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Do you need a new chart?

NOAA COAST SURVEY

New update information service makes decisions easier

NOAA privatized printing of paper nautical charts in 2014 and, in the ensuing years, focused on modernizing chart compilation and production. Those recent changes allow us to update both paper and digital charts on a weekly basis. However, mariners still have had to deal with a cumbersome Local Notice to Mariners process to get important (or less than important) updates to the charts that they already own. Coast Survey is now making life a little easier for chart users.

Prior to 2014, when the government printed paper charts, it was easy to decide when to purchase a chart: when NOAA issued a “new edition.” Until that new edition came out, users just penciled in the updates as provided in the Local Notice to Mariners. Now, however, we are updating the actual charts before issuing new editions, on a weekly basis. Obtaining the…

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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.”

Here Be Cats

Cat on the Map

My cat, Sneazer Agustus, is enjoying perusing the 2006 Antique Style World Map. The map was published by American Map Corporation, printed by Williams & Heintz on 80 lb. Aged Parchtone.

In early cartography, map makers used mythical beasts and said, “Here be Dragons,” when they came to a part of the world that was a mystery. They filled the page with fantastic beasts. Maybe even cats? Here be Cats!

Sneazer Agustus Cat on the map

Another reason why map makers may leave information off maps is because they  do not wish to make a political statement with their cartography. They may go out of their way to make the map so that the name or boundary is not included, or is not legible, to stay out of the conflict. “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Cat on the Antique Style World Map

This beautiful map, on parchment like paper, is out of print but a quick google search of “2006 antique style world map” will take you to several sources to purchase. Go ahead, we’ll print more! 😉

Here be Cats!

Here be Cats!

Two Sides sends open letter to Mr Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google in response to the newly announced ‘Go Paperless in 2013’ campaign

Two Sides

The following open letter has been sent to Mr. Eric Schmidt of Google and highlights Two Sides’ concerns that Google and others are trying to promote their services as environmentally preferable to print and paper whereas there is significant evidence that electronic communication, and Google’s activities in particular, carry a significant and increasing environmental footprint.

Mr. Eric Schmidt
Chairman of the Board
Google Inc.
Mountain View, CA
USA   94043

Dear Mr Schmidt,

We read with some incredulity the news of Google’s encouragement to consumers to ‘Go Paperless in 2013’. This initiative is accompanied by pictures of trees and US recycling data that presumably is intended to highlight the environmental benefits that will arise from ‘going paperless’. http://www.paperless2013.org/.

Google is joined in the project by US based organizations HelloFax, an online fax service; Manilla, an online bill management service; HelloSign, an e-signature service; Expensify, an online expense reporting service; Xero…

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