Blog Archives


Cape Hatteras, NC NOAA POD Chart 11520

Now you get FREE SHIPPING on NOAA POD Charts on any order over $100!

Williams & Heintz Map Corporation Print on Demand (POD) nautical charts are produced under the authority of the National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA is the national hydrographic office for the United States of America. The data from which these POD chart are produced is certified by NOAA for navigation use. POD charts meet the requirements for the mandatory carriage of nautical charts established by the U.S. Coast Guard and published in Titles 33 and 46, Code of Federal Regulations, including the requirements for updating.

Williams & Heintz Map offers the POD Charts on two durable and water resistant kinds of paper:

24 lb. JCP E-20 High Wet Strength Map Paper, a white paper with a lithographic finish that is made to be used out in the elements. This economical paper is fully functional even when wet.

36 lb. JCP E-50 Chart Paper, genuine 50% cotton nautical chart paper, the same kind of paper as the lithographically printed charts that mariners are accustomed to.

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.

We print the charts at Super Fine – 1440 x 720 DPI, up to 64 inches wide, on a G7 calibrated wide-format printer.

Williams & Heintz uses no toxic solvent inks or dangerous UV processes.

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 We made the paper boats, mermaids, fish, and snowflakes from our out of date Maryland and Virginia Cruising Guides.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

Oh, You’re a Map Printer, I’m So Sorry!

“Oh, you’re a map printer, I’m so sorry!”

That’s the kind of response I frequently hear when I tell people what I do.  They see all the GPS and cell phone map apps and think only of road maps that they don’t know how to read.

Well there are a lot of other kinds of maps out there to print, besides road maps. Here are a few, click on the tiles below to see the larger image and a little bit about them.

Williams & Heintz prints many different kinds of maps and charts

Williams & Heintz prints many different kinds of maps and charts

Here’s another thing, all those different kinds of maps were printed over 30 years ago, made by hand, with cameras and film. I scanned them off an old Williams & Heintz marketing piece; so old it doesn’t even have anything about a web site or email contact.

Just think what we can do now with computers, the internet, available data, and digital mapping tools!  (more about that in a later post)

All these new tools make cartography and map making more available, to many more people, to publish more maps.

And some of these great maps  even make it to print on paper.

When you want to see the big picture, nothing beats a big map on a big piece of paper.

It’s a great time to be a map printer!

More about map printing paper specifications

Determining the size of your map

Choosing Ink Colors

Communicating with your printer for best map design

Map finishing and folding

Williams & Heintz Map Corporation Joins Two Sides to Help Promote the Sustainability of Print and Paper

Williams & Heintz Map Corp. joins Two Sides U. S.  Print and paper have a great environmental story to tell.

Williams & Heintz Map Corp. is now a member of Two Sides U.S., a 501(c)6 non-profit organization that promotes the responsible production, use and unique sustainable features of print and paper.

People depend on paper maps for many purposes, not the least of which is to get them where they need to go.  We want everyone to understand the renewable, recyclable nature of print on paper and have the confidence that a printed map is not only very useful, but also highly sustainable.   Williams and Heintz is pleased to join Two Sides in getting that message out and in promoting the medium’s responsible production and use.

We know the importance of building and maintaining a cleaner environment and aim to contribute in as many ways as possible throughout our map production, map printing, and map folding.

Two sides U. S. has an excellent blog, where Phil Riebel, President and COO, Two Sides U.S., Inc. does a great job examining the issues and providing  factual, accurate, and science-based information on the sustainability of print and paper.

Seasons Greetings with Paper Snowflakes: a New Way to Fold a Map

Williams & Heintz Map Corp. is decorated for the season with giant paper snowflakes made of maps.

Williams & Heintz Map Corp. is decorated for the season with giant paper snowflakes made of maps.

Season’s Greetings!

I have taken the time out to do something creative, a release from the stress of the season and political climate:  to make something beautiful in response to the sorrowful news in Connecticut.

My wish is to share some joy with you.

Williams & Heintz Map Corp. is decorated for the season with giant paper snowflakes made of maps.  I have made a “how to” video, so you and your family can fold six sided snowflakes too.  Don’t forget to recycle your paper scraps.

Below is the invitation from the Connecticut PTSA, and the PTA and community leaders in Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary. to make snowflakes, to create a winter wonderland for when the Sandy Hook children return to school in January.

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook:   Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school! Get Creative!! No two snowflakes are alike. Make and send snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514, by January 12, 2013.From the Connecticut PTSA.



More re-used map decorations found herehere, and here.

Update:  They have enough snowflakes and cannot accept any more.

Thank you to everyone who has donated snowflakes on behalf of the children of Sandy Hook  Elementary School and the community of Newtown. We know that each snowflake represents the emotional outreach of the person making it. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from around not just the country but the world. At this time, we have enough beautiful snowflakes to blanket the community of Newtown. Therefore, with regret we must close the snowflake project to further donations. Please take this idea and your snowflakes and create a winter wonderland of your own in your community as a show of solidarity for our Newtown families. Please share your winter wonderlands with us. We would love to share your pictures with the families of Sandy Hook and all the other participating communities. Also please read the message below from the PTA of the Sandy Hook Elementary School for another wonderful way to help. Thank you for your heartfelt and amazing creations and for all of your magnificent notes and kind wishes for the Newtown community.

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.

Save the trees, don’t print? No, paper is a sustainable way to communicate

Print Grows Trees

Save the trees, don’t print.  I hate seeing this message at the bottom of documents on my computer.  It is an easy thing for marketers to say, to make them, and you, feel good about saving time and money with electronic communication.  This falsehood carries over in to all forms of print, not just those emails, making everyone believe that paper is bad. Printing is bad.  But is it really?  Would you say, “Save the tomatoes, don’t eat pizza”?  It is a fallacy that electronic media is more environmentally friendly than print.

Paper is a sustainable way to communicate.  Print Grows Trees provides some facts about the environmental benefits of printed paper:

Printed paper is made from a renewable resource. Trees can be replanted in places where they were harvested and also in places where they don’t currently grow. As much as we love our electronic devices, they don’t grow on trees or anywhere else.

54.7 percent of all paper in the U.S. is currently recycled.

Printed paper can be recycled, recovered and reused. The systems that are in place for these processes are widely available and have become more efficient and sophisticated over the many years they have existed. In contrast, electronic devices are much more complex and expensive to recycle, recover and reuse due to the toxic nature of many of their components, and current systems are still in the early stages.

The average data center serving our electronic devices consumes the same amount of energy as 25,000 households.

The paper we use to print in the U.S. is made from more than 60 percent biofuels. Paper mills use what’s left over from the manufacturing process to generate bioenergy on site. This serves to:

  • Divert waste from landfills
  • Decrease the overall carbon footprint of paper products
  • Decrease dependency on coal and other fossil fuels
  • Help meet green energy goals in America

By contrast, server farms that power computers have become the fastest growing users of fossil fuel in the world, and the amount of energy they use is doubling every year.

I, along with printers all around the world, was very surprised to find that Toshiba America Business Solutions has announced that Oct. 23, 2012, will be “National No-Print Day.” Toshiba wants to “raise awareness of the impact printing has on our planet” and of “the role of paper in the workplace.   The European organization, Two Sides,  has challenged Toshiba’s ‘No Print Day’ as Greenwash .

Printing Industries of America’s President and CEO Michael Makin had this to say:

“Printing is the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint—all other media require energy every time they are viewed. Electronic devices, which Toshiba produces, for example, require the mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, as well as the use of plastics, hydrocarbon solvents, and other non-renewable resources. Moreover 50–80 percent of electronic waste collected for recycling is shipped overseas and is often unsafely dismantled. For Toshiba to call for such a ban on printing is hypocritical to say the least.”

I have a previous Blog post about my experience with printed maps versus electronics.  Surprise:  Print and electronics work together to provide more value.  Why would Toshiba, who makes printers, and fax machines completely loose sight of this?

UPDATE:  Toshiba has agreed to abort its National No-Print Day!

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.

How big should make my map?

Geopogic Map

Geologic Map, 46x46 inches, folded to 9x11, printed on plastic

The intended use of the map is one of the factors that determine the dimensions of a map. The area of interest needs to be shown at a usable scale. The printed area needs to be big enough for photos, or any other desired graphics. The size and shape of the area are too important to the scale and legibility of a map to rely on standard sizes. Paper sheet sizes can be ordered specifically for individual jobs to keep waste and cost down.
What is more important to you, the text and graphics, or the map?

I want to print a map. How do I determine the specifications?

The first thing to be considered when printing a map is the end-user.  A thoughtful examination of how people will use the map will help determine a majority of the specifications that define the product.  Incorporation of these elements will insure the end users interest in the product.

To decide what kind of paper will be best for your map, ask yourself:  Where will people use the map?

W&H Cruising Guide printed on wet strength paper

Nautical chart printed on wet strength paper

Will it be exposed to the elements?   If so, a wet strength stock, or better, a printable plastic would be best suited.  High Wet Strength papers retain 40% of their tensile strength when wet.  It is, however, an uncoated printing surface and is therefore subject to considerable dot gain which can greatly diminish the appearance of graphics.  In particular photos that were dark to start with will get a lot darker resulting in a loss of detail.

Plastics, synthetic sheets, have the surface characteristics of a matte coated stock which is far superior in print quality, to uncoated.  They are impervious to moisture, and have a folding endurance that greatly exceeds any paper.  If you are designing your map for extended use, plastic is great for a durable, long-lasting map. They are also more expensive; although the public seems more than willing to pay for the improved quality and performance.  Plastic is rarely used on a give-away product.  Plastic is specified by thickness not weight.

Shiny paper, such as gloss or dull-coated stocks have excellent print quality.  Unfortunately they are prone to cracking when folded, and hence are better suited to use in book products or maps that don’t get folded.  Gloss stocks are used in folded maps but normally only when the primary purpose of the map is advertising sales.  In these cases print quality takes precedence over functionality.

Will the map be hung on the wall or folded?  If the map is intended to remain flat and get hung on a wall, a heavy weight stock would be of benefit to reduce sagging.   A 100 lb. stock would be a good choice for a flat map destined for a wall.  Most folded maps are printed on 50 to 60 lb. stock.  Generally the larger the map, the thinner and lighter the paper needs to be to accommodate folding.

The weight of the stock is determined by the weight of 500 sheets at the basis size.  Although there are numerous other categories, most paper can be described as cover weight or text weight, with the cover stocks being the thicker and heavier ones.    The basis size of cover stock is 20 x 26 inches.  Text stock is 25 x 38 inches.  Hence, a 60 lb. text stock is one in which 500 sheets of 25 x 38 paper weighs 60 lbs.

A way to achieve multiple uses of a map would be to run multiple paper stocks at time of printing.  It should be noted, however, that multiple paper surfaces will result in multiple appearances.

%d bloggers like this: