IMIA is an international organization where mapmakers, publishers, geospatial technology companies, location-based services, content producers, and distributors come together to both connect and to conduct business in the spatial information and map related industry. It is a global organization and welcomes members from every corner of the globe. The Association is made up of three regions: IMIA EAME (Europe, Africa and Middle East), IMIA Americas (North America, South America, Canada, and Mexico) and IMIA Asia Pacific (Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific).
The IMIA Report reports the current issues of the worldwide mapping industry giving members information on new products, member news, plus items of interest to those in the industry. We encourage all our members to send to IMIA Headquarters their new product information and press releases for distribution. Advertising is available.
The Paper Map Revolution
Feb. 12, 2015-In the past ten years Ordnance Survey paper map sales have fallen, in line with the rest of the publishing industry. Yet in 2014, Britain’s mapping agency reversed this trend with sales in 2014 up by 3%, with figures for the financial year (2014-15) showing an even more impressive 7% increase.
OS makes over 10,000 daily updates to a database of more than 460 million unique geographic features, which are then presented on a range of different digital and paper maps. Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, says: “It’s great to see that sales of paper maps are increasing. We understand that the increase isn’t huge; however, the significant news is the downward trend has been reversed. “There’s an emotional attachment to OS paper maps. People love their iconic design and the feel of them in their hands. The detail contained in OS Explorer and OS Landranger maps gives users greater security and reassurance.
“Since the turn of the century we have seen an explosion in the availability of mapping through the Internet and mobile devices. Internet mapping has been great at making maps a part of daily life, but too often it doesn’t carry the detail our customers now demand. There are times when accurate geographic information is vital. This is especially true when exploring remote and rural areas, and in terms of safety and emergency situations. Hopefully people are recognising the vital role which OS paper maps play in supporting digital devices.”
Following OS’s 2015 brand modernisation, over 600 of its paper map covers are being updated. Members of the public are invited to submit their photographs into OS Photofit – a competition to find new images for each cover. For more information visit os.uk/photofit
Today, paper map sales only account for 5% of OS’s annual revenue, but this hasn’t stopped the national map makers from investing in paper maps.
Recent developments include the Active range of weatherproof maps and the launch two years ago of the popular Custom Made maps, sales of which rose last year by 12%. Custom Made maps allow users to create a bespoke map of an area, complete with their own cover images.
OS is also exploring plans to bring new and old maps to life through augmented reality and continuing its development and experimentation with maps for the colour blind. Nick continues: “It’s clear to us that the paper map can work alongside digital mapping, playing an important role in creating adventures and helping users explore every inch of Great Britain. We are always looking at ways of improving all of our products and as technology develops it delivers new opportunities. There are lots of innovations, such as augmented reality, smart paper and new production technology, which have the potential to change the paper map market.”
For further information on how mapping can support your adventure visit os.uk. OS paper maps cover the whole of Great Britain, with 403 OS Explorer Maps and 204 OS Landranger Maps. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s our Outdoor Leisure (OL) range, covering the main tourist areas in the country which continue to prove the most popular.
Self-described “map geek” Eric Fischer uses urban data to make
some of the web’s most intriguing spatial images.
Some people look at the abundance of urban data out there and see an academic research paper. Others maybe see a table or a graph or a chart. Self-proclaimed “map geek” Eric Fischer sees some of the most intriguing maps and spatial images found on the Internet, just waiting to be created.
“Ultimately, almost everything I have been making tries to take the dim, distant glimpse of the real world that we can see through data and magnify some aspect of it in an attempt to understand something about the structure of cities,” he says. “I don’t know if that comes through at all in the actual products, but it is what they are all building toward.”
The 41-year-old Fischer, who lives in Oakland, California developed his cartographic interest while at the University of Chicago, when he came across the windy city’s 1937 local transportation plan. (It was a “clearly insane plan” to replace the transit system with a massive freeway network, he recalls.) Until a few weeks ago Fischer worked as a programmer at Google, gathering the data that guides his projects in his spare time.
Over the years Fischer has rendered loads of raw numbers into informative and visually powerful maps on a diverse range of topics: from race to language to the use of social media. The work is published in sets on Flickr (alongside an impressive collection of retro urban maps and street signs). His most popular set – “Locals and Tourists” – used geotagged photos from Flickr and Picasa to examine where visitors and natives take pictures in 124 cities.
“It’s a simple concept, but revealing about where the edges are where people turn back and stop exploring,” says Fischer.
“Locals and Tourists,” which was featured at MoMA’s “Talk to Me” exhibition in 2010, was actually derived from an earlier set called the “Geotaggers World Atlas.” The atlas ranks cities by the number of pictures taken in their central districts. While that system favored monocentric cities like New York and Paris, some of the best visuals come from polycentric places like Taipei.
“What I think this really established was that each city has a few streets, areas of shore, or scenic outlooks that are core to its identity, and you can tell which they are by the places that people take pictures of over and over again,” he says.
The Map Store Charting New Territory in a GPS World
Jan Swain describes his store as “a place about places.”
Those places range from the Milky Way to Milwaukee, with thousands of locations in between. If a noteworthy place exists – and someone would want to go there – odds are that The Map Store in Wauwatosa has a map showing the details of it.
But in a world where people now use global positioning systems in their cars or on their smartphones to guide them to their destinations, who uses a paper map? Lots of people for lots of reasons, Swain said. It’s one thing to get directions to a place with a GPS device, but when it comes to spatial perspective, there’s nothing quite like a map, he said. “Your 3-by-5 (-inch screens), that’s good for an immediate area. But when you want to see the broad picture? What most of us don’t want to do is carry around a suitcase holding a monitor,” Swain said. “A map is the only way you are going to get the overall picture.”
That’s not to say a lot hasn’t changed for family-owned Milwaukee Map Service Inc., since it opened in 1937. The business, now at 3720 N. 124th Street after two decades on Mayfair Road, was started by Swain’s father Clarence, a salesman who liked the map business and realized Milwaukee was the only big Midwest city that didn’t have a store selling or making them.
As urban sprawl took off in the late 1950s and early 1960s, so did business for Milwaukee Map Service, which had a team of cartographers making maps of all types for consumers, corporate customers and local governments. An important part of its business still is making customized maps for governmental units – for example, volunteer fire departments that need new trainees to learn quickly what’s where – and companies that guide fleets and employees over large regions.
Dispatchers for one longtime local customer, Schmitz Ready Mix, use large maps created and updated by Milwaukee Map Service to direct concrete-hauling trucks to and from job locations. “They’ve been good to work with,” said Jerry Kultgen, vice president of Schmitz Ready Mix.
More than geography
But what Swain finds especially interesting about his business is what it tells you about people – what they want to know and where they want to go. When the wars in Iraq occurred, people who had relatives heading overseas came in to buy maps to find out more about where their loved ones would be. “It was important. They were going to war. They didn’t know where the place was,” he said.
The map-selling retail side of the business also says a lot about travel. “There are 200 countries in the world, and I have a map of almost everyone one of them,” Swain said. “You’d be surprised at how many I sell of Antarctica, Greenland – far-off places.” Why would people from Wisconsin want to visit Antarctica? “How many people can say they’ve been in seven continents? It’s like trying to climb Mount Everest. Because it’s there, people will do it,” Swain said.
The Map Store’s offerings include maps not only of nations, states and municipalities, but of hunting grounds, national forests, topography, lakes, recreational sites and many other areas of interest. It sells globes – often as gifts – along with travel guides, educational information, framed wall maps and atlas software. “It’s like Walgreens. They don’t survive on pills. They survive on everything else they have,” Swain said.
Swain acknowledges that the map business hasn’t become any easier, and that technology has been a mixed development for his $1 million-a-year company, which he co-owns with a brother and sister-in-law. Sales are hundreds of thousands of dollars lower than during the company’s best years, and the staff is smaller.
However, having maps saved on computers has made it much easier to update them and make quick adjustments – new roads, housing developments, street name changes, landmarks, hospitals. That is so much easier than looking through pages and pages of official maps at a county courthouse and identifying changes. Swain takes pride in keeping maps up to date. He said, for example, it was important to change Milwaukee-area maps to show that a section of what once was W. Pittsburgh Ave. now is W. Freshwater Way – the gateway to Milwaukee’s new Global Water Center at 247 W. Freshwater Way.
“People are going there. You have people coming in from out of town. You’re getting professors, you’re getting people from the government. Everyone is looking for that building, and where is it?” Swain said.
Technology also allows for Milwaukee Map Service to sell its products over the Internet. But there’s no question that GPS guidance has led to far less unfolding of paper maps in homes, offices and automobiles. And the Internet has introduced new map-selling competitors. The ups and downs of the economy also have an effect on the market for maps, as they do with many businesses, Swain said. The deep recession in 2008 and 2009 put a serious strain on his business. “It was bad. People weren’t buying. They weren’t traveling anywhere,” Swain said. He’s noticed a pickup in the map business now, as the economy continues its slow improvement.
“The economy has picked up and people want to go on that trip they’ve been putting off,” Swain said. “Whether they want to go to Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon or the Sequoias, or if they want to go to England or France or Budapest, that’s why we have so many maps. They are all here. They are all current.”
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
Britain Leads the Way as Ordnance Survey Helps to Drive Economic Growth and Digital Innovation Through Open Data
To coincide with International Open Data Day, when countries across the globe will show their support for open data policies, Ordnance Survey (OS) announce plans to launch a world-leading digital map as open data and the creation of an engagement hub in London.
This consolidates the UK’s reputation as the most advanced country in the world on open data, as recognised by World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee last month. It will generate opportunities for enterprise, drive innovation in the digital economy, increase demand for new apps and services and help data-driven businesses to grow.
OS OpenMap, which will be released at the end of March, has been designed to work with the latest mobile and web platforms and will allow developers to build new products incorporating some of the most sophisticated mapping data in the world. It will also enhance the wide range of existing apps that use geospatial data. Targeted at both public sector and commercial users, the map provides an enhanced level of building detail, extended naming of roads and identifies sites such as hospitals and schools – all in a customisable and easy to style format.
Today’s announcements from OS are underpinned by a more liberalised approach to licensing designed to maximise the benefits of the UK’s most valuable data.
This weekend OS will support the UK’s first ever Open Data Camp in Hampshire. Two hundred developers, innovators and entrepreneurs will have a first chance to trial some of the new data to create fresh insights and innovative products and services.
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “Access to open data will open up job opportunities. Britain is already a world-leader at designing and making innovative products. But we need to keep investing and supporting our technology businesses to stay ahead. “Making this data more accessible means more small and medium companies will be able to use Ordnance Survey’s world-leading maps, combining geographical data from multiple sources and visualising them at a high level of detail. I am sure this will inspire a number of companies to create sophisticated new products.”
The Geospatial Innovation Hub will provide a space for OS to meet face-to-face with developers and to support the creation of new products and services. The Hub builds on OS’s experience of working with start-ups through their successful GeoVation programme, allowing developers to benefit from expert OS advice.
Matthew Hancock, Business Minister at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Ordnance Survey has world-beating data and its expertise means that the UK has access to the best and most comprehensive mapping data in the world. I announced earlier this year that Ordnance Survey would move to a Government Company to ensure that it could operate in an increasingly agile and flexible manner in the fast changing geospatial market, and today’s announcement goes hand in hand with that change. “Ordnance Survey data is already being used by a range of businesses and these developments will enable its open data, as well as its commercial activity, to continue to support growth and innovation in this country.”
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “As part of this Government’s long-term plan for the economy, we are driving an ambitious transparency programme. Open data is a new raw material and today’s Ordnance Survey announcement builds on the progress which has seen us recognised as the world’s most transparent government. Transparency is an idea whose time has come and we must keep challenging ourselves to do more.”
Neil Ackroyd, Ordnance Survey’s Acting Director General and Chief Executive, said: “Over the last five years Ordnance Survey has been committed to supporting the open data programme in a sustainable way. I am confident these new open data developments will be welcomed across the public and private sector and that it may inspire a new wave of developers and entrepreneurs to work with OS data.
We are delighted to be releasing a new range of open data products, and I am particularly keen to see the new street level product being used across mobile and online services and applications, as it provides an unmatched level of detail at the national level. At Ordnance Survey we believe that open data releases are best supported by additional resources and we have explored ways to improve and modify our licenses and provide supporting initiatives to aid further innovation.”
The announcement today includes: A significant enhancement to Ordnance Survey’s portfolio of Open Data products: OS OpenMap – a new ‘street level’ vector dataset designed to be the most detailed open data mapping product available, providing a backdrop for integrating and visualising analytical data. The new product will provide an enhanced level of detail for buildings including the specific identification of functional sites such as hospitals and schools, extended naming of roads and an extensive set of cartographic names optimised for digital styling and presentation.
A new Open Water Network – a generalised network product covering Great Britain’s rivers which will deliver a national view of our watercourses. A new and improved Gazetteer – for use by people who need the most up to date place names, road names, road numbers and postcodes for use in location searches for both mobile and online uses. Supporting the release of UPRNs: www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/about/news/2015/uprn-release-sharing-location-data.html
International Wold’s Retail & Consumer Tips
Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences at various touchpoints a customer has with a supplier of goods and / or services over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. The sales and customer service experience begins when a customer picks up the phone or walks in the door.
Customers scrutinize how they are treated after the sale as much as they evaluate a business while making the decision to buy. They are closely watching how every situation is handled, especially the difficult ones. Remember: Everything counts when it comes to a customer’s loyalty. There are four specific things that customers say they will never forget about when doing business.
1. Customers do not forget attitudes. Each member of the team is an extension of the sales and customer service experience.
2. Customers do not forget promises. Business is based on trust. When a business looses a customer’s trust, there is really no basis for continuing the business relationship.
3. Customers do not forget how a business handles issues or misunderstandings. When customers have an issue or misunderstanding, more than any other time, a business has the opportunity to develop a bonded relationship.
4. Customers do not forget what happens after the sale. The best marketing tool available to a business is the customer’s satisfaction after the sale. A business can set itself apart by being an after-the-sale champion.
Customers will become loyal if the sales and customer service team develops a “no matter what it takes” attitude, keeps its promises, quickly addresses issues, and takes care of them after the sale. If a business does all these things, customers will be glad to come back for more! Remember: Everything counts!
2015 DEVELOPER SUMMIT – Calling All Geo Developers
March 10 – 13, 2015
Palm Springs Convention Center
Palm Springs, CA USA
ABOUT THE 10TH ESRI DEVSUMMIT
Celebrating its 10th year of putting geography into your mobile and web application, Esri Developer Summit (DevSummit) is the place to learn the latest in location-smart building. Give your apps and solutions a competitive edge when you incorporate location-aware alerts, dynamic maps, big data visualizers, and more. Novice to advanced GIS users find new ways to challenge their skillsets and dive deep into exploring the value of spatially aware solutions at DevSummit.
Plan your calendar in advance. Drop your luggage Monday night and join Esri partners, developers, solution engineers, and other GIS professionals at the Monday night social. During this GIS Solutions Expo and Welcome Social, you’ll network with and pick the brains of the developers working on tomorrow’s GIS solutions. Relax, grab refreshments, and ease into DevSummit with the people you know and admire. Don’t miss this Monday evening social with thousands of geo-coding problem solvers or the Thursday night annual Dodgeball Tournament.
Who should attend: DevSummit is for geogeeks, coders, hackers, builders, and dodgeballers, who want more neat ways to add spatial elements to their mobile and web apps.
Why attend: DevSummit is a forum for training, networking, demo-ing, and revealing the latest proven solutions in geographic programming. More than 90 percent of attendees would recommend DevSummit to a colleague.
Over the next few months IMIA is sponsoring a series of blogs written by guest bloggers on the topic: “What is a Map?” The intent of this blog series is to facilitate a discussion on how technology is increasing the opportunities for the world to use and contribute to geospatial information, while the traditional map continues to have a (durable) place for many users.
Clearly, maps are very important today, with some companies claiming to be selling more paper maps now than any time in their history. Meanwhile, the preponderance of GPS devices enabling everything from in-dashboard navigation units, to handheld navigation devices, some of which provide only information on position, while others provide a variety of underlying map content. These handheld devices include specialized units, but users are increasingly relying upon smart phones that not only allow them to navigate on foot, by bike or by car, but to also take photos and communicate their “status” to the world.
Communication had previously meant “channelized” voice or text, including email and SMS, but now includes the ability to dynamically communicate via web platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other online social media services. There’s increasingly a geospatial component to communicating with friends and family, with users “checking in” at particular locations, geospatially “tagging” photos with precise coordinates (provided by the phone’s GPS), and sharing geospatial data to expose recreational opportunities and experiences or to virtually compete with other people via the Internet.
All of this begs the question: what is a map? You will probably get a different answer from users and consumers of various map products, based upon what they’re using or how they’re using it. Also, there’s a variety of answers depending upon the geospatial service provider. Some mapping entities are providing only online, dynamic capabilities. Others are enabling disconnected digital maps on mobile devices. Many organizations are still providing content the age old way: paper maps. I think our current reality is that “maps are all of these things” and any prioritization of these kinds of products and services depend upon the customer and how they’re using mapping products.
It is an exciting time to be involved in mapping, as I think the “pie is growing”, or the overall market for mapping and geospatial products and services are continuing to grow. This growth is because people want more maps in ever more formats. People want good maps on their computer, they want to have access to them on their phones and other mobile devices and they want a high quality paper map to take with them, as it’s tough to gather everyone around a small screen to discuss where we’re all going. I believe that high quality mapping services are increasing the demand for high quality paper maps. Literally, one hand is feeding the other.
I look forward to guest bloggers continuing this discussion on “what is a map?” on the IMIA blog. If you’d like to be a part of the discussion, please feel free to comment or if you’d like to participate as a guest blogger please submit your blog entry to email@example.com. The question is simple but the answer is tough… and really depends on the provider, customer and intended use.
Systems Development Branch Chief
National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC)
By John Cassidy, Vice President of GeoSpatial Sales and Marketing at TomTom and IMIA Americas Director-at-Large.
I have been asked to answer the question: “What is a map?” I thought about this a lot, and started to write an answer to that question several times but each time got carried away with trying to define it in broad terms. For the purpose of this blog, I’ve decided to narrow my answer based on two thoughts – what it means professionally to me, and what it may mean to IMIA.
To me, professionally speaking, a map is a database. Specifically my focus is on street centerline databases and the attributes you can include in it. Street maps today are used for three main purposes, which I’ll discuss individually: display, routing and geocoding.
Display today implies of course a printed map! But it also means a web map viewed through your browser or mobile device, perhaps in a desktop mapping application or on a smartphone. Like all good maps, visual analysis of what is portrayed yields a wealth of information – bringing to mind the time-worn axiom “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The paper map is ultimately the best known form of a “map.” But increasingly, paper maps are only one way a visual map is being created and consumed.
Routing means helping you get from here to there. The map enables routing by having several attributes that work together to generate a route: a highly connective set of geometry and speed attributes such as road class, actual travel time and access to historical and real-time traffic information to ensure the most optimum route. The route may emphasize shortest distance or shortest travel time. In real-time navigation applications, the map allows the user’s position (as determined by GPS) to be compared to the most optimal route and for guidance to constantly be updated during the travel period. The transmission of information to the user may be visual, or may use audio prompts, or may include both. In such applications, the map can be very complex including specific information such as lane counts, three-dimensional representation, and slope and gradient information.
Geocoding means the map enables you to enter a location, typically an address, and the map returns another location, typically the latitude / longitude coordinate. Geocoding applications can and do vary widely – reverse geocoding, where the system knows your coordinate and determines the nearest address – useful in instances, where GPS is being used and the user wants to know what is near them, for example, a gas station or restaurant. Other geocoding applications involve determining what geography you are located within – for example Census Tract or Block Group, which enable geo-demographic analysis – useful, for example, for a company like McDonald’s, who does a lot of site location analysis in determining where to build a new restaurant.
For IMIA, the idea of a map being something much more than just a paper map enables it to embrace a broader audience, who may be involved in some of these applications. While a paper map can and is used in some of these applications, increasingly the map as database goes far beyond the limitations of a printed map on a piece of paper. Broadly over the past few decades we’ve witnessed the rise of new “map” concepts such as MapQuest and its success in being an early pioneer in web-based directions – to SatNav or GPS systems like TomTom and Garmin devices – to in-vehicle navigation applications – to smartphones and their ubiquitous use of maps – to the new era of the Internet of Things – leading to wearable map-enabled devices such as sport watches. We’re spending a lot of time talking about what a map is – and we invite your input!
Maps.com Announcing New Map Marketplace
Cartographers: Generate new income by selling your maps
with zero risk and no upfront cost.
Maps.com’s new Map Marketplace is a way to connect map sellers to map buyers in a whole new way. Independent cartographers and publishers, this is your chance to turn your existing content into real products with real revenue. Get started with Map Marketplace and begin earning revenue now. It’s easy to do, here’s how:
Register with Map Marketplace and submit your products for review
Watch your content turn into sellable products online
Receive monthly revenue payments directly from Maps.com