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IMIA Report January 2014

Connecting the Business of Maps Worldwide
     Industry News, Profiles and Future Events              FEBRUARY 2014
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Andimaps Celebrating 20 Years of Cartography and Publishing


Andi Adams, proprietor of Andimaps, had been the local relief postman for nine years in Denmark, a town of 5,000 on the south coast of Western Australia, when he came up with the idea of making and publishing a local map guide.


He was asked by the postal manager to make a map of the town postal delivery run. “It was my first lesson in how long it takes to make a map. When I finished the map I ‘signed’ it ‘Andimaps’ which came into my head without a second thought. I only realised why it had a ring when people would give me a nudge and a wink about the apparent dropped H or simply called it the Handimaps. I hadn’t calculated that at all.”


Andi realised there were no good, local maps of the area. So he embarked on the task of making some real maps and publishing them. Without any formal cartographic training the steep learning curve began. In the following months, while doing an unrelated full-time course, Andi worked on the maps every evening. Eight months later, ten thousand copies of the first Denmark Street Guide were published. It was hugely successful and immediately became the local guide to use.


“Back then, the maps were produced by hand on drafting film and bromides, with wax-backed printouts of text and symbols cut out and affixed to the drafts.” he said. After four years of publication Andi purchased his first computer. The next steep learning was to digitally redraw the maps, as well as draft new ones of other towns for publication that year.


“There was so much I didn’t know about using the software. Attending my first IMIA map industry conference, I met other cartographers who were amazed at the amount of work I had done without the knowledge of certain techniques that they as professionals, or more experienced practitioners, already knew. Attending that first map conference also gave me an insight into the context of the industry I was working in. I had no previous association with the mapping profession – the south coast of Western Australia is quite an isolated part of the world (It’s 400 kilometres from Perth with not very much population in between).


“All aspects and processes of the business from production to sales, to the everyday running of the business were learnt as encountered, by jumping in the deep end, in the early days.” “There were times when I would feel overwhelmed by the hugeness of what I had created – to not only keep up production, but to engage all advertising sales – something I had had no formal training in either. If it wasn’t for the encouragement and mentorship of certain people I was working with I may not have persisted.”


Once Andi started the business, he recalled all the different maps he had made as a child and in later years and his love of maps. The mapping industry has changed enormously over the last two decades, but throughout that time Andimaps’ free-to-the-public paper maps have remained strong and viable. “Andimaps has evolved as another medium for local advertisers, like a newspaper, like TV. Online and digital maps are not replacements but are alternatives – just as kindles are for books and emails are for phones.”


Today Andimaps collectively publishes 400,000 copies of Street Guides for 11 towns of WA annually. This year, the 5 millionth Andimaps Street Guide will be published.


 A Better World Map for Our Connected Planet


Shortcomings of Popular World Maps

Len Guelke


Len Guelke is a professor emeritus of the University of Waterloo, Canada, where he taught cartography and historical geography and for 20 years was an active member of the Canadian Cartographic Association. Since retirement Guelke has been an associate of in Amherst Massachusetts, preparing various customized, innovative and experimental maps, many of which can be seen at: 

This URL represents Guelke’s passionate commitment to educating students of the future about Azimuthal Equidistant and Azimuthal Equal-Area Maps.  


Today’s map-buyer has many world maps to choose from, but the most popular ones do not provide map users a sense that they live on a spherical planet and fail to give them a sense of how the continents are actually located on a three dimensional surface. These shortcomings come about because many world maps are rectangular in shape and are centered on the Equator. Ellipsoidal modifications of this format do a little more to suggest a spherical world, but like rectangular maps are generally centered on the equator and badly distort the distances and locational relationships among places and countries in higher latitudes. In particular, on most world maps, the actual global connections among the planet’s most populous countries are simply not depicted crossing the Arctic Ocean (as it mostly the case) and shortest routes between places look as though they invariably follow lines of latitude.


There is also a problem related to where the maps are centered along the east/west axis, because these rectangular and ellipsoidal maps require the cartographer to select more or less arbitrarily some meridian to be the central meridian of the map. This selection places some countries at the center of the map and relegates others to its edges giving an impression that such countries are marginal countries disconnected from the hub of the world.


The above critique highlights key inadequacies of the popular world maps of our time. More importantly, one must ask “can anything be done to improve this situation?”  A first step in any such quest would presumably involve setting out the requirements better world maps would need to meet and what follows seeks to do just that.


The Requirements for a Better World Map


The first imperative of any world map, purporting to represent the reality of the earth, is that it should look like the object it seeks to portray, that is it should give map users an unmistakable, visual image of the spherical planet they actually inhabit.


A second imperative of world maps is that they should provide as accurate picture as possible of the relative locations of the world’s countries and the connections among them.


A third imperative is that the shapes and areas of countries should accurately reflect the reality of the spherical earth, with little or no distortion. Ideally, the map should be an equal-area map (or close to equal-area) and all countries should be immediately recognizable by their shapes alone, even when distorted to some degree.


A fourth imperative is that the world should be shown as a continuous surface without interruptions or arbitrary breaks, mirroring in this respect the spherical earth which is such a continuous surface.


This is a challenging list of requirements. World maps in general circulation today come nowhere meeting most of them. This situation could be attributed to the basic fact that no map portrayal of our spherical earth can replicate all its characteristics on a flat surface, but such an explanation, while true, has the effect of simply bolstering the status quo from any competition even should there be better world maps to be had on little known projections or new ones yet to be imagined.


The Lambert World Map


As it happens there is one little-used projection (known to cartographers as the Lambert Azimuthal projection) that is capable of giving a fine map rendition of the spherical earth that meets most of the imperatives listed above.


Note:  Article to be continued in the March IMIA Report.



IMIA Asia Pacific 2014 Conference – Call for Papers
The Power of Location


Applications Close – Monday 31st March 2014
We now invite submissions for presentations at the International Map Industry Association Asia Pacific Region Conference to be held 17-19 August 2014 at Rydges Hotel, Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

Presentations & Theme
Our theme this year is ‘Power of Location’. The presentations should be related to this theme and be 30 – 40 minutes in length with 5 minutes set aside for question time.
Benefits of Presenting
By presenting you will:

  • Have a great opportunity to showcase your projects and knowledge.
  • Gain peer recognition from industry professionals.
  • Be exposed to prospective clients, partners and academics.
Presentation Guidelines
The submission must contain:
  • Presentation Title
  • Presenter Biography (25 words or less)
  • Abstract (150 words or less)
  • Company Name and Contact Details
The Conference Committee will evaluate all abstracts and make selections based on topic, content and time available. All authors will be notified by 15th April 2014 after the selection process. All presenters must be registered for the conference.
Please send presentation submissions to:
Presentation Programme Chairman Igor Stjepanovic at


London Book Fair

8th – 10th April 2014

Earls Court, London


IMIA will again have a stand at the London Book Fair and as a member, you can benefit. Panels are available for purchase. The benefits of purchasing a panel are: 

  • YOU promote your company at the world’s second largest book fair.
  • YOU have space to conduct meetings.
  • YOU avoid the full cost of a stand.
  • YOU are free to visit other stands without being tied to one place.
  • YOU have refreshments on hand for your guests and you.
  • Includes exhibitor passes for your guests and you.

PRICES: US$1200 or AUS$1280 or €900 or £750 per panel plus VAT where applicable.

(NB: price includes exhibitor entry pass). Please contact your Executive Director for further information.

Confirmed Exhibitors to Date: ITMB Publishing Ltd., Interkart GmbH, MapSherpa,  MapsofWorld, AppsNRanks, mbmSytems, GeoCentre,  and XYZ Maps Ltd.


Potential Exhibitor: Global Mapping


Industry News



ITMB is Proud to Release the Florida Keys Travel Reference Map  


National Scenic Trails Added to Washington State Maps: Newly released US Topo maps  for Washington State will feature … The maps can be downloaded for free at:


Alibaba Offers to Buy Out Mapping Firm for $1.1B

Summary: Chinese e-commerce giant offers to buy out remaining 72 percent stake in AutoNavi in a deal expected to be worth US$1.13 billion and US$1.17 billion, if accepted.

By Eileen Yu |


LandScan Global Datasets: Special Compilation

A unique opportunity for you …

East View is pleased to extend a special “bundle” discount price for the new edition of LandScan Global plus all of the historical vintages in the LandScan Global Archive.


Teaching the Sochi Olympics | History, Geography and Social Studies



Fascinating Topography at Sochi Mountain Venues

Denver Post (blog)

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia – I thought it would be interesting for you if I describe the topography of the valley where the “mountain cluster” of the …


How to Use Your Google Maps – Offline


To access one of Google Maps’ best hidden features, you have to know the magic word. Well, it’s a phrase, really, and that phrase is: “OK Maps.


Amber Alert GPS: Say Hello to Smart Affordable Child Locators

Huffington Post

The AmberAlert GPS, is “The Intelligent Way to Keep Families Connected and Safe”, today unveiled an infographic that explains how Smart Locators …


Maritime Surveying Equipment Focus at international Event

The role of surveying equipment in the maritime sector is coming under the spotlight at a major conference next month. The Oceanology International …


MapQuest Improves Layout of Navigation Screen, Adds Category Shortcuts to Search Screen


The MapQuest app has been updated with some improves to the layout of the navigation screen and the addition of category shortcuts to the search …


TomTom Expands its Real-Time Traffic Service To China, Taiwan and Singapore 




Herb Lester Associates



Herb Lester Associates – Illustrated City Maps & Guides

by Amy@AQ-V


I really admire this keen project brought to us by Herb Lester Associates in the UK. Above you will find a sample of their excellent illustrated city maps and guides. These printed guides can reveal fresh and useful destinations amongst even your very own familiar cityscape such as the best places to meet and work in London; all the while offering up great information for those traveling to a city for the very first time. Let these maps serve as your miniature sourcebook to the usual and unusual. Currently, maps and guides are available in their shop for London, Paris, New York City and Glasgow with more cities on the horizon. To read more please visit: 



GIS People Delivers Queensland Globe Workshops to Government Staff

GIS People has delivered several successful training sessions on using the Queensland Globe to Queensland Government staff.


Queensland Globe, a free spatial data store available through Google Earth, has been developed as part of Queensland Government’s Open Data Initiative. It allows both Government staff and members of the public to view and interact with a huge variety of freely available spatial data such as property boundaries, flood information, high-resolution aerial imagery, and much more.


GIS People ran four initial half-day training workshops at the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) in Brisbane, which were attended by staff from 15 state government departments. The workshops, developed in association with DNRM, are aimed at non-GIS and non-technical staff. A number of aspects of using the Globe are covered, from installation, to navigation, to a variety of case studies that showcase the scope and capability of Queensland Globe and its Category Globes.


GIS People is now organising a state-wide tour to deliver the Queensland Globe Workshop to regional staff. The “Queensland Globe Roadshow” will visit a number of towns and cities across the state to give all Government staff the chance to learn how Queensland Globe can benefit their department.


For more information, contact GIS People through their training department, GIS College:



The Power to Map Your Images to a Location from Your iPhone. Report on Anything, Anywhere with Sunstar and Google Earth


Emergency services, ecologists, environmentalists, architects, marine biologists and real estate agents can now take pictures, map their location to Google Earth and share vital information through the new SunStariOS app.


Sunstar has been built of necessity. Creator Patrick Burke self-funded the development to assist with his daily task of interpreting critical data as a SpatialAnalyst.


“I was doing some work for an Ecologist. He sent me the usual data.The images needed to be located on a map and show the location, direction the camera was facing and the angle view of each photo.This type of work usually takes hours. I created Sunstar to speed up the process, I can now sort all the information in minutes rather than hours.”


The opportunities are rife with this type of technology. In event of an accident or disaster, fire fighters, police and paramedics can use the app to report on crucial information.This intelligence can be shared instantly via email and recorded in the cloud, along with any other important notes relevant to the event.


Sunstarcan be used to map streets, building sites, homes and any area to assist Architects and real estate agents to plan their next move. Similarly, photographers can use the app to record event information, where the photograph took place, store images and upload additional data.


The main point of difference with this app is that Sunstar allows you to create Shape files and KML(Keyhole Markup Language) files for use in Google Earth.You can save reduced sized images to Flickr and link them back to the Shape and the KML.


The files exported form Sunstar can be loaded into your GIS (Geographical Information System) so users can view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data to reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.


The flexibility of Sunstar can be explored with Patrick Burke, who is available for interview. He can be contacted by or call 0412 828919.





IMIA Calendar of Events



Mapping Our World

November 2013 – March 2014
National Library of Australia

Canberra, Australia



26 February 2014

Sydney, Australia


Malaysia Geospatial Forum

11 – 12 March 2014

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia


The London Book Fair

08 – 10 April 2014

London, England UK


Locate 14

07 – 09 April 2014

Canberra, Australia


IMIA (EAME) / The British Cartographic Society Symposium

 25 – 26 June 2014
  Winchester, England UK

Esri International User Conference

14 – 18 July 2014

San Diego, CA USA  


 IMIA (Asia Pacific) Region Conference / Trade Show

17 – 19 August 2014

Melbourne, Australia


The Frankfurt Book Fair

08 – 12 October 2014

Frankfurt, Germany


IMIA (Americas) Conference / Member Showcase

02 – 05 November 2014

Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center

Denver, CO USA


                                 Compliments of the National Geographic Society

Photograph by
Alison Wright

Drokpa Man, India

Photograph by
Alison Wright
Tibet Girl
Photograph by
Alison Wright


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