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Season’s Greetings from Williams & Heintz

Season’s Greetings from all of us at Williams & Heintz Map Corp.

Enjoy the video of the Hospice Tree that we decorated for Calvert Hospice Festival of Trees. We made the paper boats, mermaids, fish, and snowflakes from our out of date Maryland and Virginia Cruising Guides.

The 2016-2017 Williams & Heintz Maryland and Virginia Cruising Guides can be ordered now for Christmas deliveries  of the chart books. So recycle and reuse your old charts, time to ring in the new.

Soundtrack: Fish Bowl by Scott Holmes

Paper boats, mermaids, fish, and snowflakes on the Williams & Heintz Corp tree for Calvert Hospice Festival of Trees

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.

Have Lithographic Print Nautical Charts Gone Down With the Ship?

The Maryland Cruising Guide, published and printed by Williams & Heintz Map Corp., is based on NOAA Nautical Charts.

The Maryland Cruising Guide, published and printed by Williams & Heintz Map Corp., is based on NOAA Nautical Charts.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced  that to save money, the government will stop printing the traditional lithographic paper chart, that has been NOAA’s signature product, trusted by mariners, since President Thomas Jefferson asked for a survey of the coast in 1807.

Effective April 13, 2014, the federal government will no longer print lithographic nautical charts.

Are we hastening the demise of printed maps and charts?  We often jump to new technology and online mapping without adequately considering the effect on the public; it’s like everybody running to one side of the boat to see what’s going on and making it capsize.

For example, the US Geological Survey used to have a very good printing plant that produced maps not only for USGS, but the Bureau of Land Management as well, not to mention collaborating with numerous state geological surveys to produce printed map products.  Unfortunately their leadership with their crystal ball foresaw the demise of hard copy maps back around 2000.  Their printing plant with decades of expertise and experience is now gone.  Ironically, the only thing that is not gone is the demand for hard copy maps.  Last year they were compelled to solicit a contract for the printing and distribution of their topo products, of which they still sell about 350,000 maps a year.  That’s not too bad, for a product that the publisher has tried to discourage people from using.

NOAA is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. With respect to producing maps and charts, NOAA’s core job is to provide charts for commercial shipping.  It continues to meet this requirement through the POD’s.  A NOAA authorized Print on Demand (POD) chart is printed within a day or two of the date it is ordered and contains all the published critical chart corrections.

The recreational boater, however, has been abandoned.

“There is no question that many boaters and tourists will miss the days when they could drop by a shop to pick up a traditional nautical chart that was printed by the government. Stores offer more than convenience… They are a valuable resource for local information, marine expertise, and friendship.” (FAQs PDF)

The good news is that, while the federal government will no longer print lithographic nautical charts, they are now testing a new product: during a trial period from Oct 22, 2013 to Jan 22, 2014, they are making about a thousand nautical charts available in printable PDF format for free download.

The new printable PDF charts, at 400 dpi, continue the traditional look, with the same colors. Charts printed from the PDF file, are suitable for planning and public display. Here is where Williams & Heintz Map Corporation comes in.  We have been printing nautical chart books based on the NOAA charts since 1969. We are all set to step up and offer the public the same high level of service they’ve provided over the decades. While anyone can download a PDF, not everyone has the capability to print them at chart size. Williams & Heintz is the printer who can reproduce the colors and image resolution on the paper you select, including wet strength.

So while you will no longer be able to purchase NOAA nautical charts printed by the government, we welcome the new opportunities for printing and distributing charts made from PDF files for you, whether you want one digital print of a NOAA Nautical Chart with your house centered on the map, or thousands of lithographic charts featuring your marina and logo to hand out to your customers.

Update: Oct. 28, 2013 Edited inaccurate content.

Update: May, 14 2014  Williams & Heintz Map Corporation 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 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.

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.

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