Guide

I prefer my maps on paper because I like to see the big picture.

But when you want to use your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch for navigation, information collection, and sharing geographic information and knowledge, Williams & Heintz Map Corp. is working to make your maps available on-line with the Avenza Geospatial PDF Map App for iOS.   The PDF Maps App is a geospatial PDF, GeoPDF® and GeoTIFF reader for your Apple iOS devices to easily download, browse and interact with maps.

We are pleased to be adding this mobile mapping solution so that now you can use a map that you really like on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.  Because:

  • Streaming services don’t work when there is no internet connection, like when you are cruising down the bay, hiking or traveling in remote unconnected areas.
  • Services that rely on a bandwidth connection may have expensive data roaming charges when you are outside of your home data area.
  • Google Maps, and other streaming free services, aren’t designed for specific purposes like hiking, boating and visiting national parks.

Printed paper maps will always be part of  mapping.  Electronic devices are not replacing printed products; they complement each other, and make each more effective.  By offering this mobile option, we are increasing the value of the printed maps.

Our first map, Maryland Cruising Guide Chart 5 Sandy Point to Tilghman’s Island is now available in the Avenza Map Store.  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.

The Avenza Map App is FREE, and for a limited time, our first chart is too!

It is easy to get your free App and Chart in 2 easy steps:

  1. Install the FREE App Avenza PDF Maps, available in the iPhone App Store
  2. Open the app and search Maryland Cruising Guide Chart 5 Sandy Point to Tilghman’s Island

Please try it out. I would love your feedback on our new beta map.  This nautical chart is also available for print on demand, on wet strength paper, and in large print.  For more information, or to purchase a printed copy of the Maryland Cruising Guide, visit the Williams & Heintz  Cruising Guide Website.

Map Printing News from the International Map Industry Association: Links between Paper and Digital Add Value to Your Map

Copper plate engraving showing hand drawn map symbols and typography. The beginnings of Williams & Heintz Map Corp.,  Est.1921

Copper plate engraving showing hand drawn map symbols and typography. The beginnings of Williams & Heintz Map Corp., Est.1921

Last week I attended the International Map Industry Association Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.    The world of cartography and mapping is changing.  Heck, we even changed the name of the organization from International Map Trade Association to the International Map Industry Association.  As one attendee, Eric Riback of Riback Associates says,

“The conference is smaller than it once was when the printed map publishing and retailing industry was flourishing. But as the industry, technology and players have changed in the past dozen years, the conference remains no less valuable than it ever was. Brainstorming, deal-making and information sharing are done with vigor there. If you have an interest in or connection to map/location-based technology or publishing, it’s somewhere you should be.”

As a map printer, we have been challenged by the new landscape of the mapping industry:  the changing demand for paper and print, the economic picture, and  GPS/GIS technology have changed the demand for printed maps. But as Directions media’s Joe Francica says in his article, ‘ “News of my death has been greatly exaggerated” … Print Map Publishers’,

“While you may perceive that “print” maps are dead and somehow dwarfed by the likes of the online, digital map publishers and portable navigation devices manufacturers, there is still much interest and business in a high quality, niche content-based paper map products.”

Much like the “paperless office” still leads to countless hits of the “Print” button, new toys and tools make it easier and more likely that people will print too.  New advances and digital tools make it possible for more people than ever to create maps that we can print.

Williams & Heintz was started  by my great grandfather, with stone lithography and copper plate engraving.  We have adapted to each new advance in technology, and we will continue to see new opportunities to share information with maps.  Providing the product in both digital and hard copy formats, and linking the opportunity to purchase either or both, results in cross pollination that drives the sales of both products.  It’s not an either/or decision;  the best option is frequently both.  We are exploring new digital products with ways to link between paper and digital, as well as new collaborations for digital delivery mechanism for both a print and digital versions for our customers. The IMIA Conference inspired me with opportunities to use the emerging trends in technology to complement my core business, map printing.

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.

http://gigaom.com/2012/02/09/this-man-wants-to-kill-qr-codes-can-he-do-it/

http://lynnmeloche.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/a-checkerboard-on-lsd-the-qr-code/

QR Code ® is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED

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